Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.
Looks like I missed the train by … a month or so, so it’s perfectly fine if you don’t reply to this one (there is nothing serious enough to reply to anyway). Time-wise your reply to Scottie was a heroic effort by the way (polar bear example was a bit excessive though ...).
I was not talking about mutations, obviously. I have simply recycled your example to make a different point to Wbla3335, which is …. Yes, there is absolutely zero chance for something to happen if the necessary preconditions are absent. And you don’t need any “rigorous mathematical proof”, just go to you kitchen and make an omelet without eggs…
If “there is no evidence in any direction”, then “any direction” is equally possible. If Wbla downgrades the design possibility from “equally possible” to “unlikely”, then he clearly makes a number of assumptions in his reasoning. One of the arguments I’ve heard so far was that the nature itself is "mechanistic and unguided" (therefore the entire universe, even though it’s compatible with the conscious life that observes it, must’ve come into existence through some "mechanistic and unguided" processes). That type of reasoning is called “self-reference”, and if you like “rigorous mathematics”, I can offer you some – consider Gödel's incompleteness theorem. Simply put, it states that the system can not be objectively evaluated from within the system. And that’s what I pointed out using the computer simulation example – a conscious character created by a computer simulation will notice that it’s compatible with the laws governing its creation and existence, but will have no way of figuring out how the whole system came into existence (since he can’t step out of it and evaluate it from aside). Using Gödel's theorem, I can also pull a thorn from canalon’s side, and answer the question “who designed the designer” in the most adequate, satisfying, intelligent and fulfilling manner. Here is the answer ..... I have no GODDAMN idea! If we can’t objectively evaluate our own system from within, how can we objectively evaluate outside systems from within our system? How designer came into existence? How / when and why ANYTHING came into existence? Why the whole space is not just an empty void? Who knows...
That’s almost all I’ve been doing here so far – considering the anthropic principle. I’d love to step out of the anthropic principle, but then I’m going to have to argue about biology with an evolutionary biologist (and becoming a kamikaze has always been the last item on my “things-to-do-before-I-die” list). And it’s not that a biologist’s atheistic views are right or wrong. It’s just he is a pro, and I’m not. Let’s look at the canalon’s previous post.
1st, by “tuning of atoms” I mostly meant a “stellar nucleosynthesis”, for instance, related to the resulting abundance of Carbon and Oxygen (which triggered F. Hoyle’s famous phrase about “a superintellect” who “ has monkeyed with physics “ to allow life to appear http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle ... osynthesis ).
So, here is canalon’s suspicion….. I’m sitting here, observing the “tuning of atoms”, scratching my melon, and assuming that some holy spirit must’ve tweaked it for my sake. And, in reality, I’m failing to realize that I’m simply sitting inside one lucky universe, which I, obviously, by default happened to select from the population of not-so-lucky universes.
And here is the truth… There is NO such a population of universes that we actually know of. The reality does seem to go beyond the observable realm (hence unexplained problems in physics), BUT we, actually, know NOTHING about any multiple universes. We don’t know what they are. We don’t know how and based on what laws they come into existence. We don’t know to what extent there is a causal interrelation between them. We don’t know if they even exist….
Anthropic principle simply shows the effects - how all the bullets hit the bullseye (not gonna toss here any relevant links from physics and cosmology - everyone can google them), and says nothing about causes. The link you provided is not as much about anthropic reasoning, as it is about all kinda reasoning ABOUT anthropic reasoning, and it is heavily leaning towards discussion of the selection bias, that canalon suspects I’m guilty of. So, being a resident of only this universe, knowing nothing about what’s outside of it in space and time, and considering only anthropic principle (for the sake of this particular argument), I say that unguided and guided creation of our universe are equally possible. So am I guilty of the selection bias here?
I’ll allow you to refute your own statement. Here…
So, broadly speaking, can you really seriously create a scientific hypothesis, explaining how blind "the blind watchmaker" really is without a ton of assumptions and axioms?
What if the causality exists, but it is not consistent? What if the causality exists, but it is not consistent AND it's beyond observable reality?
The probability higher than probability times the probability….. The use of the dice and probabilities is getting completely out of control… I’m getting a feel that we were discussing the game of Craps or something.
Sheldrake didn’t take his research material from a thin air. The occurrence the he studied has been observed for generations. So it’s not exactly the case of “nobody else would have found” the evidence, it’s the evidence itself that triggered Sheldrake’s attention. If dogs don’t empress you, try homing pigeons. Every possible experiment to pinpoint what physical senses they use to get to a loft from great distances (up to 1800 km) has been done (frosted lenses for sight, anesthesia and isolated containers to deprive a pigeon from outward journey info, use of magnets and release in the spots with magnetic anomalies to affect a possible internal compass navigation, etc., etc, etc.). If you put ALL the results together, you will see a picture that looks either mixed or negative or inconclusive…. There is no “rigorous evidence” that would allow us to state without a shadow of a doubt what physical senses homing pigeons are exclusively relying on. Sure…. the more complex system you experiment with is, the harder it is to draw definitive conclusions, but, as far as I know, there is no even clear logical understanding of how returning to a loft could even be done under some of the experimental conditions that were created……
What if there are missing elements in this picture? That’s why I used quantum entanglement as an example, when you see the effect, but you have NO idea what the cause of it is by definition.
However, IF only quantum entanglement were not as mechanistic and replicable as it is, you would’ve rejected it too, because “given our current state of knowledge about how the universe works” the principle of locality in physics is supposed to work everywhere you look. Well, it doesn’t work with quantum entanglement, does it? Unfortunately for the dogs and pigeons, they are not Newton’s falling apples – their behavior is not exactly fully mechanistic. But, again, what if, just like with quantum entanglement, we can’t quite connect all the ends together for the same reasons – the invisible elements in the equation? "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."? If you continuously failing to complete a jigsaw puzzle, and I’m suggesting that you might be missing some pieces… is that such an extraordinary claim? I'm not making a strong statement here, I'm defending an obvious possibility. And If you still demend the almighty “rigorous evidence”, I can only refer you to the extracts from the article I posted before again…
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010 ... ntPage=all
“...selective reporting is everywhere in science….We cannot escape the troubling conclusion that some—perhaps many—cherished generalities are at best exaggerated in their biological significance and at worst a collective illusion nurtured by strong a-priori beliefs often repeated.” ….. Such anomalies demonstrate the slipperiness of empiricism. …. We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that’s often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe."
I’ll make a few comments, since this was a separate conversation. (I’m not replying to everything, though, and I probably won’t make another “large-scale” response here after this one. Unless I get tempted anyways. )
You most certainly do need a rigorous mathematical proof to show that it is impossible to make matter from something else.
You said, “there is absolutely zero chance for something to happen if the necessary preconditions are absent” (my emphasis). This is a truism, because of the word necessary – which implies an absolute requirement. However, you cannot specify that the preconditions are necessary without mathematics.
I assume you are including in your statement the claim it is impossible to create matter? This definitely does have to be mathematically proven - in fact, it’s been done, and shown to be possible: E = mc^2 (from energy) and virtual particles (from nothing).
I recognize that your statement is actually allows for the use of “non-egg” matter as well, but I’m assuming you intended to make the stronger argument which I just replied to. (If you allow matter, there is no reason why you could not take other foods, break them down at the molecular level, and reassemble them into an omelet. It’s not possible with current technology, but it is possible in theory.)
I think the incompleteness theorem says quite a bit less than you would like it to. It is a theorem about mathematical systems, and says that all consistent mathematical systems contain some statements which are true but unprovable within the system.
I am not a mathematician or physicist, so I am willing to be corrected, but it seems that you are adding the premises that 1) the universe (or “reality”) is a mathematical system, 2) certain specific postulates are unprovable within this system (the theorem does not say that all postulates are unprovable), and 3) we do not have any way to leave the system or access anything outside of it.
I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. I think you’re making a faulty generalization though – not all biologists (or even close to all) are atheists.
The anthropic principle is about selection bias. I agree that it says nothing about the likelihood of a creator or creators – I was only trying to point out that a fine-tuning argument, which you seemed to be making, cannot distinguish between a creator and a many-worlds interpretation.
Second: I’m not sure about claiming the two are equally possible. Just because there are two possibilities does not necessarily mean that the probability is 50%, since it should be possible to interpret information about any creator from the structure of our universe.
You might find this link interesting, although I’m not really sure whether it’s related: http://lesswrong.com/lw/mm/the_fallacy_of_gray/.
It also feels like you’ve also chosen an arbitrary way to divide up possible causes for the universe. If I change the statement to “Either the universe is a quantum fluctuation, or it was caused by a nonrandom but unintelligent event in some other universe, or it was created,” do these now all have a possibility of 33%? But then the likelihood of a designer would be lower than before. Since no new knowledge has been gained, this is a contradiction.
The two statements are consistent. I did not say that all hypotheses can be falsified (specifically, unfalsifiable hypotheses cannot be falsified ). The point was that the word “falsify” only refers to hypotheses – you cannot falsify a “meaning.” In mathematical terms, the set of all falsifiable statements is a strict subset of the set of all hypotheses.
(Of course, I was not saying that the “alien hypothesis” I proposed is unfalsifiable in principle, but that we cannot do it based on our current knowledge.)
I don’t understand. “The blind watchmaker” generally refers to evolution, so if we wanted to explain something more about evolution, we would update the theory itself rather than try and invent a new theory to explain it.
I assume that these are not rhetorical questions.
For the first question – if causality exists but is not consistent (and is not probabilistic either), then the scientific method does not apply to that circumstance. However, we have not observed causality to be inconsistent in any way before, so we can infer that it is consistent in most if not all cases.
For the second question – it would again not apply, but we wouldn’t even know about it anyways because you specified that we can’t observe it. I’m not sure where this question is intended to lead, but I’ll point out that if you want to draw any conclusions based on it you would first have to determine that something really is unobservable.
And that is sufficient reason to dismiss the argument?
The point is that for the claim to be true, it would require several other highly improbable claims to also be true (and the probability of all of these claims being true is far lower than that - it is the product of all the probabilities). The claim has an incredibly low prior probability based on other evidence which is not directly related to the experiment but which is still relevant.
It has not been observed under conditions that screen out bias. For example, when you run actual blinded (and/or otherwise controlled) experiments testing psychic phenomena, you get far more negative results than positive. And of course, small numbers of positive results are unsurprising in statistics, with the exact proportion depending on what your p-values are.
I did not say that anybody necessarily knows the answer to everything, only that some explanations are more likely than others.
...We don’t know what the cause is because we haven’t figured it out yet. There is no definition of quantum entanglement that involves not understanding the cause as an intrinsic part of the phenomenon.
No, it is not “supposed to work everywhere” based on our current knowledge. Our current knowledge, since the discovery of quantum entanglement, is that the principle of locality may work everywhere, and it may not.
Secondly: science does not care about the term “mechanistic” (which is a philosophical term and not a scientific one), but only “replicable.”
No, it is not an extraordinary claim. However, it is an extraordinary claim that particular pieces are missing (out of the huge number of pieces that could be), and that is what you seem to be doing.
And yet science is still better at predicting the world around us than any other method tried to date.
Ok.In my opinion,this is the most instructive thread in the Internet for those that are interested in the question of "theories about origin of life". It seems to me that this thread is death, abandoned,and I can't understand it because this question wouldn't have an end till the day that scientifically someone prove how life has emerged. The normal behavior here, I think, should be everyone trying to reinforce his/her theory bringing on more evidences, while bringing on new evidences that deconstruct the other theories.
Then, this thread must have no end because everyday the news are showing new facts that can be used as positive or negative evidence to the current theories.
I had driven for a new theory of origins of life and even the universe, when I was living in Amazon jungle and observing the systems that composes that biosphere and inquiring how must be the state of the world, in its astronomic, atomic, and even the dimension of quantum fluctuations aspects, that has produced our kind of life. Of course, my goal now must be testing the whole theory against real facts. But I and the scientific enterprise has no the necessary tools for doing it just now. Then,what I can do with this theory? The same others are doing here: searching more thoughtful brains for doing a rational scrutiny of this theory, while showing the news about facts that are evidences in favor and showing evidences that I think, does not fit in another theories.
Introducing the people to a new big theory, which requires a change of his/her world vision is a difficult task. Maybe only high intellectuals individuals with open minds that are retired and has time for spent here, like Scottie, could invest attention in your theory and debating it with you. The fundamental requirement is that you can communicate it in a language understandable and that your theory makes same sense in the light of modern known facts. For instance, we had a poster here, Leopol, with two problems: poor Google translations from Russian, a lack of evidences and a world vision that is not tasteful. But it is not justice and intellectually productive rejecting Leopol's theory, we must deal with the details giving him the opportunity to advocate his world vision till he can not resisting anymore for lack of positive evidences. same thing I think must be the reactions about my theory, called "The Universal Matrix/DNA of natural Systems and Life's Cycles".
I am reading the whole thread, it is a lot of stuff, 45 pages. When finishing everything I will begin from the first post again, selecting those that are interesting to my theory and deserves a reply, proposing discussions. I know that this means that I will post here almost another 45 pages, because each post is interesting and touches the roots of Matrix/DNA world vision. I don't know if the moderator will permit it, but I will try because this is the right thing to do. But, then there are posts that can not wait the application of this method, it is irresistible a reply just now, like this post from Scottie.
I think there is a big difference about what "design" means when making comparison between the designs made by Scottie as an engineer and the designs that emerges in Nature. But we can see this difference only from the view point of another observer with another world vision. The way Scottie was educated for dealing with designs he can not understand that other things can do design without using a mind,a purpose. Let's focus on the generation of a new baby's giraffes. When mating, father and mother giraffes are doing same minded project of a design that will be real in the future? Or the future designed baby will be product of merely flow of natural laws? Could be possible that the flow of natural laws creates unpredictable complex designs? The phenomena of giraffes doing a new baby is not a proof that this is normal functioning in this world? Where is the mind behind this whole process? Where is the design while a female and a male genomes are fusing together inside an egg and during the whole process of gestation? I think that the design only appears outside the egg, ex-machine in relation to the egg. And the author of that design also are outside the egg, They are ex-machine in relation to the egg. They are natural construction by natural laws and they are not applying their minds for doing the design. Also the male and female giraffes has no purpose of doing the design that will emerges from their natural mating act.
Someone here has any problem with my proposition? I will consider that no, and will continue.
This biological phenomena of babies' generation is the unique real fact known by everybody when a design appears in Nature. We know the causes, the authors, the process, the evolution of whole process.
My question is: why every current theory (exception of Matrix/DNA Theory) forgets this phenomena when trying to understand what is going on in the whole Universe? Why every author of every theory made by human beings ( exception of Matrix/DNA Theory) believes that the explanation of universe's and life's existences is better when applying human imagination creating images of theoretical universes instead cleaning up the action of human imagination and applying what we see here and now, as real, over the whole universe for getting those explanations?
If we try doing that, this universe will be merely a material structure in which, inside it, is occurring a process of reproduction, from something ex-machine. Every process of reproduction is a sum of small and gradual processes of evolution. The observer inside an egg will think that is watching evolution and really he is; but the observer outside the egg will know that the evolution is an illusion, a process inside something bigger, called "reproduction".
The world inside an egg is a natural world, like the womb where the egg is located. If the universe is a natural world, why it should not be located inside a natural world, working, like the womb? Why people from TOE are imagining that babies giraffes are products of random processes filtered by natural selection exerted by the mother wombs' giraffe? They are not... but their imagined universe is explained like that. Why people from ID are imagining that babies giraffes are products of previous design made by the mind of father and mother giraffes? They are not... but their imagined universe is explained like that. Why Matrix/DNA Theory is believing that babies giraffes are products from the normal chain of causes and effects through natural laws that are passing through the bodies of father and mother giraffes? It is and its universe is explained like that.
What we see in this universe is the evolution of a unique system that appeared in shape of atoms, has evolved to shape of galaxies and to shapes of living beings. Like inside an egg a first cell has passed through several shapes. The final shape of the contents of a fertilized human egg has consciousnesses, but it appears as the last shape, maybe after the birth, ex-machine in relation to the egg. In the whole history of this egg never had the action of intelligence neither randomness. Why people are imagining a Universe that works in other way?! In the same way, I think, the process inside the egg and in relation to the egg is purposeless. There is no goal of the matter inside the egg, neither the action of an outside agency, as believed by Scottie, driven the processes towards a design. Do you believe that molecules called genes has the conscious goal of making a design in the shape of a giraffe? Do you believe that the parents giraffes or another entity outside the egg is acting inside the egg, driving its matter towards a final design, in shape of a giraffe? I can't believe in that. But, if you apply everything in the same way over the whole universe, based in the current proved facts we have about the universe, you get everything working like the real world we are experimenting just now. Them why rationally someone could refuse this theory? Some ideas? But please, let's work with facts, evidences only, Not ideologies or psychological analyses of the authors of these theories.
The debate between TOE and ID also is about the question of a common descent.Is there something that is half-non-organic e half-organic? A kind of link between life and non-life? A link between the mechanical Newtonian state of matter in the world of 4 billion years ago and the biological organization of matter that appeared 500 millions years later? The very fact is that nobody could yet imagine how could be the structure and functioning of such half-organism/half astronomic system.Then, we still are divided between those like Stanley/Urey that believes in the natural transition from non-organic to complex molecules and those like ID, Scottie, NASA, saying that it was impossible the emergency of complex molecules.
But... if we don't have the scientific tools for solving this question, our Reason and intelligence has the ability of organizing the known facts into bigger boards elaborating theories, which can driven us to the right tools and applied scientific method.Remember the Oparin theory and Muller/Urey applying the theory in a experiment. One rational method is "comparative anatomy between the sun/atomic system and the first cell system". Listing the differences and similarities, calculating the action of transformations and evolution, we can get a theoretical design about how should be such link. I don't know nobody else than me that has applied this method and the reason is understandable: a) The scientific thought at this time is driven by the reductionist method, not the systemic one, Then, people are reducing their focus over a small part of a system, like the primordial soup of Oparin, Urey, and all those applying positivist chemistry. Since that the first real living being was a complete eukariote cell, it was a complete and working system and not a part of system. It is rational to think that the creator of this cell must be a complete system.And since that the first living being here emerged from the matter of Earth ( or another astronomic body-panspermia), this matter must contains all informations of the creator system.If it was the primordial soup, the creator system must be there, in someway. So, before waiting the formation of complexes molecules with the vital force for continuing towards protein, RNA, Urey need reconstruct the reduced initial conditions to a non-organic working system, something where the forces responsible for this dynamic internal motion is the same vital force. In that soup and time we had only two known natural systems: atoms and astronomical. I tried during years to get a way for a systemic atom giving the jump towards complexes molecules by themselves and got no results. Then I tried the stellar system and no success either. But the design from comparative anatomy was pointing toward a direction: the galactic system.I will explain why.By the way, the scientific reductionist method never will find the transition between non-life and life because it is all about systems.b) When a problem is very difficult to solve, but the human being need a solution, imagination take the task, and the result is religions, etc.That is the causes nobody else could accept that the comparative anatomy between living systems and non-living could elaborate a better and rational theory.
Ok, resuming this post, this method left us with a theoretical design of the half-living system that emerged from the primordial soup.It is not a atomic neither a unique planetary body, neither a stellar system. I spent seven years searching this system in nature and not found it. But...
The properties that emerged with the first cell system must be: a) or the result of evolution ( normal flow of natural laws) from the properties of priors non-living systems; b) a product of design by an outside agency adapted to the properties of priors non-living systems; c) a third unknown alternative which must be searched by our Reason.
And my theoretical design was the resume of these three alternatives together. The secret is that the "outside agency" is a natural thing, which has not designed the first cell system using intelligence, only transferring itself into the world, from which resulted the natural laws, which had the potential for to evolves towards the design of the first cell system. Everything like when a couple of giraffes makes a new baby giraffe. This was the third alternative. But, then, the link between non-living systems and the first living system was not the alone creator of first cell system, like giraffes are not the creators of animal kingdom. I was driven deeper into universal history till the Big Bang and there finding the depository of the force that gives the dynamic to both, non-living and living systems: natural light.
So, how is the theoretical design of a link between non-living and living natural systems, which must explain all questions about these transition, first of all, the emergency of complexes molecules? How is the code that imprints the dynamism into matter transferred by light? How is this code imprinted in natural light?
I have found that the solution suggested by Matrix/DNA Theory is very rational and logical. Now it is time for to expose the solution to the scrutiny of every another brain hard-wired in different way than mine, testing if the solution is rational in a global manner.And trying to get the participation of others for the fight of getting the scientific tools and doing the first experiments suggested by the theory. Someone there reading this post? I have got an apparatus defense against the first stones and eggs throwing towards me. Feel free.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests