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Saturday, October 05, 2013

It's Really Just That Simple

Some of us spend a lifetime trying to understand evolution. We read books, go to meetings, study the scientific literature, and consult experts. It's a difficult subject.

Gil Dodgen is a software engineer who wrote a program that plays checkers. He also plays the piano quite well. He didn't struggle at all over the concept of evolution [Philosophical Repugnancy].
For me, despite 43 years of indoctrination in atheistic materialism and Darwinian orthodoxy, it was a very simple logical exercise to conclude that living systems are the product of intelligent design.

The simplest living cell includes highly sophisticated, functionally integrated information-processing machinery, with error-detection-and-repair algorithms and their implementation.

The notion that random errors, whether filtered by natural selection or not, can produce such technology, is a transparently absurd proposition.

It’s really just that simple.


  1. I am starting to think that all the years of making software analogies to describe how gene regulation and expression work, and of using terms like "systems biology" have backfired very badly...

    1. Pity that so many people seem to think analogies are literally true and are not merely teaching tools.

  2. It seems to me to be a difference in perspective, between the arrogant view that humans are the most important things in the universe and the reason the universe exists, and the view that humans are a very small, natural part of the universe, made by the universe itself just as rocks are. A consequence of the former view is that any analogy between what humans can make, such as computer software, and what nature has made, implies that both are due to magic.

    A consequence of the latter view is that creatures made by evolutionary processes would naturally think, and develop computer software, using evolutionary processes (yes, including neutral evolution). So the existence of strong analogies between biological and computer systems seems very consistent with evolution, to me. Once you accept that it is all natural (no magic), why wouldn't there be similarities?

    In other words, show me the magic.

    1. The difference is in the creator. Computer programs are known to be created by an intelligence, whereas there's no evidence for life being created by such an intelligence. Also, computer software doesn't react, metabolise and evolve on its own but life is made of chemistry which can react, metabolise and evolve spontaneously.

    2. From my perspective, the creators are more similar than different, being the evolutionary process at work. Intelligence is not magic, in my view, but an evolutionary process used by a biological machine which itself was created by an evolutionary process. Also, genetic algorithms and neural networks are two examples of computer software which does self-evolve. (And all computer software evolves through the agency of the biological machines which program and re-program it.)

      The underlying premise of "intelligent Design" that intelligence is magic and has a magical ability to create things which nature cannot is unwarranted by the evidence I have seen. To me, it is the same old, tired excuse by which religion operates: "I don't understand it, so it must be magical."

      I'll say it one more time in the hopes that repetition may eventually make it clear what I mean: "Intelligent Design" is based on a lack of understanding of both "intelligence" and "design". (Both are evolutionary processes.)

  3. As a computer programmer, I hope that my brain hasn't turned to mush by the time I'm 43.

  4. A stone rolling down the hill knows enough calculus to follow the optimal trajectory. It must possess an embedded invisible computer processing information about the shape and texture of the slope as quick as winking. The notion that a dumb lump of rock should be able to minimise the action integral is absurd. Stones must be intelligently designed.

    1. Piotr, analogs are fun, aren't they? Do you by the way think that if someone denies that say e.g. mind can be reduced to and fully explained by materialism, then that person denies the existence of naturalistic processes? If not then I think you are wasting your time beating up a poorly constructed straw man.

    2. People only begin to deny the existence of naturalistic processes when they start to resemble, too closely, the essence of a valuable deity.

    3. Andy, as soon as you introduce spooks into any part of an explanation for reality then you have given up on a naturalistic explanation for the universe.

      You don't get to pick and choose which parts can be explained naturally and which parts can only be explained by your invisible friend.

      What you have actually given up on is honesty and integrity.

  5. It's that simple, but took 43 years to hit on something that, well, insipid and dull. Even then, he had to be told that before he realized it, as well as to go through some sort of low point of his life.

    And ID explains what about life's similarities up to the point of divergence, then dissimilar adaptations after that? It explains the deviations from sound design principles and rationality in what manner?

    Oh, no answers, just incredulity regarding the only thing that ever explained the patterns found in living things.

    Glen Davidson

    1. well as to go through some sort of low point of his life.

      Isn't it funny that every story seems to involve hitting rock bottom before coming to the TRUTH.

      I wonder if we in science are missing out on the power of the anecdote for communicating ideas:

      It wasn't until I had lost all my friends and family due to a hedonistic lifestyle of booze and drugs and (out-of-wedlock and non-missionary position) sex that the evolutionary explanation for conserved amino acids in proteins from different species finally made sense.

    2. @SRM

      That seems like an awfully big sacrifice. Can't we just say that we discovered evolution when we were recovering from getting a bad grade in one of our courses?

  6. The post demonstrates the essence of all religious belief. Religious people think they are accepting the simpler and thus more probable explanation for the existence of things as they are. Even the word god is simple, only 3 letters long!

    Religious faith utterly depends upon the theist not perceiving that their favoured explanation is actually extraordinarily more complex, convoluted, opaque, and improbable than a materialistic explanation.

  7. Gil Dodgen is very very good at drawing dramatic conclusions, usually that Design is an obvious no-brainer.

    Where he needs more work is the evidence.

  8. I think this guy did a good job that would be respected by those with a interest in concepts about computers and evolution claims.
    No posters here showed where his equation was wrong?
    Evolutionism is about explaining fantastic complexity.
    A tall order.
    Even if evolutionists were right have we TODAY a very intelligent evolutionist explanation for where complexity came from in biology.
    Start with the immune system as go into more complicated things.

    1. Byers: No posters here showed where his equation was wrong?

      What the hell was Gil Dodgen's equation? Creationists don't have any equations. Here's their only equation:

      Probability of evolution = probability of formation by tornado

      That's all you've got.

      Byers: "Start with the immune system"

      Right-- you mean like when at Dover in 2005, 53 articles about the evolution of the immune system were stacked in front of Michael Behe and he hadn't read any of them-- but without reading them, insisted he knew that they didn't explain the immune system?

      "Even if evolutionists were right have we TODAY a very intelligent evolutionist explanation for where complexity came from in biology."

      What explanation have IDers for any biological feature of any species anywhere? "It was created by a magic puff of smoke" is not an explanation in the scientific sense. It is an explanation in the sense of a fairy tale, e.g. Snow White came back to life after eating a poisoned apple, why? Because a Prince kissed her-- that's the explanation.

      IDers have never had a scientific explanation for any biological feature of any species anywhere ever. All they have are redefinitions of the word "explanation", changing it from "scientific explanation" to "fairy tale explanation."

      What does "explanation" mean, Robert Byers?

    2. Shame on you, Diogenes. Now write out 100 times: "I shall not feed trolls, even the cutesy beat poet ones."

      ps: "equation" here was a poetic reference to the argument from personal incredulity. You can't prove it wrong, because it's perfectly valid: it really _was_ a simple exercise for Gil Dodgen to reach the conclusion he did, and the notion in question really _is_ absurd to him.

    3. Diogenes,

      It's undeniable that Bobbie is a welcome amusement. I still bet for Poe's law. But still, it's poetic imbecility whether pretended or real.

      Does anybody here know a lot about poetry and could identify Bobbie's leanings?

  9. One thing's for certain: the human genome has too few errors in it to have been created by a computer programmer (lawl)