Behe's argument in Darwin Devolved

#62
Behe asserts that new functions only arise through “purposeful design” of new genetic information, a claim that cannot be tested. By contrast, modern evolutionary theory provides a coherent set of processes—mutation, recombination, drift, and selection—that can be observed in the laboratory and modeled mathematically and are consistent with the fossil record and comparative genomics."
This is interesting because it illustrates a typical disingenuous response to anything that even hints at ID.

There is a very close analogy between the genome and a book. Anyone who feels uncomfortable with scientific arguments will feel far more at home using this analogy. DNA is made up of 4 different chemicals, usually referred to by their first letters - C,G,T,A. These are analogous to letters in a book, but the analogy can be made closer because when DNA codes for a protein, those letters are taken 3 at a time, and some triples code for the same amino acid (basic protein component). A language composed of 20 letters (the number of different amino acid residues found in proteins) sounds pretty familiar, so we can apply some common sense.

Just like a book, the letters are grouped into sentences - say individual proteins.

Think of this book as a construction manual for an organism - say a human.

Now let's consider how the set of processes look in terms of the book analogy.

Mutation - this consists of randomly changing a letter in the book, or randomly deleting a portion of the book, or randomly moving a portion of the book to another location. We aren't talking about whole chapters or even sentences, but a randomly chosen block of letters!

Recombination - this is what sex is all about (if you don't use a contraceptive) - the two partners have very similar, but not identical books, and these are randomly mingled to produce another book. This can produce offspring that combine certain good or bad features of the parents. Clearly natural selection can operate at that point because some offspring will do well in life while others may be burdened by disease. BTW not all organisms reproduce sexually.

Drift - this mechanism consists of randomly changing letters in parts of the book that aren't important at the moment - perhaps the acknowledgements page, or bits of the book that describe bodily mechanisms that you may not need in modern life.

There is also a mechanism, whose name escapes me, whereby a random bit of text (DNA) is transferred from one organism to another, typically by a virus.

Selection - means what it says. Someone built out of a good book will (at least on average) outperform someone built from a faulty book.

Sexual selection - basically a variant of selection - ugly males or females don't reproduce as effectively as handsome ones.

OK, now remember that when Darwin came out with his theory, nobody knew anything about DNA, and genes were conceived of as rather simple 'objects'. When Darwin's theory is applied to the real mechanism, the problems are fairly obvious.

1) Mutations are almost always destructive. Picking a letter in a book at random and changing it, will almost invariably damage it, not enhance it. Above all this is because you would need a whole block of changes focussed on just one sentence to change the meaning of the sentence, as opposed to making it illegible - but these are coming randomly by hypothesis.

2) Other ways of mutating text (DNA) are also at heart random, so they aren't really any better. For example, genetic drift may happen, but what possible reason is there to expect the result to be useful?

Behe's argument, in book form, is that there is a way in which you might take a manual and improve it by a random change. For example, if people had to live through a famine, having super efficient legs for running might not be helpful. Damaging a sentence which meant that people had less powerful muscles but needed less food intake would help them to survive, and if the famine lasted long enough this mutation might spread. However, long term that makes it hard for humans to escape predators. The problem is, you can randomly damage a book, but the chance of damaging it again in such a way that it can restore function is vanishingly small.

Suppose you took a real manual (say for a car) and spewed out variants changed by any of those mechanisms. Would you really expect that you could pick out an improved manual and do the whole process again and again so as to evolve the car into an delux sports version?

Bart - I really hope you will plough your way through that so we can have a more meaningful discussion. Others here - feel free to suggest corrections, bearing in mind that I am not a biologist, and even my chemistry is stale by now.

David
 
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Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#63
Bart, watch the video which I posted above - Behe isn't a Christian, and doesn't sound as if he has any definite belief. Like you, I suppose, I would count that to his credit, but you manage to ignore this fact!

David
I watched the video, have you checked any of the links i provided?

The video was typical DI output, they do deliver what they promised their backers.
I even watched a few other videos from the same series, for instance, 'the return of the god hypothesis', they all sing from the same hymne book David.

It does sound as if he has a strong belief though, he believes life was created. does it really matter you don't name the Creator? Does it matter that you divide the creation act into smaller interventions?
No it doesn't David, it is a religious faith based belief.

Behe is a christian, a roman catholic according to wiki.
But again you miss the point, it is not the personal belief of Behe, Meyers, or any Discovery institute fellow that matters, it is the work they get paid to do that matters.

They are not paid to find truth, they are paid to make truth.

That is what is so hard to grasp for me, we know the DI has a plan, laid out in their founding document: The Wedge document. We know that plan has no allegiance to the truth, nor science. Read it David, it has five year goals, ten year goals, none of them are in any way scientific.

And yet, knowing all of that, you believe every syllable they bring out. Despite your background in cell biology, you refuse to read anything that opposes their view.

Even worse than that, if real working scientists, who are subject to peer review, who have to answer to real academic institutions, who publish in real academic journals open to scrutiny of their whole field, if these people point out the misleading work of the DI, you call conspiracy on them?

That is what boggles the mind, i do not know how you get there, it is something i will never understand.
To me that is an upside down world.
 
#64
I watched the video, have you checked any of the links i provided?

The video was typical DI output, they do deliver what they promised their backers.
I even watched a few other videos from the same series, for instance, 'the return of the god hypothesis', they all sing from the same hymne book David.

It does sound as if he has a strong belief though, he believes life was created. does it really matter you don't name the Creator? Does it matter that you divide the creation act into smaller interventions?
No it doesn't David, it is a religious faith based belief.

Behe is a christian, a roman catholic according to wiki.
But again you miss the point, it is not the personal belief of Behe, Meyers, or any Discovery institute fellow that matters, it is the work they get paid to do that matters.

They are not paid to find truth, they are paid to make truth.

That is what is so hard to grasp for me, we know the DI has a plan, laid out in their founding document: The Wedge document. We know that plan has no allegiance to the truth, nor science. Read it David, it has five year goals, ten year goals, none of them are in any way scientific.

And yet, knowing all of that, you believe every syllable they bring out. Despite your background in cell biology, you refuse to read anything that opposes their view.

Even worse than that, if real working scientists, who are subject to peer review, who have to answer to real academic institutions, who publish in real academic journals open to scrutiny of their whole field, if these people point out the misleading work of the DI, you call conspiracy on them?

That is what boggles the mind, i do not know how you get there, it is something i will never understand.
To me that is an upside down world.
So my book analogy is too tough for you - all you can do is tackle this problem at a sort of sociology level! There is no point in following your links because when I found an argument that I didn't agree with, you wouldn't process what I said! I mean let's be clear, I think that people like Jerry Coyne are very bright - but they don't want to concede the argument because they know they can fool a lot of people (like you) who don't actually think about what they are saying! Look back at the history of science and you will find any number of rear-guard actions by those established in their field.

I assume you are interested in the subjects we discuss on Skeptiko because you have been here a long time, but the only way you can take the next step is to get into the nitty gritty of one of these discussions, not just argue, "He says...She says..."

Arguments such as "They are not paid to find truth, they are paid to make truth." wash off me, because I can see the logic of what Behe (for example) is saying, and yet that logic isn't making me a Christian, it is making me damn sure the standard story of evolution is wrong.

David

David
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#65
Notes on evolution versus intent.

Intent is The Necessary Alternative - and I want it studied, despite being a proponent of natural selection. Natural selection is my scientific preference, however it is NOT my religion - it too must stand accountable under science. It does not get a free pass, just because a lot of science enthusiasts and pretend skeptics believe it or say it is so.

1. The critical path construct here is 'Detection of Intent' - not creation, nor intelligent design (those are red herring arguments) - as 'intent' does not in the immediate term pertain whatsoever as to where the intent was derived. We actually do not care where the intent came from, only that it is observed as present. This is our incremental task of science at this moment in time. All subsequent questions are moot right now.​
2. There is no Null Hypothesis in evolution/intent based explanatory models - as this is a Dual-Proof hypothesis reduction. The reason for this is because we are comparing a stochastic-in-inception (purely non-intent) model, to a model which features intent, at least in part. If we are to prove a pure model, then our epistemology must be 100% in order to prove that purity.​
Poker is an example of Dual-Proof Model (No Null Hypothesis - each party is both innocent as well as guilty)​
A. If you are going to accuse someone of cheating (intent) - you must bring deductive conclusive (not inductive suggestive, such as "He wins too much!") proof of such presence of intent. You must find the Ace up someone's sleeve and show everyone this cheat, in the moment.​
B. If you are going to be the dealer (make a claim to stochasticity) - this cannot be assumed. You must bring deductive conclusive (not inductive suggestive) proof of such presence of stochasticity. You must demonstrate 100% of your model and domain of argument, before all participants (shuffle the deck). Each participant must also demonstrate their stochasticity as well - no sleeves at the table, no hands under the table, no holding the cards in a fan, etc.​
Both of these are 'proofs'. Both are mandatory - because we bear the simultaneous burden of necessity to falsify the notion of Intent (B) as well as prove it (A).​
So, no party can sit on the luxury of declaring their position to be the Null Hypothesis. No party or idea is allowed to 'be assumed as innocent until proved guilty'. Each party is both innocent as well as guilty.

This might also be called 'trust everyone, but cut the deck'.

If I dealt a hand of Texas Hold'em and 99.9% of the game was stochastic and fair, save for ONE card, an Ace which is taped under the table for one of the players - no matter how much inductive evidence I may show, that the game was not fixed - the mere presence of that one Ace serves to falsify the contention of stochasticity - no matter how much evidence to the contrary I proved up and to that point.

Stochasticity cannot be the null hypothesis - as this is the habit of a corrupt house.

So for this reason - Behe's hypothesis of detecting intent MUST BE RESEARCHED, as the necessary alternative. It cannot be dismissed by mere:

skepticism (see Demarcation of Skepticism)​
politics​
religion​
inductive study​
abductive doctrine​
panduction​
propaganda​
preference​
disdain​
personal authority​
club authority​
ad populum
ad consensus
Each of the above, fails the test of demarcation of science in this particular case. The house cannot be ASSUMED to be honest and 100% disclosed - it must prove this case. And it must prove this case inside 100% of all 5 domains (below) - by deductive proof of absence of intent (modus absens) - no sleeve concealed, no hands under the table. 100% of cards exposed and visible.

Abiogenesis​
Familiation/Ordination​
Speciation (Darwinism)​
Epigenetics​
Human Acceleration​

I sincerely hate that reality - but sadly that is the task at hand.

One big asteroid impact, and all intent we know of, is gone.
This, to me, indicates that intent does not exist outside biological life, it is a result of evolution, which makes it logically absurd to be a driving force.
Therefore a world without inherent intent is the null hypothesis for me.

I do realize that intent is a very attractive notion to our human mind, because intent makes up a large part of the language that is consciousness, we can not help to anthropomorphize anything to having intent, even natural processes, or inanimate objects.

I guess we are in strong disagreement here, maybe i am .

i don't know if i fully appreciate your point though, to me your posting is somewhat opaque at times, i guess you use terminology in a way you developed over a longer time than we have to spare for the purpose of this thread.
For instance i do not know what you mean with human acceleration in this context.

I am almost sure it is not this:
cannon.jpg
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#66
So my book analogy is too tough for you -
How can you tell David? did i respond to that post yet?

There is no point in following your links because when I found an argument that I didn't agree with, you wouldn't process what I said!
What are you talking about David, are you really annoyed because i did not have a chance to give a thoughtful response to a long post?
Are you referring to that one alinea you picked, from four well thought out responses to Behe? An alinea that, by coincidence i guess, already appeared in a post by TES.
If so, do you really think it is sufficient? have you read anything else besides this paragraph?
If you do not even feel the need to verify what compels you in Behe's book, why even bother to discuss it?
The main critique of the book, is that it omits a lot of the science that refutes his argument, i will discuss it in an answer to your previous post.

I mean let's be clear, I think that people like Jerry Coyne are very bright - but they don't want to concede the argument because they know they can fool a lot of people (like you) who don't actually think about what they are saying! Look back at the history of science and you will find any number of rear-guard actions by those established in their field.
Or, if you step down from the conspiracy ledge you are on, they do not simply agree, and think they have the scientific backing to refute the arguments.

I assume you are interested in the subjects we discuss on Skeptiko because you have been here a long time, but the only way you can take the next step is to get into the nitty gritty of one of these discussions, not just argue, "He says...She says..."
That is what i am doing David, but you are refusing to look at evidence from the other side by crying conspiracy.
I promise you i will get into the nitty gritty, but only if you refrain from dismissing arguments on the wrong basis.



Arguments such as "They are not paid to find truth, they are paid to make truth." wash off me,...
That is part of the problem.
...because I can see the logic of what Behe (for example) is saying, and yet that logic isn't making me a Christian, it is making me damn sure the standard story of evolution is wrong.

David
What is you obsession with Christianity? Creation is part of many religions. Why should it matter if you are a christian, if you think ID has any truth in it, you think we are created by a supernatural being, i will leave to you to name that.
 
#67
How can you tell David? did i respond to that post yet?


What are you talking about David, are you really annoyed because i did not have a chance to give a thoughtful response to a long post?
Are you referring to that one alinea you picked, from four well thought out responses to Behe? An alinea that, by coincidence i guess, already appeared in a post by TES.
If so, do you really think it is sufficient? have you read anything else besides this paragraph?
If you do not even feel the need to verify what compels you in Behe's book, why even bother to discuss it?
The main critique of the book, is that it omits a lot of the science that refutes his argument, i will discuss it in an answer to your previous post.


Or, if you step down from the conspiracy ledge you are on, they do not simply agree, and think they have the scientific backing to refute the arguments.


That is what i am doing David, but you are refusing to look at evidence from the other side by crying conspiracy.
I promise you i will get into the nitty gritty, but only if you refrain from dismissing arguments on the wrong basis.




That is part of the problem.


What is you obsession with Christianity? Creation is part of many religions. Why should it matter if you are a christian, if you think ID has any truth in it, you think we are created by a supernatural being, i will leave to you to name that.
I simply want to debate the science - all this stuff is irrelevant.

David
 
#68
For instance i do not know what you mean with human acceleration in this context.
Bart, good response - It sounds like you are not threatened by the idea - rather able to address it in an intellectual impartiality - and good questions too. I often get accused of words being my own terminology, but that is rarely the case. The best thing to do is, if you encounter an unfamiliar term, look it up - you will find 99% of them actually exist. To wit, and in response to your question:

Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) of the Genome​

This is one of those essential basics one need know, if one is to assail this issue of evolution. You will find most evolutionists have never even heard of this term, nor do they understand the systemic implications as to how they even emerged in the first place. It is like making the claim that one is a professional race car driver, but then to fail to know what a cool-flow system or a six-point harness is... hmmmmm, yeah right.... watch your cohorts for this.... especially those who are making a claim to represent the authority of science - you need to hold them to a higher standard. If one is claiming to represent a final scientific claim to absence, then this is your job to know this stuff, completely.

If a science authority claims to fully grasp the domain of evolutionary progression of DNA and how it is modeled inside Ordination/Speciation/Acceleration; further insisting upon a belief/compliance on your part - and they have not spent more than a decade in systems engineering and neural/dynamic modeling and simulation - THEY ARE BULLSHITTING.... Lents, Lang, Coyne, et. al... have to be held to a higher standard, especially if they make an authoritative scientific final claim to absence. None of them are systems modeling qualified (I do/did this for a living and have hired hundreds of such scientists and engineers). None of Lens-Lang-Coyne use any of the terminology, constructs nor disciplines of neural systems modeling science, a discipline which is critical path inside this issue. An issue inside which they claim to be experts. They are all claiming to be race car drivers. Bullshit - this from an actual race car driver. Evolutionary DNA modeling is not molecular biology, nor anthropology, nor medicine, nor biogenetics.... it is systems modeling - and very little else. Thus I am going to be very hard on them. For example, Lang uses the phrase, in the third reference you give:

Evolution simply means change over time, and it is not a steady march toward perfection or increasing complexity. In fact, evolution favors simplicity, efficiency, and streamlining as often as it favors complexity.

This is NOT a refutation, as he claims to be making in the article's preamble. This is called nulla infantis - (a baby's 'no'). This is unmitigated 'Schapiro Utterances' bullshit from a person who does not grasp how this process actually occurs. This is not to say that what he said is false, rather that he himself does not really understand what is going on behind the curtain. He is 'covering' - one of the flags an intelligence professional uses to detect professional lying. He bears a symbolic understanding, not a literal objective understanding of the systemic dynamics of evolution. He is claiming to be a race car driver, but does not really understand how it works - other than 'cars roar and drive around fast in circles'. This is in analogous essence, the depth of his claim above. It does not matter his degree/club, nor level of indignance.... nor how many books they have written. Which entre's the second example

A second skill one need hone, in order to discuss this issue is Set and Domain Theory

Intent, as tested, is not a pervasive and overarching element as you have framed it (creation or intelligent design). This is not a straw man of course on your part, as intent is mis-taught as 'hand of god' - so you were handed that non-scientific definition to begin with. Intent, in the scientific context is only a small seminal part of the domain of deliberation. Just one small non-precedentable, non-feedback-derived, non-stochastic is all that is required. It is a white crow in a football stadium full of black crows. That is all one needs. As such, a robust learned-intent based system could more likely survive an asteroid strike (or arrive on one for that matter) than could a one-off accidental system.

If one has only searched the atrium and restrooms of the football stadium, one cannot make the claim "There's no white crow here!" That would be foolish.

Reread my writeup post again with these two professional terminology sets borne in mind. :)
 
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#69
evolution, which makes [intent] logically absurd to be a driving force.
You are using the social definition of the word evolution, not the professional one. Make sure you understand what evolution is claiming and importantly, what it is not claiming.

There is no claim anywhere in evolutionary theory that intent is either ruled out, nor falsified.

This is a professional mistake of malfeasance which all of the authors you cited, have committed. Evolution is not a religion, and should not be defended through equivocation and apologetica.
 
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#70
The best thing to do is, if you encounter an unfamiliar term, look it up - you will find 99% of them actually exist. To wit, and in response to your question:

Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) of the Genome
This is one of those essential basics one need know, if one is to assail this issue of evolution.
I have to admit - this is totally new to me - though as I keep on saying, I am not a biologist!

1) What gets accelerated - is it the mutation rate.

2) What do these regions code for - anything in particular?

3) You link seems to be comparing this region in different species (at least primates) so I guess the H is not meant to be taken literally.

David
 
#71
2) What do these regions code for - anything in particular?
3) You link seems to be comparing this region in different species (at least primates) so I guess the H is not meant to be taken literally.
Good clarification David, the link is only intended because it tenders a more precise definition of HAR. The rest of the analysis in the study is only partially salient to this. However one of its reference studies does relate that:

Yes, this is a human phenomenon... not hominoidea/LUCA.

Yes, these regions all code for advantageous speciation morphologies... (but I argue that this is ordination, not speciation... we call it 'speciation' so that we have a comfort bucket in which to place it)

Human accelerated regions exhibit regulatory activity during neural development (Doan-Bae, et. al. https://www.cell.com/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31169-2#)
Most of the HAR function we have identified to date (and remember that these were only broached in 2006, and are STILL being found), involves cerbral, neurogenetic and limb/articulating novel improvements. Yes, improvements - they were not driven by selection pressure alone. There are no failed trials and the 'mutations' are in avg 270 base pair, non-GenBank, contiguous blocks, with 'very few' deleterious outcomes in the group.

I took my son to the bowling alley and he bowled a 300 on his first time out. We went and got some pizza and thought nothing of it. The ball hit the pins, no big deal - this is how bowling works...
 
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#72
1) What gets accelerated - is it the mutation rate.
Not actually David, since these are ALL exons (and not introns) - what was accelerated, was geno-morphic expression. The acceleration of the mutation rate was trivial. These were block insertions. Not point mutations. The essence of ordination.

From our earlier discussion (#9 inside this thread), a HAR would then be

Advantageous Novel - Codon Block Substitution or Insertion​

These things really piss me off, because I cannot structure a theory of constraints model which serves to produce them.
But I also love them. Because of the objective path from a base state, constraint, arrival and base pair, through to defined morphological expression. With HARs, one cannot hide their miracle and just call it a scientific day. One has to PROVE the ergodicity inside a HAR....

and this terrifies nihilists/materialists... ...it is very exciting science.

Ohhh yes, I forgot to tell you, that my son who bowled a 300 on his first time out, was bowling from a line drawn in the parking lot of the store next door to the bowling alley.
 
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#73
Not actually David, since these are ALL exons (and not introns) - what was accelerated, was geno-morphic expression. The acceleration of the mutation rate was trivial. These were block insertions. Not point mutations. The essence of ordination.

From our earlier discussion (#9 inside this thread), a HAR would then be

Advantageous Novel - Codon Block Substitution or Insertion​

These things really piss me off, because I cannot structure a theory of constraints model which serves to produce them.
But I also love them. Because of the objective path from a base state, constraint, arrival and base pair, through to defined morphological expression. With HARs, one cannot hide their miracle and just call it a scientific day. One has to PROVE the ergodicity inside a HAR....

and this terrifies nihilists/materialists... ...it is very exciting science.
OK dumb down even more!

Where these random blocks or specific blocks at specific locations? In other words does this make a pre-determined change to the DNA?

David
 
#74
OK dumb down even more!

Where these random blocks or specific blocks at specific locations? In other words does this make a pre-determined change to the DNA?
Two questions, dead on critical path...

1. Were these random blocks or specific blocks at specific locations? - They are, to the best of the studies I have collected thus far, single event and specific location insertion blocks with some substitutions 'in context'. The latter is very difficult for me to explain. This would require a mutation to both arrive in a block form, AND arrive precisely at that point necessary in order to delete only the previous DNA which served its same function.

In a court of law, this would be called 'Intent'.

2. Does this make a pre-determined change to the DNA? In essence you are asking, did the insertion block have expression definition and integrity prior to its insertion. The answer is Yes.

In a court of law, this would be called 'Scienter'.

So these two principles, intent and scienter, are what I contend should be argued - and not the red herrings of 'creation' and 'intelligent design'.
 
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#75
single event and specific location insertion blocks with some substitutions 'in context'.
Just to be even clearer, when you say 'single events' do you mean happened just once in history, or that there is an isolated event that can happen when necessary.

This is certainly sounding less and less like RM+NS, which is why, of course, scientists find it very difficult to explain.

Can we be sure that the block doesn't get inserted more randomly, but that those that 'miss' kill the organism?

Do you know if any of the ID crowd have latched on to this issue?

David
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
#76
There is no claim anywhere in evolutionary theory that intent is either ruled out, nor falsified.
Why should there be?
Intent, as tested, is not a pervasive and overarching element as you have framed it (creation or intelligent design). This is not a straw man of course on your part, as intent is mis-taught as 'hand of god' - so you were handed that non-scientific definition to begin with. Intent, in the scientific context is only a small seminal part of the domain of deliberation. Just one small non-precedentable, non-feedback-derived, non-stochastic is all that is required. It is a white crow in a football stadium full of black crows. That is all one needs. As such, a robust learned-intent based system could more likely survive an asteroid strike (or arrive on one for that matter) than could a one-off accidental system.

If one has only searched the atrium and restrooms of the football stadium, one cannot make the claim "There's no white crow here!" That would be foolish.

Reread my writeup post again with these two professional terminology sets borne in mind. :)
My biggest problem with intent, is not that it is mis-taught as a 'hand of god,'i simply do not think it exists outside the human realm.
(And to a lesser extend in other animals, of course)

It is just a trick of the mind, it is one of these tricks out of the bag that make up our conscious mind.
How would you describe intent without describing human action? And how would you then apply the same description to a non-conscious process?
If we had to describe Intent behind any action correctly, we would have to sum up all events that led up to that action since the beginning of time.
That not being very practical, we use one word as some sort of shorthand for that.

That is why i think the meaning of intent is not transferable to natural processes.
Moreover, even in its original use, i do not see any evidence of, as you call them,"non-precedentable, non-feedback-derived, non-stochastic" events.


Two questions, dead on critical path...

1. Were these random blocks or specific blocks at specific locations? - They are, to the best of the studies I have collected thus far, single event and specific location insertion blocks with some substitutions 'in context'. The latter is very difficult for me to explain. This would require a mutation to both arrive in a block form, AND arrive precisely at that point necessary in order to delete only the previous DNA which served its same function.

In a court of law, this would be called 'Intent'.

2. Does this make a pre-determined change to the DNA? In essence you are asking, did the insertion block have expression definition and integrity prior to its insertion. The answer is Yes.

In a court of law, this would be called 'Scienter'.

So these two principles, intent and scienter, are what I contend should be argued - and not the red herrings of 'creation' and 'intelligent design'.
Yes, but a court of law deals with human actions, not with the processes that make up these human actions, for a court of law we assume that we have free will, intent, etc...
We do so appropriately because we do not go outside the human realm.

It is quite possible we HARs are difficult to explain, that they represent a gap in our knowledge. But is filling that gap with intent not the same as filling it with an intelligent designer?
Don't we need an 'intender' to have intent?
 
#77
My biggest problem with intent, is not that it is mis-taught as a 'hand of god,'i simply do not think it exists outside the human realm.
(And to a lesser extend in other animals, of course)

It is just a trick of the mind, it is one of these tricks out of the bag that make up our conscious mind.
How would you describe intent without describing human action? And how would you then apply the same description to a non-conscious process?
If we had to describe Intent behind any action correctly, we would have to sum up all events that led up to that action since the beginning of time.
That not being very practical, we use one word as some sort of shorthand for that.

That is why i think the meaning of intent is not transferable to natural processes.
Moreover, even in its original use, i do not see any evidence of, as you call them,"non-precedentable, non-feedback-derived, non-stochastic" events.
Bart, I think this is all a perfectly fine worldview. Its what you have come to as your conclusion on this point from your own, personal perspective.

That said if you read it objectively, or as objectively as one can, it presents itself as a position of faith or opinion and not one of fact. As TES pointed out there isn't any confirmation nor refutation of this notion of "intent" in biological science nor any other branch of science as far as I can tell. Seems to be an unanswered question from a scientific point of view.
 
#78
My biggest problem with intent, is not that it is mis-taught as a 'hand of god,'i simply do not think it exists outside the human realm.
(And to a lesser extend in other animals, of course)

It is just a trick of the mind, it is one of these tricks out of the bag that make up our conscious mind.
How would you describe intent without describing human action? And how would you then apply the same description to a non-conscious process?
If we had to describe Intent behind any action correctly, we would have to sum up all events that led up to that action since the beginning of time.
That not being very practical, we use one word as some sort of shorthand for that.

That is why i think the meaning of intent is not transferable to natural processes.
Moreover, even in its original use, i do not see any evidence of, as you call them,"non-precedentable, non-feedback-derived, non-stochastic" events.
The problem is that from a materialist perspective, we are (rather elaborate) natural processes - so either we have intent and so presumably do other natural processes, or neither do, or materialism is false - take your pick (but make sure you intend to get the right answer).

David
 
#79
Just to be even clearer, when you say 'single events' do you mean happened just once in history, or that there is an isolated event that can happen when necessary.

This is certainly sounding less and less like RM+NS, which is why, of course, scientists find it very difficult to explain.

Can we be sure that the block doesn't get inserted more randomly, but that those that 'miss' kill the organism?

Do you know if any of the ID crowd have latched on to this issue?

David
Whatever the naturalist crowd calls this (because they will take umbrage with whatever name you give it) RM+NS, yes - as a systems modeler, I have not found a way to model how a 270 base pair, on average, functional mutation arrives and is successful as an integral group, on the first essential try. They inevitably end up citing semantics, mechanics of single point mutations, quoting scripture of socially defined evolution, telling me that I don't understand evolution, blah blah blah... Yawn. Yet, they never seem to be able to answer the actual scientific question at hand. If someone can answer this, I would be fine with it and move on.

Yes, if one block had managed to 1 in 1 x 10^16 work its way into the genome - granted, the law of large numbers dictates that fantastic things can and do happen, simply because there are so many trials and so many fantastic things which could happen. But not 'miracles on average' - as is occurring with the HARs. 54 miracles in a row is not 'Law of Large Numbers'.

I don't really associate with any of the ID crowd, nor read their stuff - so I don't know, on that last question.
 
#80
Why should there be?
There should not be. Science has produced no evidence which either supports nor rules out intent. Dismissing intent a priori then is a personal religious choice. As an atheist, I respect and understand that personal choice of faith - but I bristle when it is advertised as a conclusion of science. Science makes no comment upon intent - so such boast cannot be made. In contrast however, sponsoring intent for Ockham's Razor consideration, is NOT a religious choice, rather part of the scientific method.

modus praesens and modus absens are two completely different ethical standards of scientific inference. You are insisting modus absens has been proved. This is false. The standard to prove modus absens is very high.

So using one's personal religious choice that intent cannot exist, in order to squelch the scientific method - is disingenuous. A scientist ethically should say 'Not so fast'.

It is just a trick of the mind, it is one of these tricks out of the bag that make up our conscious mind.
How would you describe intent without describing human action? And how would you then apply the same description to a non-conscious process?
If we had to describe Intent behind any action correctly, we would have to sum up all events that led up to that action since the beginning of time.
That not being very practical, we use one word as some sort of shorthand for that.

That is why i think the meaning of intent is not transferable to natural processes.
Moreover, even in its original use, i do not see any evidence of, as you call them,"non-precedentable, non-feedback-derived, non-stochastic" events.
Intent is not pareidolia, nor apophenia. That is incorrect. Intent can be established by both science and a court of law, without knowing who bore the intention. This is a must in information technology, hacking and murder prosecutions. My lawyers and I are winning a court case with this very argument right now.

I do not have to say where the intent came from, and indeed should not conjecture such - until I have a scientific mechanism and hypothesis which is mature and can be pursued by research.

I do not have to prove intent from the beginning of space or time. I only have to spot it once. The 'beginning of time' standard, is a false standard. In order to prove an encrypted signal of noise, bears intelligence (as an intelligence officer) I only need show one translated segment. I do not need to demonstrate who sent it, nor that the rest of the noise transmission was or was not intelligence. I only have to show that one segment.

Intent is the correct word. Otherwise we are jumping off critical path and dressing up in a magician's outfit and performing magic tricks.

Yes, but a court of law deals with human actions, not with the processes that make up these human actions, for a court of law we assume that we have free will, intent, etc...
We do so appropriately because we do not go outside the human realm.
This is constructing a definition by circular ergodicity. It is a fallcy - describing something by what it has done to date rather than by what it is. A formal fallacy of soundness. Intent is intent regardless of the genes of the advanced creature which precipitated it - and this applies to any court.

It is quite possible we HARs are difficult to explain, that they represent a gap in our knowledge. But is filling that gap with intent not the same as filling it with an intelligent designer?
Don't we need an 'intender' to have intent?
1. A HAR is not a 'gap'. That is propaganda speak from amateur science enthusiasts. HAR is critical path to this argument. The 'gap' here is 95% of the domain, so it is not a gap.

2. I am not filling that gaping absence of domain knowledge with an intelligent designer; you are doing that. That is religious pandering. We are trying to extricate ourselves from religion here, not jump from one religion into another.

3. Yes, eventually we would prefer to identify the intender - maybe even one which is dead and gone now, or left, too. However we have to accept the reality that this may never be the case. We may be stuck on 'intent without identified intender' for centuries. Nonetheless, science does not answer every question at once. This is also a non rectum agitur fallacy - forcing every question to be answered all at once. Science does not work in this manner.

Questions are answered incrementally - along a critical path of inference. Understanding this is critical to any claim or implication to be scientifically literate.

I am an atheist as well; however, I cannot ethically throw out the construct of intent, just because my social primed buddies and I are emotionally upset about the idea of an 'Intender' - that is not fair to science, not fair to humanity - to force one church's doctrinal anger upon everyone around me. Just because a few peoples' religion screams "There is no intender!", does not mean that science and all of us must cower in the shadow of that imperious faith from then on.

We learned this lesson when Christianity controlled science. I do not want another religion sneaking in and doing this to us again.

If intent is here, even if tucked away and hard to find, I want it found. And I will stand up for that human right: to know.
 
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