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

#81
Let me respond to this by quoting an excerpt from the first link
Behe doubles down on his claim that the evolution of chloroquine resistance in malaria by random mutations is exceedingly unlikely because at least two mutations are required, neither of which is beneficial without the other. His calculations have already been refuted (5), and it has long been known that neutral and even deleterious mutations can provide stepping stones to future adaptations. Indeed, a 2014 study, unmentioned by Behe, reported discovery of two genetic paths through which malaria has evolved chloroquine resistance through multiple steps (6)
I think this utterly misses the point. When we talk about neutral or deleterious mutations, we are talking about mutations that arose without any help from natural selection. In other words the fact that biology seems to supply the genes for something before those genes are any use, is evidence that this is going on without Darwin's natural selection. I have bolded this point in my quote - I mean stepping stones happen when conscious entities move those stones into a convenient pattern for a purpose - otherwise they only appear as a consequence of combinatorial chance.

The whole point is that everyone accepts that raw combinatorial processes - random chemistry - can't be the explanation, so natural selection is invoked instead. However then we see examples like this where two things have to develop with no help from NS because neither is beneficial on their own, but then they combine - only that last step is actually beneficial.

Suppose we imagine that Yaweh did it all, just as it says in the Old Testament (just for argument, you understand) and somehow we could travel back in time and observe the process biochemically. What would we see? Well various genes would appear, and serve no obvious purpose, and then two or more of them would combine together to do something useful! At that scale it might look very like what was being discussed above, but obviously NS couldn't be the explanation!

David
 
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#82
Let me respond to this by quoting an excerpt from the first link

I think this utterly misses the point. When we talk about neutral or deleterious mutations, we are talking about mutations that arose without any help from natural selection. In other words the fact that biology seems to supply the genes for something before those genes are any use, is evidence that this is going on without Darwin's natural selection. I have bolded this point in my quote - I mean stepping stones happen when conscious entities move those stones into a convenient pattern for a purpose - otherwise they only appear as a consequence of combinatorial chance.

The whole point is that everyone accepts that raw combinatorial processes - random chemistry - can't be the explanation, so natural selection is invoked instead. However then we see examples like this where two things have to develop with no help from NS because neither is beneficial on their own, but then they combine - only that last step is actually beneficial.

Suppose we imagine that Yaweh did it all, just as it says in the Old Testament (just for argument, you understand) and somehow we could travel back in time and observe the process biochemically. What would we see? Well various genes would appear, and serve no obvious purpose, and then two or more of them would combine together to do something useful! At that scale it might look very like what was being discussed above, but obviously NS couldn't be the explanation!

David
Well you and I are mere laymen in this area, but the claim is supplied with solid references:

https://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/E1759

https://www.genetics.org/content/181/2/821
 
#83
Well you and I are mere laymen in this area, but the claim is supplied with solid references:
Well I don't feel I am quite at that level, and you need not be if you just tried to follow some of the discussions here. The whole essence is not to swipe each other with references, but to understand the argument.

If you need to, go and read an internet primer about DNA, don't bother with the actual chemicals that are represented by C,G,T,A (unless you are particularly interested). Then try to read my thread about Behe's book.

Once you start to do that, you will realise that one side or the other is dodging the point. I say that because I doubt if many geneticists are really that dumb that they can't see what the likes of Behe are talking about - most of them know damn well what the point is, but they don't want to discuss it because that would cause them problems in their academic environment.

Their problem is that science has made a huge fetish out of natural selection - even forcing schools not to even teach that there are doubts over the theory. They simply do not want egg on their faces!

David
 
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#84
I say that because I doubt if many geneticists are really that dumb that they can't see what the likes of Behe are talking about - most of them know damn well what the point is, but they don't want to discuss it because that would cause them problems in their academic environment.
"Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist. He can’t live without her but he doesn’t want to be seen with her in public.” - J. B. S. Haldane, British population geneticist.
 
#85
If people don't seem to get what you mean by information, I suspect it's not so much from malice or stupidity so much as instilled closed-mindedness. Tom Campbell covers information (as well as closed-mindedness) in an interview with Rick Archer at Buddha at the gas pump starting at around 1h 34m:


The fact is, ANY sequence of nucleotides, and ANY sequence of amino acids that they specify (at the end of a chain of events involving messenger RNA, Transfer RNA and a number of different subcellular organelles, or machinery, if one prefers), is chemically possible. For a chain of (say) 250 amino acids in length, in purely chemical terms, any one of 20^250 possible sequences is perfectly allowable.

How come, then, that reliably in living organisms, we find with extremely high degrees of consistency that one or at most a few minor variations of sequences of (say) 250 amino acids can form a functioning protein? What is it that ensures that a functional sequence is generated (and error-corrected if necessary)? Well, it's more than one thing I suppose, but none of it could happen without the DNA code.

But where in the cell is the code, and the decoding instructions, stored? Look as hard as you like, but I don't think you'll find them. The code and how to decode it appears to be implicit and unrecorded, and isn't looked up from any kind of in situ table. All the processes, all the cellular machinery involved in DNA replication nonetheless seems to operate on a tacit "understanding" of the code. In Tom Campbell's terms, something outside living organisms seems to be imposing on them the part of the simulation rule set that comprises the code.

The code seems just to be part of the way things are. In Bernardo Kastrup's language, it's part of the patterns and regularities of M@L's consciousness. The seemingly "physical" aspects of cells constitute another part of Tom's rule set; they differ from the code in that they can be directly perceived; they aren't purely "conceptual". What about the rules of chemistry? They can't be directly perceived either, only what we can observe of the behaviour of atoms and molecules; and those rules, as I have said, allow any combination of nucleotides and amino acids. The code seems to act like a govering principle that in effect severely limits, in the environment of the cell, what kinds of chemical interactions can occur.

I can't say I fully understand Tom's TOE -- I just have my interpretation of it, but I hope I've got the general gist, and if so, I see valid parallels between it, Bernardo's Idealism, and Hoffman's largely mathematical schema: they are each different models of more or less the same underlying reality. "Information" tentatively seems to me to map to Tom's "rule sets" and Bernardo's "patterns and regularities". I also instinctively resonate with Tom's notion that not only do organisms evolve, but so does M@L (or universal consciousness) itself, and in doing so is constantly creating new rule sets based on the success or failure of prior rule sets. As a conscious entity, it is immensely more powerful than we are, but still, it isn't final and perfect, nor may it ever be.
 
#86
"Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist. He can’t live without her but he doesn’t want to be seen with her in public.” - J. B. S. Haldane, British population geneticist.
That is a superb quote, and perhaps it just might persuade Malf to realise that we aren't just a bunch of crazies, out of touch with real science!

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.B.S._Haldane

If Haldane's comment isn't enough, try the meeting of top mathematicians and others, that came to the conclusion that evolution by natural selection was utterly non-viable - back in 1966:

http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/20hist12.htm
With the dawn of large main-frame computers came the data needed to disprove evolution. Wistar buried evolutionary theory. Yet the evolutionists won't admit it. Evolutionary theory is a myth. God created everything; the evidence clearly points to it. Nothing else can explain the evidence found in nature. This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.

CONTENTS: Wistar Destroys Evolution

The Philadelphia Meeting: Evolution destroyed by mathematical facts at Wistar
The Alpbach Meeting: More evidence against evolution
The New York Meeting: The situation became even worse
The Cambridge Meeting: The finishing touch​
This material is excerpted from the book, HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY. An asterisk ( * ) by a name indicates that person is not known to be a creationist. Of over 4,000 quotations in the books this Encyclopedia is based on, only 164 statements are by creationists. You will have a better understanding of the following statements by scientists if you will also read the web page, History of Evolutionary Theory.

THE PHILADELPHIA MEETING
It was not until the 1960s that the neo-Darwinists really began fighting among themselves in earnest. At Wistar, evolutionary theory was destroyed by mathematical facts.

"The ascription of all changes in form to chance has long caused raised eyebrows. Let us not dally with the doubts of nineteenth-century critics, however; for the issue subsided. But it raised its ugly head again in a fairly dramatic form in 1967, when a handful of mathematicians and biologists were chattering over a picnic lunch organized by the physicist, Victor Weisskopf, who is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and one of the original Los Alamos atomic bomb group, at his house in Geneva. `A rather weird discussion' took place. The subject was evolution by natural selection. The mathematicians were stunned by the optimism of the evolutionists about what could be achieved by chance. So wide was the rift that they decided to organize a conference, which was called Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution. The conference was chaired by Sir Peter Medawar, whose work on graft rejection won him a Noble prize and who, at the time, was director of the Medical Research Council's laboratories in North London. Not, you will understand, the kind of man to speak wildly or without careful thought. In opening the meeting, he said: `The immediate cause of this conference is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought of as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory. This dissatisfaction has been expressed from several quarters."—*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 4.

A milestone meeting was the Wistar Institute Symposium held in Philadelphia in April 1966. The chairman, *Sir Peter Medawar, made the following opening remark:

"The immediate cause of this conference is a pretty widespread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory . . These objections to current neo-Darwinian theory are very widely held among biologists generally; and we must on no account, I think, make light of them."—*Peter Medawar, remarks by the chairman, *Paul Moorhead and *Martin Kaplan (ed.), Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, Wistar Institute Monograph No. 5.

A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute. They clearly refuted neo-Darwinianism in several areas, and showed that its "fitness" and "adaptation" theories were tautologous—little more than circular reasoning. In contrast, some of the biologists who spoke at the convention could not see the light. They understood bugs and turtles, but could grasp neither the mathematical impossibilities of evolutionary theory nor the broad picture of how thoroughly defunct evolution really is.

For example, one of the mathematicians, *Murray Eden of MIT, explained that life could not begin by the "random selection," which is the basic pillar of evolutionary teaching. Yet he said that if randomness is set aside, then only "design" would remain—and that would require purposive planning by an Intelligence.

*C.H. Waddington, a prominent British evolutionist, scathingly attacked neo-Darwinism, maintaining that all it proved was that plants and animals could have offspring!

The 1966 Wistar convention was the result of a meeting of mathematicians and biologists the year before in Switzerland. Mathematical doubts about Darwinian theory had been raised; and, at the end of several hours of heated discussion, it was agreed that a meeting be held the next year to more fully air the problems. *Dr. Martin Kaplan then set to work to lay plans for the 1966 Wistar Institute.

It was the development of tremendously powerful digital computers that sparked the controversy. At last mathematicians were able to work out the probability of evolution ever having occurred. They discovered that, mathematically, life would neither have begun nor evolved by random action.

For four days the Wistar convention continued, during which a key lecture was delivered by *M.P. Schutzenberger, a computer scientist, who explained that computers are large enough now to totally work out the mathematical probabilities of evolutionary theory—and they demonstrate that it is really fiction.

*Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (1012) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance. He also reported on his extensive investigations into genetic data on hemoglobin (red blood cells).

Hemoglobin has two chains, called alpha and beta. A minimum of 120 mutations would be required to convert alpha to beta. At least 34 of those changes require changeovers in 2 or 3 nucleotides. Yet, *Eden pointed out that, if a single nucleotide change occurs through mutation, the result ruins the blood and kills the organism!

*George Wald stood up and explained that he had done extensive research on hemoglobin also,—and discovered that if just ONE mutational change of any kind was made in it, the hemoglobin would not function properly. For example, the change of one amino acid out of 287 in hemoglobin causes sickle-cell anemia. A glutamic acid unit has been changed to a valine unit—and, as a result, 25% of those suffering with this anemia die.

For more information on the 1966 Wistar Institute, we refer you to the book quoted above, by *Moorehead and *Kaplan. For much more on mathematical problems confronting evolutionary theory. (See DNA and Cells).

The Alpbach Meeting
A follow-up meeting was held in 1969 at Alpbach, but it only resulted in fruitless discussions in defense of evolution, angry words by some, desperation by others desiring some kind of "evolutionary" solution that scientists could ably defend, and additional presentations of evidence that evolutionary theory was unscientific. Although it was an important meeting, little space was given to it in the public press.

"Throughout the past century there has always existed a significant minority of first-rate biologists who have never been able to bring themselves to accept the validity of Darwinian claims. In fact, the number of biologists who have expressed some degree of disillusionment is practically endless. When Arthur Koestler organized the Alpbach Symposium, in 1969, called `Beyond Reductionism,' for the express purpose of bringing together biologists critical of orthodox Darwinism he was able to include in the list of participants many authorities of world stature, such as Swedish neurobiologist, Holgar Hyden; zoologists, Paul Weiss and W.H. Thorpe; linguist, David McNeil; and child psychologist, Jean Piaget. Koestler had this to say in his opening remarks: `. . invitations were confined to personalities in academic life, with undisputed authority in their respective fields, who nevertheless share that holy discontent.

"At the Wistar Institute Symposium in 1966, which brought together mathematicians and biologists of impeccable academic credentials, Sir Peter Medawar acknowledged in his introductory address the existence of a widespread feeling of skepticism over the role of chance in evolution, a feeling in his own words that: `. . something is missing from orthodox theory.' "—*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), pp. 327-328.

THE NEW YORK MEETING
For decades, men had to silently accept evolutionary theory in order to graduate with a doctorate and enter a field of science. Everywhere they turned in their chosen field, they see evidence of creation, not evolution. An ever-increasing explosion of knowledge in the sciences only added to the massive weight of evidence in favor of creation science. But, at last, careful researchers were beginning to openly scoff at evolutionary theory in professional journals. Leading paleontologists, such as *Gould and Stanley, were brazenly flaunting the foolishness of Darwin's legacy; but, unfortunately they were substituting strange new fairy tales that were utterly opposed to reality, common sense, genetics, mutational studies, or mathematical probabilities. Something had to be done.

In October 1981, the world's leading evolutionists met in Chicago in a special Evolution Conference.

"The central question of the Chicago conferences was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution."—*Roger Lewin, "Evolutionary Theory Under Fire," in Science, November 21, 1980.

"Microevolution" is change within a species, but this is adaptation and not evolution, as most experts will admit. "Macroevolution" is change between species, and must always lie at the heart of evolutionary theory. Without macroevolution, evolution does not occur. At the 1980 Chicago meeting:

"In October 1980, . . a conference was held in Chicago on one of the hottest issues in evolutionary studies. The respected magazine, Science, organ of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, called it `a historic conference' which `challenges the four-decade long dominance of the Modern Synthesis.' `We all went home with our heads spinning,' said one participant. `Clashes of personality and academic sniping created palpable tension in an atmosphere that was fraught with genuine intellectual ferment,' Science reported."—*G.R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 55.

Open attacks were hurled at evolutionary theory, and men desperate for solutions sought for answers.

"Feuds concerning the theory of evolution exploded . . Entrenched positions, for and against, were established in high places, and insults lobbed like mortar bombs from either side."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 12.

Yes, arguments took place, even some shouting. The conclusion of the majority was that there is no evidence of evolution, and we have no way of demonstrating that it is occurring now or has ever occurred.

"At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear No."—*Roger Lewin, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 12.

*Newsweek for November 3, 1980, carried an article on the Chicago meeting. You may wish to read it for yourself. The large majority of evolutionists at the conference agreed that the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection could no longer be regarded by professionals as scientifically valid or tenable. Neither the origin nor the diversity of living creatures could be explained by evolutionary theory.

A year later, *Robert Jastrow, a leading scientist wrote:

"To their chagrin [scientists] have no clear-cut answer, because chemists have never succeeded in reproducing nature's experiments on the creation of life out of nonliving matter. Scientists do not know how that happened . . Scientists have no proof that life was not the result of an act of creation."—*Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (1981), p. 19.

Of the scientists attending that meeting, some in desperation decided that the only solution was to join *Gould and *Stanley in viewing hopeful monsters as the means by which species change occurred! To coin a phrase that might be worthy of Shakespeare: "Ah, desperation, thou hast made men mad."

The 1980 meeting was held in Chicago's Field Museum and was attended by 160 of the world's top paleontologists, anatomists, evolutionary geneticists, and developmental biologists.

"[Evolution] is undergoing its broadest and deepest revolution in nearly 50 years . . Exactly how evolution happened is now a matter of great controversy among biologists . . No clear resolution of the controversies was in sight [at the meeting]."—*Boyce Rensberger, "Macroevolution Theory Stirs Hottest Debate Since Darwin," in The Riverside (California) Enterprise, p. E9; *Roger Lewin, "Evolutionary Theory under Fire," Science, November 21, 1980, pp. 883-887.

It was decided that no record would be kept of the sessions, in order not to give ammunition to the creationists. The rapid accumulation of evidence against evolutionary theory had brought a crisis of such proportions that most of those in attendance decided to repudiate a cardinal Darwinian doctrine; they agreed that small changes from generation to generation within a species could never accumulate to produce a new species.

In its place, the Alice-in-Wonderland theory of "punctuated equilibria" was given prominence. This view teaches that sudden massive mutations produced "hopeful monsters"—and made all our modern species. It was at the 1980 meeting that the majority of leading scientists present decided in desperation to adopt the basic "hopeful monster" theory of *Goldschmidt, *Stanley, and *Gould.

Men act as if they are chained to a cart and must go wherever it carries them. They dare not get off of it, for to do so is admit a terrible fact which they do not wish to consider.

"According to an article in Newsweek (November 3, 1980), at a conference in mid-October at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, the majority of 160 of the world's top paleontologists, anatomists, evolutionary geneticists, and developmental biologists agreed to abandon Darwinian evolution in favor of punctuated equilibria, otherwise known as the hopeful monster theory.

"Apparently, Darwin's theory had become indefensible to them, citing particularly the absence of intermediate fossils as the conflicting fact. The hopeful monster theory is a retreat to what appears to be reliable geological evidence, namely, the general stringing-out of fossils from `simple' to `complex' in the rock strata."—Randall Hedtke, "Asa Gray Vindicated," in Creation Research Society Quarterly, June 1981, p. 74.

THE CAMBRIDGE MEETING
The following year, still another important meeting of evolutionists was held. At this meeting, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, *Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, in a paper that he presented to the assembly, declared before his peers that evolution was "positively anti-knowledge," and added that "all my life I had been duped into taking evolution as revealed truth."

The same year another scientist wrote this:

"An increasing number of scientists, most particularly a growing number of evolutionists . . argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine scientific theory at all . . Many of the critics have the highest intellectual credentials."—*Michael Ruse, "Darwin's Theory: An Exercise in Science," in New Scientist, June 25, 1981, p. 828.

Commenting on the crisis that had come to the evolutionary camp, *Niles Eldredge, head of the Department of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, later wrote this:

"The doubt that has infiltrated the previously smug confident certitude of evolutionary biology's last twenty years has inflamed passions . . There has been a total lack of agreement even within the warring camps . . Things are really in an uproar these days . . Sometimes it seems as though there are as many variations on each [evolutionary] theme as there are individual biologists."—*Niles Eldredge, "Evolutionary Housecleaning," in Natural History, February 1982, pp. 78, 81.
Malf, once you start to look at those reviews of Behe's book you quoted, from that perspective, you will start to see how they repeatedly miss the point, but as I said before, if you want to join this intellectual adventure properly, you just need to get a bit more acquainted with the facts. You only need to know that bare facts about DNA encoding, to see that making random changes to a gene and then sorting out the 'good' changes from the 'bad' ones just hasn't a hope of delivering anything!

Because this is about encoding, you don't need to know much biochemistry, any more than you need to know exactly how a computer works in order to use one - or indeed program one!

Once you start to get this topic, I think you will find it frames just about everything else we discuss here (with the possible exception of President Donald Trump) in a different light.

David
 
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#89
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4990703/

I analyse how the code metaphor was actually employed by the scientists who first promoted its use. The analysis shows that the term ‘code’ picked out mechanism sketches, consisting of more or less detailed descriptions of ordinary molecular components, processes, and structural properties of the mechanism of protein synthesis. The sketches provided how-possibly explanations for the ordering of amino acids by nucleic acids (the ‘coding problem’). I argue that employing the code metaphor was justified in virtue of its descriptive-denotational and explanatory roles, and because it highlighted a similarity with conventional codes that was particularly salient at the time.


I get it. It’s jarring to realise one’s very existence might come down to some (possibly extremely unlikely) chemical flukes. It is mind-boggling. Incredulity is a normal response and entirely justified.
 
#90
Haldane is also credited with the quote that if there was a creator, “he has an inordinate fondness for beetles”.

Given that he died over 50 years ago, I’m not sure he is still on the cutting edge.
 
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#91
The problem is that it is not possible to transfer information in the physical world without using a representation ( a thing that represents something that it is not) that is then interpreted. This strictly speaking marks code. There is no physical law directly connecting the thing to what it represents.

In the case of DNA this is done by aaRS enzymes which themselves are coded by DNA. One specific to each amino acid. And In order to have DNA you have to have proteins. This is circular causality.

To detail this here is an outline I borrow. It details what I have been trying to say far better than I can. It is all perfectly sound and logical. You can argue about terminology but the fact remains. It is a process of information transfer. Information transfer requires representation and interpretation, it is as simple as that. Charles Pierce outlined this in the 1860's with his semiotic theory.

Even atheists such as Dawkins and Craig Venter acknowledge the digital nature, in fact it is interchangeable with our own digital code (as Venter has shown with his semi synthetic cell) except it is far more sophisticated.

The logic is as follows.

1. A representation is an arrangement of matter which evokes an effect within a system (e.g. written text, spoken words, pheromones, animal gestures, codes, sensory input, intracellular messengers, nucleotide sequences, etc, etc).

2. It is not logically possible to transfer information (the form of a thing; a measured aspect, quality, or preference) in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter.

3. If that is true, and it surely must be, then several other things must logically follow. If there is now an arrangement of matter which contains a representation of form as a consequence of its own material arrangement, then that arrangement must be necessarily arbitrary to the thing it represents. In other words, if one thing is to represent another thing within a system, then it must be separate from the thing it represents. And if it is separate from it, then it cannot be anything but materially arbitrary to it (i.e. they cannot be the same thing).

4. If that is true, then the presence of that representation must present a material component to the system (which is reducible to physical law), while its arrangement presents an arbitrary component to the system (which is not reducible to physical law).

5. If that is true, and again it surely must be, then there has to be something else which establishes the otherwise non-existent relationship between the representation and the effect it evokes within the system. In fact, this is the material basis of Francis Crick’s famous ‘adapter hypothesis’ in DNA, which lead to a revolution in the biological sciences. In a material universe, that something else must be a second arrangement of matter; coordinated to the first arrangement as well as to the effect it evokes.

6. It then also follows that this second arrangement must produce its unambiguous function, not from the mere presence of the representation, but from its arrangement. It is the arbitrary component of the representation which produces the function.

7. And if those observations are true, then in order to actually transfer recorded information, two discrete arrangements of matter are inherently required by the process; and both of these objects must necessarily have a quality that extends beyond their mere material make-up. The first is a representation and the second is a protocol (a systematic, operational rule instantiated in matter) and together they function as a formal system. They are the irreducible complex core which is fundamentally required in order to transfer recorded information.

8. During protein synthesis, a selected portion of DNA is first transcribed into mRNA, then matured and transported to the site of translation within the ribosome. This transcription process facilitates the input of information (the arbitrary component of the DNA sequence) into the system. The input of this arbitrary component functions to constrain the output, producing the polypeptides which demonstrate unambiguous function.

9. From a causal standpoint, the arbitrary component of DNA is transcribed to mRNA, and those mRNA are then used to order tRNA molecules within the ribosome. Each stage of this transcription process is determined by the physical forces of pair bonding. Yet, which amino acid appears at the peptide binding site is not determined by pair bonding; it is determined by the aaRS. In other words, which amino acid appears at the binding site is only evoked by the physical structure of the nucleic triplet, but is not determined by it. Instead, it is determined (in spatial and temporal isolation) by the physical structure of the aaRS. This is the point of translation; the point where the arbitrary component of the representation is allowed to evoke a response in a physically determined system – while preserving the arbitrary nature of the representation.

10. This physical event, translation by a material protocol, as well as the transcription of a material representation, is ubiquitous in the transfer of recorded information.

CONCLUSION: These two physical objects (the representation and protocol) along with the required preservation of the arbitrary component of the representation, and the production of unambiguous function from that arbitrary component, confirm that the transfer of recorded information in the genome is just like any other form of recorded information. It’s an arbitrary relationship instantiated in matter.

The basic logic is true for any system of information transfer. There really should be no argument here. The only reason it is argued is because of the implications. The real argument is the origin of the information.

Here it is visualized.

 
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#93
Haldane is also credited with the quote that if there was a creator, “he has an inordinate fondness for beetles”.

Given that he died over 50 years ago, I’m not sure he is still on the cutting edge.
Well show me the research that refuted what he said! The point is we know how proteins are encoded, and the associated maths follows from that encoding and is totally decisive.

I don't thing the designer was Yaweh, and he/she/them (I favour them) had some strange tastes - beetles, creatures that live by parasitism, and these predator/prey 'arms races' that you see - particularly among insects. That last point is why I think there are multiple designers - perhaps more like Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields. That guy is very intelligent and sees deeply into some of these issues. Sheldrake doesn't like ID - in the sense that the DI mean it, but you need to understand that the real issues aren't about what replaces evolution by natural selection, they are about the fact that evolution by natural selection can't explain the complexity of life.

Show me the paper that dismantles or disproves the conclusions from Wistar. I am pretty sure you won't find anything - the standard approach of modern science is to shuffle past embarrassing conclusions like that - not to get at the truth.

BTW, since evolution is so central the ideas of Skeptiko, I ask you again, why not get you nose dirty - find out what this is all about. Don't you find the subject interesting enough to give it some effort?

David
 
#94
That is a great video!

Just to bring the discussion back to Donald Hoffman, remember that what he and his colleagues did was to prove that assuming evolution by NS, the operation of mutations plus natural selection would result in sense organs that do not reflect reality at all - just a set of icons. This idea destroys space and time and just about all other science!

However, obviously what that theorem can be taken the other way - RM+NS can't be responsible for the structure our sense organs or associated nerves. I suppose the maths is probably very much like what is being discussed in the video. Looked at that way, who can doubt that a similar prooff could be devised to cover digestion, blood circulation, the immune system, etc etc.

Q.E.D

David
 
#95
If Haldane's comment isn't enough, try the meeting of top mathematicians and others, that came to the conclusion that evolution by natural selection was utterly non-viable - back in 1966:

http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/20hist12.htm
You've linked to a (1990s?) christian creationist website.

Never-the-less, are mathematicians qualified to discuss evolution?

Part One:
https://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/07/14/are-mathematicians-qualified-t

Part Two:
https://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/07/15/are-mathematicians-qualified-t-1

Part two touches on Wistar (which happened in 1966 btw... a bit perplexing given some of the up-to-date, in-depth research to which I've been linking) :

I should also point out that while as an attempt to provide mathematical challenges to Neo-Darwinism the conference fell flat, the critics did provide suggestions for how certain basic questions in evolution could be formulated mathematically. Some of their suggestions in this regard were quite sound.
 
#96
If people don't seem to get what you mean by information, I suspect it's not so much from malice or stupidity so much as instilled closed-mindedness. Tom Campbell covers information (as well as closed-mindedness) in an interview with Rick Archer at Buddha at the gas pump starting at around 1h 34m:


The fact is, ANY sequence of nucleotides, and ANY sequence of amino acids that they specify (at the end of a chain of events involving messenger RNA, Transfer RNA and a number of different subcellular organelles, or machinery, if one prefers), is chemically possible. For a chain of (say) 250 amino acids in length, in purely chemical terms, any one of 20^250 possible sequences is perfectly allowable.

How come, then, that reliably in living organisms, we find with extremely high degrees of consistency that one or at most a few minor variations of sequences of (say) 250 amino acids can form a functioning protein? What is it that ensures that a functional sequence is generated (and error-corrected if necessary)? Well, it's more than one thing I suppose, but none of it could happen without the DNA code.

But where in the cell is the code, and the decoding instructions, stored? Look as hard as you like, but I don't think you'll find them. The code and how to decode it appears to be implicit and unrecorded, and isn't looked up from any kind of in situ table. All the processes, all the cellular machinery involved in DNA replication nonetheless seems to operate on a tacit "understanding" of the code. In Tom Campbell's terms, something outside living organisms seems to be imposing on them the part of the simulation rule set that comprises the code.

The code seems just to be part of the way things are. In Bernardo Kastrup's language, it's part of the patterns and regularities of M@L's consciousness. The seemingly "physical" aspects of cells constitute another part of Tom's rule set; they differ from the code in that they can be directly perceived; they aren't purely "conceptual". What about the rules of chemistry? They can't be directly perceived either, only what we can observe of the behaviour of atoms and molecules; and those rules, as I have said, allow any combination of nucleotides and amino acids. The code seems to act like a govering principle that in effect severely limits, in the environment of the cell, what kinds of chemical interactions can occur.

I can't say I fully understand Tom's TOE -- I just have my interpretation of it, but I hope I've got the general gist, and if so, I see valid parallels between it, Bernardo's Idealism, and Hoffman's largely mathematical schema: they are each different models of more or less the same underlying reality. "Information" tentatively seems to me to map to Tom's "rule sets" and Bernardo's "patterns and regularities". I also instinctively resonate with Tom's notion that not only do organisms evolve, but so does M@L (or universal consciousness) itself, and in doing so is constantly creating new rule sets based on the success or failure of prior rule sets. As a conscious entity, it is immensely more powerful than we are, but still, it isn't final and perfect, nor may it ever be.
helpful. thx.
 
#97
You've linked to a (1990s?) christian creationist website.

Never-the-less, are mathematicians qualified to discuss evolution?

Part One:
https://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/07/14/are-mathematicians-qualified-t

Part Two:
https://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/07/15/are-mathematicians-qualified-t-1

Part two touches on Wistar (which happened in 1966 btw... a bit perplexing given some of the up-to-date, in-depth research to which I've been linking) :
OK Malf, if you really can't bring yourself to actually understand the issue, let's leave it at that.

Maths is maths - it doesn't age!

David
 
#99
The objection to evolution by RM+NS isn't that the process is too slow, it is that partly built genes don't contribute any fitness to the organism. Suppose you need a new gene that requires 100 codons to create it. All but the last one or two steps will not add any fitness to the organism - because they don't do anything until they are finished!

Of course the Behe/Hoffman type arguments are on top of that.

You will have to understand a bit of this issue, Malf - and it isn't hard.

David
 
The objection to evolution by RM+NS isn't that the process is too slow, it is that partly built genes don't contribute any fitness to the organism. Suppose you need a new gene that requires 100 codons to create it. All but the last one or two steps will not add any fitness to the organism - because they don't do anything until they are finished!
Just so I'm clear, why do you think that is a problem?
 
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