What mixture of “design” and “evolution” is possible as the IDM collapses?

This offers the simplest “neutral” colloquial mixture of “design” and “evolution” that I’ve seen in a long time. The site is no longer maintained, but the language persists.

“As a designer it is important to understand where design came from, how it developed, and who shaped its evolution. The more exposure you have to past, current and future design trends, styles and designers, the larger your problem-solving toolkit. The larger your toolkit, the more effective of a designer you can be.” http://www.designishistory.com/this-site/

Here, the term “evolution” as used just meant “history”. The author was not indicating “design theory evolution”, but rather instead the “history of designs” themselves, which have been already instantiated.

The topic “design is history” nevertheless enables an obvious point of contact between “evolution” and “design”. They both have histories that can be studied. Present in the above meaning of “design” are the origin, processes and agent(s) involved in the “designing”. This differs significantly from the Discovery Institute’s version of “design theory”, when it comes to history, aim, structure and agency, since the DI’s version flat out avoids discussion of design processes and agent(s). The primary purpose of the DI’s “design theory”, meanwhile, is USAmerican religious apologetics and “theistic science”.

The quotation above likely didn’t come from an IDist, and it isn’t referencing “Intelligent Design” theory as a supposed “scientific theory”. The “designer” in the quotation above is a (more or less intelligent) human designer, not a Divine Designer. This fact distinguishes it “in principle” from the Discovery Institute’s ID theory, which is supposed to be (depends on who you’re speaking with in the IDM) about first biology, then informatics, and statistics. The DI’s ID theory is not actually focused on “designing by real designers”, but rather on apologetics using “design” and informational probabilism.

The Discovery Institute’s failure to distinguish or even highlight the differences and similarities between human design and Divine Design, and instead their engagement in active distortion, equivocation, double-talking, and obfuscation between them, are marks of its eventual downward trend to collapse.

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1,506 thoughts on “What mixture of “design” and “evolution” is possible as the IDM collapses?

  1. CharlieM:

    By all means start a thread. My own takeaway is that his broader thesis is supportive of my ‘Against Metaphor’ stance. The cell is not a machine, but nor is it a musical performance, etc. By dissecting all the properties that machines have and cells don’t, he is merely reaffirming the common feature of metaphors: they must differ in some way from the system being analogised. Otherwise they’d be the same thing.

    I’d like to see a reference for the claim that Drosophila embryonic development continues in the absence of DNA. I don’t think mitosis without DNA makes any sense, but then I know next to nothing about Drosophila embryonic development; the ‘organisation’ may not involve cell division.

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  2. Allan Miller,

    Ah, missed the “if”, reading as “Trilobites appeared from nowhere”.

    @ CharlieM apologies, not nonsense. All organisms that leave fossil evidence had ancestors that didn’t. An inevitable consequence of common descent.

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  3. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM

    I think that physics does show that the more dense the substance the more likely it is to fossilise.

    Perhaps, but that’s a fair way from the ‘matter is condensed energy’ line you started with.

    Allan Miller:

    Charlie (quoting from the American Journal of Physics
    There are no particles, there are only fields

    That makes your original contention – “matter is condensed energy; early life wasn’t condensed enough to fossilise” – no less hideous a mangling of physics.

    Considering a fossil as an object in its spacial aspect does not approach its reality. This is only its limited sense bound reality. Its fully supersensible reality can be gained by observing with the mind over and above the senses. This transforms it from its being in space to its becoming in time. We move from seeing it as an object in space to seeing it as a process in time. The former comes from outer vision, the senses, the latter from inner vision, the mind.
    The fossil has no meaning apart from the organism of which it was part.

    We recognise the fossil not because it has retained its material substance, we recognise it because its form has persisted.

    Let’s say it was a fossilized bone. If the animal had died in an earlier period in its life, the bone may not have had time to become dense enough to fossilise. The material from which it formed was previously spread out over a wide area of the earth. The organism ingested this material which became the constituents of its body. Gas does not fossilise because compared to solids it has more energy and less material per unit volume.

    As our bodies are constituted at this time our material bodies are basically composed of solid, liquid and gas. (Please make sure any jokes about this are funny 🙂 ) Although it’s all relative. What we experience as a liquid with low viscosity may be like thick treacle to a dinein complex making its way along a microtubule.

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  4. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: If people do not want to be vaccinated they should not be forced to do so. Our kids had all the usual vaccinations but this was our decision.

    At what age should children be allowed a say in decisions that affect their own lives? I see in UK the unfettered right to choose or refuse medical treatment is 16, though the Court of Protection can intervene where children and parents disagree.

    I would say that children should be consulted and listened to as soon as they are able to think for themselves. This doesn’t mean we should let them do what they want. They should gradually be allowed to take more personal responsibility and children mature at different rates.

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  5. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: Just as in the cells of an individual animal, some cells remain pluripotent and some become extremely specialised.

    This is nonsense, Charlie. The reason dog breeders have been able to tease out Canis familiaris into the wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes is due to high genetic diversity in the species prior to domestication and selective breeding. The process is not endless as diversity only accumulates slowly and is overtaken by inbreeding, the lack of genetic diversity that causes grief to many pedigree breeds these days.

    Breeders traditionally select from what they observe and leave to the scientists and researchers arguments about the root causes of diversity.

    Look at specific features, for example size. Dogs display a much broader range of sizes than say hamsters, mice or rabbits.

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  6. Corneel:

    Charlie: If people do not want to be vaccinated they should not be forced to do so. Our kids had all the usual vaccinations but this was our decision.

    So did my kids. I was pointing out the “pernicious political influence” of anthroposophy and Steiner’s philosophy that founded it. Do I need to remind you that it was YOU that tried to use vaccination refusal as a stick to beat “Darwinism”?

    Steiner was at great pains to tell his followers not to do or believe anything just because he advised it. People should be allowed to think for themselves.

    I’m not beating Darwinism with a stick. I am merely pointing out where blindly following an ideology can lead. And anthroposophy can, and no doubt has in some cases, become just as much an ideology as Darwinism.

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  7. Allan Miller: CharlieM: KN: Are there really such “Darwinian extremists” or are you just making them up?

    Charlie: Practically all world views and ideologies will have their extremists. Darwinism lends itself to be misused in this way.

    So you’ll have an example ready to hand, then.

    I see that Gregory has started a thread on this very subject, although I haven’t had much time to look at it yet.

    That’ll be me playing catch up yet again 🙂

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  8. newton:

    CharlieM:

    Newton: In the case of Down Syndrome, the extra copy of a chromosome is a coincidence?

    CharlieM: Chromosomes aren’t genes, they are complex, active molecules.

    There are a lot of complex active molecules that are not related to Down syndrome , what is unique about the chromosome?

    An extra chromosome upsets the balance of gene expression. But despite their generic differences, people with Downs syndrome are still individuals with much to contribute to society.

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  9. Corneel:

    CharlieM: Living organisms are not just matter. They are intrinsically active, self-governing bodies. Living activity is the primal state of matter and ‘dead’ matter is the product and residue of this activity.

    Then why did flightless birds get caught in a “non-plastic form” and how did their bodies force them into restricted niches? Are organisms self-governing or are they restricted by their own bodies? Are they forced into restricted niches by their current form or do their passions allow them to escape to new ones?

    And that is the problem of “making up stories as you go along”. Eventually you end up lacking consistency.

    Their bodies didn’t force them into restricted niches, their actions as a population did. As was the case with blind cave fish. If they had not been confined to these dark caves they would still have use of their eyes.

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  10. CharlieM,

    Give it up, Charlie. Your physics is worse than your biology (and I’m no physicist!). Fossilisation is much likelier where calcium, magnesium or silicon compounds are incorporated into the living organism’s structure. This has next to nothing to do with matter-energy equivalence, still less obscurantist mysticism.

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  11. CharlieM: I’m not beating Darwinism with a stick. I am merely pointing out where blindly following an ideology can lead. And anthroposophy can, and no doubt has in some cases, become just as much an ideology as Darwinism.

    Right. Then you do understand why people consider it worthwhile to counter such harmful ideas like ID creationism in the scientific literature, and that this in no way implies such ideas have scientific merit?

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  12. CharlieM: Me: And that is the problem of “making up stories as you go along”. Eventually you end up lacking consistency.

    Charlie: Their bodies didn’t force them into restricted niches, their actions as a population did. As was the case with blind cave fish. If they had not been confined to these dark caves they would still have use of their eyes.

    Inconsistency alert! Previously you wrote:

    And the evolutionary future of dogs has been restricted by their limbs which are specialised for locomotion and their sense and nervous system which has developed one-sidedly towards the sense of smell.

    and:

    Of course we are restricted by our bodies.

    So what is restricting a group’s evolutionary fate? Is it their actions or their morphology? Can blind cave fish collectively decide to leave their caves and have eyes plopping up again by expressing them from their archetype?

    There is a curious disconnect between the magical opportunities that organisms supposedly are granted by expressing aspects of their archetype and the restrictions by which groups are apparently locked into their current form. The fact that the balance between the two appears to depend on your interpretation of the inner life of “groups” makes for a nice source of fables, but does not bode well for empirical verification.

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  13. Corneel:

    CharlieM: Me: My guess is that you are confusing yourself by mentally grouping all bacteria again.

    Charlie: It is a mutually dependent, well-balanced, symbiotic relationship. Disease and death comes when the balance is disrupted. If it were not for the bacteria and such like we would be wading through a layer of corpses. Nature is finely balanced at all levels. The whole reflected in the parts.

    Yep, you are still grouping ALL bacteria.

    And why would this be a problem?

    CharlieM: Me: Then why are random mutations a problem?

    Charlie: They aren’t a problem when they are kept under control. It’s a matter of maintaining balance.

    Good, then can we finally agree that genetic variation gets replenished by chance mutations?

    Among many other things.

    CharlieM: Don’t you have some measure of control over your passions?

    KN explained it a lot better than I did. Since he couldn’t convince you I fear that I won’t fare better. What is the goal of taking control over your passions, if not to satisfy some other passions? You perceiving your own passions as a threat to your freedom is completely incoherent.

    The passions are not a threat but how we deal with them can be. Our passions can be used for selfish or selfless ends and any combination in between.

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  14. CharlieM: Charlie: It is a mutually dependent, well-balanced, symbiotic relationship. Disease and death comes when the balance is disrupted. If it were not for the bacteria and such like we would be wading through a layer of corpses. Nature is finely balanced at all levels. The whole reflected in the parts.

    Me: Yep, you are still grouping ALL bacteria.

    Charlie: And why would this be a problem?

    Because many bacteria are pathogens and some of them DO occasionaly result in a “layer of corpses”. Well-balanced symbiotic relationship my elbow.

    CharlieM: Me: Good, then can we finally agree that genetic variation gets replenished by chance mutations?

    Charlie: Among many other things.

    Negative, ultimately ALL genetic variation is the result of genetic mutation. Both recombination and gene flow require some initial variation. I know of no other source of genetic variation. Do you?

    CharlieM: Me: You perceiving your own passions as a threat to your freedom is completely incoherent.

    Charlie: The passions are not a threat but how we deal with them can be. Our passions can be used for selfish or selfless ends and any combination in between.

    This still is making no sense to me. How does the fact that we have a choice to pursue either selfish or selfless goals pose a threat to our freedom?

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  15. Corneel: hen you do understand why people consider it worthwhile to counter such harmful ideas like ID creationism in the scientific literature, and that this in no way implies such ideas have scientific merit?

    But surely not everything is ID Creationism. No matter, the thought police are ever vigilant! And you, and those like you, have handed over the decision of what is acceptable or not to people you probably don’t even know.

    But as long a you agree with them I guess it’s ok. As long as you never disagree with them. What then?

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  16. Mung,

    Not sure what your point is, mung. The majority of people who reject evolution go no further; no scientific alternatives are offered. The Creationist explanation hardly meets that criterion despite the efforts of Answers in Genesis, Creation Research etc. I’m happy to refer to those who reject evolution as antievolutionists. Will that do?

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  17. Corneel:

    CharlieM: What is more important, the information or the carrier of the information?

    How blatantly reductionist of you. Aren’t they a unity?

    You are confusing a unity with an amorphous mass. An organism is a unity but it can consist of a multitude of organs and processes. A performing orchestra is a unity but it consists of various instruments each playing their part. We can distinguish between a violin and the sound emanating from it.

    CharlieM: What gets passed on is not just the information, it is also the means by which the information is used and arranged. And it is adaptable to specific circumstances.

    So how do novel adaptations get transmitted to the offspring and how do they spread to the group? I can’t see how one answers that without dealing with heritability and genetics

    Heritability and genetics have a vital part to play, but to say that genes produce organisms is at best an extreme oversimplification. There are other factors to consider. For instance alternative splicing. From The Scientist

    Astoundingly, some genes can be alternatively spliced to generate up to 38,000 different transcript isoforms, and each of the proteins they produce has a unique function.

    The same genes can produce a vast array of proteins depending on how they are arranged. The potential for novelty approaches infinity without the need to change the primal sequence of the DNA.

    Prof Jannie Hofmeyr writes:

    As you are reading this, and throughout your life, you and every other living organism must solve a serious problem: the molecules you made from are fragile, and to persist as a functional whole beyond the individual lifetimes of your components you need to continuously fabricating them, and ultimately, yourself. This property of self-fabrication is the most basic expression of life itself. Self-fabricating systems must be causally closed, and in this talk I identify the classes of biochemical causes in the cell and show how they are organised in a so-called hierarchical cycle, which is the hallmark of a complex system.

    Broadly speaking, the three classes of causes are the enzyme catalysts of covalent metabolic chemistry, the intracellular milieu that drives the supramolecular processes of chaperone-assisted folding and self assembly of polypeptides and nucleic acids into functional catalysts and transporters, and the membrane transporters that maintain the intracellular milieu, in particular its electrolyte composition.

    Here he highlights the difference between living and non-living entities. In the latter case cause and effect can be separated in linear fashion such as when one ball strikes another. Living systems are self organising in which causes are multiple and coordinated and cannot be reduced and separated as can be done in mechanics.

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  18. Kantian Naturalist:

    CharlieM: Why should that entail conceiving of the passions as external to the self? A man may contenplate suicide and so be a threat to himself. This does not mean that he is somehow separate from himself. As well as external dangers we face dangers from within.

    Passions are a good thing as long as we have self-control.

    The problem is that are conceiving of the passions as possible threats to freedom, which is why you conceive of freedom as requiring that the passions be controlled. This is a problem because this entails conceiving of the self as something that has psychological states, and thus separate from those states

    Well yes. I can distinguish myself from my desires and actions. I love all the food that I know is unhealthy for me. Recently I decided to eat more healthily, ate more fruit and veg and cut out things like biscuits and sweets. Now I am beginning to slip back into my old ways. Over this period I have experienced two opposing states, that of being a healthy eater and that of being an unhealthy eater, but I still recognise myself as being the same individual person and so does my wife.

    I have inner experiences and I have outer experiences. I experience various psychological states, various states of consciousness, various colours, sounds and textures. I am the unity that experiences these things.

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  19. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: Mutations are disruptions from external sources, they are not creative forces.

    Mutations are changes in DNA sequences. They can happen spontaneously or can be triggered by mutagens or high energy IR and also occur in processes such as recombination. They are not forces. Whether they are creative depends on selection and the niche.

    Who are you arguing with, BTW? Has anyone ever claimed convincingly that mutations are creative forces?

    If you don’t like my use of the word, ‘force’,then substitute it for ‘influence’.

    Would you say that alternative splicing is creative?

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  20. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    Mutations are disruptions from external sources, they are not creative forces.

    And yet ‘wise design’ has, you claim, left some mutational headroom short of 100% fidelity such that they can happen.

    You can’t back every horse, you know!

    Organisms are masters of using stochastic and disruptive processes for their benefit. All around me at the moment rosebay willowherb seeds are being scattered far and wide. The seeds which not so long ago were arranged neatly within their pods. The wind has disrupted this neat organisation and each seed is destined to land in some random location. On this it will be determined whether or not the creative processes within the seed is unleashed.

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  21. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    What gets passed on is not just the information, it is also the means by which the information is used and arranged. And it is adaptable to specific circumstances.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but the ‘means by which the information is used and arranged’ are also genetically transmitted. The perennial stumbling block appears to be that, at any one moment, a genome may be bathed not only in its own direct products (or their products), but in the products of precursor DNA. You see this as somehow contradictory to the gene-protein information flow. But it isn’t.

    The development of any single organism begins with the activity of protein complexes that originated outside of that organism, from the parent. The self activity or protein production by way of its own genome follows on from this.

    And if we contemplate organisation at higher levels it is the same story. Organisms are supplied with nutrients from the parent until such time that they can fend for themselves. As above so below.

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  22. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: And it was a good question to think about.

    And what did you use to do all that thinking?

    My mind.

    I have direct experience of my thinking. Through my thinking I presume that I have a brain within my skull but I’ve never directly seen, felt or otherwise experienced it.

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  23. CharlieM:

    And what did you use to do all that thinking?

    My mind.

    I have direct experience of my thinking. Through my thinking I presume that I have a brain within my skull but I’ve never directly seen, felt or otherwise experienced it.

    You think first person experience is the only way to attempt to understand how human consciousness works? If that was the only approach we wouldn’t learn a whole lot.

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  24. CharlieM: If you don’t like my use of the word, ‘force’,then substitute it for ‘influence’.

    No better. What is doing the “influencing”?

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  25. Alan Fox: No better. What is doing the “influencing”?

    And where are we being influenced “from” and “to”?

    What’s the big man’s plan for you CharlieM?

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  26. CharlieM: I have inner experiences and I have outer experiences. I experience various psychological states, various states of consciousness, various colours, sounds and textures. I am the unity that experiences these things.

    But do you experience the unity that you suppose exists? Or you experience just a stream of “various psychological states, various states of consciousness, various colours, sounds and textures”?

    Perhaps the Buddha was right, and it is the illusion of an enduring self that is the cause of misery!

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  27. Mung: But as long a you agree with them I guess it’s ok. As long as you never disagree with them. What then?

    I’m not sure what your point is either. Scientific discourse is rife with disagreement. That is not the issue. What disqualifies ID is that its goals are clearly not scientific.

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  28. CharlieM: You are confusing a unity with an amorphous mass. An organism is a unity but it can consist of a multitude of organs and processes. A performing orchestra is a unity but it consists of various instruments each playing their part. We can distinguish between a violin and the sound emanating from it.

    We surely can, but that *is* a reductionist approach. Up til now, you always poo-poo’d such concepts. I will stand by my satisfyingly holist claim that the information and the carrier are useless without each other.

    CharlieM: alternative splicing

    What a lovely coincidence. Just a few months ago I completed a mapping effort of polymorphisms for alternatively spliced transcripts in lung tissue. Do you want to hazard a guess where the heritable variants are encoded? I’ll give you a hint: It starts with a “D” and ends with “NA”.

    If you had removed your tainted glasses before reading the article you cited, you’d have spotted phrasings like these:

    More than one-third of disease-causing mutations map to sites bound by the spliceosome or RBPs, or to RBP-encoding gene regions.

    and

    One disease-causing DMD mutation is a multiexon deletion that commonly results in a frameshift starting at exon 51. Splicing the remaining exons together results in a shortened dystrophin protein with compromised function.

    Emphasis mine. You keep distracting yourself, so let me repeat again: What matters for our discussion is the stable inheritance of novel characters. We know the vast majority of heritable variants to be genetic variants. Therefore, the genes are the place to focus on for evolutionary changes.

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  29. Gregory: Some things are suitable to be described as ‘designed’ and some things aren’t. Some things are suitable to be described as ‘evolved’ and some things aren’t. What are those things in both cases?

    Look again at the OP and the language used including both ‘evolution’ and ‘design’. This is not ID theory, of course. “As a designer it is important to understand where design came from, how it developed, and who shaped its evolution.” To me it is quite clear where to reject this usage of language, but it does not seem anyone else at TSZ can speak clearly and unequivocally about ‘design’ and ‘evolution’.

    Corneel noted: “Every single one of them [IDists] seems to be reluctant to address the when, how, where and why, what Gregory call ‘design history’.”

    Yes, though I’m sure they all accept ‘design history’ when/as it is shown. They just double-talk in their typically duplicitous way about ‘human design’ and ‘Divine Design’ under the same ‘design universalist’ ideology. IDism is then basically a “banana-spin pirouette and collapse”, as McLuhan once wrote.

    Most people here are instead against ‘Divine Design’, rather than ‘design thinking,’ ‘design theory’ or ‘design history’. They reject IDism, just as do most Abrahamic monotheists, who refuse to concede to the DI’s language claiming that “ID theory is strictly scientific”.

    OMagain: “Did we ever get an answer to the question posed in the OP? What mixture of ‘design’ and ‘evolution’ is possible as the IDM collapses?

    Corneel: “No, we did not receive an answer.”

    Why not?

    The site you have quoted from is concerned with visual imagery and mainly static imagery at that. And the ‘evolution’ they are referring to is concerned with the way that this visual imagery has progressed over the years.

    A comparison of human design with natural design would require a much broader study of human design than that which is the subject of the ‘designhistory’ site.

    In my opinion human design has evolved in the reverse direction from natural ‘design’. From those artifacts that have been found it would appear that human design began with the fashioning of simple objects used as tools, decoration and such. This has evolved to the present where design includes intricate processes such as computer programming. But it remains extrinsic design.

    Natural design is intrinsic and begins with intricate processes and natural objects are a product of these processes.

    Human design has progressed from fashioning simple tools to producing entities such as Sophia. We do not yet have the capability to come anywhere near to imitating nature in producing even basic processes and forms required to instigate physical life.

    First we must move past the study of objects located in space to the study of processes in time. To understand that processes in time have a greater reality than objects in space. Living organisms are not static objects, they are processes. And in the past both ID advocates and conventional evolutionists have been fixated on objects. This is a rut that needs to be climbed out of by all sides in the evolution debate.

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  30. CharlieM: And in the past both ID advocates and conventional evolutionists have been fixated on objects.

    Charlie, forgive me, I haven’t been paying close attention to your comments but I hadn’t realised you were an ID advocate.

    Mind you, that can be a problem as there seem to be as many versions of ID as there are advocates. Perhaps the only consistent element is dislike of evolutionary theory.

    So, would you mind just clarifying for me whether your ID advocacy is dislike of evolutionary theory or do you also advocate some alternative explanation. Seems odd to be asking now since you have been posting for a while but, so far, I haven’t noticed any coherent theme in your comments that indicates any particular view.

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  31. Kantian Naturalist:

    CharlieM:

    If one insists that all minds require a physical medium then it will be necessary to say what is meant by ‘physical medium’. If what is meant is the substances covered by physics then it becomes problematic. Physics is a continuously evolving science and so our understanding of material substances evolves. What is meant by non-matter? Is energy matter or non-matter?

    This is a bit misleading, since “physical” doesn’t mean “material” to begin with. In any event, the idea that mental processes require some physical instantiation or implementation doesn’t depend on whatever the science of the future tells us the ultimate nature of the physical is. The claim that minds depend on brains, or more precisely, on brain-body-environment interactions, does not stand or fall with whether physicists tell us that bosons and fermions are not quite what we thought they were.

    I agree that my consciousness depends on body-environment interactions, the brain being included in the body. But to locate the mind in the brain I would say is just an assumption. I regard the mind acting through the brain rather than in the brain.

    I have a memory of running home in a thunderstorm when I was three or four years old. If none of the molecules that compose my brain are the same now as then what does that say about my mind? My senses provide me with experiences of a transient reality and through my mind I begin to experience a more lasting reality of which the physical reality of my senses is but one small part.

    The memory is a pattern of activity that can remain more or less the same even when the constituents change. This should be perfectly obvious from consideration of natural phenomena such as tides: one can see that there is a higher-order regularity to the tides even though individual wave is comprised of distinct molecules.

    Yes, the higher order emerges from the physical substance but its laws cannot be derived from the substance itself. Life uses the laws of physics and chemistry but it operates under further laws which transcend these laws.

    Our senses do not depict an objective external world, they give us subjective experiences. And we cannot escape the fact that any so-called objective processes that we describe are given in terms of our sense experiences. Particles, waves, bodies in motion are all understood in terms of our everyday experiences.

    First, I think it’s pretty much false that “our senses do not depict an objective external world” and it’s completely false that “if our senses do not depict an objective external world, then they must give us subjective experiences.” But you’ve refused to acknowledge criticism on this point before so I don’t see why you’d start now.

    I am talking theoretically about something which never occurs in practice. That is having isolated sense experiences. If am am looking at an oak tree I am having much more than just a sense experience. The process of gaining knowledge is directed from subjectivity towards objectivity.

    Second, there is nothing more anti-scientific then “particles, waves, bodies in motion are all understood in terms of our everyday experiences.” We have a scientific understanding of these phenomena to the extent that we have learned how to question our “everyday experiences.” If we never learned to distrust our everyday experiences we’d all still believe that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones.

    Particles, waves and such can only be described and understood because we have experienced the perception of such phenomena.

    I have just dropped a feather and a hammer from the same height and guess what? The hammer hit the ground first. Were my senses deceiving me? No. I definitely experienced the hammer landing first. I have never had the experience of doing this in a vacuum to experience the result for myself. But I have no need to distrust my experience. What I do need to distrust is my assumptions taken from the experience. For one thing I have learned that I cannot deduce the general case from individual cases. Also, have I considered all the factors?

    I have learned through experience that with respect to moving bodies air resistance is a factor to be taken into account.

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  32. Alan Fox,

    Mind you, that can be a problem as there seem to be as many versions of ID as there are advocates. Perhaps the only consistent element is dislike of evolutionary theory.

    I think the only objection is in evolutionary “fairy tales” or “just so” stories. The current theory of “population genetics” is fine as it assumes the existence of populations and does not try to speculate on their origin.

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  33. colewd: I think the only objection is in evolutionary “fairy tales” or “just so” stories.

    Exactly, Bill. You confirm my point. Claiming evolutionary theory consists of fairy tales yet not being able to offer any alternative explanation beyond “Mind”.

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  34. colewd to Alan Fox,
    I think the only objection is in evolutionary “fairy tales” or “just so” stories.

    Irony deficient Bill? Should I remind you that your entire belief system is based on fairy tales and just so stories?

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    The current theory of “population genetics” is fine as it assumes the existence of populations and does not try to speculate on their origin.

    Evolution has always started with life and its variety. The origin of life is a different field of research. The origin of life might have involved evolutionary phenomena, but it’s another field. How many times have we told you this? How many more will it take for you to understand something this simple?

    What’s exactly wrong about speculating on the origin of life? Is speculation a sin according to your fairy tales and just so stories? I mean, according to your religion? If not then why? Furthermore, why should I consider speculation a sin or a problem myself or anybody else who doesn’t believe your fairy tales and just so stories?

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  35. Entropy: Irony deficient Bill? Should I remind you that your entire belief system is based on fairy tales and just so stories?

    It seems to be a party-linked characteristic, to accuse others of things the accuser is guilty of and the accused is not.

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  36. Corneel:

    CharlieM: I have a memory of running home in a thunderstorm when I was three or four years old. If none of the molecules that compose my brain are the same now as then what does that say about my mind?

    I have a memory of listening to the “Bohemian Rhapsody” played from vinyl. Recently I played it from CD. It was the same song. What does that tell us about the “Bohemian Rhapsody”?

    Good question! It tells me that it has meaning which is not dependent on any single medium. It is an artistic creation designed to stir the emotions and the composition can be recognisably reproduced. It has a permanence over and above the physical.

    CharlieM: The realm of the mind is not separate and parallel, it is a higher completion of the physical.

    You can keep it in the glovebox of your car if you like. It is beyond the reach of empirical investigation all the same.

    I think what you mean is that individual minds can only be experienced by the individual. You have direct experience of your own thinking and therefore you have empirical access to it.

    CharlieM: What would you consider as some of the most notable [n]ovelties?

    Oooh, so many choices. But my list should definitely include:

    1) Photosynthesis
    2) Nitrogen fixation
    3) Bioluminescence

    Alan produced a decent list as well. Your list could have included major landmarks like the evolution of template replicators (RNA and DNA), translation, sex or multicellularity. All would have beat “internal thermal regulation” hands down. The latter betrayed you were just summing up characteristics that distinguish humans from (some) other organisms.

    Why do you think that internal thermal regulation is exclusive to humans?

    Studying a major transition in vertebrate evolution, the origin of endothermy in birds and mammals. tells us that:

    An important fraction of multicellular organisms produce and store heat in their bodies in such a way that they can maintain and control body temperatures far above ambient temperature, irrespective of its changes. This phenomenon, also called endothermy, have appeared independently in several groups of living beings, including plants, insects, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Continuous endothermy, however, is distinctive of birds and mammals and represents a major transition invertebrate evolution, and at the same time constitutes a striking evolutionary convergence.

    Yet another ‘striking’ example of convergence.

    It is interesting to compare the way that plants and humans use light. The way that plants use light allows animal life in general to exist. Humans use light to gain individual knowledge of the universe. Plants use light to create material substance, and thereby allowing humans to use light to create a body of knowledge.

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  37. Corneel:

    CharlieM: Whether it is pleasure or misery, you are aiming for something for yourself. If you forget about yourself and aim for the good of all, for the good of the world then you may find you become content with your lot regardless of your circumstances.

    Nonono, I don’t want to become dependent on feeling content. Then I become a slave to feeling content. I want to be free from my passions!

    No, you are missing the point. It’s not a matter of aiming to feel content. It is a matter of equanimity no matter how you are feeling. You accept feeling shit and feeling elated with the same detachment, not in seeking contentment.

    CharlieM: We are all selfish in our own way but the world would be a better place if there was less selfishness and more cooperation.

    Good point! I shouldn’t keep my misery to myself but spread it to others to liberate them from their addiction to feelings of pleasure and content.

    This is certainly lots of fun, but it appears you still do not understand why your position makes no sense.

    Maybe it’s because you do not understand what I am saying. And it’s entirely possible that you don’t understand because I am not making myself clear in the way I have written it. My thoughts don’t always come out the way I want them to when transferred to writing.

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  38. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    I have a memory of running home in a thunderstorm when I was three or four years old. If none of the molecules that compose my brain are the same now as then what does that say about my mind?

    One could ask the same about DNA, or the supervening ‘system’ you see it as serving. No atom of the DNA/phenotype remains from your 4 year old self, yet the genome is (broadly) the same, as are many (but not all) aspects of phenotype. There’s a physical constancy, whose broad reasons are well established. In memory less so, but your sensation of continuity of memory from that day is not, on the face of it, evidence for its non-physicality, if your reason for proposing that is a lack of atomic continuity.

    My point is that we are more comparable to processes in time than objects in space.

    This is illustrated in Goethe’s thinking about unity and multiplicity. As Henri Bortoft wrote:

    …Goethe is thinking in a thoroughly dynamical way, and that the dynamical mode of unity is such that, far from excluding difference by looking for what is common, it includes diversity within it.

    I am a unity but that unity includes existing as an embryo, a toddler, a teenager, an adult and a relatively old man. The unity includes multiplicity.

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  39. Allan Miller: to Alan Fox,

    So the genes make the journey? Eeenteresting … 🤔

    The common entity is the species. No matter how small a percentage difference, there is genetic diversity between individuals.

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  40. CharlieM, you really need to stop acting as if we need to read Steiner or Goethe in order to discover developmental systems theory. DST has been around since the 1980s. You’re not telling anyone here anything that they don’t already know.

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  41. Entropy,

    Evolution has always started with life and its variety. The origin of life is a different field of research. The origin of life might have involved evolutionary phenomena, but it’s another field. How many times have we told you this? How many more will it take for you to understand something this simple?

    What’s exactly wrong about speculating on the origin of life? Is speculation a sin according to your fairy tales and just so stories? I mean, according to your religion? If not then why? Furthermore, why should I consider speculation a sin or a problem myself or anybody else who doesn’t believe your fairy tales and just so stories?

    There is nothing wrong with speculating as long as it is noted as speculation. When it is masked as tested science is when there is a credibility problem.

    Ultimate origins of matter, life and populations is a proposition for theology where most of the evidence is documentation except for people with personal experience.

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  42. colewd:
    There is nothing wrong with speculating as long as it is noted as speculation. When it is masked as tested science is when there is a credibility problem.

    Speculation is part of the scientific process. Without thinking of possible solutions it’s simply impossible to come up with new hypotheses, or to figure out where to start. I have never seen anything that’s speculation, on the scientific side, being presented as anything else. I have never seen anything that’s a hypothesis in science, that’s presented as anything else either. You should be careful what you accuse others of doing.

    colewd:
    Ultimate origins of matter, life and populations is a proposition for theology where most of the evidence is documentation except for people with personal experience.

    Bullshit. Theology consists on fairy tales, no matter how many fairy tales have been written or when they were written.

    Ultimate origins of whatever are a matter of science as long as we can figure out a pathway through the knowledge and the evidence to try and figure them out. If they were found to be unreachable for the time being, then they’d be unreachable for the time being. That’s it.

    “Theology” being the elaborate fantasy that it is, cannot be considered seriously. Ignorance is ignorance, not an excuse to invite absurd fantasies into the arsenal for learning about origins, ultimate or not.

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  43. Entropy,

    Bullshit. Theology consists on fairy tales, no matter how many fairy tales have been written or when they were written.

    This is your opinion, it is a minority opinion in this country which you state with authority, but that does not make it true. There is lots of evidence that contradicts your opinion which you appear to be closed to investigating.

    In order to support the claim that God is a “fairy tale” you need to establish a tested scientific hypothesis for the origin of a life sustaining universe without invoking an intelligent creator. This is probably never going to happen IMO at least in our lifetime.

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  44. colewd:
    This is your opinion, it is a minority opinion in this country which you state with authority, but that does not make it true.There is lots of evidence that contradicts your opinion which you appear to be closed to investigating.

    The absurdity of the basic tenets makes it very clear that they’re fairy tales, but, even without that, the burden of proof is on the claimant. You already tried to present supposed evidence, and it was much worse than the usual “history has these very low standards, there’s this crappy “documentation,” therefore Jesus was the son of god, also god, in a single person, died for our sins, resurrected, etc.” Worse than that Bill.

    colewd:
    In order to support the claim that God is a “fairy tale” you need to establish a tested scientific hypothesis for the origin of a life sustaining universe without invoking an intelligent creator.

    This just comes to show how little you understood what I just explained to you above. No Bill. I do not need to establish anything. You have to prove that these fairy tales are real before we can even consider them as actual contenders. Otherwise, either we’re left not knowing, or with some hypotheses to work with, none of which has any need to include your fantasies. But not knowing, again, doesn’t mean that there’s magical beings doing all the originating. Your fantasies are not the default option. The default option is “we don’t know.”

    colewd:
    This is probably never going to happen IMO at least in our lifetime.

    You’re not paying much attention. A lot has either been very well explained, or there’s plenty of hypothesis in the plate. Either way, there’s answers from the most complete to the very tentative, but we do have avenues towards a lot of it. For those we don’t, we can shrug and say “we don’t know.” But not knowing and saying “a magical being did it” doesn’t make the slightest sense. See how simple that was?

    P.S. It’s very telling that for the scientific side of things, you want us to present each and every piece of the puzzle, with details of time, circumstances, the specific selective pressures at each stage, all of the ancestors, and that most of us were right there watching while it was happening. For your fairy tales you’re willing to accept backwards philosophy, awe at the age of the fairy tales, all mixed with the imagined poor standards of a “historian.”

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  45. CharlieM: Me: I have a memory of listening to the “Bohemian Rhapsody” played from vinyl. Recently I played it from CD. It was the same song. What does that tell us about the “Bohemian Rhapsody”?

    Charlie: Good question! It tells me that it has meaning which is not dependent on any single medium. It is an artistic creation designed to stir the emotions and the composition can be recognisably reproduced. It has a permanence over and above the physical.

    Yet the song always comes with a physical medium. You cannot go into a store and request the naked song, just like you cannot have a memory without a brain.

    CharlieM: Me: It is beyond the reach of empirical investigation all the same.

    Charlie: I think what you mean is that individual minds can only be experienced by the individual. You have direct experience of your own thinking and therefore you have empirical access to it.

    No, what I meant is that you are constantly trying to withdraw your explanations from scrutiny. You have declared minds to be outside Newtonian time and space and refuse to explain the mechanism by which they interface with the physical universe. That looks to me like a claim that is exquisitely crafted to evade close scrutiny.

    CharlieM: Why do you think that internal thermal regulation is exclusive to humans?

    I don’t. But internal thermal regulation clearly belongs to a more exclusive group than, say, sexual reproduction.

    CharlieM: Studying a major transition in vertebrate evolution

    Did they get the grant?

    CharlieM: No, you are missing the point. It’s not a matter of aiming to feel content. It is a matter of equanimity no matter how you are feeling. You accept feeling shit and feeling elated with the same detachment, not in seeking contentment.

    Why would I seek equanimity? Why would I want detachment? Look, we can do this forever, but the point I am trying to make is that at the end of it all we are still fulfilling some need or desire (our passions, if you like). Those desires are part of us, whether you like it or not.

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  46. colewd: There is nothing wrong with speculating as long as it is noted as speculation. When it is masked as tested science is when there is a credibility problem.

    Good to see you finally give up on ID creationism.

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  47. Entropy,

    The absurdity of the basic tenets makes it very clear that they’re fairy tales, but, even without that, the burden of proof is on the claimant.

    Your committing logical fallacies of burden shift, labeling and circular reasoning. You made the claim that God was a “fairy tale” by labeling Him a fairy tale. This is by definition circular reasoning because you did not defend the claim other than your own opinion.

    The absurdity of the basic tenets makes it very clear that they’re fairy tales

    Your statement is simply your own personal incredulity. You make the statement that Gods a fairytale and I counter with God is the best explanation for a universe containing observers. Whats your argument beyond your assertion.

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  48. Corneel,

    Good to see you finally give up on ID creationism.

    I never bought into your straw man version of it. The theory is limited but as this site demonstrates it is effective.

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  49. colewd:
    Your committing logical fallacies of burden shift, labeling and circular reasoning.

    No I didn’t. The positive claim is that there’s magical beings originating stuff. Denying their existence is not burden shift, is proper stance when confronted with such extraordinary, though planly ridiculous, claims.

    colewd:
    You made the claim that God was a “fairy tale” by labeling Him a fairy tale. This is by definition circular reasoning because you did not defend the claim other than your own opinion.

    It’s not circular reasoning because I was not making an argument for it. I was just describing them for what they are. Arguing and describing are different activities.

    colewd:
    Your statement is simply your own personal incredulity.

    No, it isn’t. Every time I explain any of the absurdities you deflect Bill. That you can live with the cognitive dissonance is entirely your problem. I cannot make the thinking for you. I cannot keep you from deflecting.

    By absurdity I mean in the logic/philosophical sense of the word. The kind that cannot exist by definition. There’s plenty of those in the biblical and Christian narrative. Tons of ink have been wasted by “theologians” trying to explain them away. Yet, just realizing that they’re fantasies makes it all go away. Not my problem whatsoever!

    colewd:
    You make the statement that Gods a fairytale and I counter with God is the best explanation for a universe containing observers. Whats your argument beyond your assertion.

    That’s not what happened Bill. You did not counter with “God is the best explanation … blah blah blah”, you asserted that god was the default explanation until someone could come up with a different one, which is pretty irrational.

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