Intra Ludio - Who Understands Evolution/Creation Should Also be Able to Offer its Most Profound Critique

#1
David Bailey brought up and exemplified a good point in the excellent Marisa Ryan thread:

What do you anticipate ID might actually mean. The idea of Yaweh sitting on a cloud doing biochemistry doesn't really appeal to me - not least because some areas of evolution involve an arms race between two species!
A principle which I had posted in a huddle room in my research lab/company was "One who truly understands an idea, should also be able to offer its most profound critique.' This embodied a principle I later called, intra ludio. It was a reminder to the scientists and techs, to not get too assured in their knowledge of a testing series' ergodicity, and how certain they were as to what the anticipated implications would be. In our critical path sessions - I did not choose a 'Devil's Advocate' nor allow people to attempt to enforce that they were the smartest skeptical person in the room. Rather I challenged the team via this notion - one should be the foremost critic of their own most favored and best understood contentions - that I needed to see such circumspection in order to observe professional and scientific maturity.

(note: this is the opposite of what Jeff Bezos uses in his executive sessions at Amazon - that method produces hordes of enormous egos who are only successful by default, not by competence)

As a result, two year experienced techs, were not afraid to raise ideas nor concerns (even more important - cuz things in the lab could literally explode and endanger lab occupants) - and two decade tenured scientists would be required to challenge old dogma's before the group. At first this was ego-deflating for some. But after a while, most found that they were indeed teaching so much to the techs and junior researchers, that it became inspiring to manage series testing in such a fashion. It was fun, but even more importantly, was effective. The team got it, and worked very well together under that philosophy. My team retention rates were extraordinary and people sought to work for the company.

(note: as a reader may have gleaned, this is part of the reasons why I disfavor fake skepticism... but that is another track of discussion entirely. :))

One key sign of appeal to authority, is when an assertion is assumed to have had all of its loose ends wrapped up, and the implication is raised that there are no longer any questions of critical merit which remain and no falsifying/outlier data which exists of any significance. Any gaps in our understanding constitute peripheral and non-critical adjustments to standing theory.

I am an evolutionist and believe that science's past ability to predict, by means of the morphological feature classifications and progressions of life (phylogeny), the DNA-confirmed speciation from a common origin of life, into its current array of expression - remains the crowning achievement of science. That being said, I also possess some critical concerns about both evolution as a philosophical/paradigm panacea, and extrapolation of its tenets into the origin of life, nature of spirit and ontological basis of our existence. Not that this is a bifurcation (my apologies); however, to keep the discussion focused:

If you are an evolutionist - what is your most profound critique of the construct?​
If you are a creationist - what is your most profound critique of the construct?​
 
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#2
If you are an evolutionist - what is your most profound critique of the construct?If you are a creationist - what is your most profound critique of the construct?
I think it is better to use the term "believer in evolution by natural selection" here rather than evolutionist.

I certainly don't want to be classed as a creationist - how about "believer that natural selection cannot be primarily responsible for evolution".

That is a far clumsier terminology, but also more accurate.

Michael would (I think) also argue that the very tree of life is somewhat in doubt, even if the engine of evolution is left undetermined. Remember that if we invoke ID, the fact that species A and B are genetically similar, means nothing. The designer may possess a file of great ideas that he uses over and over!

OK - my best criticism of ID is that there is a danger that it can reduce to a hypothesis that can't possibly be refuted.

Moving a bit further, it seems to me that the Cambrian explosion may suggest that this intelligence only has finite power - that it has to do experiments and discover what works best. Indeed an infinite intelligence could presumably just create modern humans in one go, but unless he was also devious to leave a fake fossil trail, that would have been pretty obvious.

David
 
#3
Probably a better split out David, than simply Evolutionist and Creationist. It fits what is enforced today by religious Darwinists - if you raise a concern at all, then you are a creationist. Even as an evolutionist, that social enforcement grates on my nerves when fake skeptics pull it. Nonetheless, here is a concern I have raised, which bothers me significantly:

My first focus of critique is on the 43 Human Accelerated Regions of the human genome. They are key regions which are conserved in vertebrates all the way through and including pan troglodytes (chimps), but were not present or were replaced in small blocks in homo sapiens, despite our common ancestry. They are short, on average 250 base pairs in length, and contiguous indel-sub (insertion, deletion, substitution) stretches of DNA. Blocks in which the conserved sequences were subjected to significantly, in many cases dramatically, higher rates of substitution. (Levchenko, et al.; Genome Biology and Evolution, 2018 Jan; 10(1): 166–188)

About 11,000 base pairs in total data. The most recent measure of the genus homo lineage mutation rate places any particular base pair mutation at about once every 250 million years. This is faster than the historical rate of vertebrate mutation, but what the heck, lets use it anyway for conservancy. So, that means that one of these base pairs mutates every 22,727 years, even at the recent (higher) measures of homo lineage mutation rates. (Nachman, Crowell; Genetics Society of America; Estimate of the Mutation Rate per Nucleotide in Humans; 19 May 2000)

Given that the genus homo and its predecessors diverged from their common ancestor with pan troglodytes a mere 8 mya, this offers us enough time for 352 of this block of indel-sub genes to actually mutate.

1. Yet 11,000 mutated, not 352 - hence 'accelerated'.
2. The mutations all targeted specific neural, cerebral and appendage morphologies. (Levchenko)
3. The mutations were in contiguous blocks. (Levchenko)
4. The HAR mutations were successful on the first trial, and did not require the failure-culling and trial-selections robust enough to have precipitated their success in a classic evolutionary context.
5. The mutations did not exhibit the third letter of the codon bias, which characterizes the vast majority of mutations.

This is a big problem. Or what I call a 'critical path issue'.
 
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#4
I realize the purpose of this thread is to have people criticize their own beliefs not support them, but naturalism is taught in schools and universities while intelligent design is not - so it might be helpful to get everyone on the same page by encouraging naturalists to investigate what intelligent design is all about.

This section of my blog has links to articles on intelligent design:

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articles-and-links-arranged-by-subject.html#articles_by_subject_id
 
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#5
I realize the purpose of this thread is to have people criticize their own beliefs not support them
I hope the primary aim of this thread is to discuss what exactly ID means - I mean I take it as essentially certain that natural selection is not an explanation, so how do we see ID actually working?

David
 
#6
I realize the purpose of this thread is to have people criticize their own beliefs not support them, but naturalism is taught in schools and universities while intelligent design is not - so it might be helpful to get everyone on the same page by encouraging naturalists to investigate what intelligent design is all about.
Intelligent Design is not one construct. It is a construct domain. It also is not theory - rather just a group of hunches, religious insistence and interesting constructs with some research work. It is like having a 'human expression' class, and in it are psychologists, musicians, counselors, corporate raiders, despots and rapists. All forms of human expression. But the name sounds good.

The first critique then here is to one's one favored idea, would be - It is not actually an idea.

It is not taught, because it is not a thing. In order to be a thing (logical object or sentence in science), one has to define and propose a specific hypothesis, then thresh it upon the working board of theory, with a null hypothesis. ID has none of this.

Otherwise, there is nothing to teach. I could define the course syllabus, but then 45 teachers would burst in the door, all with different messages and all throwing erasers and chalk at each other and yelling. As a student I would get up and leave.
 
#7
My first focus of critique is on the 43 Human Accelerated Regions of the human genome. They are key regions which are conserved in vertebrates all the way through and including pan troglodytes (chimps), but were not present or were replaced in small blocks in homo sapiens, despite our common ancestry. They are short, on average 250 base pairs in length, and contiguous indel-sub (insertion, deletion, substitution) stretches of DNA. Blocks in which the conserved sequences were subjected to significantly, in many cases dramatically, higher rates of substitution. (Levchenko, et al.; Genome Biology and Evolution, 2018 Jan; 10(1): 166–188)

About 11,000 base pairs in total data. The most recent measure of the genus homo lineage mutation rate places any particular base pair mutation at about once every 250 million years. This is faster than the historical rate of vertebrate mutation, but what the heck, lets use it anyway for conservancy. So, that means that one of these base pairs mutates every 22,727 years, even at the recent (higher) measures of homo lineage mutation rates. (Nachman, Crowell; Genetics Society of America; Estimate of the Mutation Rate per Nucleotide in Humans; 19 May 2000)

Given that the genus homo and its predecessors diverged from their common ancestor with pan troglodytes a mere 8 mya, this offers us enough time for 352 of this block of indel-sub genes to actually mutate.

1. Yet 11,000 mutated, not 352 - hence 'accelerated'.
2. The mutations all targeted specific neural, cerebral and appendage morphologies. (Levchenko)
3. The mutations were in contiguous blocks. (Levchenko)
4. The HAR mutations were successful on the first trial, and did not require the failure-culling and trial-selections robust enough to have precipitated their success in a classic evolutionary context.
5. The mutations did not exhibit the third letter of the codon bias, which characterizes the vast majority of mutations.
First you need to realise that I am a PhD chemist (nothing whatever to do with biochemistry) who moved on from chemistry to software development about 40 years ago - so you probably need to unpack that somewhat.

As I understand it, genes that code for critical parts of our genome, vary very slowly because almost all the mutations are lethal. If a block of DNA suddenly starts to mutate more quickly, one explanation might be that the gene in question had been superseded by something else, and became unimportant.

Some mutations change a codon but leave the amino acid that is coded for the same - I wonder which we are talking about here. Also, as I understand it, even those mutations can have consequences because they can vary the frequency at which a gene is expressed.

Perhaps you are suggesting that these fast mutations were the result of ID in action?

Referring to your reply to Jim, I'd say that in practice at this stage, ID is about ruling out the concept that biology was all constructed by the process of natural selection, or mechanisms that ultimately boil down to natural selection.

David
 
#10
I hope the primary aim of this thread is to discuss what exactly ID means - I mean I take it as essentially certain that natural selection is not an explanation, so how do we see ID actually working?

David
Intelligent design is the science of looking for evidence of design in nature and making logical scientific arguments that the action of intelligence is the best explanation for that evidence.

https://www.discovery.org/v/what-is-intelligent-design/

You don't have to explain how gravity works to show the same force that causes apples to fall from a tree to the earth is also responsible for the orbiting of the planets around the sun. Likewise, you don't have to identify the designer or prove a mechanism to argue the best explanation for specific examples of a code, cybernetic systems, irreducible complexity, mathematical fine tuning or information in nature is the result of the same type of intelligent action we see humans using to produce these things. When an archaeologist concludes that a flint arrowhead found buried in the ground was produced by a human and is not a chip of flint produced by an avalanche, he is practicing intelligent design.

Intelligent design uses the same mode of logic used by many early naturalists, such as Darwin's mentor geologist Charles Lyell, who argued that phenomena which occurred in the remote past should be explained through causes known to be effective in the present time. Advocates of intelligent design argue that intelligence is a cause we see operating in humans today and in certain cases intelligence is the best explanation for evidence we see in nature.

Many Nobel prize winning scientists believed the best explanation for certain scientific evidence is that the universe was designed. These Nobel prize winners include Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Guglielmo Marconi, Brian Josephson, William Phillips, Richard Smalley, Arno Penzias, Charles Townes, Arthur Compton, Antony Hewish, Christian Anfinsen, Walter Kohn, Arthur Schawlow. Other great scientists also believed this, they include Charles Darwin, Sir Fred Hoyle, John von Neumann, Wernher von Braun, and Louis Pasteur.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers
 
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#11
Intelligent design is the science of identifying evidence of design in nature and making logical arguments that intelligence is the best explanation for that evidence.

https://www.discovery.org/v/what-is-intelligent-design/

You don't have to explain how gravity works to show the same force that causes apples to fall from a tree to the earth is also responsible for the orbiting of the planets around the sun.
Were I an ID proponent, I would be rather rough on my colleagues, for leaving me bereft of the tools necessary to research my preferred alternative as a scientist, and here is why:

A hypothesis which posits that speciation occurs via natural allele means is defined, specific and scientific. This is part of the reason it stands as the null hypothesis. That means that it has
1. prior art from which it leverages its risk in incremental fashion,
2. supporting intelligence (data-->information-->intelligence)
3. a mechanism of cause and effect which is measurable/observable
4. predictive/explanatory power, and
5. is parsimonious.

It does not purport to answer everything.

Intelligent Design offers us none of these features of a scientific hypothesis.
1. It has no prior art, unless you count aliens or God. Which are not scientific epistemologies.
2. ID has very little supporting data-->information-->intelligence. Mainly because it has no definition. Gravity at least has a definition - knowing the cause (as you cite) is not the issue at hand - as that is a red herring. It is Wittgenstein definition which qualifies a hypothesis, not simply 'knowing cause.'
3. ID bears no mechanism of measurable effect - save for '[God] did it' - and that is not a hypothesis.
4. ID is abysmal in its explanatory and predictive power, and
5. ID is fanciful and varies dramatically in definition by the person proposing it.

It is pseudo-theory at this moment in science. It purports to answer everything with one conclusion.

So, 'observing the design' in things bears no Wittgenstein utility - no matter how many scientists express their heartfelt desire to examine the issue further. It only serves to tug at the heart. Is it wrong? I dunno... the jury is still out. But more importantly, it is not science. Right now it simply comprises a group of ideas along with a general distaste for natural selection. It thrives upon a total misconception as to the role of the null hypothesis (a misconception shared by evolutionists, nihilists and skeptics as well - who insist that one is supposed to 'believe' the null hypothesis).

What most ID proponents do not get:

DNA study inside evolutionary science is ironically your friend, as an ID proponent... not your enemy. Eventually DNA study may possibly show if there is handiwork inside life, but it will do so by means of falsifying hypotheses which are vetted upon the threshing board of evolutionary theory and its discipline of hypothesis and null hypothesis.
 
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#12
Were I an ID proponent, I would be rather rough on my colleagues, for leaving me bereft of the tools necessary to research my preferred alternative as a scientist, and here is why:

A hypothesis which posits that speciation occurs via natural allele means is defined, specific and scientific. This is part of the reason it stands as the null hypothesis. That means that it has
1. prior art from which it leverages its risk in incremental fashion,
2. supporting intelligence (data-->information-->intelligence)
3. a mechanism of cause and effect which is measurable/observable
4. predictive/explanatory power, and
5. is parsimonious.

It does not purport to answer everything.

Intelligent Design offers us none of these features of a scientific hypothesis.
1. It has no prior art, unless you count aliens or God. Which are not scientific epistemologies.
2. ID has very little supporting data-->information-->intelligence. Mainly because it has no definition. Gravity at least has a definition - knowing the cause (as you cite) is not the issue at hand - as that is a red herring. It is Wittgenstein definition which qualifies a hypothesis, not cause.
3. ID bears no mechanism of measurable cause and effect - save for '[God] did it' - and that is not a hypothesis.
4. ID is abysmal in its explanatory and predictive power, and
5. ID is fanciful and varies dramatically in definition by the person proposing it.

It is pseudo-theory at this moment in science. It purports to answer everything with one conclusion.

So, 'observing the design' in things bears no Wittgenstein utility - no matter how many scientists express their heartfelt desire to examine the issue further. It only serves to tug at the heart. Is it wrong? I dunno... the jury is still out. But it is not science. Right now it is just a group of ideas and a general dislike of natural selection. It thrives upon a total misconception as to the role of the null hypothesis (a misconception shared by evolutionists, nihilist and skeptics as well).

What most ID proponents do not get:

DNA study inside evolutionary science is ironically your friend, as an ID proponent... not your enemy. Eventually DNA study may possibly show if there is handiwork inside life, but it will do so by means of falsifying hypotheses which are vetted upon the threshing board of evolutionary theory and its discipline of hypothesis and null hypothesis.
Actually, that is beautiful.

It is my suspicion that there will always be some inherent mystery in "matter" that our monkey brains will never fully grapple to the ground. Given that, I guess the ID proponent deserves some sympathy for invoking historical and cultural entities (god, aliens) to offset the mystery.
 
#13
Actually, that is beautiful.

It is my suspicion that there will always be some inherent mystery in "matter" that our monkey brains will never fully grapple to the ground. Given that, I guess the ID proponent deserves some sympathy for invoking historical and cultural entities (god, aliens) to offset the mystery.
Hey Malf, thanks for the kind welcome. Great to be back! :)
 
#14
Pathologizing versus ally-advisement. Discerning the difference.

My encouragement on developing hypothesis, serves to elicit a key tenet of ethical skepticism: that of the difference between ally-advising and 'pathologizing'. Pathologizing is a term framed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Skin in the Game. It is what fake skeptics and other forms of poseur do to these subjects and to us as people.

My framing of Intelligent Design versus the standards of hypothesis is friendly peer advisement. I love your avenue of quest - I want more of it. 'Here is the way to develop a hypothesis', 'Here is what I would need in order to fund this idea for genetic research', 'Evolutionary theory discipline is your friend, not your enemy' etc. It is specific on help, encouraging on subject and mute on persons, personal habits, eccentricities and preferences. Those are actually strengths to an organization, not weaknesses. Aside from standing in the gap when pathologizing begins to show: Fakers focus on foibles.

Turning construct into actual hypothesis is the fifth step in the Scientific Method.

What fake skeptics and poseurs (Nassim Taleb's Intellectual Yet Idiot- IYI) do is to pathologize persons who act differently than do they, and subjects they fear or dislike. They seek to establish a 'halo of condemnation' upon them as a first step in discourse in the context of a social environment. They focus on personal traits and not upon prosecuting the subject at hand. 'You tend to be a bad scientist', or 'you tend to lack ability to communicate', or 'you tend to pursue 'pseudoscience'', 'your work is highly this or that', or 'you tend to be credulous', or 'you lack skills in applying critical thinking' etc.. What one finds in managing labs and corporations, is that detecting such red herring agency is the key hint as to whom is trustworthy and who is carrying a loam of concealed ego, which will ultimately serve to explode upon the investigation/project/problem.

It helps the ethical lab or research team manager discern who merely wants to be in control and receive accolade, versus those who truly have skin in the game. This is one of the reasons why having proponents critique their own favored ideas - works.
 
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#15
What one finds in managing labs and corporations, is that detecting such red herring agency is the key hint as to whom is trustworthy and who is carrying a loam of concealed ego, which will ultimately serve to explode upon the investigation/project/problem.
This observation is very true, and one I've seen play out many times in my personal and professional life. Character assassination as a first resort in any discourse is a Wizard of Oz, do-not-look-behind-the-curtain moment for me, lest you see all my ideas and cheerished beliefs are made from craft glue and popsicle sticks.

For me, these are people who are guided by self preservation and fear. If you are lucky enough to experience social ostracism at a formative age, it tends to inoculate one from this pitfall later in life, in my experience.

There is a certain Spartan-esque calcifing of the senses and distrust of herd mentality when you realize it's all on you, and that standing alone in thought, if necessary, is not to be feared.

The real thing to worry about is have you done the work? Have you interrogated your assumptions? Are you complacent in your beliefs?
 
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