Thursday, May 30, 2013

"The Best Science Book Ever Written"

Some economist named George Gilder has read Darwin's Doubt, the latest IDiot book. Gilder says ...
I spend my life reading science books. I've read many hundreds of them over the years, and in my judgment Darwin's Doubt is the best science book ever written. It is a magnificent work, a true masterpiece that will be read for hundreds of years.
See David Klinghoffer gloat about this at: George Gilder: Darwin's Doubt Is "Best Science Book Ever Written," "Will Be Read for Hundreds of Years".

Are you still wondering why I call them IDiots?

UPDATE: George Gilder is one of the co-founders of the Discovery Institute and the author of the book (Stephen Meyer) works for the Discovery Institute. Just saying .. I'm sure the relationship has no bearing on Gilder's review and I'm sure it's completely above board for someone like George Gilder to be quoted in a blurb on the cover. If there was anything wrong then surely David Klinghoffer would have mentioned it in his blog post. (This is one of those cases where "IDiots" might be too kind.)


106 comments :

  1. That name seems familiar. I think PZ tore Gilder a new one over something he said a few years back.

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    1. And of course we all know PZ is a lightweight....sooooo...we can all expect a deep discount when buying into anything PZ has to offer...

      PZ...its so easy....to ignore you

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    2. PZ...its so easy....to ignore you

      And you're demonstrating that perfectly, champ! *Buddy Jesus wink and thumbs up*

      Delete
  2. George Gilder is not only a "techno-utopian economist and New York Times bestselling author". He's also a Senior Fellow with the Discovery Institute:

    http://www.discovery.org/p/10

    I guess that just slipped Klinghoffer's mind....

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  3. Gilder is the co-founder of the Discovery Institute; according to wikipedia, his college roommate was Bruce Chapman, the current president of the Discotute.

    He is to my knowledge in no way a professional economist, and has no higher degree in that or any other field. The rest can be seen on the wikipedia page. I recommend perusing his thoroughly classy views on women and feminism.

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  4. The chances that Meyer's new book is "the best science book ever written" are about the same as the chances that I would ever listen to George Gilder for investment advice.

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  5. Is there a drug that induces sustained megalomania? Just asking.

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    1. Yep, it's called YTDAIPOTACOTU (You're The Direct And Intended Purpose Of The Almighty Creator Of The Universe) and was used as a preservative in really old fables.

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    2. Hitchens on the “humility” of the religious:

      It is the, only the most extraordinarily self-centered species, could imagine that all this was going on for our sake, that’s why I don’t like people saying that their religious faith is modest or humble. It’s the reverse, it’s unbelievably soliphistic and that’s why you get people apparently abject, much too abject for my taste like Mother Teresa. Oh, I’m so humbled I can hardly bother to feed myself, but out of my way because I’m on a mission from God. No, this is arrogance, as a matter of fact, and it claims to know what it cannot know.

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    3. ah yes, Hitchens. Such an expert on humility. Wrote the book on it. Lived it every second of his life and knows it backwards and forwards. Modest enough to decide for others whether they are truly modest or only phony modest.

      Such a humble man. When he speaks about humility, the room must grow silent.

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    4. Andy, I'm sure you're humble. Then again, you have much to be humble about.

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    5. and Jeffrey, I hope that you are humble about that sense of humor of yours.
      It would only be fitting.

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    6. I can't recall Hitchens ever claiming to be a humble man. And that he wasn't humble has no bearing on his criticisms of those who falsely claim humility for themselves.

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    7. it certainly DOES have a bearing if said matter of humility claims being 'false' is merely subjective. If someone does not himself practice humility, or have much acquaintance with it, why should his subjective judgement of another's humility/false humility be considered a reliable barometer?

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    8. So, by your reasoning, if someone claims to be 7 feet tall, but is only 5' 6", I can't point out that they are lying about their height, unless I am myself 7 feet tall. Good reasoning there, andyboerger.

      And, yes, I know you said you are talking about "subjective" traits, but that doesn't matter. One does not have to possess a quality themselves, whether subjective or objective, in order to judge it in the people and things that surrounds one. If I think some food tastes too salty, that is a subjective judgement. And I don't have to be a salty piece of food myself to make it. Or maybe you think I do?

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    9. Andy, I have a great sense of humor. For example, when I read that you "offer “healing art”; commissioned paintings that I refer to as “Soul Paintings”, I burst out laughing.

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    10. Well that explains a lot.

      Looking forward to a discussion of the healing properties of Soul Paintings in a peer reviewed medical journal.

      Just who is your target demographic, rich & stupid or poor & desperate ?

      In what sense is Soul Painting different from say the hucksterism of TV evangelicals like Pat Robertson ?

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    11. A question: in order to criticize naturopathic and alternative (i.e. quack) medicine does one need to be a charlatan as well ?

      Or would an appropriate amount of humbleness suffice ?

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  6. The blurb hooked me into pre-ordering the book. Then I found out Gilder was co-founder of the DI. Doh! But since I'm an Idiot anyway, I might as well read the book. Hey, even broken clocks are right twice a day. Who knows? Maybe it is the best science book ever written. I'll let you know what I think after I read it. I'm sure you'll all be breathlessly waiting for my opinion.

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    1. Actually, stopped clocks are never right. They don't tell time at all.

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    2. That reminds me of the joke:

      Joe: 'Mitch, what time does your clock say?"

      Mitch: "It doesn't say anything. You have to look at it."

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    3. "The blurb hooked me into pre-ordering the book. Then I found out Gilder was co-founder of the DI. Doh!"

      Hopefully that will teach you to never pay attention to blurbs. And that's true for ANY book, no matter how much you respect the "author" of the blurb itself. That's just crap publishers put there and that "blurbers" get paid to do or make simply out of courtesy. If the blurbs had any meaning we would need a thousand Nobel prizes per month to cover all those "masterworks".

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    4. That would make religious apologetics a non stop "blurb" for those big books full of bad ideas like the bible and the koran.

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  7. No, in fact we know very well why Larry calls them IDiots...he has no better way to defend evolution...

    isn't it always the name caller that has the weak argument?

    true enough...probably because evolution is such a hard sell...its always been a marketing problem...how to sell natural selection, that opium of evolutionary prose....

    at least the average guy can grasp the idea of a designer...

    natural selection needs a new tailor..and cobbler...and tutor...and transporation...and communication device...and..and..

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    1. at least the average guy can grasp the idea of a designer...

      ..it would seem the only thing that could prop up such mythologies if people weren't so bloody gullible.

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    2. "isn't it always the name caller that has the weak argument?"
      Nope. Case in point: calling ID proponents IDiots. Among the relevant experts, there's an overwhelming consensus that ID is nonsense. So calling them IDiots correlates with the strength of the arguments against ID rather than the opposite.

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    3. at least the average guy can grasp the idea of a designer...

      but of course when it comes to the universe one could do no such thing...hence religious nonsense

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    4. at least the average guy can grasp the idea of a designer...

      Heh, if only the IDiots could tell us something tangible about their design idea beyond "it was designed". Nothing about how, why, where and when. Just... design. All their arguments for design(unspecified, mysterious, must-not-anthropomorphize design) take the form of "evolution or science in general has yet to explain phenomenon X", so therefore: Design. (By unknowable process with ineffable goal).

      You can't grasp what isn't there.

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    5. yes, a designer: an immense complication masquerading as a simple solution to simple folks, while not providing any answers to any question.

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    6. Of course ID is easy to grasp, even it's most vocal proponents don't have a viable mechanism for it.

      http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Puff_of_Smoke

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    7. steve said:

      "isn't it always the name caller that has the weak argument?"

      Well, if that's true, religious people have a really weak argument since they have been calling non-religious people and people of other religions derogatory names/labels since the beginnings of their religions, such as sinner, blasphemer, devilish, satan worshiper, evil, demonic, liar, perverted, heathen, idolater, hater, infidel, barbarian, heretic, pagan, sub-human, and long list of other derogatory names/labels.

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    8. "isn't it always the name caller that has the weak argument?"


      Do you feel the same way when it comes to folks like Klinghoffer?

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    9. Steve says: "isn't it always the name caller that has the weak argument?"

      Then the Bible is based on a very weak argument. Indeed, Christian apologetics nowadays is just a long string of ad hominem attacks. See: William Lane Craig.

      [Psalm 14:1]: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”

      [Psalm 53:1]: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

      [Proverbs 1:7]: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

      [Proverbs 18:2]: Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.

      [2 Peter 3:3-6]: 3 knowing this first: that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 5 For of this they are willfully ignorant: that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, 6 whereby the world as it then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

      Notice that the verse above, 2 Peter 3, is FALSIFIED by AIG's Creation Museum in Kentucky, which alters the text to make it focused on the ad hominem attack ("WILLFULLY IGNORANT" they print in large orange letters) and to remove some text, such as the bit about scoffers asking why didn't Jesus return within a generation as he had promised to-- AIG alters the text to make it appear to be focused on Noah's Flood.

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  8. The ad for Darwin's Doubt on the ENV front page is pretty awesome:

    "A 530 Year Old Mystery...

    ...SOLVED"

    bwahahaha

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    1. Solved?

      I didn't realize that positing magic ever actually solved anything.

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  9. I've been monitoring ID for several years, and this is the greatest amount of hype I've ever seen for any ID release. We know it's not because of the stated reason — if they had any solid arguments to buttress design, they'd get them published in the peer-reviewed lit because they crave that more than their collective next breath — so it has to be for another reason, and my hypothesis is that they know ID is dying. They felt triumphalist in the 1990s (Dembski has a good one in Mere Creation about ID getting NSF grants within five years [of 1998]), then they started feeling the resistance and finally lost big in 2005. Post-Dover none of their books have caught the public imagination because their supporters figured that if they couldn't sneak in creationism under the guise of intelligent design, then they might as well return to being open creationists once again. They're trying hard to keep up the illusion of relevance, but it's not difficult to see the writing on the wall.

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  10. Very tacky. It reminds me of the previews that Disney puts on their DVDs (and formerly, their videos) whenever they re-release one of their old films.

    Coming Soon - One Of The Greatest Animated Films Of ALL TIME!!!

    Me and my daughter used to get the biggest kick out of that.

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  11. Nullifidian.

    Here is a recent ID friendly peer reviewed article;
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103513000791

    I also would like to know why you disagree with Shapiro and Dennis Noble, you are fully entitled to disagree of course but based on what grounds? The evidence? If you have the evidence that refutes them present it for scrutiny.

    Lastly this is how it goes in any discussion about evolutionary biology. When anybody is sceptical about the current theory and a question is asked the first response is always, "You don't understand!" When you ask for information to understand the second response is always "You're too stupid to understand." Why is that?

    Here is the issue with NS & RM; these mechanisms can only work if the information was pre-loaded, Neither NS nor RM can create information de novo, and it can only work with what it has. Where did the information come from? If you can show me how these mechanisms can create information from nothing I will concede and you can call me an idiot!

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    1. Natural selection and drift fixes information from/about the environment (it is very hot here) and constructs sequence information through mutations in strings of DNA sequence (protein needs more codons for disulfide bridges). In this way, we can even get information about past environments from reconstructed ancient proteins. Reconstructed proteins from the last universal common ancestor (at approximately 3.5 billion years ago) have been determined to function optimally at over 70 degrees celcius, by which we can infer that it was probably living at a hydrothermal vent or volcanic hotspring of some sort.

      That's where the information comes from. It is an intrinsic property of any concievable physical environment(temperature, pressure, humidity, foodsources, predators etc.), and selection and drift simply fixes mutations (sequence information) that do well in these environments into the genomes of self-reproducing organisms over generations.

      Simple, really. Nothing mysterious or inexplicable about "information" in living organisms.

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    2. Rumraket

      I'm convinced but not sure I'm convicted that you are not stupid. For Natural Selection and random mutation to be able to kick in and work it needs preloaded information. Natural selection and random mutation can and will only work if it has a template to work from, it can not create a de novo template. Your answer does not address the question try again. Molecules randomly crashing into each other might create some information but it can not and will not create anything workable, to think it does is a metaphysical claim because in our best observation no natural process has been capable of doing that.

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    3. Rumraket writes, 'Simple, really. Nothing mysterious or inexplicable about "information" in living organisms.'

      If the emergence of consciousness, and the development of organisms as large and complex as dinosaurs (capable of sustaining their life force within such massive frames by converting plant life into nourishment) arising from gradual variations on a 'replicator' so small it is invisible to the human eye (by a long shot), are such 'simple' and ho hum developments in this universe, then one wonders how they haven't come, somehow, to develop in other forms of matter? Why no intelligent stars? You'd think that these simple, ho hum mechanisms, with trillions of stars to work with and billions of years to play out in, would have produced a conscious star, asteroid, or something by now.
      No, Rumraket, life, consciousness, etc.; these are not 'simple, really'.

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    4. @Andre
      For Natural Selection and random mutation to be able to kick in and work it needs preloaded information.
      I already told you where this information exists. All physical environments intrinsically possess information, your question really only boils down to how this gets transferred into living organisms, and I already told you how this happens.

      Natural selection and random mutation can and will only work if it has a template to work from, it can not create a de novo template.
      In other words, how does the process of evolution even start? That's a question about the origin of life, not about the ability of evolution to shape life (and it's "information").

      Your answer does not address the question try again. Molecules randomly crashing into each other might create some information
      Thank you for this concession, it means your entire argument is self-refuting bunk.

      but it can not and will not create anything workable, to think it does is a metaphysical claim because in our best observation no natural process has been capable of doing that.
      I wanted to call this a blind assertion, but given that you've already been told why it's false, your response more accurately amounts to denial.

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    5. Andre, all Rumraket really has is the position that, if it didn't happen here, and in this way, then we wouldn't be here to argue about it.
      And when one is determined to hold to a materialistic and unconscious explanation for the origin of the universe, life, and consciousness, that is all one needs.

      I think there might really only be two arguments.
      The 'atheist's'; Consciousness is so complex that it can only have arrived at the end of a natural series of events.
      The 'theist's'; The universe, life, and consciousness are so complex that they can only be conceived as having come about through some form of awareness that is beyond our understanding, and may very probably ALWAYS be beyond our understanding.

      I consider both positions more or less equal. I would never call a person stupid for holding to either one.

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    6. @Andyboerger
      Rumraket writes, 'Simple, really. Nothing mysterious or inexplicable about "information" in living organisms.'

      If the emergence of consciousness, and the development of organisms as large and complex as dinosaurs (capable of sustaining their life force within such massive frames by converting plant life into nourishment) arising from gradual variations on a 'replicator' so small it is invisible to the human eye (by a long shot), are such 'simple' and ho hum developments in this universe, then one wonders how they haven't come, somehow, to develop in other forms of matter?

      You mistook an explanation for the origin of information in biological systems with an attempt to explain everything you find incomprehensible about life.
      No amount of bafflement on your part with regards to the "life-force" of dinosaurs changes the simplicity of the explanation. The answer is evolution.

      Why no intelligent stars? You'd think that these simple, ho hum mechanisms, with trillions of stars to work with and billions of years to play out in, would have produced a conscious star, asteroid, or something by now.
      They did, you. You're made of starstuff. What you're baffled hasn't yet happened, did. You seem to think "being alive" is somehow a special property in need of any more of an explanation than planets or stars themselves are. The Mt. Everest exists nowhere else in the universe, there is no other structure like it. Yet in broad terms, the explanation for it's origin is still quite simple(plate tectonics), despite it being colossal, unfathomably improbable and thus totally unique.

      No, Rumraket, life, consciousness, etc.; these are not 'simple, really'.
      But the process by which information is transferred from physical environments into living organisms, is.

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    7. @Andyboerger
      Andre, all Rumraket really has is the position that, if it didn't happen here, and in this way, then we wouldn't be here to argue about it.
      I don't hold such a position.

      And when one is determined to hold to a materialistic and unconscious explanation for the origin of the universe, life, and consciousness, that is all one needs.
      Actually my determination is focused on believing only that for which there exists sufficient evidential justification while also dispensing with single-word non-explanations(goddidit/miracle/magic/divine will).

      In contrast to these infinitely ad-hoc, unfalsifiable, non-predictive, non-explanations, evolution actually consists of (an observed) and testable mechanism making specific predictions that anyone can understand.

      I think there might really only be two arguments.
      The 'atheist's'; Consciousness is so complex that it can only have arrived at the end of a natural series of events.

      I've never met anyone who argues or thinks like this. You should dispense with these strawmen, or directly quote (And then proceed to argue with) the people who do.

      The 'theist's'; The universe, life, and consciousness are so complex that they can only be conceived as having come about through some form of awareness that is beyond our understanding, and may very probably ALWAYS be beyond our understanding.

      I consider both positions more or less equal.

      I consider the first nonexistant and the second "intellectual and scientific defeatism".

      I would never call a person stupid for holding to either one.
      If one entertains either in the face of demonstrable empirical fact, I would.

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    8. Rumraket writes,
      'The 'atheist's'; Consciousness is so complex that it can only have arrived at the end of a natural series of events.
      I've never met anyone who argues or thinks like this. You should dispense with these strawmen, or directly quote (And then proceed to argue with) the people who do. '

      This, in a nutshell, is Richard Dawkins' position, and why he resorts to his 'who designed the designer?' argument against the existence of god.

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    9. Rumraket...

      Um, yes real simple at a minimum for information to flow you need;

      inputs, outputs, encoders, decoders error correction, integrity checks, a medium and worse the precise sequence of these impact if the information is even usable. It still does not say where the information comes from BTW.

      Well ok if its really simple and you're happy with that answer good luck to you, I have nothing to add to the conversation.

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    10. Rumraket, your 'sufficient evidential justification' can more simply be referred to as forensics, and my 'bafflement' can more accurately be referred to as the common sensical ability that humans possess to distinguish between that which is probably and that which is highly improbable.

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    11. @andyboerger
      This, in a nutshell, is Richard Dawkins' position, and why he resorts to his 'who designed the designer?' argument against the existence of god.

      Sorry, but I think you're misrepresenting Dawkins' argument. His argument is, rather, that complex things don't emerge fully formed but, instead, arise thru a process starting from simpler things. The idea of "a natural series of events" does not enter into it.

      And the standard theist response to this argument basically concedes that it is correct, and then goes on to claim "So God is actually maximally simple." Which just shows how theology can be indistinguishable from comedy.

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    12. lutesuite, please explain why
      '... that complex things don't emerge fully formed but, instead, arise thru a process starting from simpler things.'

      is so different in character from

      '..so complex that it can only have arrived at the end of a natural series of events.'

      that it bears noting and countering in your post.





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    13. The term "natural", for one. Also, your original (in every sense of the word) argument does not mention the idea of complexity arising from simplicity. Dawkins' argument is basically an extension of the theistic claim that consciousness (or whatever) is so complex it had to be designed. So if "complexity -> design" is the claim, then "Who designed the designer?" is an obvious question that arises. And "The designer is maximally simple, so he doesn't need to be designed" is an uproariously hilarious response.

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    14. ah, thanks for the clarification. As I suspected, you are just being picayune.

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    15. @Andyboerger
      Andyboerger: 'The 'atheist's'; Consciousness is so complex that it can only have arrived at the end of a natural series of events.
      Rumraket: I've never met anyone who argues or thinks like this. You should dispense with these strawmen, or directly quote (And then proceed to argue with) the people who do.
      Andyboerger: This, in a nutshell, is Richard Dawkins' position, and why he resorts to his 'who designed the designer?' argument against the existence of god.

      No, that's not actually his position. He makes that response specifically as a counter to the IDcreationist idea that intelligence requires complexity, and complexity requires design. So he simply turns that right back against creationists and asks them if complex designers are required to explain complexity, they've erected an infinite regress of complex designers. So they either have to engage in logically fallacious special pleading or concede there's a much simpler solution: That complexity doesn't require complex designers to intelligently design it.

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    16. @Andre Gross
      Rumraket...

      Um, yes real simple at a minimum for information to flow you need;

      inputs, outputs, encoders, decoders error correction, integrity checks, a medium and worse the precise sequence of these impact if the information is even usable. It still does not say where the information comes from BTW.

      And here we go with the technobabbling terms you don't even understand and you're simply blindly regurgitating because you in a vague way you can't explain associate them with "technology", "computers" and "design by some kind of intelligent engineer".

      Actually, there doesn't need to be any of these for information to flow between two entities.

      Case in point: Crystal growth.

      Structural information is transferred from every layer of atoms during crystal growth. Crystals have none of the mentioned "technological" entities. Furthermore, some crystals(like snowflakes) have as properties of their structure, information about the environment in which they formed. The temperature and humidity determines which of many known water crystal structures water molecules will crystallize into. In this way, the layers of water molecules in the ice crystal is structurally determined by the previous one(overall shape as well as defects(mutations) gets copied from one layer to the next), and we can even infer physical properties of the atmosphere in which they formed when we see their pattern.
      This means environmental information is encoded in snowflake structures(snowflake structures are patterns that function as symbols). This makes snowflakes an example of a naturally occuring code for which we can directly observe it's natural, non-design origin.

      Well ok if its really simple and you're happy with that answer good luck to you, I have nothing to add to the conversation.
      I know Andre, I know.

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    17. @Andyboerger
      Rumraket, your 'sufficient evidential justification' can more simply be referred to as forensics, and my 'bafflement' can more accurately be referred to as the common sensical ability that humans possess to distinguish between that which is probably and that which is highly improbable.
      After the fact everything is incalculably improbable. What are the odds of Mt. Everest, given scattered supernova remnants coalescing under gravity for 5 billion years? Was Mt. Everest now intelligently designed? How about any specific entire planet? Venus, what are the odds of the entire planet of Venus, exactly the way it is? How about the sun, exactly the way it is the instant you finish reading this sentence? The Andromeda galaxy? Any specific macroscopic object within 10 meters of where you sit. Go back 10 billion years and try to calculate the odds.

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    18. andyboerger said:

      "This, in a nutshell, is Richard Dawkins' position, and why he resorts to his 'who designed the designer?' argument against the existence of god."

      Hmm, you said "atheist's" but then tried to use your strawman of what Dawkins meant to support your erroneous claim. Listen to this very carefully, andy: While some people may idolize Dawkins, what he says or thinks (even if you were to interpret it correctly) isn't necessarily what other atheists think.

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    19. Hi Andre,
      Your ID friendly reference states: "The signal displays readily recognizable hallmarks of artificiality, among which are the symbol of zero..." Since you do understand the significance of this, perhaps you can explain what the symbol for zero is in DNA. I mean besides assigning human contrived vales to nucleotides. Thanks.

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    20. Yes Andre, since you portray yourself as understanding the article you referenced, please tell us what is the symbol for zero and for the other ten digits.

      Recall that IDists assert that all genomes contain "Digital" information. "Digital" information means that digits are encoded. So tell us what are the symbols for 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 in genomes.

      Since you portray yourself as understanding your sources, prove that you understand them.

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  12. Rumraket

    I'm intrigued by this statement;

    "In contrast to these infinitely ad-hoc, unfalsifiable, non-predictive, non-explanations, evolution actually consists of (an observed) and testable mechanism making specific predictions that anyone can understand."

    Where are they?

    Here is one; Of course all these scientists are wrong! Only the handful that are still in denial kicks up against it! The rest all wrong, wrong, wrong! (stamp your feet when you say it)

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7414/pdf/nature11247.pdf

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    1. Andre, do me this favor. Just a tiiiiny wee bit favor to shut me up. Go into that paper you linked and find me one single specific function discovered by ENCODE. One single new function. Find me a piece of DNA and then show me what function the ENCODE project discovered.

      One Andre. One.

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    2. Will this help you?

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/info/ENCODE.html

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    3. lol, prediction: Confirmed. You haven't even got a clue what is contained in your own links.

      Simply blindly pasting links that you don't understand what say, isn't going to make you appear any less of a clueless moron.

      Now, that list of RNA transcripts you just linked. Pick one, tell me what specific cellular function it has. I'll be waiting.

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  13. Well, it has to be considered against its competition, such as Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, or Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Well, there's just no comparison.

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    1. I've just finished reading Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger, english translation by Stillmam Drake, a U of T scholar) and in 2 pages he outlines his complete experimental protocol with instructions on how to build a telescope, how to calibrate it and how to measure angular distances while observing.

      It is a marvel of simplicity and brevity and really demonstrates why he more than any other single person is the "father" of the scientific method.

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  14. Andre Gross

    ////inputs, outputs, encoders, decoders error correction, integrity checks, a medium and worse the precise sequence of these impact if the information is even usable. It still does not say where the information comes from BTW. ////

    .
    What you're calling "information flow" is essentially a series of chemical reactions. IDiots often liken genetic information to computer software etc and claim that if the latter is designed, the former must also be designed.

    Computer software or human language are not chemicals interacting with each other and the environment, but genes are! Chemical reactions can and do occur spontaneously under given environmental conditions. The chemistry on the early earth and solar system had the necessary raw materials to produce biological macro molecules.

    Remember that life didn't originate overnight, it took about a billion years (yes, that's 1000 million years) after the earth formed for the first living cells to appear. That's a staggering amount of time for chemistry to produce workable biomolecules. This doesn't require magic.
    This only requires you to accept the most obvious explanation.

    You only need to think a little to deem supernatural intervention unlikely: Why did the all-powerful designer take billions and billions of years to design living things? And why did he resort to natural chemistry, why not use something artificial such as man-made software for encoding genetic information?

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    1. Thank you, Vimal. That's the best summary I've read in a very long time. Totally blows the ID "argument," rather, assertion out of the water.

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    2. Wow a billion years and lots of chance... Lets see time does zip. it is just a period from then til now. Chance does zip that is just a mathematical term. Lastly your entire argument is metaphysical. What you say has not been observed, can not be tested and can not be repeated. You get 3out of 5 for effort but unfortunately 0 for any empirical evidence. Nice try but not good enough, if chance and time and random collision do it for you, I'm happy for you.

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    3. If only it was an analogy....

      Peer reviewed


      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103513000791

      From a programmer,

      http://ds9a.nl/amazing-dna/

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    4. Andre, why do you keep posting links you don't understand the contents of?

      Why do you even come here? You're so obviously and manifestly both clueless and a moron, it's apparent even to the people who otherwise are theologically and ideologically motivated to agree with you. You're an embarassment to your "cause". You just post links, you don't understand what they say or the arguments leveled against them.

      That means there can't be any better evidence that the main reason for your position is blind, emotionally motivated faith. That's why you just blindly believe what it says in the links you post. They have pretty pictures(and a lot of nonsensical technobabble) and someone somewhere told you that they say what you want them to say, so you come here and blindly regurgitate this nonsensical shit, utterly clueless about the contents, you just blindly believe it.

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    5. The you don't understand, response then the you are stupid response, standard materialist fair, for once address the argument. Can you do that? I wager you can not, attacking the man is far easier than his argument.

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    6. You haven't supplied an argument. You linked posts relating to the ENCODE project, you can't even explain how they relate to anything in this discussion, much less anything I've said.

      Prove me wrong. Explain it by quoting me, then immediately following quote something from your links that relate to it.

      I'll be waiting.

      *thumbs twiddling*

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    7. It's dawning upon me that you probably recieve the "you don't understand" response a lot Andre. I now know why.

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    8. Wow! A programmer claiming DNA is just like computer code! Now Ia m totally convinced! I always am totally impressed when someone from another field tells me all about what I study.

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    9. Vimal said:

      "You only need to think a little to deem supernatural intervention unlikely: Why did the all-powerful designer take billions and billions of years to design living things? And why did he resort to natural chemistry, why not use something artificial such as man-made software for encoding genetic information?"

      Well, IDiot-creationists prefer to blindly believe in ridiculous, impossible, religious fairy tales, rather than "think", and at least some IDCs, if not all, do believe and assert that 'God' did use artificial, 'God-made', front-loaded software for encoding genetic information, which means that they don't believe that millions or billions of years were involved.

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    10. But then it took millions of years for that software program to actually run. Which suggests that God works for Microsoft.

      Delete
  15. "time does zip"? Wrong. We know from experiments such as those of Lenski ( http://special.news.msu.edu/darwin/lenski.php ) that significant evolution with increase of information can happen in 40,000 generations of bacteria. By analogy we expect that significant evolution can happen in 40,000 generations of other organisms. For mammals, with generation times of years, we haven't had time to observe this directly. But if the world is billions of years old, that amount of time is enough for many thousands of significant evolutionary steps.

    That greatly understates the case. We have seen significant evolutionary change in far fewer than 40,000 generations. But I like the Lenski experiments because everything was tightly controlled and observed.

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    1. And they are still just bacteria.....

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    2. Did you know Lenski's bacteria is not doing so well....

      http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002787

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    3. You see they increase in fitness for one type of pressure, but then become defenseless against another pressure because they shed those genes for the short term fitness increase. Short term selected fitness gain, long term overall fitness loss.

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    4. @Andre,

      Did you know Lenski's bacteria is not doing so well....

      The paper you linked to is by Koskiniemi S, Sun S, Berg OG, and Andersson DI of Uppsala University in Sweden.

      Richard Lenski spells his name differently and he is located at Michigan State in the USA. The authors of the paper you refer to use the bacterium Salmonella enterica while Lenski's long-term evolution experiment is with Escherichia coli.

      Except for those minor details, your statement is as accurate as most statements from IDiots.

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    5. Andre, good sir, you are want-wit and a blithering toff. Your level evidentiary support is as poor as your grammar, sir. Had you taken the time to actually read the abstract of the publication you referenced, you would see it provides no support for your outlandish and ungrammatical assertion that Lenski's bacteria is [sic] not doing so well.

      [Note that my change in style is due to Larry's insistence that my language no longer be profligate in its use of the Anglo-Saxon verb that refers to forcing unnatural carnal knowledge.]

      And they are still just bacteria.....

      And you, good sir, are still an ape as you are a descendant of apes: genetically, anatomically and educationally you are member of the quadrumana, and if anything, you have steeply degenerated from the last common ancestor of Pan troglodytes and Homo sapiens.

      Good day, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY.

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    6. Ah, the old random chance can't do naught assertion.

      "That's an unwarranted assertion, sir!" she exclaimed!

      "You'll be asserting my unwarranted insertion soon enough, madam," he rejoined coolly.

      In a nice research article in the journal Science this week researchers discuss how complexity can arise from simplicity.

      A teaser: In a solution containing both sodium silicate and barium chloride, the growth of barium carbonate and silicate will depend on, as well as influence, the pH of the solution. The formation of these crystals is thus strongly coupled, resulting in the growth of complex shapes—tuliplike in the example shown.

      A tulip teaser demonstrating, once again, that research trumps IDiocy every time.

      "Teaser? I hardly knew her!"

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    7. The clueless avenging link-copy-paster is back! What a joke...

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    8. Before everybody jump up and down fist pumping because they think they have somehow won, I will say this again

      I'll say it again! Lenski's bacteria are not doing so well...

      Will he tell you this? I doubt it.

      http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/3/572.full

      Lets give chance another chance shall we!

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    9. You see Lenski's Bacteria did evolve to cope with the selection pressures it was subjected to, but that gain has been at the expense of something else.

      Ever heard of Diminishing Returns Epistasis?


      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/332/6034/1190.abstract
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21636771
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21636772
      http://www.genetics.org/content/186/4/1345.full.pdf
      http://prelude.bu.edu/publications/Chou_Chiu_etal_Science_2011_diminishing_return_epistasis.pdf
      http://marxlab.rc.fas.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Chou-et-al-2011-complete-Diminishing-Returns-Epistasis-Among-Beneficial-Mutations-Decelerates-Adaptation-rd.pdf

      Now what?

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  16. George Gilder ran an investment newsletter that had a slight hiccup. As he told the Wall Street Journal:

    "The trouble with my business is that everyone came in at the peak," Mr. Gilder said in a recent interview. "The typical Gilder subscriber lost all his money and that made it very hard for me to market the newsletter."

    Sharp as a tack, he is, picking that up so quickly!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "George Gilder ran an investment newsletter that had a slight hiccup. As he told the Wall Street Journal:

      "The trouble with my business is that everyone came in at the peak," Mr. Gilder said in a recent interview. "The typical Gilder subscriber lost all his money and that made it very hard for me to market the newsletter."

      Sharp as a tack, he is, picking that up so quickly!"

      But when it comes to ID and evolution, he totally knows his stuff!!!


      Right...

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  17. @ Bill

    Thanks!
    .
    @ Andre Gross

    ///What you say has not been observed, can not be tested and can not be repeated. You get 3out of 5 for effort but unfortunately 0 for any empirical evidence. Nice try but not good enough, if chance and time and random collision do it for you, I'm happy for you.///
    .

    There's much more evidence for this than your "magic wand hypothesis".
    We may never figure out the exact sequence of events that resulted in the first living cells since chemistry is firmly dependent on the environment. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to figure out how exactly the environment changed and how it affected chemistry during the first billion years of earth's history. And remember, microenvironments in small ponds or undersea volcanic vents would have been even more different than the global environment.

    However, there's no reason to invoke God here. Chemistry and biochemistry are well known and well studied natural phenomena - chemical reactions can occur and propagate by themselves, they don't need to be "operated" by fictitious supernatural beings. The raw materials required for life, namely organic molecules, have been detected even on comets and interstellar material.

    People like Stanley Miller have shown that these simple precursors can form biomolecules spontaneously under given conditions. Sydney Fox produced "proteinoids" and cell-like spheres called "protobionts" starting with amino acids and volcanic ash. These protobionts were even capable of division by budding. Recently, it was demonstrated that RNA can function as an enzyme, and catalyze electron transfer, in the absence of oxygen by utilizing iron instead of Magnesium. And we know that oxygen was scarce while iron was abundant on the primitive earth. This has strengthened the RNA world hypothesis which proposes that RNA preceded DNA and proteins.

    All this coupled with the fact that it took an inconceivably long period of time for the first cells to appear, makes "Goddidit" unlikely to say the least.
    You're ignoring the most likely explanation of the evidence and seeking a much more improbable one.

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    1. This comment has nothing scientific in it all I read was....

      "I don't think a god would do it that way"

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    2. Then come up with proof that a God did do it that way.

      There's absolutely no proof whatsoever for the existence of any God, any supernatural being, let alone one that waited for a billion years to create the first life on earth and use naturally occurring molecules instead of a sophisticated artificial code for genetic information.

      Unless you can show that Goddidit, the most plausible explanation of the evidence will remain natural science.

      Here's the latest news on the origin of life:

      http://phys.org/news/2013-06-billion-year-old-mystery-team-life-producing-phosphorus.html

      Science continues to solve the origin of life riddle bit by bit. Your Goddidit hypothesis hasn't progressed one bit in centuries.

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  18. @andyboerger The universe, life, and consciousness are so complex that they can only be conceived as having come about through some form of awareness

    Hey, Andy... does God have consciousness...? If so, then your suggestion that it's necessarily an attribution of a creator presents you with a bit of a problem in terms of an infinite regression.

    Unless, of course, you'd like to suggest that, oh, say, his consciousness evolved naturally and gradually such that he didn't need a creator...

    That said, this still leaves you with the issue of how this god came to exist without himself being the creation of another agency; a notion you've just ruled out a priori when considering the existence of the universe.

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    1. As I mentioned above,the standard theological response to this question is that God is maximally simple. IOW, "consciousness" by itself is so complex it requires a designer, but when that designer possesses consciousness, it is not complex, because otherwise the designer would have to be complex, and it can't be complex, because then it would need a designer, and it doesn't need a designer because then... I don't know, I guess because if it needed a designer then the argument wouldn't work.

      Really, this is "serious theology", not some Abbott and Costello routine, much as it sounds like the latter. I think it's based on something Thomas Aquinas wrote about 700 years ago....

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    2. Yeah, they can put all kinds of lace on it, but it's still a bowling ball. And when you shave all the lace off, the bowling ball is called "special pleading". You know, "nothing could possibly be X, except Y, because I need Y as my explanation for X..." In their case it's based on two unfounded but merely asserted presumptions: that that universe (and, more to the point, the humans in it) could not simply exist without the necessity of an agency; and that therefore, that agency exists, and it wants Jews to circumcise their sons, hates gays, and puts on a meat suit to walk on water and then change it into wine. The flaws are obvious if you just hold it up to the light and really look at it instead of just admiring it safely locked in the display case of sanctification.

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  19. All serious theology is simply variations on the "Who's on First?" skit.

    In fact all theology is simply a false reflection of this timeless and eternal comedy skit.

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    1. I think of Alvin Plantinga as Costello, and William Lane Craig as Abbot.

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  20. Theists believe that God should really be an atheist, since no one created Him. But does God Himself think that way?!

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    1. God can't think. He's timeless and changeless. How can something have a thought if it exists outside of time and never changes?

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    2. That's not what the majority of theists believe. Their God is personal who sees and influences the daily proceedings on earth and in the universe. He's very much conscious and aware of everything. He actively created the intricate complexities of living systems.

      The IDiots often claim: life is the product of a "mind"

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    3. From the notebooks of Lazarus Long:

      History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion -- i.e., none to speak of.

      "God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends." This may not be true, but it sounds good -- and is no sillier than any other theology. 

      God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent -- it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.

      And finally,
       
      One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

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    4. That's not what the majority of theists believe. Their God is personal who sees and influences the daily proceedings on earth and in the universe. He's very much conscious and aware of everything. He actively created the intricate complexities of living systems.

      The IDiots often claim: life is the product of a "mind".


      Very true. However, if you ask them if God is also subject to time i.e. if he changes or gets older, they will almost always say "No." And if you ask them if God learns things that he did not know before (already incoherent for a "timeless" being), they will most likely also say "No."

      So a being that is beyond time, never changes and never learns new things but which can be described as "thinking" or possessing of a "mind" seems logically impossible. That most theists nonetheless believe God can think simply indicates that they haven't thought the concept thru.

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  21. Any book on intelligence design is nonsense.

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