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

As for Haldane's comment, perhaps it is a bit dated. Today the mistress of teleology is considered to be just one of the boys. Her presence is everywhere but never acknowledged. :) However she is very useful.

Biology cannot avoid using teleological language to describe function. As was stated in the last video I posted. Systems biology does better research and makes more discoveries by assuming teleology even if it is not believed. It is always better to assume function.

A good case in point is junk DNA. The field was set back decades on the Darwinian assumption that the majority of the genome was mere junk accumulated through the assumed random and haphazard process of random mutation. No one really wanted to bother with studying useless junk.

The encode project confirmed the teleological / design prediction that it is not so.

No one denies that life appears designed. Microbiology shows the cell operates by apparent nano machines built and operated by software like code that "appears" designed to do so.

The fallback is that this design is without a designer and it is just an illusion. Darwinism seemed to have confirmed this for a very long time. Thanks to microbiology Darwinism is in tatters and this illusion has never been justified as being an illusion.
 
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You guys argue semantics way too much, this is what happens when the esoteric/philosophical side of this is not properly studied. It's semantics verse monotheistic religions, why not study what the demiurge is, the qabballah, etc you're missing key points this is basically dogmatic Christianity arguing against dogmatic science
 
As for Haldane's comment, perhaps it is a bit dated. Today the mistress of teleology is considered to be just one of the boys. Her presence is everywhere but never acknowledged. :) However she is very useful.

Biology cannot avoid using teleological language to describe function. As was stated in the last video I posted. Systems biology does better research and makes more discoveries by assuming teleology even if it is not believed. It is always better to assume function.
This could be a limitation of language.

A good case in point is junk DNA. The field was set back decades on the Darwinian assumption that the majority of the genome was mere junk accumulated through the assumed random and haphazard process of random mutation. No one really wanted to bother with studying useless junk.

The encode project confirmed the teleological / design prediction that it is not so.
How does junk DNA fit into your “designed” model of evolution

No one denies that life appears designed.
It is utterly remarkable, I agree.
 
How does junk DNA fit into your “designed” model of evolution
The non coding junk DNA myth was a product of Darwinian philosophy. It was not expected that the non coding regions (junk) would massively dwarf the functional protein coding regions under the design hypothesis. This has turned out to be true. Much of the non coding regions once considered junk has now be found to functional. I think redundancy and dormancy would also be expected. Since random mutation is a real process it would also not rule out at least some junk, however for the sake of discovery it should never be just assumed. It was once considered that a massive 97 to 98 percent of the genome was junk as this would expected in a blind and random process.
 
The non coding junk DNA myth was a product of Darwinian philosophy. It was not expected that the non coding regions (junk) would massively dwarf the functional protein coding regions under the design hypothesis. This has turned out to be true. Much of the non coding regions once considered junk has now be found to functional. I think redundancy and dormancy would also be expected. Since random mutation is a real process it would also not rule out at least some junk, however for the sake of discovery it should never be just assumed. It was once considered that a massive 97 to 98 percent of the genome was junk as this would expected in a blind and random process.
Right - and just to add to that, geneticists were amazed that so few genes (just over 20,000 as I remember it) were present in the DNA when it was first decoded. I suppose the expected that most of it (with the exception of some highly repetitive sections) would turn out to code for distinct proteins.

David
 
You guys argue semantics way too much, this is what happens when the esoteric/philosophical side of this is not properly studied. It's semantics verse monotheistic religions, why not study what the demiurge is, the qabballah, etc you're missing key points this is basically dogmatic Christianity arguing against dogmatic science
I am Pagan myself, I have posted quite a bit on the Demiurge and esoteric views.

You can check out the thread I started about Donald Hoffman here a few months back, I talk a little about this.
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...onald-hoffman-on-conscious-agent-theory.4435/

My personal interest in this has nothing to do with organised religion and everything to do with my personal experiences with altered states. There is a web (network) of consciousness that permeates everything. I have encountered it hundreds of times, eventually I am able to see it with open eyes in three dimensional space. Of course I can not prove it but I have spoken to many others that have had the same experience. It is there every single time for me without fail. I refer to it as my old friend. I absolutely know it is real.

This web is symbolized by the cosmic serpent in ancient myth because It appears as tendrils of iridescent living energy. It is symbolized all throughout the ancient world, it is the serpent of paganism. The symbol of wisdom, the creative life force, rebirth, transformation, fertility, divination and healing. It is the manifestation of the life force that animates. The divine breath of life, for example...

The Gnostic Orphics and Phanes emerging from the cosmic egg entwined in a serpent. (orph/oph = serpent), Sophia of gnosticism, the messenger of wisdom in Eden, the Celtic serpent or dragon, the Egyptian, Greek and Norse ouroboros, the Norse ond and Jormungandr midgard serpent, the Inuit silla, the Greek aether, the Polynesian mana, The Hindu kundalini and semi divine naga, chi, KI etc... perhaps even the holy spirit of Christianity, the list could go on and on. It is the common thread and it is real and accessible. I'd be happy to go into more details of what happens personally to me but I'm often reluctant to talk about myself, although I just did. :)
 
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You guys argue semantics way too much, this is what happens when the esoteric/philosophical side of this is not properly studied. It's semantics verse monotheistic religions, why not study what the demiurge is, the qabballah, etc you're missing key points this is basically dogmatic Christianity arguing against dogmatic science
I don't use the same language, but surely I am not arguing in favour of Christianity, but I sure am arguing against dogmatic science.

David
 
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Right - and just to add to that, geneticists were amazed that so few genes (just over 20,000 as I remember it) were present in the DNA when it was first decoded. I suppose the expected that most of it (with the exception of some highly repetitive sections) would turn out to code for distinct proteins.

David
It's not necessarily in favor but on the same pulse, it's ingrained
 
Just so I'm clear, why do you think that is a problem?
Well because incomplete genes contribute nothing to an organism's fitness, and so are not selected for by natural selection. Darwin's whole theory is based on small steps, each of which confers a small increment of fitness.

DNA just isn't like that. Until a gene is almost finished it does nothing in any way useful. That in turn means that each mutation can go in roughly 20 possible ways - only one of which is the 'correct' one. That leaves 20 gene variants, only one of which might be useful if it ever got finished. Then after round two, you have ~400 gene variants to play with. A typical protein has hundreds of amino acid bases - say 200. That means that without natural selection the number of possible variants might be 20^200, or about 16 followed by 259 zeros - do you see the problem?

David
 
There 20-25,000 human genes, but we may produce significantly more proteins than that. For example, there are different active parts of genes (exons) that can sometimes be combined in different ways (alternatively spliced) to produce, effectively, two or more genes, and in turn two or more proteins. Then again, sometimes, one strand of DNA can be simultaneously read in one direction, and its complement in the opposite direction; and there may be, who knows, other ways in which different instructions can be extracted from the same genetic information.

Think of a modular program containing a number of subroutines, where the main program thread only calls on some of them according to how it's parameterised. On one pass, it may call on subroutines (akin to exons) A and B; on another pass, subroutines A and C, producing different results (akin to different proteins).

Things aren't as simple as thinking of chromosomes as containing many different (but discrete) genes interspersed with what used to be called "junk" DNA. In effect, there are multiple, overlapping codes and they need some kind of coordination in order for the genome to operate properly. Much of the "junk" DNA may in fact act in a regulatory fashion, be like sections of the main program referred to in the previous paragraph.

A random mutation in one exon wouldn't necessarily affect just one gene, thereby altering one protein. It could affect two or more proteins, potentially screwing up all their functions. Which is maybe why cellular processes make extraordinary efforts to try to ensure any errors are corrected before they lead to deleterious consequences. The basic neo-Darwinian idea that life evolves by random mutations in single genes is plainly open to question. Changing even a single nucleotide in a given DNA sequence could have extensive ramifications.

Implicitly, the cell operates as if somehow it "knows" all the processes going on in itself, and how to switch between and coordinate them according to differing internal and external influences. Indeed, some of the "third way" evolutionary people seem to speak as if cells possess intelligence. I don't personally think they do, because they'd have to be more intelligent than any of us are. I suspect the intelligence lies in the consciousness of whatever it is that programs the algorithms of cellular activity.

To be perhaps more precise, it's not that nature in all its seeming diversity and amazing complexity is literally real -- that there really are cells and proteins and all the rest which have been programmed to behave in certain ways. Convenient as it might be to speak like that, it might be more appropriate to think in terms of appearances: in Hoffman's terms, of cells and proteins etc. as being icons of what they actually represent; in Kastrup's terms, of processes occurring in the mind of M@L; in Campbell's terms, of artefacts of the simulation we're all living in.

Why do biologists hang on to absurdly unsophisticated understandings of living systems? Physicists are more open-minded, as illustrated in the following video (yesterday, I watched a differently edited and narrated version of this on the BBC):


Having said that, physicists are still somewhat schizophrenic; they talk sometimes in terms of particles as if they're real, and sometimes in terms of rather more nebulous probability distributions. Like Tom Campbell says, sometimes they conflate their models of reality with what might actually be real, and out of that, confused and inconsistent thinking might arise.

Get rid of the literalist, particulate conception of reality, and the physicists begin to feel uncomfortable; but biologists might feel just as, perhaps even more, uncomfortable.
 
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Things aren't as simple as thinking of chromosomes as containing many different (but discrete) genes interspersed with what used to be called "junk" DNA. In effect, there are multiple, overlapping codes and they need some kind of coordination in order for the genome to operate properly. Much of the "junk" DNA may in fact act in a regulatory fashion, be like sections of the main program referred to in the previous paragraph.
Nested coding was another successful teleological / design prediction by microbiologist Siegfried Scherer.

“This would be very difficult to explain by random mutation and natural selection because if you randomly mutate one message you are going to invariably destroy the other one if it’s layered on top.” - Stephen Meyer
 

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Think of a modular program containing a number of subroutines, where the main program thread only calls on some of them according to how it's parameterised. On one pass, it may call on subroutines (akin to exons) A and B; on another pass, subroutines A and C, producing different results (akin to different proteins).
thx... new to me... great analogy.


To be perhaps more precise, it's not that nature in all its seeming diversity and amazing complexity is literally real -- that there really are cells and proteins and all the rest which have been programmed to behave in certain ways. Convenient as it might be to speak like that, it might be more appropriate to think in terms of appearances: in Hoffman's terms, of cells and proteins etc. as being icons of what they actually represent; in Kastrup's terms, of processes occurring in the mind of M@L; in Campbell's terms, of artefacts of the simulation we're all living in.
but isn't tom campbell stuck in the same box/paradox that hoffman is... i.e. simulation of what? mathematical model of what?
 
I posted this in the other Donald Hoffman thread, I thought it is worthwhile posting here.

It ties together concepts from both Bernardo's and Donald's concepts, Jung's psychology, sentient dream alters, quantum physics, emergent space-time, holographic principles and quantum cognition into a framework of idealism.

There is a fascinating overview of some quantum biology experiments done with rats dosed with different isotopes of lithium. Despite having identical chemical attributes the rats behavior was significantly different. The only difference would be the different quantum state of the molecules as there is no difference chemically. This seems to indicate that brains or consciousness is related to quantum effects as quantum cognition suggests and the different quantum states are interacting with the quantum state of the mind.

I think this is actually how psychedelics work. Consciousness as a quantum effect is altered by the quantum state of these pseudo neurotransmitter molecules and not actually by the chemistry. This line of reasoning could lead to a significant breakthrough IMO.

I have watched it a couple of times. It is very thought provoking.

Could Autonomous Agents Lie Beneath Emergent Spacetime?

 
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Well because incomplete genes contribute nothing to an organism's fitness, and so are not selected for by natural selection. Darwin's whole theory is based on small steps, each of which confers a small increment of fitness.
No argument here. Only expressed genes can be subject to NS. They have nothing to contribute to ‘evolution’



DNA just isn't like that. Until a gene is almost finished it does nothing in any way useful. That in turn means that each mutation can go in roughly 20 possible ways - only one of which is the 'correct' one.
I see you put ‘correct’ in quotation marks and I guess that’s the main problem (it may not be the only problem, but I’ll need to re read some of that ool research to be sure).

Again, ‘correct’ assumes there was a predetermined sequence ‘in mind’. A series of, say, a billion, coin tosses would give an extremely unlikely result if you looked at it afterwards and assumed it was put together that ‘correct’ way, with a purpose. That said, if there is a god/intelligent designer I prefer him stacking his little molecules in order, rather than worrying about where we stick our genitals etc.
 
No argument here. Only expressed genes can be subject to NS. They have nothing to contribute to ‘evolution’





I see you put ‘correct’ in quotation marks and I guess that’s the main problem (it may not be the only problem, but I’ll need to re read some of that ool research to be sure).

Again, ‘correct’ assumes there was a predetermined sequence ‘in mind’. A series of, say, a billion, coin tosses would give an extremely unlikely result if you looked at it afterwards and assumed it was put together that ‘correct’ way, with a purpose. That said, if there is a god/intelligent designer I prefer him stacking his little molecules in order, rather than worrying about where we stick our genitals etc.
Ha ha - I put the word correct in quotes because if we assume Darwinism the whole thing is running blind - as you know - so it is only our viewpoint that makes it correct - hence the quotes. Yes you can reasonably say that RM+NS is looking for anything useful, but the problem is that it looks as though useful proteins are an incredibly small subset of all random proteins.

How about getting some other types of designers into your head? After all, a designer that tools up a predator/prey pair of organisms in a sort of arms race, is unlikely to worry too much about how we use our genitals - LOL! The most you might expect, is a designer that wants us to use our genitals in a loving sort of way.

I think Behe's results imply that the designer is still active, because otherwise organisms would be running down because of mutations, so I like to think that trainee designers may be allowed to have a go at tweaking the genomes of various organisms - sort of like chemistry practical classes! I definitely think there were/are multiple designers involved. Of course the DI may not want to emphasis that idea.

Another thought is to imagine the designers working rather like remote viewers. They would view the outcome of various possible changes, and see the end result (remember the hints that time may be different in non-material realms). This might enable them to bypass all the messy chemistry involved in evaluating changes. Such a process might not be 100 million miles removed from the concept behind quantum computing.

David
 
thx... new to me... great analogy. but isn't tom campbell stuck in the same box/paradox that hoffman is... i.e. simulation of what? mathematical model of what?
The way I see it, all 3 models (Kastrup's, Hoffman's and Campbell's) are just that: models. Each is a descriptive means of trying to explain reality; and each has its strengths and weaknesses. What each is trying to explain using different metaphors (because in the end, that's what they are) is the same thing. Despite the different approaches/lexicons they employ, I sense a fair degree of consilience -- not least that the world as our perceptions present it to us isn't reality as it intrinsically is.

Campbell says (in the Batgap video I posted) in so many words that he doesn't make the mistake of confusing his model with reality; he knows it's a model, and says that we're all perfectly free to come up with our own models. Bernardo knows he is using metaphorical language (whirlpool, "dissociative disorder", and so on). Hoffman knows the limitations of science and mathematics and is perfectly prepared to find out his ideas are wrong. In any case, I wouldn't be surprised if he knows that what he ends up with, even if it has good explanatory and predictive power (better than now at any rate), still won't actually be reality.

What is Campbell's simulation simulating? To me it seems obvious: reality, whatever the heck that might be. A reality similar to that in Bernardo's objective idealism, where things-in-themselves appear to sensory perception in certain ways, but we can't apprehend their intrinsic nature. A reality that Hoffman with his "icon" metaphor is trying to represent mathematically.

All three are attempts at the impossible (or maybe just the very difficult). As we sit, chained down to benches in Plato's cave, forced to watch the play of shadows on the back wall, some people may have escaped and be trying devise an escape plan for us. Others may not have escaped yet (like Bernardo, Campbell and Hoffman?), but out of the corners of their eyes can see something a bit different from what they see on the wall. They have been prompted by the escapees to practise this art of squinting, and are trying to convey their notions to others using the language of the shadows to convey their dawning perceptions.

It's the only language they have, and they know it isn't quite up to the job of conveying an inkling of what they think they see, but nonetheless they try. The escapees know that the prisoners aren't really chained; that at any time they can simply stand up and walk out. Their chains represent their ties to the shadow world; and they seem unbreakable, but in reality don't even exist.
 
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