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The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #50
"I accept nothing - spiritual, scientific, or otherwise - unless it makes complete sense to me…especially when it has such strong implications as to our very nature and that of our world."

Stillness, do you accept quantum mechanics? If so, do you completely understand it. If you claim you do, I say prove it. :P

Also, there is no such thing as "General Evolution" as you describe. First of all, abiogenesis is something different of altogether. Second of all, evolution is a process that describes how living organisms change over long periods of time. How human life came about (history of life) is an inference from evolution supported by the fossil record. The two are not the same thing.

[ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 20:30: Message edited by: *i ]

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #51
I don't really understand it. All I remember is talking about valence shells and electron energy levels in physics. I remember being let down as I thought from high school (or it may have been middle school) that electrons were to the nucleus as the planets are to the sun. I was deceived. :mad:
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #52
So do you accept quantum mechanics or not?

Consider the hypothesis that humans just magically appeared at some time or times in the past and just so happened to share a genetic commonality with other primates. The theory of evolution says nothing about this hypothesis. It neither supports nor denies it.

What evolution does do is that it gives a bunch of mechanisms that can be observed time and again in the fossil record. Predictions can be made and verified with new things in the fossil record, increasing the confidence in our mechanisms.

All science says is this is the only set of mechanisms that have simultaneously been reverified time and again and could explain the question of how humans came to be. All other mechanisms that have been proposed have been unable to meet the first part. The problem with the above hypothesis lies in that we don't ever observe these sudden appearances and there is not anything in the fossil record to say it. Does not make it untrue, just makes it unscientific.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #53
Let's say though that the reality of the universe is that life does evolve and conglomerate to higher levels of cooperation and awareness - that this is precisely what the mysterious thing we call "life" does.

Let's say that human beings did, on the physical level, emerge from previous lifeforms beginning with simple cells. What would that necessarily imply, Stillness? The only reason I once was adamantly opposed to the possibility of evolution was that it violated my religious view of how things had to happen, and what I thought it had to mean if they happened a certain way. I guess I am asking, why can't it happen a whole different way from what we think is "acceptable" or meaningful, or personally gratifying, and still be, if anything, even more wondrous and fantastic? The evidence all points to life doing what we call "evolution." The evidence does not suggest any other process.

What does it mean to you, to life, to the universe, to God, to whatever is important to you, if full blown evolution is our reality? Or conversely, why can it not be so?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #54
*i, I honestly don’t understand quantum mechanics. If you’d like to explain it to me maybe I can tell you if it makes sense. I don’t remember having a problem with electron energy states, though. I’ve even seen fringe science talking about quantum energy states on the level of galaxies. I guess it’s ok. I don’t know.

With evolution it’s a different story. I understand it pretty clearly. I think it’s a poor explanation.

Synergy, what it would mean is that things work differently than what we observe – like extremely complex mechanisms and formal language developing without an intellect. Indeed, that is fantastic…and by “fantastic” I mean “ridiculous and unbelievable.” :)
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #55
Before I comment, I should tell you Stillness that I do not believe in evolution.

Having provoked many arguments during my visits here, I can say that doing so is quite foolish. The people here will adamantly say otherwise, and it is your obligation to attempt persuading other crowds regardless of what denomination of Christianity you may be.

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I dub thee...
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #56
Without an intellect? Are you saying intellect is a quality imbued by something other than life itself? Why might it not be the case that the magic of life is that the more collaboration of life with life, that the more consciousness/awareness/"intellect" becomes possible? Inherently. As a result.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #57
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

Let's say though that the reality of the universe is that life does evolve and conglomerate to higher levels of cooperation and awareness - that this is precisely what the mysterious thing we call "life" does.
Well... when those particular attributes are favorable under local environmental conditions. Or when individuals with those particular traits get lucky.

Something that a lot of people seem to misunderstand about evolution is that it has no actual 'goal', per se. There is neither an ascent nor a descent of mankind, or for any other species. There's just a timeline, one that chronicles a species's attempt to hit the moving target that is the ideal collection of traits under the current circumstances. 'Evolution' is the process of species making it up as they go along.

EDIT: Just for the record. Synergy, I do not understand any part of your post past that first sentence.

[ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 21:40: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #58
Guys, you know that Stillness is actually an advanced artificial intelligence created by Pat Robertson to waste the time of evolutionists, right? Why are you still bothering to argue with him?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #59
quote:
Originally written by *i:

All science says is this is the only set of mechanisms that have simultaneously been reverified time and again and could explain the question of how humans came to be.
More precisely, evolution is the process which explains how everything came to be. It looks at the present characteristics of flora/fauna and picks ancestors based on shared character. Eventually there are common ancestors which suggest a divergence. Other time it stops. Other times it expands into the past, and all we have is a single remnant in the present.

But evolution is the only thing that explains all of this without worrying about implications. It is the people, like Stillness, who need to conjugate reality so that it fits with what they believe. Science, though, isn't about belief.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Argon - "I'm at a loss for words..."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #60
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

Stillness is actually an advanced artificial intelligence
Takes one to know one, I guess. :P

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #61
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Before I comment, I should tell you Stillness that I do not believe in evolution.

Having provoked many arguments during my visits here, I can say that doing so is quite foolish. The people here will adamantly say otherwise, and it is your obligation to attempt persuading other crowds regardless of what denomination of Christianity you may be.

I don't understand what you mean. What is foolish? What is my obligation?

quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

Why might it not be the case that the magic of life is that the more collaboration of life with life, that the more consciousness/awareness/"intellect" becomes possible?
Synergy, the only means I know by which to understand the universe is reason and revelation. For me, neither of these point to what you're saying as plausible.

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Salmon, the cool thing is that even though this discussion is verboten on these boards; the majority of the logic behind my position was eaten by UBB; and Jeff stopped the second big discussion before I demolished the opposition my argument is summarized here:

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=000477;p=6

Look at my last big post for the 7 numbered lines emboldened. Also check about 3/4 down this page for 10 numbered reasons I give under Information, Patterns/Fossils, Complexity:

http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=21;t=000477;p=4

You may disagree, but my position is not held illogically.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #62
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

but my position is not held illogically.
No one is questioning your logic. We are questioning the scientific validity of your response to evolution. It is very logical for you to want iDesign to exist, because that would lend credibility to your religious beliefs. But whatever dude, it doesn't hurt me if you want to believe the sun orbits the earth, it just makes you seem ignorant.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Argon - "I'm at a loss for words..."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #63
The point is that nobody fully understands quantum mechanics. We have mathematics and equations that are correct. We can make accurate predictions of position densities and the such, but there are still fundamental holes in our understanding. What does it mean to measure or collapse a wave function, etc.

Fact is there is nothing we fully understand. Only believing things that you fully understand means you believe in nothing except for things you think you fully understand. Because there is no objective criteria to evaluate truth in this, there is no point in arguing.

I don't think we should rehash all of the complexity/information arguments. All I will say is that I was disappointed you could not devise a way to measure complexity in an objective fashion. What is more complex: a cat or a horse? The immune system or the eye? What value of complexity do you assign to each and how does one objectively arrive at said value?

I know it when I see it might work for legal matters in things like profanity and what constitutes sexual harassment, but it science, it does not fly.

[ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 22:51: Message edited by: *i ]

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #64
Salmon, I'm actually not a proponent of intelligent design.

And while I do care what you think and I don't want to come off as ignorant to you, I don't care enough to abandon reason and blindly follow to please you.

On scientific validity, I was looking through the thread and came across some quotes regarding the fossil record. Look at my post on May 11, 2007 11:24 AM just above halfway on page two .

Some, including me, don't believe common descent is real science and that those who think it is are the ones who are ignorant. That is based on the actual state of the fossil record right now, not the Bible, God, an angel, contact with spiritual energy, or wishful thinking. But, if it makes you feel comfortable to group me with flat-earthers and geocentrists, then go with that.

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*i, I get your point now. I said it had to make "complete sense." I meant that I understand it and it makes sense, not that I have perfect knowledge.

And complexity relates to information. That can be measured somewhat objectively. I just don't know how to do it. My argument never involved a quantitative measure of complexity though. That's way over my head.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #65
As a fun aside, "I know it when I see it" doesn't work in legal cases either. Potter Stewart later retracted it.

And when the only people who argue against evolution are heavily religious, before even listening to their arguments, I have to wonder why no secular scientist supports this.

[ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 23:13: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #66
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

And when the only people who argue against evolution are heavily religious, before even listening to their arguments, I have to wonder why no secular scientist supports this.
Because we know religion when we see it…even when it’s trying to pass itself off as science.

I can’t stress enough how observable testable science is good. Evolution is that. We know life is flexible. It’s common descent that’s the problem. It has metaphysical connotations.

And I think there are some agnostic/atheistic scientists that don’t accept common descent. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen stuff from them. I’ll have to look into it.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #67
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

And complexity relates to information. That can be measured somewhat objectively. I just don't know how to do it. My argument never involved a quantitative measure of complexity though. That's way over my head.
Okay, so if you admit you don't understand how information (in a very narrow, technical sense that only has a little to do with the common understanding of the word "information") is measured (and if you don't understand how it's measured, then chances are you also don't understand what the result of the measurement means), why take the word of the tiny minority of scientists who agree with you over the vast majority who disagree? If you don't understand the issues involved, you can only argue from authority, and authority is overwhelmingly against you here.

Pop quiz for you. Which has more information in the technical sense of the word: a random sequence of 1024 binary digits, or 1024 binary digits that form the ASCII code representation of a short poem?

[ Tuesday, January 08, 2008 23:44: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #68
I say this often, that for me, why people believe and perceive as they do is far more interesting and informative about a person than simply what they believe.

There are people who believe and accept that evolution is the likely reality of life, and those who do not. It is interesting to me to observe why one makes this choice. As anyone will readily admit, most of the heat is centered in religious belief that finds the evolution paradigm unacceptable, a non-sequitor in their view of the universe God created. I was once, when younger, one of this camp. There was nothing that could at that time possibly assail my conviction that God dropped things on the planet at some point, and that human beings were created specially and differently from any other lifeform. To think otherwise was, well, unthinkable.

What changed was not the information on hand or the persuasiveness of scientific argument. What changed eventually was my consideration of possible paradigms of a universe which is both created by God and spiritual in nature, yet operates by the process science describes as evolution.

The spiritually concerned person is aware of and convinced of the specialness and spiritualness of being human. And some see the spiritualness and specialness of all creation, not just ourselves. Some see the implication of humans evolving from other animals as somehow stealing our spiritual specialness from us. Many need God to specially create us separate in order to feel special enough. Not unironically, this belief system also gives us a mandate to dominate everything else with impunity. No one who has tasted the spiritual can believe in that which would seem to deny it. I think the only real error has been in assumptions about the necessary nature of Life as God made it.

And then there are those who are not convinced of or concerned about the possible Source or purpose of the existence of anything, and of the remarkable property of Life itself, which is to persist, to adapt, to collaborate, to pull together, to increase in complexity, as evolution and biology describe. I believe this is what Stillness means by "intellect" or intelligence seen in life. I too see tremendous intelligence at all levels of life. Life in and of itself I can only describe as the most mystical, magical, marvelous thing. And yet we can look at it as the most natural thing. The two are simultaneously true and inseparable. Life is God physically manifest, as far as I am concerned. What could be a more marvelous way to see the expression of God than in seeing the pattern of life, its development, its "intelligence", and its principles?

Science does not attempt to determine whether or not there might be a God behind the energy that binds all the universe together, caused it to manifest in a Big Bang, and put the process of Life into operation in the universe. And most religion has so far done so very poorly, if you ask me. Just look at the shape of the world's governments, laws, and societies, all of which have evolved out of our collective spiritual beliefs, if you imagine otherwise. It has been suggested that Einstein came very close to unraveling the link between what we call the spiritual and the natural. But that's a slightly different topic.

My body is a community of around 100 trillion cells that are each an individual life form with all the same essential systems that my body as a whole has. I am not one, but a community that has learned to live together in remarkable harmony and cooperation to make the organism I call me operate as one thing. In fact, it has learned to do this so well, I have a whole bunch of cells which have been able to specialize in brain function alone. I have so many of these, that I have gained what we know as consciousness. I am now aware, and I am aware that I am aware. My brain is essentially three brains: an old reptilian brain at the core, with a mammal brain on top of it, with the most recent addition of the neo cortex (if I recall it rightly), which gives us as humans our remarkable consciousness. A high enough degree of consciousness means life becomes aware of itself, and this is only possible when a high enough degree of community and specialization has occurred within a living organism. Because Life and God are the same thing, it also means that that life becomes conscious of its spirituality and of God around the same time. I haven't seen dogs or dolphins constructing shrines at which to worship yet. There is something pretty special about us humans, for sure.

As I see it, the only real contention for the spiritually-inclined, is whether or not God would create Life to do what we call evolve as the marvelous way for the purpose of life and creation to unfurl. I used to recoil at the thought that I might have evolved from an ape, from an animal, as if this would have to mean I am less than I feel and know myself to be. It doesn't have to be, nor does it negate the existence of a Soul. Evolution can become the most amazing quality of life itself - how it demonstrates that the path to higher capacity, function, awareness, and experience, is through community. When cells get together and increasingly specialize, working together, amazing life forms result. It is what we see life doing on our planet. I see the most amazing God in now permitting myself eyes to see life evolve as it has and does. I no longer mind that in all likelihood, this process has involved billions of years and God patiently "waiting" for the wondrous colony of 100 trillion cells to come together for us to step into our spiritual phase of evolution alongside our natural one.

God is so vast, that our relatively recently self-conscious brains are still having a hard time grappling with the vastness. But the vastness of the physical universe and worlds within should point us in the right direction. There is much much more to everything than we can easily know. Our only real danger is in limiting the realm of possibility. Which is precisely what religion and dogma do to whatever they seek to touch upon. In this way, both religion and science can be equally "religious" - sticking to a too small or yet ignorant paradigm. God's bigger than your religion or your science. Way way bigger. Life and the universe are equally vast and complex, yet brilliantly simple all at once. In fact, the ultimate boggler may be that scale extends perpetually in both directions. There will always be another level of reality and existence to explore.

Many people, religious or otherwise, have taken issue with some of Darwin's tenets, and I think rightly so. I take issue with what I believe is an outright lie that has plagued us, espoused especially by Darwin: that life thrives on competition, survival of the fittest. Our own bodies show how false that is in principle. If your cells within were in competition with each other, how well would you function? In fact, when that happens, we call it cancer. We humans are busy acting as cancer on the planet at this point in our evolution. Which is why it will be our death knell if we don't pull through and get healthier.

There are many examples of collaboration and community in both the animal and human worlds, and on various levels of scale, which should show us that collaboration and cooperation are what lead to true complexity and thriving. I disagree with the conflictual/competitive view of Life and being. It justifies (at least subconsciously) the killing of one another, wars, and every selfish behavior. It continues to nourish the notion that we are not also one organism together on this planet.

The corporate environment, for one, continues so sadly to depict the ugliness of this notion about ourselves and life we have adopted. It is this aspect that got lumped in with evolution that I think many find revolting. It's disappointing to me how many still embrace it. It is only through learning to collaborate and become united that this species we call human is going to (A) survive in the longer run and (B) take another step up in consciousness.

Social Darwinism is odious, and served largely to justify and promote class systems and exploitation of the masses in its day. It's a dinosaur that needs to die if we are to survive this century, so I believe.

Evolution and God are not adversaries. They are one and the same. The brilliant process of Life personified which demonstrates the intelligence behind it, yes, but also the point that only through collaboration and harmony does anything interesting and complex result on the planet. God is all about the Oneness of all creation. We are still learning this principle. Many religious are resisting one of the most potentially beautiful demonstrations of that principle, seeing it as the greatest enemy to their faith in God, rather than the greatest demonstration of the most wondrous nature of God.

The argument can even be made that all things are Life, even that which we so far classify as inanimate. When we look down far enough into the microcope, all things are in constant motion, a buzz of perpetual energy. All that energy and all that binds it all together to do what it does is also what I know as God. The God who designed a process of Life we now call evolution.

To me, it's not a question. We can all get along. In fact, we are going to have to if we wish to survive as a species. I think many of us here are going to live through one of the most critical centuries of all human history, and of human evolution. This is going to be quite a ride. Hold on tight, all the better to someone you love.

The enmity between God and evolution seems like an old dinosaur to me now. I still would ask anyone who believes in God and believes that evolution could not be the very mechanism of Life God created...why not? Have you even entertained the possibility? Because the evidence is rather dramatic, as is the absence of evidence of any other explanation.

There is great joy in making friends with former enemies.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #69
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

Many people, religious or otherwise, have taken issue with some of Darwin's tenets, and I think rightly so. I take issue with what I believe is an outright lie that has plagued us, espoused especially by Darwin: that life thrives on competition, survival of the fittest.
Please try not to put words into old Chuck Darwin's mouth. True enough, life doesn't "thrive" on competition: quite the opposite. In most places and at most times, life doesn't "thrive" at all. In fact, it barely gets by. This is why competition occurs in the first place: not every organism can reproduce as much as it could under conditions of unlimited resources, and so those organisms which are most effective at acquiring, using and defending a share of the available resources will be most likely to reproduce.

quote:
Our own bodies show how false that is in principle. If your cells within were in competition with each other, how well would you function? In fact, when that happens, we call it cancer.
Actually, I'd say the fact that cancer occurs, and that if you live long enough it's the thing that's most likely to kill you, shows how true it is that competition is an unavoidable fact of life. Darwinian theory can be and has been applied to cancer cells, and it predicts more or less exactly what we observe: that no matter how disadvantageous it is to the organism as a whole, if a cell arises with the right set of mutations to allow it to reproduce unchecked, it will do so. You can't wish cancer out of existence by pretending you live in a world of happy fuzzy hopping bunnies that spend all day hugging each other. The only thing that prevents cancer from overwhelming everybody all the time is the immune system.

The cells of the immune system, of course, also compete among themselves in a Darwinian struggle that's just as brutal as any cancer: white blood cells that can recognise antigens present in the environment survive and proliferate to millions of times their original number, while those that can't recognise antigens die out, leaving no descendants. If this is what you call "cooperation", keep in mind that it's a cooperation built on 99% of every generation dying out while a tiny minority survive and reproduce explosively.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #70
quote:
WTF
Guys. What I meant was obviously Worse Than Failure. :P
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 13029
Profile #71
quote from Synergy:
...I used to recoil at the thought that I might have evolved from an ape, from an animal, as if this would have to mean I am less than I feel and know myself to be. It doesn't have to be, nor does it negate the existence of a Soul....

Just curious....do you believe that every living thing has a soul and if not, then at what point do you say a being achieves a soul?

[ Wednesday, January 09, 2008 04:48: Message edited by: dpd282 ]
Posts: 9 | Registered: Saturday, January 5 2008 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #72
Thuryl, your question completely misses the point. The discussions of complexity were regarding specified complexity (a term coined by an evolutionist) and irreducible complexity. When I introduced these I meant neither to be considered quantitatively. A qualitative understanding serves the purpose for both. Your random code does not have specified complexity (like life and the code that has poetry) even if it is complex. It therefore lacks the information that the poetry has.

I can understand that without having to take any ones word.

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Synergy, my initial objection to common descent (not evolution) was religious. But it’s conceivable that God could use evolution to make the life on this planet and still not destroy the Christian faith. I found relativity, an expanding universe, and non-circular orbits for electrons faith-shaking initially. Somehow, when God’s mind didn’t match my own I used to find it disturbing. Not anymore. I revel in being wrong and broadening my understanding to trace God’s hand.

Now, my objection to common descent is that it’s logically flawed and lacking in it’s ability to explain anything real. It’s an interesting idea, but the evidence says something different. At the heart of it is what I believe to be an a priori rejection of anything outside a naturalistic explanation. That’s my problem with embracing it.

If you want to believe that I choose religion over reason and evidence, I tell you like I told Salmon, go with that if it makes it easy. If you want the truth, look at my logic and challenge it. Just don’t do it on these boards because it’s not permitted. (Yes, I’m still bitter about the censorship).

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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

You can't wish cancer out of existence by pretending you live in a world of happy fuzzy hopping bunnies that spend all day hugging each other.
LOL, Thuryl I don’t care what they think or say about you, you make me laugh. If I were to take on a signature, this would be a candidate.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #73
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Thuryl, your question completely misses the point. The discussions of complexity were regarding specified complexity (a term coined by an evolutionist) and irreducible complexity. When I introduced these I meant neither to be considered quantitatively. A qualitative understanding serves the purpose for both.
Except that it doesn't. Does the shape of the letter I exhibit specified complexity? How about the word "it"? The sentence "methinks it is like a weasel"? At what exact point does specified complexity enter the picture? Or is it the case that all instances of "specified complexity" lie on a continuum, in which case its position on that continuum would have to be (ta-dah!) quantified?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #74
Stillness: So what if a term was coined by someone who studies evolution? I'm sure you could find ideas that Einstein came up with in his later life regarding the unification of the laws of physics are total junk too. You can't use quotes in a scientific argument as you would in, say, history. The scientific consensus is that this term is essentially meaningless as it has no rigorous, quantitative definition.

Arguments from authority are okay in scientific matters if a vast majority of the scientific community agrees with you. That does not necessarily make it right, but it makes one very confident in the validity of the claim. It means that the ideas have thus far passed the rigorous vetting process of the scientific method.

What people who do know a lot about information theory say is that the ideas of Dembski, et al. (the primary scientific proponent of ID) are a bunch of mathematical jargon used to reach fallacious conclusions. These proponents create another term "complexity" and try to relate it to information. No credible relation is presented because the term itself is so loosely defined.

The point of my questions asking you to quantify complexity go to the heart of the matter: no one can. It's a completely worthless concept until someone can calculate the complexity of the eye versus the heart. Therefore, any arguments based on it are also meaningless at this point.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00

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