Dr. Donald Hoffman, Materialism’s Final Death Blow? |436|

#61
Having been shown to be out of your depth in basic physics recently, I might have anticipated a little humility and patience. But we’ve reached the point already where you try to belittle, and simply repeat your original points more loudly, adding nothing new.
Yes I was wrong on one issue. You have not a clue what you are talking about regarding this one.
 
#62
Yes I was wrong on one issue. You have not a clue what you are talking about regarding this one.
That’s as maybe. Never-the-less, appeals to ‘semantics’ and ‘teleology’ have to demonstrate that the organic chemistry was pre-programmed to produce a pre-determined end point (you’ve stated as much). Perhaps it was, but you have provided no evidence for that. “Respiration”, “a cell”, “life” were all possible end points and they appeared, but didn’t necessarily have to.

For all the ‘reeking’ and ‘self-evidence’ that you decry, you simply sound like an unfortunate homeowner who considers a specific tornado was pre-programmed to destroy his house; thus imbuing intent on random weather.
 
#63
That’s as maybe. Never-the-less, appeals to ‘semantics’ and ‘teleology’ have to demonstrate that the organic chemistry was pre-programmed to produce a pre-determined end point (you’ve stated as much). Perhaps it was, but you have provided no evidence for that. “Respiration”, “a cell”, “life” were all possible end points and they appeared, but didn’t necessarily have to.

For all the ‘reeking’ and ‘self-evidence’ that you decry, you simply sound like an unfortunate homeowner who considers a specific tornado was pre-programmed to destroy his house; thus imbuing intent on random weather.
You have completely missed the point. I am sure others understand what I am pointing out, in fact they do. Including Howard Pattee who has worked on the problem for 50 years.
 
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#64
You have completely missed the point. I am sure others understand what I am pointing out, in fact they do. Including Howard Pattee who has worked on the problem for 50 years.
I understand what you’ve written, it’s not complex. Perhaps if you can link to a paper by Pattee that fleshes out your position it might help?
 
#65
I understand what you’ve written, it’s not complex. Perhaps if you can link to a paper by Pattee that fleshes out your position it might help?
It has been several years since I have read any of Pattees papers. There are many. The problem is sometimes called the epistemic cut or cybernetic cut, it is the symbol matter problem. It is related to the measurement problem in quantum physics and the mind body problem of philosophy of mind.

How do molecules become messages? What is the binding mechanism between the sign and the representum? This is the cut between what is material and immaterial or mental, of the mind.

To clarify my point, the information, semiotic information, language, existed before biological evolution because biological evolution proposes mutations in the information not the origin of the information which is required for evolution to begin. It is precisely this gap that allows evolution to occur. It allows for input of new information into the system. If there was no symbolic representation the the system would be confined to the physical laws that govern the system.

If the same symbolically encoded messages that produced non trivial function was picked up by SETI, there would be no argument that it has the hallmarks of intelligence. Semiosis, code, syntax, language, emerges from the mental realm. These are formal not physical. The symbols themselves of course are physical.

This is why I was suggesting that Donald's theory could account for it.

It is a real problem Malf. It is not something I have created, perhaps I am not the best at explaining it but it is a profound enigma. It is for this reason the origin of life is so mysterious. It is in essence the mind matter problem at the very beginning of life. Lets be honest, we have no answer. I propose the source is from a dimension of reality that is hidden to us, as in behind the user interface of our perceptions.
 
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#66
How do molecules become messages? What is the binding mechanism between the sign and the representum? This is the cut between what is material and immaterial or mental, of the mind.
Of course, lots of other molecules can also be regarded as messages - hormones for example. However there isn't the complex encoding.

David
 
#67
I presumed he meant that there are multiple agents in the Thales sense. But maybe that was just me nodding in agreement with my biases, and wanting to hear what pleased me.

Of course, you are right, on more disciplined reflection. Did he have in mind an hierarchy of agents, or merely a multiplicity? Perhaps we should prevail upon Alex to have him back, but with a list of questions we have compiled.

I think we need to get away from the notion that somebody can turn up, chat with Alex and the bugger off as if nothing that really mattered happened. We are not a one night stand. We may want a second date - especially when we have a list of after the fact questions.
haha. I don't think we have that clout. also, he has a book and many other presentations where he explains this in Greater detail.
 
#68
I've read with great interest Hoffman's book and listened to several interviews with him. This was a good one, although I was disappointed that Alex didn't bring up Hoffman's dedication to 'natural selection' as the prime causation of human consciousness (as we know it). In Alex's chat afterwards, he refers to Hoffman's 'evolution shit' but doesn't go much further. Fact is, neo-Darwinism (of which Hoffman is a proponent) is a cornerstone (if not THE cornerstone) of materialism/reductionism.

It would have been nice if Alex had grilled him on this.
I think he handled this gracefully and succinctly at the very beginning:
===
Dr. Donald Hoffman:
[00:22:20] So what I do in this theory is I assume, for sake of argument, that evolution by natural selection is true because all of my colleagues believe that,
===
 
#69
What might be important, though, is that even though natural selection (the 'random mutation' part of it) is untenable (do you agree?), his thesis might still stand.
this is my read of what he's saying. I think he's looking at Natural Selection the way a microbiologist who's smears bacteria on a petri dish looks at it.
 
#70
Oh, yes, I'm a big fan of Behe and all the Discovery Institute crew (I'm not a Christian, btw). In fact I wrote an open letter to Behe, Stephen Meyer and Douglas Ax (having read all their books and then some) you might find interesting, when you have the time: http://blog.banditobooks.com/an-open-letter-to-michael-behe-stephen-meyer-and-douglas-axe/

Re Hoffman, I'm wondering if he missed something. Best way to explain is to compare his (very powerful) analogy of a computer interface as reality... to Einstein's 'space bending' 'explanation' of gravity ('gravity is not a force'), the proponents of which use a rubber sheet with a canon ball in it to represent gravity. See, this - the bending of space-- doesn't explain gravity AT ALL. And neither does the computer interface-reality analog. These are both analogies, not evidence. (Ask an Einsteinian by what process does the ball bend the sheet? He'll say 'gravity', not seeing the circularity....)

I'm not explaining this well. I just have the suspicion that there is some sort of circularity Hoffman is missing.
awesomeness!

==
Now do this going back to your great grandfather to the 100,000th ‘degree,’ which would be somewhere around a million years ago. Please describe the being in general appearance. Now please do the same for 5 million years ago. And so forth, going back in the huge stack of photos to the first one. What do you see?
Are there ‘moments’ (photographs!) that are particularly evocative of your worldview? Is there an ‘Adam’ where the stack ends?
==
 
#71
The thing is the information theory of evolution and in particular the origin of life strongly points to the concept of agency and unless we keep pushing the question back with panspermia or extraterrestrial seeding...
full stop! that's sure as heck where it seems to point. of course, we've created a system that makes it almost impossible to seriously Advance those ideas inside of discussion like this without a lot of qualifiers. stovepipes is far as the eye can see :)
 
#72
... but to think their (mostly) Christian beliefs don't 'leak' into their 'scientific' world views is... a bit naive.
agreed. same can be said for our materialist "biological robot in a meaningless universe" friends. I guess that's why I cut Hoffman a lot of slack for using neo-darwinism as a vehicle for exposing the incompleteness of neo-darwinism.
 
#73
Having been shown to be out of your depth in basic physics recently, I might have anticipated a little humility and patience. But we’ve reached the point already where you try to belittle, and simply repeat your original points more loudly, adding nothing new.
Malf, you probably know what happened to Laird for making a similar remark (worded more crudely), so please stop it.

David
 
#74
David, the response from Malf was in response to LS's accusation that Malf was "out of his depth". You should warn both posters. And thankfully we have Malf in this thread at least trying to share contrary viewpoints to the majority. Without posters taking this stance the echo's from the chamber would be deafening.
 
#75
I think that perhaps it is easier for some people (myself included) to find a less abstract way of expressing the fact that evolving a code in a biological system is basically impossible. Suppose for example DNA coding started with just two codons per amino acid residue (as has been suggested), what would be involved in that evolving into the 3-codon system that we know now?

To do this, you would need at least:

1) A change to the way DNA is interpreted from taking two bases at a time to taking 3 at a time.

2) A corresponding change to the whole DNA of the creature, to include a dummy base - so that you could temporarily use only the first two bases of a triplet, so that the old code could function.

3) Some changes in the ribosome structure to process DNA in its new expanded format.

4) The biochemistry to create additional amino acids that might be useful in yet to be created protein types.

Now the thing is, all these changes would have to occur at the same moment - if you did some but not others, the whole organism would crash!

Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of this upheaval there would be no benefit to the organism whatsoever, you would still have to await DNA to use the new functionality. Natural selection works step by step, and it can't look into the future - in the way a programmer might reluctantly say, "Gee I need to expand this code to cater for more options, so I'll have to do steps 1 - 4, and then I will parameterise the codon length just in case I need to do this again!"

Thus the code within DNA simply cannot evolve by natural selection.

David
 
#76
I think that perhaps it is easier for some people (myself included) to find a less abstract way of expressing the fact that evolving a code in a biological system is basically impossible. Suppose for example DNA coding started with just two codons per amino acid residue (as has been suggested), what would be involved in that evolving into the 3-codon system that we know now?

To do this, you would need at least:

1) A change to the way DNA is interpreted from taking two bases at a time to taking 3 at a time.

2) A corresponding change to the whole DNA of the creature, to include a dummy base - so that you could temporarily use only the first two bases of a triplet, so that the old code could function.

3) Some changes in the ribosome structure to process DNA in its new expanded format.

4) The biochemistry to create additional amino acids that might be useful in yet to be created protein types.

Now the thing is, all these changes would have to occur at the same moment - if you did some but not others, the whole organism would crash!

Furthermore, in the immediate aftermath of this upheaval there would be no benefit to the organism whatsoever, you would still have to await DNA to use the new functionality. Natural selection works step by step, and it can't look into the future - in the way a programmer might reluctantly say, "Gee I need to expand this code to cater for more options, so I'll have to do steps 1 - 4, and then I will parameterise the codon length just in case I need to do this again!"

Thus the code within DNA simply cannot evolve by natural selection.

David
I would recommend a careful read through of this PDF, and any relevant references. I think it puts some of your concerns in context with the academics at the sharp end of this field:

https://res.mdpi.com/d_attachment/c...-00028/article_deploy/challenges-10-00028.pdf
 
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#80
David, the response from Malf was in response to LS's accusation that Malf was "out of his depth". You should warn both posters. And thankfully we have Malf in this thread at least trying to share contrary viewpoints to the majority. Without posters taking this stance the echo's from the chamber would be deafening.
How exactly is my comment any different from the adversarial comments that preceded mine such as....
This looks like an ‘argument from incredulity’.
and...
Nature appears to be better defined than some of the concepts you are appealing to...
This is passive aggressive behavior. I believe my comment is justified given the responses. I would never have used it were it not for this attitude.

It was never intended as an insult. My full statement included "It seems you are out of your depth". This was in regard to a established fact that much of the code is semantic. I am sorry but if someone does not realize this than they are out of their depth. It means there is a very long road before the problem can be even be fully comprehended and appreciated let alone argue it. I regard is as fundamental to understanding the issue I raised. Without this understanding it is simply impossible to meaningfully discuss it. It was IMO clear that this was the case. In essence it is simply denying that DNA is a code. I have no time for this point of view, it is obsolete. Denial certainly does not equate to a valid contrary viewpoint.

If someone does understand my points, then the simple things I have stated are indeed self evident and at the very least it should be acknowledged as something real regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

It always, always gets on the materialists nerves because at least in part they realize the implications are extremely troublesome for that ideology. They have enough trouble justifying Darwinism or even a simple combinatorial solution to a single protein even within the existing molecular framework let alone the very origin of that framework.

The only contrary viewpoint is that some day science will answer it or incredulous chance. A science of the gaps argument. The reality is that science has actually only exasperated the problem and not closed upon the solution. As much as thousands of OOL papers would like to pretend they are. Put simply the alternative is to believe that code can emerge from prebiotic mud! The video I posted is the honest and true state of things regarding OOL. I never wanted to divert the thread to this subject, or argue it. Only to point out how it can relate. For the holistic thinker it should readily become apparent.



 
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