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ETpro's avatar

Dualists, as animals evolve higher thought processes, at what point do you believe they inherit a non-corporeal "self" or soul?

Asked by ETpro (34202 points ) February 16th, 2010

Cartesian Dualism is the belief that human awareness of being aware is above the physical plane of mater-energy-space-time, that there is a non-physical or spiritual thing in us that is the “me” or “I”. Dualism was advanced by early thinkers such as Zarathustra, Plato and Aristotle but perhaps best captured by René Descartes in 1641 in his aphorism, Cogito ergo sum or “I think, therefore I am.” or more fully, “I am thinking, therefore I exist.” or “I am thinking, on the account of being.”

So, if self awareness can’t possibly be understood as a brain activity, but requires having a non-corporeal soul, at what point of increasing self awareness does an animal such as a chimp or bonobo or killer whale get supplied with a soul? Do all animals from the simplest single-celled organism up have souls? If so, how come they can’t think as humans do?

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235 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Descartes also located the soul in the pineal gland. Mayhap he was untrustworthy.

ETpro's avatar

@dpworkin Ah yes, the so called “third eye” gland. But other vertebrates have that gland as well, yet aren’t fully self-aware.

Qingu's avatar

This is a great question. I think it shows, more than anything, that if there is such a thing as a “soul,” it’s certainly not an all-or-nothing phenomenon.

ragingloli's avatar

The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that there are a lot of non-human animals that are self aware. Some Apes, Rats, Dolphins, Elephants, some Magpies. If self awareness means having a soul, then these animals have souls.
I do not believe in souls, though.

ragingloli's avatar

It is also interesting to note that young human children fail the mirror test, the most prevalent test to measure self awareness, indicating that they are not self aware and that self awareness develops later in life, and by extension, they do not have souls until later in life.

ninjacolin's avatar

i’ve asked this question to a lot of people.. no one ever gives a good answer because there isn’t one. it doesn’t make sense that we evolved souls. we simply don’t have them.

however, if you want you can define the term “Creature with a Soul” as being “any creature that can claim to be aware of itself.”

jfos's avatar

@ragingloli So children don’t have souls? I knew it!

CMaz's avatar

“So, if self awareness can’t possibly be understood as a brain activity, ”

I think it can.

jfos's avatar

I think that the argument supporting the existence of souls is so un-scientific that any sub-topic of the discussion can not be scientifically explained, i.e., we cannot scientifically prove that souls exist, so how could we put forth any scientific information concerning “when animals develop a soul”?

The_Idler's avatar

HAHAHAHAHAH, dualism…..

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Dualism forms to the degree that Language is used.

Wolf Howls are a different level of consciousness than Whale Song. Whale Song a different level than Bee Waggle Dance. Language usage is the determining factor, to the degree that image/object relationships can be established.

Broken_Arrow's avatar

When they’re high?

Snarp's avatar

@jfos, @ragingloli Well, really young children – under 18 to 24 months.

The_Idler's avatar

@Snarp That’s really young? I could walk and talk by one…

Though I don’t remember any of my reflection upon… my reflection

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I agree that this type of question can not be answered by science.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Then where does that put The Hokey Pokey?

(edit typo)

Snarp's avatar

@The_Idler Well sure that’s really young. If we’re making the argument that “children don’t have souls”, even in jest, we have to realize that it’s far from all children. It is in fact toddlers, so depending how specific you want to be, and if you’re talking about development, you might want to differentiate between children and toddlers. And if biological childhood ends at puberty, then two years is roughly one sixth of total childhood. If instead we’re talking about legal childhood then it is one ninth. That’s really young in my book.

The_Idler's avatar

I have some thoughts on the relationship between consciousness and the physical world. I think the relationship is akin to one of those optical illusions where there is a “square that ain’t there”, inferred by an existing structure… separate from it, yet entirely dependant on it.
i.e. Consciousness is the ‘magic’ triangle. The spatio-temporal-physical world is the black structures

I will spend some more time articulating and get back to y’all.

CMaz's avatar

When we became capable of process so much information that we could “step back” and look at ourselves.

We become self aware, IE consciousness.

Cruiser's avatar

Animals don’t have the brain capacity to support higher cognitive thinking and reasoning. Either way I believe this is all based on the foundation that we are essentially forces of energy and unwilling participants in the essentially random borrow, use, exchange and return of energy to the universe when we are done with it.

Animals and all living things can participate equally in this energy exchange and even the feeling of this energy. Dogs are quite expert at sensing peoples energy and intentions. People “sense and feel” this energy but don’t quite understand it and IMO this is where the Idea or concept of the elusive soul originates as a crude explanation of what is being sensed or felt. I can tap into this energy force…I can feel it at will…if that is the soul…I am not sure, haven’t got that far…but it does exist and it is quite powerful.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I don’t know where it puts the Hokey Pokey, but it IS what it’s all about.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Yetanotheruser asked ‘Then where does that put The Hokey Pokey?”

I assume you are comparing the Hokey Pokey with the Bee Waggle Dance… in jest I assume.

The Hokey Pokey does not encode any information. It’s just a fun dance and does not represent any other concept beyond itself. It is not dualism.

The Figure 8 Bee Waggle Dance encodes for distance, direction, wind drift, quality of pollen, and even suggests an optimum route to find it. Information is transmitted and received. It represents a concept that is separate from the actual dance itself.

Dualism exists any time a non-physical thought is manifest into physical reality.

davidbetterman's avatar

Why, do you think they start out without one?

dpworkin's avatar

@Cruiser “Animals don’t have the brain capacity to support higher cognitive thinking and reasoning.”

Citation for that? That’s a pretty old-fashioned claim. Ancient, in fact. Even Gallup’s work was published in the ‘70s.

CMaz's avatar

“Dualism exists any time a non-physical thought is manifest into physical reality.”

Every though is physical.

Snarp's avatar

@Cruiser “Animals don’t have the brain capacity to support higher cognitive thinking and reasoning.” How would you define that, and more importantly, how would you test it? Elephants have shown the ability to communicate, to grieve, to remember grievances and possibly to seek revenge as well as to create and use tools. Chimpanzees create and use tools and teach their young how to use those tools. Crows not only fashion complex tools and can use them to complete multi-step processes, they can also remember human faces, remember the actions of those humans, and communicate to other crows who those humans are resulting in large numbers of crows who will attack a human after some action by that human against a single crow.

nikipedia's avatar

@ETpro: To clarify, are you asking about the existence of a “soul” in the supernatural sense, or a “self” in the sense of consciousness/self-awareness?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Cognitive testing is primarily a Language based activity. The more an individual can embrace language usage, the more consciously aware they are of the physical world.

We live in a world of description.

No thought can be thunk without a Language to think that thought upon.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Dualism exists when there is a perception that the physical and non-physical are separate.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Yetanotheruser

Yes. Language is physical. Thought is non physical. Language represents Thought, but Language is not Thought. Image/Object relationship must form for dualism to exist.

CMaz's avatar

“Thought is non physical”

That is like saying the beating hart is non-physical.

The brain is a functioning organ too.

Cruiser's avatar

@Snarp , @dpworkin Sorry about the quick draw comment…I intended as a comparison to the human mind capability of understanding, interacting and manipulating their own environment with the desire and or need to better “understand” their existence in their own universe as applied to the question above. The ability of animals to think therefore they are is a whole other issue to explore some other time.

barbiedoll's avatar

Just as bodies evolve thru life, souls do also. What babies do and don’t recognize in the mirror is part of the brain, just like the body grows larger. I believe that all living creatures have souls. Our soul is different in that it was created differently, just as we are; and this is where God comes in.

Zajvhal's avatar

I’m going to try to keep my dismay at the fact that most of you don’t believe in souls out of this answer….

First of all, there are degrees to awareness, obviously. As ragingloli pointed out, even human children start off with a low level of self awareness that hopefully increases as they gain experience and knowledge.
But what if we all have souls, EVERY LIVING CREATURE? What if the soul merely gives propensity for awareness, and is something that evolves and grows and learns itself? In that case a “newborn soul” (if you will) would belong to things like insects and one-celled critters. As the soul grows and learns and it’s propensity for awareness increases, it can then inhabit more advanced lifeforms.
We can do all the tests we want on animals to try and determine their awareness, but being that we will never be able to truly communicate with most of them on the same level, we have no way of prooving that they do no have self-awareness.
And besides that, as far as science goes, I feel like they have practically proven the existence of a soul already. With all the work on quantum physics and the connection between atomic particles, unseen and unattached, yet still affecting each other even from vast distances….well, I don’t know, for me at least, it’s a very short step to the definition of a soul.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ChazMaz

A beating heart consists of energy and matter and is located at a specific space/time coordinate in the physical realm. Thought is not made of energy and matter, and no one can point to a thought, or hold a thought, or touch a thought. Thought is non physical.

Language is the only tool we have to determine if thought exists. Language is a material lens that allows us to view the immaterial realm of Thought and Information.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@barbiedoll Classical theology teaches that the difference between the soul of an animal and the soul of a human is a natural (animal) soul vs. a supernatural (human) soul.

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Well, thought is “made of energy and matter, and is located at a specific space/time coordinate in the physical realm” as well. We cans show the electrical impulses in a thinking brain on an MRI and see a consistency of location of certain kinds of thoughts across a number of different brains.

CMaz's avatar

“Thought is not made of energy and matter”

What are you talking about? Ever see what a brain scan looks like?
Or Electroencephalography.

The brain is not matter?

That energy transfers to motion and… Thought. :-)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ChazMaz

The Brain Scan and Electroencephalogram represent brainwaves. Brainwaves are not synonymous with thought.

CMaz's avatar

Brainwaves are not synonymous with thought?
I will give you that with a very short leash. No brain waves, there will be no thought.

No brainwaves, is called brain dead.

Dead brain no action or reaction. Except at a chemical level.

The_Idler's avatar

We don’t need to assume the existence of the soul, to explain any natural phenomena.

The assumption cannot be made within the structure of present scientific theory.

The assumption therefore makes any scientific explanation – of which it is part – unnecessarily complex, and so less probable than a purely physical explanation.

It is, therefore, a useless concept in the physical world, and may as well be presumed non-existent.
Like God.

nikipedia's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies: Brain waves are synonymous with thoughts. No brain waves, no thinky.

If you want to get nitpicky, fMRI shows blood flow, so you could argue that’s not exactly showing thoughts.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@The_Idler but is a discussion of Dualism a scientific discussion? I thought it was more a philosophical discussion, and therefore the existence (or non existence) of God is fair game.

(Edit for clarity)

TheJoker's avatar

I just dont believe there is anything beyond the physical. To me our soul or essence or whatever is simply the result of our meaty, salty brains & is contained therein.

The_Idler's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Question said “evolve”....

The most simple, and therefore most probable, explanation for consciousness is that it is a manifest logical structure, consequent of the internal and external interactions of an electrical-chemical environment, which exists as part of the overblown, self-perpetuating chemical reaction, commonly known as Life. No need for magic, God, extra dimensions, or any other trans-physical bullshit.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@nikipedia

Brainwaves can be detected when a person is unconscious in coma. That does not mean they are thinking about anything. Brainwaves only point to the physical brain activity of neurons firing based upon electrochemical activity. Thought is not reducible to electrochemical activity. No competent neural scientist would claim such a thing.

But they do agree that Thought is Language based. That’s why cognitive testing is based on over 70 different language tests.

CMaz's avatar

This is a Chicken or egg question.

The bottom line, the chicken and the egg both do not care. They just are.

nikipedia's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies: I am a “competent neural scientist” and I believe that every single one of my colleagues would agree that you are entirely incorrect.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “Thought is not reducible to electrochemical activity.”

So maybe bricks can think and my sister can’t?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@TheJoker said: “I just dont believe there is anything beyond the physical.”

“Information is Information. Not energy and not matter. Any materialism that does not allow for this cannot survive in the present”.
Norbert Weiner, Cybernetics p147

The_Idler's avatar

Information is a consequence of the internal interactions of the Universe, which is comprised of space-time and mass-energy. Any other fundamental constituents of existence discovered by Physics will be added to that list, and will be “physical”.

If they are not physical, they are simply not.

Zajvhal's avatar

@The_Idler WHY, praytell, do you think the simplest explanation is the most probable?? If that were true, I’d break it down real simple like…it’s all magic. Done. But that doesn’t seem very probable to me.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@The_Idler Do you know this first-hand, or have you gotten your nformation from outside sources?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Snarp said: “thought is “made of energy and matter, and is located at a specific space/time coordinate in the physical realm” as well.”

An ancient manuscript represents the thoughts of a person who died long ago. Where is that original thought located? You may share his thoughts with new thoughts of your own, but where is the original thought located and how was it stored long enough for it to be received by you?

The_Idler's avatar

@Zajvhal Magic? some explanation, so inexplicably powerful, hardly seems like it could be simple. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so inexplicable…

CMaz's avatar

“If that were true, I’d break it down real simple like…it’s all magic.”

That is a simple explanation? That is too complex with too many dead ends.

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies A thought occurs in the brain. A concept or a set of information or data can be conveyed in writing, but it’s not a thought at that point, at least as far as discussing whether or not a thought can be tied to a physical and temporal instance. The thought that occurred in Plato’s brain is not the same as the information that is transmitted to me in my copy of The Republic.

The_Idler's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I don’t claim to know anything, but that is the most simple explanation apparent to me, and so the one I would consider most probable and, so, most useful for basing other thoughts and ideas upon. In the absence of any evidence, why would I choose a more complex explanation? I wouldn’t. I know some people do though, because they feel like it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

Then you must provide more than your opinion as to why you disagree with Norbert Weiner. And consider the etymology of the word Information as well. Information is bringing thought in + to + form.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

Then you must provide more than a Norbert Weiner quote as to why you disagree that information is reducible to a physical explanation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Snarp said: “The thought that occurred in Plato’s brain is not the same as the information that is transmitted to me in my copy of The Republic.”

Then why is it attributed to Plato?

SeventhSense's avatar

@The_Idler
consciousness is that it is a manifest logical structure
A logical structure implies the necessity of a reasoning entity.
manifest is that which is readily apprehended by the senses and understood by the mind.

So in other words the reasoning thinking, questioning capacity of mind is the same thing as that which gave rise to the thinking, reasoning, questioning capacity of mind?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Self-awareness is, imo, more than brain activity alone but it doesn’t require this concept of a soul (in which I don’t believe in, anyway).

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Because it is in a book that states what was purported to be written buy Plato. We don’t even know empirically whether Plato even existed.

Zajvhal's avatar

@Idler
@ Chazmaz
My point is that it’s all complicated because we don’t completely understand it yet. There will always be loose ends, there will always be more questions. The simplest answer back in the day was that the earth was flat..until people realized that didn’t quite make sense. (Not to get off topic, just using that as an anology.) I’m just questioning why the simplest answer would be the most probable, and pointing out that often something only seems simple after it is completely understood. Where as if there’s just one missing link it can all still seem very complicated.

CMaz's avatar

“because we don’t completely understand it yet.”

I do.

The_Idler's avatar

@SeventhSense Perhaps I misused the word manifest.

Take it as “logically-consequentially created”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

Well it’s actually your turn to support your opinion with something other than your opinion. I’ve already provided a support for mine with Weiner and Etymology. Your turn. You could study Cybernetics and/or Information Theory if you’d like to know more.

But consider you position carefully. By claiming that Information is a product of Chaos, you ultimately give credence to whispering streams, talking trees, and burning bushes that give instructions to birth a violent nation. The Atheist becomes a parody of the very thing he mocks.

The_Idler's avatar

Information as a product of chaos e.g. Evolution of Life.

The mechanics are well documented.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Yetanotheruser

But we do know that the book did not write itself. It represents somebody’s thoughts, regardless if it was Plato or not. All codes have authors… sentient authors. And the only way to become aware of Information is upon the existence of a code.

DNA is the genetic code. Who wrote it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

Well you keep saying it. Can you provide any substance?

Evolution depends upon Information. Information does not depend on Evolution. You’re putting the cart before the horse. Evolution occurs when, and only when, the genetic code changes. Chaos does not explain evolutionary changes in the genetic code.

Refer to Barbara McClintock and James Schapiro research.

The_Idler's avatar

it wrote itself. and no, it’s not magic.

I’m sure it happened countless times where the code, written by chaos, was useless.

The great thing about evolution, though, is that it only had to be right once, and then the information is preserved. Noone ‘wrote’ it, it is just a physical manifestation of chemical ‘success’, WRT self-replication in any given environment.

The_Idler's avatar

OK sure, I’ll just fuck off and read that, I’ll get back to y’all in a few years, once I’ve started my post-grad.

You’re saying that a ‘random’ change in the environment cannot have logical genetic implications? That is how evolution works…? In essence, order from chaos…?

SeventhSense's avatar

What about a souls as in the Hindu tradition which of course gave rise to Buddhism. Through a series of questions of negation of all objective concepts and to ask oneself “who am I?” Am I the body? The senses? The thoughts? etc, once all objectivity has ceased what remains is pure subjective Self.
Pure consciousness is then said to be the only thing indivisible and this is what in fact inhabits all sentient and non sentient beings. The Atman or individual subjective self is that which distinguishes self from other. In other words we are not necessarily souls as much as localized energy fields in the consciousness of one whole or greater consciousness all pervasive.
In a non dogmatic sense you might say we are God’s imagination

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I will quote you to support myself: “Language represents Thought, but Language is not Thought.” The writing in Plato’s Republic is language, not thought. The thought is long gone and dead.

Our argument has become seriously muddied by language in this case. What exactly is thought, information, data, language and when does each begin and end? For my purposes a thought is something that occurs physically at a specific time interval in the brain. That thought is converted to information through written or spoken language such that the information can be conveyed to another human brain, but the original thought no longer exists as such. It may be a memory, stored in chemical form in the original brain if it still exists, but it is not a though.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Yetanotheruser

An anonymous author is still an author. Information only comes from sentient authors.

@The_Idler

There has never been a chaotic mechanism that has been demonstrated to author codified information. In all of history, not once. Believing that Information can arise by chaos requires a great deal of faith in black swans.

Yet we have billions and trillions of empirical examples of sentient authored code to set a precedent that all codes are authored. Why… How… could anyone possibly believe that codified information can simply arise by chance without the need for sentient authorship?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Snarp

If the thought was long dead and gone, then how did you receive it?

Language is paramount to this discussion. You cannot simply wave it away. Cognitive testing is language based. It has everything to do with this question. I’m sorry it doesn’t fit with your pre-conceived notions about how this question should be answered.

SeventhSense's avatar

@The_Idler
And furthermore you are asking that we suspend our disbelief and imagine that codified information was not created only once but billions of times at random through chaotic mechanism. That takes a tremendous amount of faith.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Random mutation has been soundly refuted by modern genetics. The term was never mentioned in Darwins “Origin of Species”. Darwin did mention a mysterious unknown mechanism that Natural Selection needed to operate upon.

The race to find that mechanism produced a hypothetical solution called Random Mutation. It’s like saying “Singularity”... It means, “We don’t have a freakin’ clue but we’ll get lots of grant money if we make you think we do!”

The concept of Random Mutation is rapidly becoming extinct.

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m not talking about any preconceived notions here, I’m trying to enable us to have a discussion on mutual terms. I’m not entirely sure what you are arguing, so I’m trying to straighten that out. That is why I am carefully parsing my own language and saying that the thought occurs in the brain, but it is different than the information that is transmitted. As you said, “language is paramount to this discussion. You cannot simply wave it away.” I never said I received the thought, I received the information from which I can construct my own thought. The proof of that is that everyone interprets Plato differently, and that reading Plato has a different impact on each different brain each time it is read.

You seem to be arguing that a “thought” is at once an abstract thing that is not physically tied to the brain producing it, but also that it is transmitted physically through language written on paper. Does the thought then also exist independently of both the brain, long dead, and the paper, mouldering undiscovered in a cave somewhere?

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Well, the biologists I’ve read would disagree with you about random mutation.

dpworkin's avatar

There is a distinction between Chaos Theory and Emergence Theory. Maybe that’s the sticking point.

The_Idler's avatar

If we take the state of the universe to be ‘random’, that is non-sentient, and then observe that Life and consciousness are direct logical consequences of this universe, then there must be some non-sentient system that has generated localised order and information. This is evolution. The information is a condensed representation of the course of the history of that small area. The ‘random’ happenings are recorded by the direct logical consequences of them.

The information in genetics is the history of Earth. There is no need for an author, because the actual events in this history were immortalised in the responses of DNA to the changing environment. Self-replication has allowed for the preservation of information about the physical state of Earth over time, without the need for an author.

The only place you can fit in a sentient author is in the shaping of the Universe. If the Earth were shaped by a sentient being, then you could say genetics had an author. But we don’t need God.

It’s not about random mutation, it is about what works and what doesn’t.
That, which is able to replicate itself, is preserved, and so is the information regarding the contemporary state of its environment.

You pick up a rock at the beach and it is small and smooth, but with one sharp edge. You conclude from this that it could have been borne down a river, that it has probably been worn down by water for a long time and that it has recently been split by a considerable physical shock.

You got this information from looking at a rock. Who wrote it? Oh, the universe itself.

mammal's avatar

Without getting too bogged down in the whole western philosophical canon of Ontology, my feeling is that a soul alludes more to an essence of an individual, that transcends it’s physical death, not necessarily the precisely defined Ego of a contemplative being. Therefore a soul is not exclusive to a species.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Snarp

Those are probably some of the biologists that forced Barbara McClintock underground with her research for 2 decades.

Barbara McClintock was demonized for her discovery of the self regulating transposition process. She had to take her work underground for two decades but was ultimately awarded the Nobel prize.

People didn’t like the fact that she refuted “random” mutation. Here’s what she had to say about it.

“Over the years I have found that it is difficult if not impossible to bring to consciousness of another person the nature of his tacit assumptions when, by some special experiences, I have been made aware of them. This became painfully evident to me in my attempts during the 1950s to convince geneticists that the action of genes had to be and was controlled. It is now equally painful to recognize the fixity of assumptions that many persons hold on the nature of controlling elements in maize and the manners of their operation. One must await the right time for conceptual change.”

More and more geneticists are confirming her ideas that gene mutation is controlled and not random at all.

James Shapiro writes:

“The conventional view is that genetic change comes from stochastic, accidental sources: radiation, chemical, or oxidative damage, chemical instabilities in the DNA, or from inevitable errors in the replication process. However, the fact is that DNA proofreading and repair systems are remarkably effective at removing these non-biological sources of mutation.”

“Evolutionary genomic change occurs largely by a process of Natural Genetic Engineering.”

”…the degree to which these genome reorganization activities are not random is poorly appreciated. Non-randomness is evident at three levels: mechanism, timing, and sites of action.”

“These examples make it clear that natural genetic engineering occurs episodically and non-randomly in response to stress events that range from DNA damage to the inability to find a suitable mating partner.”

“Molecular genetics has amply confirmed McClintock’s discovery that living organisms actively reorganize their genomes (5). It has also supported her view that the genome can “sense danger” and respond accordingly (56).”
LINK

Snarp's avatar

I don’t even know when this became a debate about evolution, and I still don’t know what @RealEyesRealizeRealLies is trying to say in any case about thought or about evolution and DNA.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler said: “You got this information from looking at a rock. Who wrote it? Oh, the universe itself.”

Thus you confirm your parody of religious teachings. You ultimately give credence to whispering streams, talking trees, and burning bushes that give instructions to birth a violent nation. The Atheist becomes a parody of the Religious fanatic he mocks.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Yeah, totally.

also,
This behaviour of the DNA, of self-maintenance, is an evolutionarily advantageous predisposition.

There are two explanations for it:
1. It is part of the mechanics of DNAs mission to perpetuate its own existence, it continues and it is prevalent, because any DNA which does not exhibit this behaviour falls prey to disadvantageous random mutation much more often.
2. It is the guiding hand of God. Or whatever.

I’m not sure you understand the biology. It’s like you’ve just heard about this study which is somewhat “anti-random”, and said, “hah! so there must be a sentient author”.
No, it just means DNA maintains itself on the molecular level.
This could be because of God…
or it could be because molecules, which are able to do this, are more successful at self-replication.

CMaz's avatar

“I’m sure it happened countless times where the code, written by chaos, was useless.”

It mostly went in that direction.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes for the most part Professor Chaos gets nowhere.
Maybe it’s the Cartman phenomenon.:)

The_Idler's avatar

Let’s get this straight @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, is it the God thing?

Is it that you want to believe in God? Because that is how it seems.
Showing us DNA self-maintenance as evidence for an overarching sentient author of all Life…
know how that smells?

What exactly are you trying to prove, by showing us that DNA self-maintains?
What is your agenda?

SeventhSense's avatar

@The_Idler
No he’s not saying that but only that code has always had a sentient author but you are saying that you are closed off to the idea of a sentient author.
I’m always amazed at the capacity of an atheist to firmly reject the God they’ve so clearly defined yet refuse to acknowledge any conceptualization outside of their dogmatic definition.

dpworkin's avatar

Most biological evolution is from genetic drift, genetic flow, and adaptation (natural selection). Arguing about mutation as a driving force for evolution is arguing a very small point anyway.

The_Idler's avatar

@SeventhSense Well if it isn’t the God I was talking about, I wasn’t rejecting it. I wouldn’t do, if I didn’t know anything about it. I just wish we had a more clear definition of the word.

And ok, so why would anyone believe the self-maintenance of DNA is due to a ‘sentient author’ rather than its obvious evolutionary advantage?

Also,
BBL: making tea and fried bacon & egg sandwich.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Snarp

Then I’ll review.

Thought is Information from a mind. Norbert Weiner tells us that Information is not energy and not matter. Thus, Information is non physical. Thus Thought is non physical. Inormation is proof of an Immaterial realm beyond the physicality of energy and matter. The only way we can know of Information is upon the existence of a code. Code is a physical lens that allows us to view the immaterial realm of Thoughtful Information… thought in-to-form… Information.

DNA is the genetic code. It is a physical thing. The Genome is pure Information. It is non physical. Code can only be produced by sentient authors. No other mechanism has ever been demonstrated to author codified Information. None, nada, zilch… never.

Thus DNA must be authored by a sentient mind. We know it can’t be a human mind. It could be aliens but that only pushes the question back further.

We are beings based primarily upon a defined quantity of Information. Forensics will confirm that for you after your next crime spree. The genome is very deterministic.

We are the physical manifestation of the thought from a sentient mind. No other scientific explanation can refute this.

@The_Idler

Gene regulation was simply refuting random mutation, and your faith in the God of Chaos.

I don’t want to believe in God. I never brought God up. I let the Atheist mention God before I do in these discussions. I want to know the Truth, and that is all. If the Truth points to a God being, then I will accept that.

@dpworkin

Only changes in the genetic code qualify as evolution. Mutation IS Evolution. Genetic drift, genetic flow, and adaptation are all manifestations of mutations in the genetic code. No change in the code = No Evolution.

CMaz's avatar

Norbert Weiner is a douche.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Then he’s the douche that made our current conversation possible.

CMaz's avatar

No.. @ETpro did.

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The existence of code in the form of DNA is not evidence of a sentient author, and if it is, he’s a really bad author.

Code, language, what have you is a record of a thought, but the thought does not exist in the now the notion that thought exists independent of the brain thinking it, or that the original thought exists and is viewed through a lens of code is unsupported. The original thought died with the original brain or before. If it exists independently, then it exists without the brain or the code. There is no evidence for this. Norbert Weiner can tell us that information is not energy or matter all he wants, but if the matter on which the information is encoded is gone, then so is the information. No brain – no thought. No physical record and no brain – no information.

In short, I could not more fundamentally disagree with you, and the evidence does not support the conclusions drawn by Weiner or by you. With that, I think I’ll largely leave this in @The_Idler and @dpworkin‘s capable hands. Or brains.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler said: _“There are two explanations for it:
1. It is part of the mechanics of DNAs mission to perpetuate its own existence…“_

DNA’s mission is determined by the Information it is encoded with. Where did the Information come from if not from a mind? Show me a source of randomly occurring Information please… Just one… I give you all of history and every industry and scientific discipline known to man. Where did the Information come from if not from a mind?

ragingloli's avatar

“Random mutation has been soundly refuted by modern genetics.”
No it has not. The only thing that McClintock has established is the reduced importance of random mutation in current life forms. The self repair mechanism only reduces the prevalence of random mutations, it does not eliminate them. If it did, there would be no deformed children born from parents exposed to high levels of radiation. And besides, you can not reasonably assume that this mechanism was present from the beginning. This repair mechanism itself has had to evolve, random mutation was a much bigger factor at the beginning of life.
Where did the information come from? It built itself over hundreds of millions of years, its meaning determined only by survival. But I explained that to you months ago. Nice to see you ignored all of it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Snarp

Information is immaterial. We cannot detect it without a material medium. But it is independent from that medium. A CD, DVD, MP3, and sheet music all refer to the exact same Information. Not different Information… the exact same. Where is the actual Information located… ? It is in the immaterial realm. Sunday Bloody Sunday is not a DVD or and MP3.

The words on our screens represent our thoughts. But our thoughts are not reducible to the words on our screens. Our screens are just a medium that point to something else.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
“DNA is the genetic code. It is a physical thing. The Genome is pure Information. It is non physical.”
One thing is a direct consequence of the other.

“Code can only be produced by sentient authors. No other mechanism has ever been demonstrated to author codified Information. None, nada, zilch… never.”
Watchmaker fallacy.

“Thus DNA must be authored by a sentient mind.”
Thus?

Also, I’ll tell you where this “mission” and information came from.
The first time a self-replicating molecule happened to form, the structure of that molecule and its mechanism for reproduction in its environment were immortalised. The subsequent iterations were subject to external pressures. These pressures were immortalised in the structure of the children molecules as adaptations. I’m sure you know all about how organisms are vehicles for DNA, adapted to an environment, to best perpetuate the DNA.

All the information held in DNA now is directly consequential of all the environments every ancestor, up til the very first, lived in. And the best bit? There’s no need for anything else.

—————————————

No need for a sentient author, as genetic information is a not a conscious interpretation of historical events, but a logical, physical, direct consequence.

—————————————

Now, for the love of the God of Chaos, read you carefully some genetic and evolutionary theory, and stop with the meaningless allusions to the magical nature of information.

Snarp's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The information doesn’t exist external to the medium, a CD, DVD, and MP3 contain substantially different (more and also more specific) information than the sheet music. It is contained in ones and zeros. The information in the sheet music is ink on paper in the code of musical notation. It is not independent.

crap, I said I’d leave this.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

Hey just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I ignore you.

You can say that Information built itself. You can claim it all day long. But you’ve never demonstrated a mechanism to illustrate your claim.

@Snarp

All those different mediums represent one thought from the mind of Bono. It could be color coded or mapped to smoke signals. The medium doesn’t matter what so ever. The Information is the same. Communication Theory confirms this in spades.

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
I did. I even posted videos illustrating just that.
Back then I also pointed out that McClintock did not refute random mutation, only made it less important in today’s life forms. And yet, here you claim again that McClintock disproved random mutation. You clearly ignored what I said back then.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

Everything you presented was hypothetical. Not one proven mechanism. Even the videos. Just like @The_Idler‘s comments.

The person who empirically demonstrates a non sentient authored code would surely win a Nobel Prize. It hasn’t been done. What you present is pure speculation. May as well speculate on the existence of real dragons… Oh, the discovery channel already did

dpworkin's avatar

You are conflating mutation with evolution. Mutation is merely one statistically unimportant means of evolution. Go read a book.

ragingloli's avatar

Remember the video where a picture of a southpark character evolved from random noise?
The very simulation that led to the picture is proof that the mechanism the simulation is based on works. Replace the south park picture with survival as a goal and you have your mechanism for the emergence of complex information from chaos.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dpworkin

Would you mind explaining how speciation can occur without a change in the genetic code?

dpworkin's avatar

Stochastic mutation and changes at alleles are not the same phenomena. You don’t seem to be able to understand that, and I don’t have the energy to educate you. Like I said, go read a book, or take a course, and then come back, unless you are entirely ineducable in which case, don’t bother.

SeventhSense's avatar

@dpworkin
Do you work hard at being so arrogant or does it just come naturally?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

No. I don’t remember that. But if what you say is true, if flies in the face of Information Theory. Random Noise (Information Entropy), is the enemy of Information.

@dpworkin

Alleles are now understood to be alternative DNA sequences at the same physical locus

It’s a change in the code friend. Though you are correct, no mutation necessary.

dpworkin's avatar

Christ @SeventhSense. This is Biology 101, and aggressive stupidity is when someone won’t take a hint. That’s not arrogance, that’s boredom. He needs to go to Wikipedia and look up Meiosis, and understand how it is a haploid process, and what that means, and then maybe he can stop making a fool out of himself here.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

Thanks, I’ll check it out. I really must get back to work now. I had no intention of getting so involved.

@dpworkin

Thanks for your time and thoughtful consideration. You may have the last word my friend.

SeventhSense's avatar

@dpworkin
It’s your effing tone. If you don’t have the patience or the consideration to give others the benefit of the doubt that’s just wrong. Regardless of what you imagine to be another person’s shortcomings.

The_Idler's avatar

OH MY GOD OF CHAOS! IS THAT WHAT ALLELES REALLY ARE!?

Yeah, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, you really don’t understand biology.
Just read an A-Level Biology textbook and it explains all these genetic/evolutionary ideas you have been referencing, with no need for – or suggestion of – sentient authorship

You’re presenting these accepted ideas in genetics as if they mean something they don’t!
There is just no suggestion of sentient authorship in any of the examples. Read the textbook, and if you can’t be bothered, trust me: I just finished the course.

—————————————

You said, “The person who empirically demonstrates a non sentient authored code would surely win a Nobel Prize. It hasn’t been done. What you present is pure speculation.”

The only reason that you wouldn’t consider Life on Earth to be such an example, is your faith in intelligent design itself!
There is, I believe, a term for such fallacy.
Everything is pure speculation.
True wisdom comes in knowing only that you know nothing.

—————————————

You said, “I never brought God up. I let the Atheist mention God before I do in these discussions. ”

But your entire argument is reliant on the existence of an intelligent Creator!
This is why you created so much confusion. I nailed it eventually though, didn’t I?

Response moderated
The_Idler's avatar

btw, God of Chaos, this sandwich is gooooood!

nebule's avatar

I am soooo bummed that I have only just found this question and there are like….122 responses… I would have a lot to add…but I can’t because I am currently writing an essay on the subject of Decartes’ dualism and Ryle’s criticism of it… so I must go to the books :-(... i will hopefully get to read all responses at some point and add my probably-redundant-by-that-point two-penniworth

Nullo's avatar

They don’t evolve higher thought processes, and thus are never in danger of acquiring a soul.
Now, a better question might be whether or not animals already have sould.

ETpro's avatar

WOW! I thought I would be lucky to get even a couple of answers to this question. I will go through the batch and hand out many great answer awards later this evening whtn business matters are no longer pressing. You guy’s got soul. :-)

Response moderated
ninjacolin's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies said:
“Information is immaterial. We cannot detect it without a material medium. But it is independent from that medium. A CD, DVD, MP3, and sheet music all refer to the exact same Information. Not different Information… the exact same. Where is the actual Information located… ? It is in the immaterial realm. Sunday Bloody Sunday is not a DVD or and MP3. The words on our screens represent our thoughts. But our thoughts are not reducible to the words on our screens. Our screens are just a medium that point to something else.”

False. Information is material.

Information is exactly the waves of sound from a song slapping against your ear drum in a certain succession. your memory of that succession provides you with your thoughts on the song. If you heard that song on an old scratchy radio, then that is what your memory of the song will be. Using other older memories you can imagine what the song will sound like without the static, but that’s just imagination.

Your thoughts necessarily depend on what information was stored in memory and how. It’s a physical relationship between an outside medium and the memory stores in your brain. Physically, memories are etched into your brain.

ragingloli's avatar

@SeventhSense
Of course it is not a joke.

Pazza's avatar

With regards to the mirror test, the scientific method used, is to put a young child infront of the mirror by itself (from the footage I’ve seen), how could a baby recognise itself, if it didn’t know what it looked like?

I’ve stood in front of the mirror loads of times with all my children, and I can tell you from first hand experience that all my kids from under the age of 12 months recognised themselves in front of the mirror because they recognised me holding them, and it then clicks that the baby in my arms is themself.

Simples….....

Also, when baby is really really young, he-she really isn’t interested in the relflection, that doesn’t mean the baby isn’t self aware, it just means the baby has no concept of a reflection. Therefore the mirror test doesn’t prove it either way.

Personaly I think reality is the illusion. All matter is an expression of conciousness, I mean I’ve not read all the comments, but most, and in reading I only found one comment that mentioned quantum entanglement. It really does tickle me that die hard no soul believers can discount a seamingly intangible soul, yet two atoms can exist at opposite ends of the cosmos and yet be linked? (ever think that the might be the same one?)

I also think (on a regular basis) about how the sense of touch, no, all the senses for that matter are projected, tho touch in particular, as I press the keys my finger senses them not in my brain, but at the end of my finger, I did think at one time that this must be some form of mental projection based on sight as we grow, but then that wouldn’t account for blind people projecting touch in the same mannor that I do. I’m not sure what I’m really trying to get at there, but it does seem that I lack the vocabulary to fully convey my deepest thoughts!

And as for thoughts, how the fuck is a thought aware of its own existence if its just electrons buzzing around a bloody big roller coaster track? It puzzles me deeply how simply sending electrons round in immensely complicated patterns eventually leads to them being aware of their own existence? Or are we to believe that its the complex electromagnetic fields that are the conciousness? If thats the case then conciousness is separate to the bio-chemical-electro solid mass that resides in my head.

Some of the comments quite rightly talk about biology and biological functions, and some mention electrochemical activity, but surely there is no biology or chemistry, when you break it down, isn’t it all electromagnetic, since there really is no ‘solid’, and if thats the case, surely solid is the ‘real’ illusion.

If all mass is just energy, then what is energy?

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the ultimate question, and the only thing my intuition has come up with is conciousness and or love, that may sound a little 60’s esoteric flower powerie, but in the end, I’ve ultimately come to live with, and accept that thats all I’m going to know until the day I die (or not, if my experiences with the other side aren’t just mind tricks?).

Anyhoo, peace out, and I’ll see you all on the dark side.
where we’ll all drink metaphorical vodka and chat shit about going back and doing it all over again!.....

or not…..round an round we go!........

SeventhSense's avatar

@ragingloli
And how can it possibly be a replication of randomness or chaos when it has a sentient author within a very controlled set of parameters with a prescribed aim? That is no more a replication of an evolving universe any more than an atom, is representative of the globe. It attempts to debunk a theory by using the same methods it would debunk.

ragingloli's avatar

@SeventhSense
The set of parameters are analogous to the laws of physics in our universe. The preset aim is analogous to the aim of survival in nature. To be more precise and as stated in the video, it is analogous to mimicry, a feature found in nature where an animal evolved to look like another animal or plant to increase its survivability, either by becoming more stealthy or by looking more dangerous. The rest of the simulation is based on the fundamental components of evolution, namely, mutation, natural selection, and reproduction.

SeventhSense's avatar

With man made pixels on a manmade electronic video screen…

ragingloli's avatar

@SeventhSense
You are missing the point entirely.

SeventhSense's avatar

It’s all conceptual.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Conceptual or perceptual?

Pazza's avatar

So how did Cartman evolve?
It would seem that the program already knows a preset pattern that looks like a southpark caracter and just leaves the pixels in place when they match?
I could do that throwing marbles into a grid and removing, or leaving them in place when they matched the picture.

I’m confused as to the point of that video sorry.

ragingloli's avatar

@Pazza
Yes. That is how evolution works. What works and survives gets passed on. It is extremely simple and elegant

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hello again, I’m back for a moment at least…

@ragingloli
That was quite entertaining, but are you really serious about promoting that video as demonstrating a proven mechanism for non sentient authored code? Twice, the term “GOAL” was mentioned. “The Goal is a Picture”, “The Goal is a Sentence”. That simulation was programmed with a pre-determined GOAL in mind. The GOAL came from the mind of a sentient author, and he programmed his simulation to produce his pre-determined final GOAL.

He did not begin the simulation with pure static + the ability to replicate, (as he said). He began with a GOAL. A Goal shrouding an Atheist Agenda. His end Goal was defined by Codified Information. His Goal was a thought from his Mind. Only the thought from his Mind was Information. Nothing else in that simulation was Information.

Are you really suggesting that his little 4 minute video accomplished what supposedly took the Universe billions of years to do? And it just so happened to form a sentence _“If you can read this ID is WRONG”? THAT is a MIRACLE! Don’t you see where this is leading? There is NO MIRACLE to Sentient Authorship. It’s a valid mechanism, and the only proven one ever in the history of humanity. Your presentation begs for a Miracle.

Please @ragingloli… Please be reasonable.

He started with knowledge of a full alphabet and language structure. Beyond the source of Information, do you honestly want me to believe that the Universe somehow mysteriously collected all the necessary components of transmitter, receiver, alphabet, redundancy, error correction, noise reduction, semantics and syntax, simultaneously? THAT would be a MIRACLE. None of those components can stand on their own. They are all components of Mind, and Natural Selection would never have selected any of them individually even if they were not.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem has been soundly refuted
“Even if the observable universe were filled with monkeys typing for all time, their total probability to produce a single instance of Hamlet would still be less than one in 10 to 183,800. As Kittel and Kroemer put it, “The probability of Hamlet is therefore zero in any operational sense of an event…”, and the statement that the monkeys must eventually succeed “gives a misleading conclusion about very, very large numbers. This is from their textbook on thermodynamics, the field whose statistical foundations motivated the first known expositions of typing monkeys.

___________________________________

@dpworkin

Your insults are well taken. I adore them. For they reveal the weakness of your own knowledge on this subject. You seem set on exposing my foolishness. So let’s clear the air here and see exactly what you think I’m being foolish about.

I said: “No change in the code = No Evolution”

Are you denying that?

I said: “Mutation IS Evolution”

Are you denying that?

I made the mistake of saying: “Genetic drift, genetic flow, and adaptation are all manifestations of mutations in the genetic code”… but soon clarified and admitted my mistake by quoting Wicki: “Alleles are now understood to be alternative DNA sequences at the same physical locus”

and then said, “It’s a change in the code friend. Though you are correct, no mutation necessary”.

Are you denying that?

What exactly am I being foolish about? What have I done to deserve your insults?

And what exactly do you think I need to understand about Meiosis being a haploid process? Are you suggesting that is a random process like transcription used to be considered? Why is biology the only science where Information transfer and recombination can be considered a random process? Why is biology the only science that sets itself apart from all the other Information sciences, refusing to accept what is known and taken as fact about Information? Rather dogmatic don’t you think?

Robotics, AI, Computer Science, Manufacturing, Google… all demonstrate recombination of multiple information sources. In every instance it has been programmed to do so by an intelligent agent. What gives biology the right to claim Meiosis as random? If that indeed is what you are leading to. I really don’t know what you’re leading to actually. You haven’t really said anything at all beyond offering insults to my lack of education.

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
The Goals are analogous to survival in the real world. I already said that in the post before. Please at least try to comprehend.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Goals are only definable with code. Goals are thoughts and desires from a mind. The cosmos is mute, mindless, with no goals, no desire, and no future plans. I cannot equate Goals of desired end results with static authorship. Impossible and purely hypothetical.

SeventhSense's avatar

@ragingloli
The Goals skew any real objective findings.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Turn on the TV and watch static. Tell me what the goals of that static are. Tell me if they form any recognizable picture whatsoever. Woe to the one who starts seeing pictures where there are none. Woe to the one who receives messages where none were ever sent.

dpworkin's avatar

You seemed to be conflating evolution with mutation. To the extent that you now say you were wrong, we agree. As for meiosis being random, other than in monozygotic twins, are the results ever exactly the same for any two zygotes produced by the gene combination of any two sets of chromosomes? I don’t know how to prove that they would not be, save to point out to you that everywhere you look in life there is variation. If we all had the same alleles at the same loci, there would be no variation, and therefore, of course, evolution would not be possible. That is not the same phenomenon as mutation, as I am sure you will now agree.

I’m sorry I insulted you. That was bad behavior, I am not proud of it, and it is a flaw I am trying to correct. I get short tempered when I am made to repeat things that seem to me to be self evident.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dpworkin

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I’ve always admired your comments and will continue to do so I’m sure.

Pazza's avatar

@ragingloli – But doesn’t evolution by natural selection basically define the mechanism of how something that already exists evolves?

Evolution by natural selection doesn’t disprove a designer, neither does a designer disprove evolution by natural selection, so the two concepts can both be applied.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies – You have deep thoughts and convey them tremendously well (I wish I could articulate my thoughts as you do), but I’m disapointed that you would see the cosmos as devoid of mind, desires or goals, current math describes how order can come from chaos, so if there are no souls inhabiting human bodies, and they are still sentient, I don’t see how you can discount the cosmos having the same traits?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Yetanotheruser said: “Conceptual or perceptual?”

Good call.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Pazza

My personal beliefs are similar to yours. I do believe the Cosmos is controlled by mind. I just don’t have any evidence for it so I cannot claim it as truth. When I see a Code to the Cosmos, then I will have evidence of a Mind who authored that Code. Currently, we have discovered no pre-existing Code in the Cosmos… Unlike DNA, where we have discovered a pre-existing Code.

As far as “math describes”... well, kind of. Math doesn’t actually describe (but I know what you mean). People use math as a tool to describe. The description comes from people, as all descriptions are products of sentient authorship. Math is a Language tool. And all Language tools (English, Binary, Pig Latin, Smoke Signals) are used to describe observable phenomenon. But the phenomenon does not speak to humans. We just describe it.

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
The simulations are models based on evolution. The parameters chosen and the end result to be achieved are all analogous (note: not identical) to things you will find in nature as laws of physics and survival and in the specific case, Mimicry. The mechanism the simulation runs on is the same mechanism Evolution itself is based on.

You will not see any images forming from noise on tv because the pixels do not compete for resources and there is no selection of any kind.

Why people like you always see models like these as a 100% equivalent to the phenomenon they try to illustrate is beyond me.
I am sorry to overestimate you.

@Pazza
“But doesn’t evolution by natural selection basically define the mechanism of how something that already exists evolves?”
Yes, but that is something RERRL is also arguing against, because even when you start out with a bacterium, if you want to arrive at a human, you still need to add alot of information, because the information on how to form a human does not exist yet. Since RERRL claims that all information must have an author, this additional information, every bit of it, must be written by that author.
That is why I posted this video.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Though this conversation seems to have already calmed down, I would like to remind everyone to proceed without making personal insults. Thank you.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@augustlan

It’s all good!

Sorry @ninjacolin, you are mistaken. On a couple of fronts actually…

Believe it or not, there is no such thing as sound waves. I know, I know, that sounds absolutely crazy I know… But before you send me to the luny bin, consider that all that really exists is vibrations. Matter vibrates (a string), and that vibration births a cycle of cause and reaction, bumping air molecules together in the resonant form of a wave pattern. Sound doesn’t exist until that vibration lands upon an eardrum and is transduced into an electro chemical reaction. That’s why sound can’t exist in a vaccum, there’s nothing to vibrate.

We mislead ourselves by calling this process sound waves.

But there is still no Information present in any of this process. There is only a physical medium. So far, it all consists of energy and matter forming patterns. But the medium is never the message. The Information is immaterial, (as Norbert Weiner suggests), and it is being shared from one immaterial mind with another by using vibrations as a medium to express it. Notice I didn’t say “carry it”… Nothing immaterial can be carried. It can only be referred to, pointed to… thus image/object relationship has formed. Welcome to dualism.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

No it’s not. Evolution doesn’t begin with a desire to produce Cartman, and then proceed to be a self fulfilling prophesy. Only codified Information can do that. That’s why he ended up with Cartman.

Yes, after the Information is introduced, yes the mechanism is identical. But you keep leap frogging over the initial source of Information. You can’t get around the fact that this simulation was programmed with an end result IN MIND and that’s the only reason it worked. Your demo only supports my argument.

dpworkin's avatar

As to the philosophical process I have no opinion. As to the sensory process, I am forced to agree that there is no information before it is processed by the sensorium at least as to sound, light, taste, touch and smell. These are all biophysical phenomena.

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
That is right, it does not start out with a desire for anything.
The only thing that counts is survival and reproduction and the criteria for survival in that simulation and in the real world example of mimicry, an article you should read for a change, is looking like another animal, plant or object, in that simulation, cartman.
None of the pixel patches in the simulation has any desire to become something else, they are just subjects who get either killed off or get to reproduce based on their survivability, which itself is determined by the visual similarity to the cartman object, because the cartman object happens to be so terrifying that it scares off predators, and by looking similar to cartman, the pixel patches with the best match at any given time scare off the predator and get to reproduce.
I do not know why you seem to be unable to understand this simple concept.

The_Idler's avatar

Oh look, he ignored me and carried on.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli
I think it’s because survival and reproduction are being considered as the same criteria. Survival implies desire, that desire implies mind. Reproduction doesn’t require any of that. Fractal Patterns from Chaos can reproduce (not exactly), and no mind is required for that.

The_Idler's avatar

survival does not imply desire.

survival implies a genetic predisposition to characteristics and behaviour, which increase the likelihood of successful reproduction (which requires survival to a certain extent), and hence propagation of genetics.

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
No. Survival does not imply desire. A bacterium does not desire to survive. Some bacteria survive, some do not. Reproduction does not require desire either. Some bacteria reproduce, some do not. Those who do not reproduce, do not exist anymore. Over time life incorporated reproduction into its standard cycle, simply because those who did incorporate it reproduce in greater number and those who did not, became the minority.

The_Idler's avatar

Wait…
sorry, I’m not going to participate right now because you ignored my previous post and now I’m drunk.

Know only that you know nothing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler said: “The only reason that you wouldn’t consider Life on Earth to be such an example, is your faith in intelligent design itself!”

That’s not true Idler. I don’t believe in Intelligent Design. And your insults and sarcasm are preventing you from seeing that. Intelligent Design is FALSE. How’s that?

ragingloli's avatar

“I don’t believe in Intelligent Design.”
Yes you do. You believe that DNA was made by an intelligent author, a.k.a. designer, because you believe it could not emerge by itself.
It may not be the exact type of Intelligent Design that is commonly known as such, but it is certainly a variation of Intelligent Design.

The_Idler's avatar

Awesome, so he’s in denial. Big surprise. I give up. Nighty-night y’all.
I knew I should have left it at:

“HAHAHAHAHAH, dualism…..”

SeventhSense's avatar

@ragingloli
Survival implies activity. Activity has inherent within it desire. A desire to move, act, react to an environment. As per dismissal based on “ID”, you are simply using that to invalidate the source and therefore the argument.
Dogmatic Atheism

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

Surely it must be as you say… just because you said it. Such an open mind you have.

ragingloli's avatar

@SeventhSense
The sun is active. It has no desires. It is not even alive. Same with volcanoes, the weather, supernovae, earthquakes, the movement of planets, moons and asteroids, all active without desire.
And no, I already refuted the arguments themselves, the comment about ID stands on its own as an observation about RERRL.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Keep up the hypocritical one-liners, they give you your character.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

You accuse me of being a hypocrite. Why? Sounds like drunk talk. You’ve admitted you are drunk. Why should I pay any mind to a sarcastic insulting drunk?

@ragingloli said: “The only thing that counts is survival and reproduction and the criteria for survival in that simulation and in the real world example of mimicry”

But that simulation was not the real world you speak of. Your real world makes code on its own. The simulation didn’t. How do you keep claiming they are they relevant to each other?

ragingloli's avatar

Yes it did. It ‘created’ a facsimile of cartman all on its own based on specific survival criteria with no outside input whatsoever. That is why they are relevant to each other.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Take out the programmer. Would (could) Cartman have formed all on his own?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

What am I in denial of?

The_Idler's avatar

Cartman wouldn’t have formed, but Life did. The only reason you think it didn’t is because you think it couldn’t have.

The only reason you think it couldn’t have is because nothing else has. So?

Life did.
The alternative is intelligent design, or, if you want to use your meta-euphemism, a sentient author

…......
OK sorry, you’re right, I am drunk, I’ll go to bed.

ragingloli's avatar

If you took out the programmer, and therefore the programme itself, it would be equivalent to a world without anything, no matter, no energy, no laws of physics, whithout anything. Completely poinless.
The point is not the programme, nor the computational nature of the simulation, but the phenomenon that it is supposed to simulate. The programme itself only stands for the environment in which the process of evolution occurs and the laws of physics by which it occurs. If you took away the programme, you could not simulate anything, because the situation you end up with would be completely opposite of the real world where nothing could happen.
Why do you bring up this distracting and counterproductive nonsense?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler said: “You’re presenting these accepted ideas in genetics as if they mean something they don’t!”

So why are they accepted ideas if they don’t mean anything?

@The_Idler said: “There is just no suggestion of sentient authorship in any of the examples. Read the textbook, and if you can’t be bothered, trust me: I just finished the course.”

Congrats Grad! I’m happy for you. I never said any of the examples suggested sentient authorship. I’m the one who suggested it, and supported it with examples.

You have one task. Demonstrate a proven (not hypothetical) example of non sentient authored code. Just one. Stop avoiding it and stop presenting your opinion as fact when you obviously don’t have a clue about the information sciences. If your hypothesis is so sound then support it with empirical evidence.

My claim is testable…

I am sentient, and I just authored code.

My claim is repeatable…

Other sentient beings have been authoring code since the beginning of recorded history.

My claim is falsifiable…

Provide another source of codified information other than sentient authorship.

Bingo… It’s easy, and any biology student should understand what they need to do to support their own hypothesis or shoot mine down. Your turn.

@The_Idler said: “True wisdom comes in knowing only that you know nothing.”

And how do you know this? Please share your “True wisdom” that you don’t know.

@The_Idler said: “This is why you created so much confusion. I nailed it eventually though, didn’t I?”

Please don’t cast your confusion upon me. The only thing you nailed was your coffin shut.

dpworkin's avatar

Do we not trust computerized weather simulations because there were programmers? The fact is, we trust them the more accurately they model weather, and they model weather because they have been programmed to do so. That does not invalidate them, nor does it make weather a conscious phenomenon. @ragingloli has been awfully patient.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

It’s funny watching you chase your tail. It’s funnier watching you try to fit me into a box that makes you feel better. Keep going please. I almost understood you last comment… almost.

ragingloli's avatar

@dpworkin
Especially considering that I went through this entire ordeal several months ago, with apparently no results whatsoever and no expectation that I will see any results this time either.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli said: “If you took out the programmer, and therefore the programme itself, it would be equivalent to a world without anything, no matter, no energy, no laws of physics, whithout anything.”

No. Take out the programmer and you still have the medium that he programmed it upon. You’re conflating the medium with the message. No program… fine… but that does not negate the terminal he used in any way.

Again, your argument eats itself. For your world view is without a programmer, but the physical universe still remains. Stop picking and choosing portions of your simulation to support your argument.

ragingloli's avatar

The medium it would be programmed on is irrelevant, your backtrack to your medium-message-argument is irrelevant. It does not matter. It could be done on a blob of jelly for all I care.
It is a simulation. The simulation, in order to yield any viable results must contain a simulated environment, simulated and most importantly, the rules by which the simulation must abide by, all analogous to the physical world.
Without the programmer there would be no simulation, which is the equivalent of a non-existant physical world. What counts is the simulation itself, not the medium it is run on.
My argument does not “eat itself”. You just do not understand my argument.
And until you can understand my arguments, I will stop responding to you, because frankly, your last post was the last drop that made the barrel of patience overflow.
End of Transmission.

SeventhSense's avatar

^Taking her ball and going home

dpworkin's avatar

No, she’s just out of patience because everything she has been saying makes perfect sense, and there seems to be almost a willful effort to misunderstand her. Eventually one becomes fatigued as the process becomes more and more tedious.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

No problem. I’ll give you just the program as the simulated environment. Take out all the hardware. Your simulated environment is pure program. But still, your programmer did program for Cartman from the very beginning. You don’t honestly believe that the Cartman figure appeared without being programmed for… do you? You cannot have it both ways, and whatever way suits your argument.

And honestly, the programmer was still outside of the environment. Show me a Cartman figure that was programmed from within the environment, with no outside intervention.

If the Cartman figure could think and speak, he would have no conception of the being from outside his “Universe” that programmed him to appear amidst the noise. He would think that to be a maddening proposition, for he has no way of detecting anything outside of his environment. Until he discovers his own program, and realizes that all programs are authored by sentient beings, and that no other sentient being within his environment could have possibly accomplished that.

@ragingloli said: “your medium-message-argument is irrelevant. It does not matter. It could be done on a blob of jelly for all I care.”

But that means it is relevant. If the medium “does not matter”, and it could be “a blob of jelly for all you care”, then you agree that the medium is not the message. Thus you agree that Information is not reducible to the Medium that expresses it. Thus you agree with Norbert Weiner’s claim that Information is NOT energy or matter. Thus you agree that Information is non physical and quite immaterial. Thus you agree there must be such a thing as an Immaterial realm that exists outside the confines of the physical material realm of Chaos.

Nice.

dpworkin's avatar

Use the weather analogy, and skip Cartman, and tell me what’s wrong with a simulation based on empirical data.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The problem is that it starts with empirical data. Observable phenomenon is described by a sentient being. THAT is the empirical data, the description from a mind. Give me a simulation that starts with absolutely NO data, and then produces data from nothing.

The only simulation that works is one with pure static, and no outside intervention whatsoever. We can run that simulation right now on our television sets or radios. Tune to static, pure static, and tell me if you think an entire communication protocol will form complete with alphabet, transmitter, receiver, error correction, redundancy, noise reduction, semantics, syntax… you get the idea. And then realize that although a word can indeed form by itself, that meaning does not arise until the sentence level. A full sentence must arise for any meaning to be present.

There is a huge chasm between cause/reaction and thought/action. Only thought/action creates information… thought in-to-form… physical form.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Damn! It’s 10pm. I’m sposed to be at da pool hall… see ya!

dpworkin's avatar

Well, again, you are making a philosophical statement which I am not intellectually equipped to add to or argue against. I have never studied philosophy.

Shuttle128's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies In a simulation there must be initial conditions and rules. Yes, these initial conditions and rules must be provided by a mind in a simulation due to the fact that the conditions that are simulated are abstracted from the real world; however, the initial conditions and rules of nature are a product of the physical nature of the universe.

Your argument against simulations requires exactly what @ragingloli has argued: the non-existence of the universe and its rules. I would like you to show me a universe that produces matter in the form of humans without any initial conditions or rules.

In the physical world this “empirical data” is analogous to physical positions and velocities of physical objects. When these physical objects behave according to the rules of the universe other positions and velocities occur as a result. The initial conditions of these objects must exist for the rules of the universe to determine the outcome.

If these physical objects are constrained by higher order phenomena that emerge from the simple rules of the universe then, rather than simulating the entire universe to find the results for a very small part of it, a higher order constraint must be used in order to reduce the computation required to find a suitable answer. This is analogous to simulating the evolution of image bits by introducing the higher order concept of “must look like this.”

If I had the computational ability to simulate a universe based on a few rules and initial conditions and allowed it to propagate, how would you take the results if I found some sort of representation within the propagated results? Would you automatically condemn the computer simulation because I had to input initial conditions and rules into it?

The static on a television screen has no constraining conditions (it is also a result of noise on the line or antenna so it may not be entirely random). If I were to apply some constraining conditions on the static viewed on my TV and were to propagate the results some structured images might result. You would not necessarily call this information. I’m fairly certain you would reject this as not being analogous to the real world because I have “introduced information” by applying constraining conditions.

Constraining conditions such as competition for resources, ability to reproduce, and environmental conditions are all things that emerge from the basic rules of the universe. To say that a simulation must not have constraining conditions in order to be analogous to real life is to say that the universe must not have any constraining conditions. This is patently false. In order for a simulation to be analogous to the real world we must apply constraining conditions, otherwise we will have no simulation at all.

dpworkin's avatar

@Shuttle128 Would you say that the “constraining conditions” might have hinged upon the way symmetry “broke” in the first bloom of the Big Bang, or am I overinterpreting?

Shuttle128's avatar

@dpworkin I think you read me just fine. I was trying not to get into the discussion of how the universe might have formed, just that it happened to form with certain laws that constrain behavior of physical objects.

dpworkin's avatar

Thanks. I was just trying to follow along. I am not a scientist, but I like to learn. I’m glad I wasn’t so far off base.

Shuttle128's avatar

@dpworkin Really, I’d like to think that all universes and all initial conditions exist and that we just happen to find ourselves in one of them with specific rules and a certain set of initial conditions.

@ETpro Sorry to get so far away from the initial question (RealEyes can really take these over).

dpworkin's avatar

too bad we can’t see that far

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser I’d differ as wel on whether animals have the brain power. Maybe, but the adult human has a brain weighing between 1,300 and 1,600 grams and posessing 10 billion neurons, each with about 100 connections to other neurons, so a total of 1 trillion neural connections. Porpoises have about the same size brain. Elephant brains tip the scales at about 4,500 grams and some whales make it into the 6,000 gram range.

Interestingly, whales sing a song thit is very long and complex, and they repeat the same song over and over. Each one has a different dong. Why? Are the communicating, or just making an interesting “here I am” sound? We haven’t figured that out yet.

@Zajvhal Thanks for your different take on the question. Where do you think new sould come from. The quantity of life on earth has increased exponentially over time, which would require that new souls be injected into the system, it would seem to me.

Shuttle128's avatar

In the way I understand how the brain works, I believe that abstraction is the key to intelligence. The degree to which a brain can abstract greatly decides the animal’s ability to perform conscious actions and understand observations. Language is itself an abstraction so it is a valuable measure of consciousness and intelligence. The greater an animal’s ability to abstract the more individual things it can observe and quantify in its brain. When more things are quantifiable and observable it is natural for the animal to conduct itself in a way we perceive as intelligent. As abstraction becomes common between animals a language can develop in order to express these common abstractions.

The number of neural connections are often cited as an indicator of the possible level of abstraction of an animal, but there are other factors involved as well. A lot of a human’s ability to abstract is in our socialization. We teach children to abstract early on in their development; without this socialization much of the intelligence that humans express is lost.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I wonder about thought being language based. Such a claim raises a serious self-referentail flaw. If thought is language based, who thought up language before thought could exist?

Information is information… It would appear to me that information certainly could be an emergent consequence of electrochemical activity withing a neural network of staggering complexity. Here is an interesting point. The human brain has around 1 trillion neural interconnections bewteen its 10 billion neurons. But there aren’t enough base pairs on the human DNA chain to map 1 trillion connections. So how can our DNA include the blueprint to build the brain plus all our other parts?

dpworkin's avatar

@ETpro It won’t come as a surprise to you that Chomsky has proposed an a priori “language acquisition device” in humans that he claims doesn’t exist in infra-human primates. I don’t know if anyone has ever applied the tools of structural linguistics to help to understand whale-song.

Shuttle128's avatar

@ETpro I asked the same question before, but it was during a lull in his activity so I don’t blame him for not answering. This sort of feeds into what I was talking about. Language needs common abstraction before it can mean anything to anyone other than the person talking. Then again, a lot of the socialization of children is the teaching of language and without language feral children find it very hard to conceptualize a great deal of things.

I’m finding it hard to believe that thought can only exist through language. I think it is much more plausible that thought is much easier with language. The expression of thought from one person to another creates a feedback loop that would not otherwise exist. This feedback loop and the abstraction required in language allows a more enhanced grasp of abstract ideas.

dpworkin's avatar

Especially if Chomsky’s “device” is actually organic, and resides, say, somewhere in Broca’s area.

ETpro's avatar

@Shuttle128 Our brains appear to be wired up to deal in puns, or in other words in the lumping together of multiple things of a similar class. This capacity makes it possible to function in what would otherwise be a chaos of near infinite complexity. It also makes ti quite possible to go far astray in thought when we get the wrong things lumped together. But it does dovetail very well into language, which is applying word containers for group[s of similar things or actions. Quite likely language began out of grunts, groans, giggles, startle or warning cries. We hear these all around us in the animal kingdom, and clearly the various sounds have meaning to other members of the same species.

dpworkin's avatar

Uh, maybe it’s not so clear how to distinguish communication (eg warning cries) from language in your scenario. Warning cries can’t really be said to be semantic.

ETpro's avatar

@dpworkin Sorry if I was unclear. I wasn’t suggesting such, just that typical animal and human baby noises might well have been the precursors of language. A warning cry or a growl is an aural container for a pun, or set of similar things/actions. With increasing brain power, it appears that both animals, and ultimately humans, become able to string together more and more of such sounds. It doesn’t seem strange to me that given that ability, humans with their brain power pushed further and further into this useful new tool, language.

Shuttle128's avatar

@ETpro This is the abstraction I’m referring to. The lumping together of like qualities requires the ability to abstract the qualities from the things that exist. The ability to discern these qualities in other things through abstraction tend to lump like things together in the brain.

Warning cries can be replaced with an equivalent in any language so I would venture a guess that it might be considered code by RealEyes; however, it does not contain many of the indicators a linguist would require to consider it a language.

It would be entirely possible to develop language in the form of gestures, wholly apart from sounds.

As for what was just said: Socialization is a key factor in the development of language. Without a social network that teaches a language to the young, language can make little headway. I think that the social network that humans arose in is a very good indicator of what would lead to the development of language. With close knit families and our tendency towards monogamy humans have a very good environment for social evolution to occur.

This may very well be why animals with many more neural connections have not developed a language yet.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Chaos is exactly what produces evolution. A chance, quantum encounter between a base pair on a DNA strand and a cosmic particle occurs. A new base pair is born. It most likely will generate a mutation that does nothing (large chunks of the base pairs are old relics that no longer code for anything, or a mutation that produces a disaster—a leg where an antennae is supposed to go). But every once in a great while, a mutation happens and it works better than the non-mutated organism. And natural selection determines the winners, who get to reproduce and pass on that new genetic code till it mutates again.

dpworkin's avatar

But then how do we disambiguate this lumping process from, say, the ability of crows and African Grey parrots to “lump” colors, shapes and other attributes?

ETpro's avatar

@Shuttle128 Thanks for the clarification. Interestingly, orcas are quite intelligent animals with brains significantly larger than humans. They are also highly social, and have a large range of vocalizations. We don’t know how they do it, but we do know that if one orca learns a new way to hunt or new place to go to find food, that animal will “teach” the rest of the pod, apparently through some form of communication.

Shuttle128's avatar

@dpworkin Exactly. We don’t.

As far as I know, most ways of determining intelligence in animals is based on exactly what you’ve mentioned as attributes.

The_Idler's avatar

Seriously @ETpro, don’t bother explaining evolution and genetics, it doesn’t work.

You’ll just hear, “but nowhere else does order come from Chaos, you God-of-Chaos-worshipping self-parody! nyah, nyah!”

and then “But information is information, maaaan! not a physical thing. Like a CD holds information, but there’s the CD, and then there’s the information, and theyre on separate planes on the universe… so um… Thus, there must be a sentient author!

dpworkin's avatar

@Shuttle128 Have you ever seen the films from Gordon Gallup’s work with Chimpanzees in the 1970s? Not just the mirror-awareness studies, but the problem solving studies in which the organism was presented with a bunch of bananas high on the wall, and scattered throughout the cage were some milk cartons, and a stick? The chimps would squat in a corner sometimes for as long as 20 minutes, then immediately begin to stack the boxes under the bananas, grab the stick, climb up and swat the fruit down. Pretty hard to believe we aren’t witnessing ratiocination there.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “Congrats Grad! I’m happy for you. I never said any of the examples suggested sentient authorship. I’m the one who suggested it, and supported it with examples.”
So you do realise now that they were utterly irrelevant?

“You have one task. Demonstrate a proven (not hypothetical) example of non sentient authored code. Just one. Stop avoiding it and stop presenting your opinion as fact when you obviously don’t have a clue about the information sciences. If your hypothesis is so sound then support it with empirical evidence.”
Like I said, everything is hypothetical. Nothing can be proven, BUT the most simple explanation for Life on Earth is such an example.
The only reason you wouldn’t accept it is as one, is because you have already decided on sentient authorship.

ETpro's avatar

@dpworkin Why should we distinguish them? My wife called my attention to a fascinating film that followed the “thought” process and learning of a crow. In the film, the bird found a large nut. He knew it was food, but did not know how to break it open to eat it. He flew up on a telephone pole and sat for a time watching traffic pass as he held the prize in his beak.

And then he did something remarkable. he dropped the nut in the path of oncoming traffic. A car ran over it and cracked it for him. He flew down but nearly got hit by an oncoming car. So he flew back up to his perch and studied some more. After a time, he flew back down but this time in sync with the traffic light. And when the Dont Walk sign began flashing, he returned to his perch and waited for Walk to display again before finishing the nut. Lots of lumping concepts going on in what we would derisively call a bird brain.

@The_Idler I would offer DNA as a non-authored code, and a very complex one for its size, I might add. All the chaos of chemical molecules are codes for electrno shell orientations—and the electron proton attraction that binds it all together producing such staggering complexity as the universe simplifies down to a rule of 1 – 1 = 0.

dpworkin's avatar

Yeah, I saw those films. They were pretty convincing.

TheJoker's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Interesting point… although for philosophical quandaries I probably wouldn’t turn to a Cyberneticist.

The_Idler's avatar

∑Univ = 0

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro said: “I wonder about thought being language based. Such a claim raises a serious self-referentail flaw. If thought is language based, who thought up language before thought could exist?”

I’ll use this question to address some of your other related concerns as well.

First, I give an extremely wide girth to what a Language/Code can actually be. Abiding by the official scientific definition of Perlwitz, Burks and Waterman, code is defined as the mapping of probability space A to probability space B… that’s it, very simple.

So, any time an image/object relationship forms, we have the existence of a code. And that code may be used to eventually evolve a full Language structure. But it doesn’t necessarily have to evolve beyond the initial image/object relationship. That’s why all my schmack is specifically related to Dualism.

This can be as simple as an image in the mind referring to an object located at a specific space/time coordinate. The brain is physical mechanism used as a medium to express the Immaterial Thought from and Immaterial Mind. Mind and Brain are not the same things. Brain is only the medium that expresses Mind.

Since the Brain is also located at a physical space/time coordinate, and specific neurons can be attributed to specific brain activity, then probability space B (image) has been successfully mapped to probability space A (object).

Some earlier talk about memory actually acts the same way. It’s just that the object was located at a space/time coordinate somewhere in the past. But it all still maps out successfully.

So no one actually thinks up a language. They just evolve from these initial conditions that I have described. A grunt is a physical utterance (space B) that references a desirable female (space A). A language will evolve from there.

To what degree? I suggest your comments on brain capacity are very applicable here. Humans seem to have the uncanny ability to continually evolve their language image/object associations. Whales are showing the same capabilities, for their current song is discovered to be an accruement of previous songs they have heard over time. Whale song is evolving too. But the Bee Waggle Dance seems to have hit a ceiling. His little brain may not be capable of expressing any more than the Information he currently communicates to the hive. Direction, wind drift, quality of pollen, distance, and even a suggested optimal route to the pollen is all the Bee seems capable of expressing. He may, as you suggest, need to develop a bigger brain before expanding his language capacity.

@ETpro said: “But there aren’t enough base pairs on the human DNA chain to map 1 trillion connections. So how can our DNA include the blueprint to build the brain plus all our other parts?”

Base Pairs only represent DNA as a Binary language. It is a common mistake that most people cannot overcome. But I will attempt to explain it as simply as possible. You should be able to get this.

While it is true that Thymine always and only pairs with Adenine, and Guanine always and only pairs with Cytosine, that my friend is only half the story.

The first clue is that the order of pairing can shift. It can be AT or TA, and also GC or CG. There is the quaternary code. It makes a huge difference. Transcription splits (unzips) the double helix so that only one strand is copied. The genetic message is quaternary logic, even at the expense of Thymine being replaced and represented by Uracil.

Quaternay/Ternary logic is exponentially greater than a simple Binary analogy. Consider the following:

“a 16-bit microcomputer with on-board memory has access to no more than 216 bits of directly accessible memory (about 65k bits), while that same microcomputer with memory based on ternary logic would have direct access to 316 or 43 Mbits of memory.”
More Here

The rest of the article clearly explains the advantages of ternary and quaternary logic over and beyond binary logic. The higher power logic provides many more expressive qualities that are unavailable with simple binary.

As this comment illustrates,
“Binary logic is like driving through Manhattan and only to be able to drive straight and make right turns. Ternary logic is being able to drive straight and turn left and right. Not only can you get somewhere potentially faster, in a one-way grid, you now can reach places you couldn’t reach before.
We will have to work with 729 commutative functions in ternary logic as opposed to 8 in binary logic.”

Or this perspective,
“Asynchronous vs Synchronous is analogous to: 3-dimensional design vs 2-D ones. Digital vs Analog
Synchronous methodologies are simply a way to break down real world asynchronous problems into smaller and easily digestible bits, to be given out to the many less talented engineers to solve, who required tools to assist them. Or rather for the general engineering community to understand and use easily.
Asynchronous design probably require a very different mindset which few people can master.”

I suggest that this quaternary logic is what then directs the RNA copy to leave the nucleus and move towards the outer parts of the cell. Just a theory, because chemical reactions alone do not adequately explain this event. This is the first clue as to the decision making abilities of quaternary logic.

RNA is sequenced in ternary logic by the ribosome. It translates via a ternary code to build the protein. I suggest this is what directs the transfer molecules to bring and match very specific amino acids to the ribosome, three letters at a time.

In support, I present to you these extremely interesting discoveries of finding directive roles for pseudo genes. “Junk” DNA is not so junky after all. It is a director, and I propose it has this capability because of quaternary logic.

“In June 2004 a team at Harvard Medical School (HMS) reported, that they have, in a yeast, found a “Junk DNA” gene that regulates the activity of nearby genes. While common genes work by giving rise to proteins, this gene works by just being switched on. Then it blocks the activity of an adjacent gene.”

“In a region of DNA long considered a genetic wasteland, HMS researchers have discovered a new class of gene.”... “The researchers have evidence that the new gene, SRG1, works by physically blocking transcription of the adjacent gene, SER3. They found that transcription of SRG1 prevents the binding of a critical piece of SER3’s transcriptional machinery.”

“Some studies have found that noncoding DNA plays a vital role in the regulation of gene expression during development”

“Over 700 studies have demonstrated the role of non-coding DNA as enhancers for transcription of proximal genes.”

“Over 60 studies have demonstrated the role of non-coding DNA as silencers for suppression of transcription of proximal genes.”

“Some studies indicate that non-coding DNA regulate translation of proteins.”
LINK

But my favorite research is the provocative discoveries by the Russians, noting the latent immaterial nature of the genes. Absolutely Fascinating Research

“It appears that the languages we were looking for, are, in fact, hidden in the 98%, “junk” DNA contained in our own genetic apparatus [4]. The basic principle of these languages is similar to the language of holographic images [5] based on principles of laser radiations of the genetic structures [6] which operate together as a quasi-intelligent system, as in [3] It particularly important to realize that our genetic devices actually perform real processes which supplement the triplet model of the genetic code.”

In closing, you must be aware of the numerous movements in computer science that tout the many advantages of quaternary/ternary logic in everything from electronics to cloud computing to AI research. It’s time to move beyond the limited scope of 1’s and 0’s.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Shuttle128

Hey you a little late to the party chum … I know, I know, I shoulda called… But sometimes life gets in the way of livin’ … ya know?

Good to speak with you again. You always give me reason to think. The gift is mine.

I agree with you completely on the “Initial Conditions” rap. No problem with that whatsoever. But I cannot accept that the initial conditions of that video were not pre-defined for a particular end result. That seems much too obvious here and I just cannot take that movie seriously by any means. It was mere showmanship, and a deviant one at that. There is no possible way that his 4 minute video would accomplish what has never been demonstrated since the beginning of time. His conclusions fly in the face of the soundly rejected Infinite Monkey Theorem, not to mention Googles entire working operation. If code could form naturally, then every credit card processor and every search engine in the world would be out of business tomorrow. He’s discrediting accepted and proven research from every Information Science out there.

I must ask, why is Molecular Biology the only Information Science that does not abide by the same basic principles of every other Information Science? That video was an insult to all of Science. I cannot believe that his end result of “If you can read this ID is WRONG” was not the very first Initial Condition of that paltry presentation. It’s just an insult. Yet it was offered as a Proven Mechanism for non sentient authored code. He even got “WRONG” capitalized. Wow! Do you know how completely impossible that is? Just the fact it was capitalized by itself?

@Shuttle128 asked: “I would like you to show me a universe that produces matter in the form of humans without any initial conditions or rules.”

But humans are more than matter. Life is more than matter. All life has a third ingredient… Information, and no life would exist without it. Rocks don’t have a Genetic Code, but Life does. And that’s the point, NO UNIVERSE is capable of producing matter in the form of humans whatsoever, regardless of the initial conditions of that Universe (if indeed it only consisted of matter/energy). Information is non physical. It can be produced by humans in the physical universe, but it is not in the physical universe. We cannot locate or pinpoint Immaterialism anywhere within the realm of Materialism. It does not exist at a specific space/time coordinate. It is in a different realm altogether, and the only way we know of its existence is by use of Code.

Code is a material lens that allows us to detect the immaterial existence of Information. Code is a bridge to another realm beyond the confines of matter/energy.

The Matter is just pixels. The Energy powers it up. Information determines how the pixels play together. Determine, is a property of mind.

To understand and accept any of this requires one to note the clear differences between cause/reaction and thought/action. All too often are they confused or conflated as the same. Unfortunate.

@Shuttle128 said:“In the physical world this “empirical data” is analogous to physical positions and velocities of physical objects.”

I completely understand what you are saying. I just disagree with it.

Empirical Data is a description from a sentient mind. It is not the position, velocity, nor is it the physical object. Empirical Data is Codified Information produced by a sentient mind offering an “empirical description” of a particular observable phenomenon.

The Phenomenon can exist without a mind. The Empirical Data cannot.

@Shuttle128 said: “This is analogous to simulating the evolution of image bits by introducing the higher order concept of “must look like this.””

That higher order concept is called Codified Information. And Codified Information is absolutely deterministic. I propose it to be the only deterministic phenomenon in existence within or out of the physical realm. That’s why it can determine “must look like this”.

@Shuttle128 asked: “If I had the computational ability to simulate a universe based on a few rules and initial conditions and allowed it to propagate, how would you take the results if I found some sort of representation within the propagated results?”

Well that depends upon the initial conditions. If your first initial condition was a pre-defined end result of Cartman (a recognizable object with a predetermined meaning) then I would conclude your simulation tainted. But let’s say it was just a stick figure of a human form. Something really basic. How would that be any different than seeing the same form just happen to appear by erosion, or a star cluster (like the big dipper)? Does that guarantee that there is any “meaning” behind the recognizable form? People find potato chips that resemble Abraham Lincoln all the time. It doesn’t “mean” anything beyond what the observer describes its meaning to be. The meaning is provided by the observer in these situations. But when we find a genuine code that conforms to Shannon protocols, then the “meaning” was provided by the author, not the observer. The observers job is to receive the meaning clearly. That’s what Information Theory allows us to do. Establish a communication protocol between transmitter and receiver. The potato chip isn’t transmitting anything.

@Shuttle128 asked: “Would you automatically condemn the computer simulation because I had to input initial conditions and rules into it?”

No, not at all. It just depends upon the conditions. Stir it up and let it fly… and let’s both accept where it lands on its own. And don’t mind me if I check to see if somebody spiked the punch for a pre-defined end result.

@Shuttle128 said: “The static on a television screen has no constraining conditions (it is also a result of noise on the line or antenna so it may not be entirely random).”

It has every bit of the same restraining conditions present at the point of the Big Bang (except for your wise point about the antenna noise possibly not being entirely random).

@Shuttle128 said: “If I were to apply some constraining conditions on the static viewed on my TV and were to propagate the results some structured images might result.”

Only if your antenna was picking up a faint genuine signal that was actually being transmitted. You’re right, radio/tv static may in fact be picking up a very faint signal from a sentient authored transmission which was not intended to be communicated to your simulation. It could indeed spike the punch. But pure white noise has never been shown capable of accomplishing such a feat. So if you do receive a message from white noise, better make sure the channel isn’t unwittingly being tainted with any external information transmission.

@Shuttle128 said: “You would not necessarily call this information.”

To its intended transmitter and receiver, the latent signal does represent Information. Thus Weiners coining the term Negentropy. But to the purpose of your simulation, it is only noise, entropy that would taint your simulation.

@Shuttle128 said: “I’m fairly certain you would reject this as not being analogous to the real world because I have “introduced information” by applying constraining conditions.”

Not at all. As long as your constraining conditions were capable of expressing pure randomness, then I would love to see that. But you must know the difficulty involved with that. Encryption Industries must go to great lengths to mimic pure randomness, and none have proven ever to be capable of such a thing. The problem is that once any Information has been introduced, it’s seemingly impossible to back engineer it out.

Code is a funny critter. Think about it… It’s the only thing that reproduces just by looking at it.

@Shuttle128 said: “Constraining conditions such as competition for resources, ability to reproduce, and environmental conditions are all things that emerge from the basic rules of the universe.”

You just started your simulation tainted. It is only your assumption that electromagnetism and gravity will lead to that. The basic rules of the universe can only create the building blocks, but not the life itself. Think of it like THIS

Notice the students begin with building blocks. Let’s assume that all these shapes occurred by the simple laws of the Universe (sans lego corp). The first picture is a representation of building components only. But to get any form in the lower photos requires the intervention of a students mind. They are using the white noise of the universe as building blocks to assemble the multiple forms and machines that are only possible with the introduction of Codified Information.

Competition is a faculty of living organisms. Rocks and Stars don’t compete. Snowflakes and mudslides don’t reproduce themselves. In fact, they cannot even be copied exactly. Nothing from Chaos can. Throw that pile of legos down an infinite amount of times and it would never land in exactly the same way. But introduce a mind, and Codified Information, and every one of the resulting forms can be duplicated exactly, and for an infinite amount of times.

The only phenomenon in existence that can be duplicated exactly is Code. And it can also be mapped to different mediums (making your computer simulation possible in the first place).

We can also observe the original pile of legos, and then describe our observation with Codified Information. That description assigns form to the random noise. English can describe it to a certain degree. Then Mathematics can describe it with much greater detail. If we describe the original noise with enough detail, then, and only then, may we be capable of reproducing the original phenomenon.

Your observation/description of the Universe is what allows you to program a simulation with Codified Information in the first place. Your goal is to copy the original observation. The only way to do this is with Code.

@Shuttle128 said: “To say that a simulation must not have constraining conditions in order to be analogous to real life is to say that the universe must not have any constraining conditions. This is patently false.”

Agreed.

@Shuttle128 said: “In order for a simulation to be analogous to the real world we must apply constraining conditions, otherwise we will have no simulation at all.”

Agreed. So give your simulation the same constraining conditions that the Universe had at the point of the Big Bang. Give it white noise (electromagnetism and gravity) and nothing more. Let it crunch on that for a few simulated millennia. Accelerate the sim and give it more of the same… and then some more. Repeat the Infinite Monkey Theorem for an infinite amount of Universes… then do it all over again. It couldn’t even be done with the math being graced by the Monkeys, the Typewriters, and an Alphabet. It certainly won’t happen without those unwarranted givens.

You won’t see life until you add another condition… That being… Information from your mind. A description of your thoughts about an observation into a specific form. Information is a process of manifesting Thought In-To-Form. A non physical thought into a physical form. That is the etymology of the word.

Then watch it live and grow. There won’t be anything that anyone can do to stop it.

@Shuttle128 said: “I was trying not to get into the discussion of how the universe might have formed, just that it happened to form with certain laws that constrain behavior of physical objects.”

Your sim gets those exact conditions and nothing more. Competition for resources and self replication are not acceptable. There is no more matter/energy in today’s Universe than there was at the point of the Big Bang. Protons, Neutrons, and Quarks don’t compete and they don’t self replicate. They can only react to one another, thus abiding by the very properties of electromagnetism and gravity that they themselves manifest into physicality.

Let’s take it all the way up to the point of earth existing. All the cause/reaction of the cosmos has culminated in the proverbial primordial soup. All the building blocks of life are present and just waiting on one thing. And that one thing they are waiting on is a full communication protocol to assemble by pure chance. A physical medium is present and just waiting for an alphabet to assemble complete with redundancy, error correction, noise reduction, redundancy, semantics, syntax, transmitter and receiver… None of which Natural Selection would have kept around long enough to wait on the other communication components to arrive. I dare say Natural Selection wouldn’t even exist if the full communication protocols hadn’t birthed the concept in the first place. Codified Information is the very mechanism that Natural Selection works upon.

Then, and only then, assuming the communication protocol just happened to form after the building blocks just happened to form… then we still need a meaningful sentence to form by pure chance. It’s never been demonstrated.

Sure, after the medium is created, and after a sentient mind can observe it, sure, any scrabble game can accidentally form a word (a recognizable form like the Abe Potato Chip)… But to get a full sentence to form is impossible, and we must have a full sentence because meaning is only present at the sentence level. And that sentence would have to be at least 500,000 characters long. Without the presence of a mind, do you really know what kind of multiple back to back miracles you are asking for to program your simulation?

So many impossibilities compounded upon one another. A tautology of free miracles. And the surprising thing about it is that Sentient Authorship/Intervention is the most elegant solution to all of it.

There is no miracle behind Sentient Authorship. That’s the irony of all this. It is science that wants the miracles. Reason and Logic only need the natural occurrence of Sentient Authorship. Why is Molecular Biology fighting against reason, logic and empirical evidence? Just think about it please.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@TheJoker said: “for philosophical quandaries I probably wouldn’t turn to a Cyberneticist”

No, on the surface, it doesn’t seem likely does it? I understand your concern.

I come from a different angle. I feel it is the responsibility and duty of a philosopher to embrace interdisciplinary knowledge. That’s what philosophers do, and in doing so, they see connections beyond the dogmatic approaches of any one particular discipline isolated unto itself.

It’s no secret that many (if not most) great discoveries have come from outside of the discipline they benefited, and by utter accidental means. It’s also no secret that science and industry is not always so forthcoming in sharing their research for the betterment of humanity. They often feel it necessary to embrace clandestine methodologies in order to keep their departments and jobs alive, fearing someone else may get the jump on them, or snatch their hopeful Nobel Prize away. People get funny when their livelihoods and reputations are on the line.

A long time ago, I was blessed (cursed) with a career path that put me in the face of many different scientific disciplines. I work with Brain Surgeons, Heart Surgeons, Biologists, Geneticists, Computer Scientists… They open their labs, bring me into the operating rooms, share their data, and invite me to their dinner party’s. My job is to make them and their departments look great to the public. It’s crucial that I understand their research quickly. Along the way, I’ve come across interdisciplinary connections that I cannot deny. One connection, is that Biology and Genetics are truly Information Sciences. I see no reason why they should not abide by the same protocols as all the other Information Sciences do.

When Hubert Yockey discovered that DNA was a code, he mapped its communication protocols directly from Claude Shannon’s “Mathematical Theory of Communication”. Nothing else in nature does that, and that is why we call DNA the Genetic Code. He didn’t make it fit the protocols. He discovered that it did fit the protocols. And that’s why we don’t tag the word Code to anything else in nature.

He said:
”“Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.”
Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life

Norbert Weiner was a contemporary of Claude Shannon. What Norbert Weiner says is very paramount to the Information Sciences. And thus, his statements have tremendous philosophical implications to what life is, noting specifically that all life consists of much more than corporeal elements of energy and matter alone. We are primarily defined by the Information represented by our Genetic Code. Thus, if what he says is true, then we are defined first and foremost as an immaterial agent. The philosophical implications of this are profound and very much worth reflecting upon.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler said: “So you do realise now that they were utterly irrelevant?”

Uhmm, no. My examples are very relevant BECAUSE they support my argument*. How could I make the argument without them? That’s exactly _why I do make the argument. I wouldn’t be making the argument without the relevant evidence and support to back it up.

I’m not a spin doctor like you. You who rejects an argument with ABSOLUTELY NO PRECEDENT other than your own person opinion covering your personal Atheist agenda. And then you present a hypothetical with nothing to support it! You ignore my challenge to falsify the claim. And your hypothetical is a fairy tale until you demonstrate a proven empirical mechanism to back it up. Then you spin it around and call my support irrelevant? Is that what you learned to do in class? Spin Doctor 101?

@The_Idler said: “the most simple explanation for Life on Earth is such an example.”

In the spirit of parsimony, the simplest explanation for the existence of code is a sentient author. Billions and Trillions of examples of this every day for the past 30,000 years AT LEAST! 10,000 times longer for the animal kingdom. I think we have a precedent pal.

If your hypothesis is so easy to make, then back it up with something more than dust… PAH-L-E-A-S-E!!! You cannot provide one single proven example to back up your schmack. Are you interested in evidence, or promoting your personal agenda?

@The_Idler said: “The only reason…is…you have already decided on sentient authorship.”

Spin Doctor… You’re backed into a corner and the only thing you can do is become my accuser. I’m sorry they didn’t teach you this in school. It must be quite a shock to have your comfortable Atheist world shaken to its very foundations. I’m not happy about that. I’m really not. I know how uncomfortable it can be to have your world view challenged. But I’m less happy with a person who cries foul against the proven evidence at hand only to cling to their own dogmatic perceptions.

Nothing you’ve presented has one shred of support. Nothing you’ve presented is anything more than your uncorroborated opinion. Nothing you’ve presented can pass one single step in the Scientific Method. My argument passes all tests, and you can’t face the TRUTH.

TESTABLE: Check! I am sentient and I just authored a code.

REPEATABLE: Check! Other sentient beings on this forum have and will do the same.

FALSIFIABLE: Check! Just demonstrate another mechanism besides sentient authorship that is capable of creating Codified Information.

It is THE PERFECT Inductive Argument…

DNA is a Code
All Codes have Sentient Athors
Therefor… DNA must be Sentient Athored

WHERE IS THE IRRELEVANCE YOU CLAIM ABOUT ME???

Shoot it down with science, reason, or logic or stop crying about it please. Your SPIN is becoming tiresome. And all you speak is guilty talk. What you claim about me is better directed at yourself.

You seem like an intelligent fellow. And I understand how youth can make a person very passionate about their beliefs. I admire that. But there comes a point where you may consider taking some of that passion and applying it to a mature ability of embracing new concepts that don’t fit so well with your previously held positions from younger days.

I wish you well.

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
...Firstly, GA because I thought you’d run away.

Now I will respond to your accusation of my being atheist, in the same way as you did to my accusation of your beleiving intelligent design:
“That’s not true RealEyes. I don’t believe in atheism. And your insults and sarcasm are preventing you from seeing that. Atheism is FALSE. How’s that?”

Sooooo, now I have no agenda, just like you…

—————

Right.
What evidence do you have that self-maintainence in genetics has existed since the first self-replicators? It IS an evolutionarily advantageous trait, so it IS a reasonable thing to expect DNA to achieve at some point.

I agree that, if it were proven that the first self-replicating molecules also self-maintained in this way, it would be a ridiculous leap of faith to suppose that they ‘just happened’.
But this isn’t what conventional theory holds. Genetic code now is the product of billions of years of natural influence on the successive iterations of a self-replicating molecule. You can’t refer to its present complexity when talking about the improbability of non-sentient authorship. You also can’t refer to present examples of human code-writing; of course there are countless examples, code can be ‘written’ via conscious construction much more quickly than by trial-and-error iteration, hence a symphony over a year and Life over billions of years.

—————

You just said to @Shuttle128 that it is absurd to propose that, from the primeval soup, a communications protocol, a meaningful sentence, an alphabet to assemble complete with redundancy, error correction, noise reduction, redundancy, semantics, syntax, transmitter and receiver… to just ‘appear’.
Well yeah, that is absurd. That’s why noone thinks that is what happened.
If you think that this is conventional theory, you should stop trying to support your point with molecular biology, because you don’t understand the evolutionary theory of it.

Noone is saying that the first self-replicators used the same mechanism for reproduction as ‘modern’ DNA, that would just be stupid.

I don’t know where you got this idea, that conventional evolutionary theory holds that modern-style genetics, complete with all the trimmings, just came from nothing. Far from it. Here’s a hint: it’s all in the name. It isn’t just Life that evolved. Life is actually the consequence. Genetics, even, is a consequence. It is self-replication that has ‘evolved’, and that requires no code, just a particular chemical structure.

—————

Here is a bit of an explanation of an accepted theory, you can skip it if you want.

The first self-replicating molecule would have been very simple. Otherwise, errr, it wouldn’t have appeared by chance. All that matters is that is was self-replicating. Something remarkable about the structure enabled it to entirely unconsciously reproduce its structure from available materials. Occasionally, it would make a slight mistake OR the structure would be affected by radiation or chemical reaction or any other external influence. Maybe after a billion or a trillion occasions in which it was destroyed or otherwise disabled, one such alteration actually allowed the resultant molecule to replicate yet more effectively. This may have happened several times, until:
The chemicals in demand for the replicators began to become scarce. The more effective varieties became more prevalent. There is no language here, no ‘code’, no need for an author, just chemical reactions.

Interestingly enough, the structure of one of these replicators holds ‘information’ about its predecessors and the world they lived in. The structure indicates a particular series of events must have happened on Earth. This is information.
SO, do you admit that this would be an example of information without a sentient author, or do you consider the above explanation to be impossible?

—————

OK, now here it is:
The theory of abiogenesis that you are criticizing, ‘spontaneous generation’, hasn’t been accepted theory since the mid-19th century!

There are MANY ‘plausible’ theories at present, but all are based on the idea of:
self-assembling chemistry—> self-replicating chemistry—> evolution, code, Life, etc.
None of the present theories are vulnerable to the criticisms you have made, probably because you don’t know anything about them.

You accuse me of simply stating my uncorroborated opinion.
Well, sorry I didn’t do my references, Professor, I thought you might have read about abiogenesis yourself, before attempting to discredit it with a few other theories you have read, but also do not understand.

Here is a good starting point. It is by no means exhaustive. You couldn’t possibly invalidate all these plausible theories of abiogenesis through your knowledge of natural sciences, because you evidently don’t have any.

I don’t believe any one in particular, especially not the ‘spontaneous generation’ you managed to painstakingly refute, 150 years after everyone else.
So much for me “clinging to my dogmatic perceptions”...

—————

So, all that remains of your criticism of abiogenesis is the philosophical argument of yours that information cannot form without sentient authorship. Unfortunately, for you, this argument is based on the ‘evidence’ of there being no conceived mechanism for such an occurrence (See: Abiogenesis, above).
Unfortunately, for you, the only mechanism you have refuted is the one we abandoned 150 years ago, so you’re back to square one, I’m afraid.

Better get to work on “Shooting it down with science, reason, or logic” for the theories that people actually accept now.
Or build a time machine and go and win this argument in Victorian England.

The_Idler's avatar

So, recap:

YOU “Information from Chaos = Whispering Streams, etc.”

ME “Evolution of Life = Information of Chaos.”

YOU “genetics is a code. all codes have authors.”

ME “genetics is a physical manifestation of previous success.”

YOU “But all information has a sentient author, random mutation is silly”

ME “The information in genetics is the history of Earth. There is no need for an author, because the actual events in this history were immortalised in the responses of DNA to the changing environment. Self-replication has allowed for the preservation of information about the physical state of Earth over time, without the need for an author.
It’s not about random mutation, it is about what works and what doesn’t.
That, which is able to replicate itself, is preserved, and so is the information regarding the contemporary state of its environment.”

YOU “The person who empirically demonstrates a non sentient authored code would surely win a Nobel Prize. It hasn’t been done. What you present is pure speculation.”

ME “Everything is speculation. What I present is a simpler explanation than God or Aliens”

@ragingloli “Information comes from Chaos, through selection based on survival criteria”

YOU “survival implies desire, desire implies mind”

ME “survival implies a genetic predisposition to characteristics and behaviour, which increase the likelihood of successful reproduction (which requires survival to a certain extent), and hence propagation of genetics.”

YOU trivialised my education in this subject “give a non-hypothetical example of information from chaos”

OTHERS, throughout “Everything is hypothesis. Genetics is a logical example of a mechanism that generates Information from Chaos.”

YOU discredits 150years-dead theory of abiogenesis

ME “present theories are logically plausible; more simple and hence more probable than sentient authorship, you evidently know nothing about the subject”

—————

your argument is circular, in that you rely on the assumption that all information is authored, to demonstrate that genetic information must be authored (when there are other reasonable explanations), to demonstrate that sentience must pre-exist and so inhabit a special realm of the Cosmos.

The more probable explanation is that, via abiogenesis and evolution, Life, genetics – and so information – were borne out of Chaos, subsequently giving rise to sentience.

There, information and sentience from physical chaos. And all in the ‘real’ universe.

Insisting otherwise would necessitate “Shooting… down with science, reason, or logic” all theoretical mechanisms of information-from-chaos (Abiogenesis), which you cannot do (well you managed one, but we’ve been over that…)

dpworkin's avatar

Bingo! In Rhetoric it’s called petitio principii, also called “Begging the Question”, and it is a fallacy.

CMaz's avatar

PLEASE! PLEASE!

NO MORE WORDS!!!

The_Idler's avatar

You also ask to give other examples not involving sentient authorship. This is an unreasonable request, as any example we did imagine or simulate would have – our own – sentient authorship.
Then you say hypothesis is also unacceptable.

So, because we can’t recreate 10,000,000,000 years of the Universe in the lab, or in our minds, to emulate abiogenesis, you simply win, just because all the other code you have seen on this tiny, insignificant speck of dust in your minuscule instant of existence did have an author?

All the other dualists I have seen on this tiny, insignificant speck of dust in my minuscule instant of existence were looking for any excuse to believe in a Creator…~

dpworkin's avatar

@ChazMaz “Please”, “No” “Words” and “More” are all words.

Shuttle128's avatar

@ChazMaz So sorry…..I had this written up before you posted. If it’s any consolation you don’t have to read it.
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@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
”Good to speak with you again. You always give me reason to think.”
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Right back at ya.
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I think we may be talking past each other a bit here though. I was not defending the video as a genuine example of arriving at information from nothing. The video never claims such a thing. It is, however, a genuine example of mimicry as ragingloli suggested. Mimicry is a result of the way an existing object is shaped and reflects light and selective pressures on an unrelated animal. This object, be it another animal or a plant leaf, exists. Because of this object’s existence the unrelated animal might reproduce more easily if it simply looked like the object. The simulation does not create the information within the sentence, nor does it create the information inherent to the South Park character, all the simulation does is mimic an input image through reproduction and selective pressures. In this case the sentence or image simply exists and through selective pressures within the program the image is mimicked in the output. We understand the information that is present in the mimicry because we know these things represent other things. If we did not know how to read or have never seen South Park before, it would be much easier to notice that all the program is doing is mimicking an image.
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The goal of the program was to mimic a picture. The program was designed with that goal in mind but was not programmed to produce the picture it was fed. The program was designed to take (pseudo)-random pixels and apply certain rules to mimic any picture it was fed. The picture is analogous to an object existing within an animal’s environment. As with any simulation, simplifications had to be made in order to make the result computable. The video was simply a way to demonstrate how certain pressures and facts about existing objects could result in mimicry.
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@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
“And that’s the point, NO UNIVERSE is capable of producing matter in the form of humans whatsoever, regardless of the initial conditions of that Universe (if indeed it only consisted of matter/energy).”
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This is a very bold statement and one that I tend to agree with; however, I believe that information is a result of matter, energy, and the constraints imposed by laws of nature. What you call information, I call meaning. Both in information transmission and in information storage the process that is taking place is storage or transmission of code. What a person gets out of the stored or transmitted code depends upon their state of mind. The code must have some meaning to a person before it can be seen to represent something.
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What you seem to be saying most of the times I’ve spoken with you is that the transmission of information from one person to another is equivalent to the transmission of meaning from one person to another. This is a problem because people without the same background knowledge cannot understand each other’s meaning. When we have standards of representation, ways of understanding meaning from code, then meaning is transmitted more effectively. However, meaning is never 100% correctly transmitted. This is painfully obvious from our frequent conversations. Many times you and I have had to explain tediously what we mean, and yet neither of us still fully understands the other’s position. Language has helped us to express meaning to one another but it does not work all the time. To suggest that meaning is immaterial and can be passed or observed using code is false. The meaning of words disappears the second they are put to paper (or RAM in this case). As soon as I write this sentence my brain state will have changed and the full meaning of what I wrote will be lost to me. I will retain some of the synaptic connection strengths that caused me to write the sentence but all of them have been altered simply by having used them to write the sentence. I have an idea of what I wanted to convey with it, but this idea is an abstraction from the physical code that I have written and the current state of my brain.
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When you say that information is immaterial it seems that you are trying to say that meaning is immaterial. When a machine analyzes a code it has set rules for the operation. It translates it using special rules to determine what to do with the code. These rules allow the code to be translated and actions to be performed based on the state of the coded message. The rules of the translation process, the abstraction of action from states, are what the process is really about. In a computer program the rules are created so that one specific state invokes one specific action. This makes for mistranslation to be very few and far between. What these special rules allow us to do is transmit meaning very efficiently. We mean for a certain bit to change in RAM if a certain chain of bits is run through the processor. You might say that code carries meaning, but really we attribute meaning to it. A person may mean for a string of bits to change the state of the RAM but if the translation of the bits is not what is expected then the meaning is not transmitted. A string of bits by itself has no meaning; a person must induce meaning by abstracting it based on previous experience. Previous experience gives a person the tools needed to translate coded messages and standard translations allow meaning to be shared through shared abstractions.
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Long story short: I think you believe meaning to be immaterial and meaning to be equivalent with code or information. I don’t believe either is true. Information as a state of existence may very well be immaterial; however, the meanings we attach to information are not. The existence of information does not necessitate the existence of meaning. There is information, specifically the kind that derives itself from a mind, that does have meaning, but this meaning is a product of abstraction and can differ from person to person. Without people to abstract meaning, the information is simply the state of matter and energy.
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Things would be much easier if universals actually existed, but they do not. What we believe to be universals are just products of common abstraction (you’ve read my argument on that).
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@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
”The Phenomenon can exist without a mind. The Empirical Data cannot.”
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I completely and wholeheartedly agree with this statement. The abstraction involved in going from observing the phenomena to recording data is ascribing meaning to the observed phenomena. A simulation is based on abstraction there is no way to separate simulations from the human element, but we can try to make the rules and data we input as general and objective as possible.
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@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
” That higher order concept is called Codified Information. And Codified Information is absolutely deterministic. I propose it to be the only deterministic phenomenon in existence within or out of the physical realm. That’s why it can determine ‘must look like this’.”
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The higher order concept is something that cannot be dispensed with. Reductionists like to say that everything is reducible to atomic interactions, but without higher order theories we cannot explain interactions such as “must look like this.” It is a simplification of a very large and overarching phenomenon that explains the reason that mimicry happens. To dispense with the higher order concept is to cripple science in its explanatory power. In order to simulate events that rely on higher order emergent phenomenon we must simplify. The very complex interactions that make up “must look like this” can be equivalently reduced using a higher order concept in order to show the same outcome with far less computation. This is the same as in fluid simulation. There is no way to individually simulate very particle of air and how they interact with a body in fluid dynamic simulations fully. Higher order concepts such as vorticity and turbulence must be applied in order to make solutions tractable. These concepts, though they are emergent phenomena of individual particle interactions, can be approximated with high accuracy in order to create a simulation that is analogous to the real world.
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The higher order concept most definitely is coded information. It is an abstraction of emergent phenomena; however, this abstraction is indispensible when it comes to simulation because we simply do not have the resources to compute these things based on the individual interactions alone.
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@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
”Well that depends upon the initial conditions. If your first initial condition was a pre-defined end result of Cartman (a recognizable object with a predetermined meaning) then I would conclude your simulation tainted.”
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The example I was thinking of would be a basic simulation of a universe. Take random sets of initial conditions with specific rules about how the initial conditions propagate. Then observe if the results had some form of representation, a code within the code if you will. This simulation would be without an ultimate goal, and would have no prefabricated code introduced as an initial condition.
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@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
” It has every bit of the same restraining conditions present at the point of the Big Bang (except for your wise point about the antenna noise possibly not being entirely random).”
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This is true, but misleading. The eventual state of the universe is a direct result of the initial conditions at the beginning. The initial orientations of atoms and their eventual positions were constrained by the laws of nature that coalesced during the formation of the universe. Emergent phenomena like star formation, nuclear fusion, star death, accretion of heavy matter in planet formation, and chemistry are all consequences of the rules of the universe. If I took random data (like the random orientations of matter at the beginning of the universe) and applied no rules to the manipulation of the data all I would ever get is random data. The universe behaves in a non-random way because it is subject to law. To deny me of methods of manipulating the data is to deny the possibility of doing anything. Rules subdue entropy by organization. If you were to say that the rules and initial conditions of the universe were immaterial and eternal, I might just agree with you. I see these as the direct cause and total description of the universe as we know it.
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Rocks and stars don’t compete; however, self-replicating molecules do indeed compete. Self-replicating molecules can occur randomly. If you combined a certain number of atoms in every way possible eventually one of the molecules created would be capable of self-replication. It may be highly unlikely that this molecule will ever come to exist but in the event that this molecule does, it will begin to self-replicate. We know that molecules exist that self-replicate, we also know that chemistry allows these molecules to form, this means there exists a possibility for a molecule to form, due to the laws of nature alone, that self-replicates. No mind is required for this to happen. If you believe that a self-replicating molecule cannot occur from random orientations of atoms then you must believe that there is a law of nature that prevents this from occurring. I would then ask you for an explanation of the mechanism by which this law of nature works.
-
@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
“Let’s take it all the way up to the point of earth existing. All the cause/reaction of the cosmos has culminated in the proverbial primordial soup. All the building blocks of life are present and just waiting on one thing. And that one thing they are waiting on is a full communication protocol to assemble by pure chance.”
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Yes, let’s. The problem with your logic is twofold 1) that a self-replicating molecule does not need a full communication protocol to replicate itself and 2) that you’re making an argument that proposes certainty based on the statistical improbability of a configuration of matter.
-
1) Self-replicating molecules exist and all they need is for the atoms that compose them to be in an orientation that produces an identical copy of itself utilizing surrounding chemicals.
-
2) This orientation is far from impossible, in fact, given infinite time it is not only probable but inevitable. Even without infinite time, the number of possible chemical orientations of the atoms that compose this molecule are limited by chemistry and available chemicals. These constraints could make the probability of forming this molecule quite likely in the span of millions of years.
-
The protocol does not assemble by chance. Natural selection is non-random.
-
Whew….I just belted out 2,000 words for you here, I hope you appreciate it. :)

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I haven’t the time to take up a dabate on the idea that an intelligent designer is required for code. God’s existence, in the end, makes no more sense than a universe existing without God.

As to self replication, math alone is sufficient to demonstrate that increasongly complex self replication is possible within a cellular automation driven by a truly simplistic rule set. See Conway’s Game of Life‘s_Game_of_Life.

I am reading a book right now that antoher Flutherite recommended. Having read your many words, I recomend it as due penance, and I think you might enjoy it enormously, as well. It is The Collapse of Chaos: discovering simplicity in a complex world by biologist Jack Cohen and mathematician Ian Stewart. It delves very deeply into how an initial set of simple rules not only can result in incredible complexity, but given the age of the universe, must result in complexity.

Nullo's avatar

Ahh, youth. I remember how, when I was in my prime I would join in the fray of MWOT generating.
Now I can’t seem to muster the will to do it. Alas.

The_Idler's avatar

Well, it’s just a bit of fun.

I’m unemployed, I’ve nothing better to do.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@The_Idler welcome to my world!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@The_Idler

Well if you’re denying your Atheism can you please explain how this is so? I can fully explain why I don’t believe in or belong to the I.D. camp, and why I think it’s ridiculous. But instead of asking me why you simply box me in, as if it’s all or nothing. Could it be possible that there is a middle ground? I wonder if you’ve even considered that.

I’ve asked you why you’re not an Atheist (as you said) so please explain or retract your sarcasm.

And sorry I’m not on your schedule for replies. You’ll have to put up with my tardiness unless you’ll explain to my clients why their project is late, or apologize to my kids for Dad not being at the Ball game.

And I must thank you for finally providing at least one link to base your position upon. No referenced quotes yet (except for quoting me), but it’s a move in the right direction.

Abiogenesis has much to contribute and is a valid pursuit for anyone to consider. That’s why I so eagerly brought our conversation out of the Cosmos and right to the point of the Primordial Soup. Remember, I gave you and Shuttle all the “building blocks” necessary for life to arise.

But your position, and all of Abiogenesis Theory relies upon that one word of your choice “maybe”… as you say, “Maybe after a billion or a trillion occasions…”

With every “Maybe”, there is an accompanying “Maybe Not”. The Maybe you suggest requires some formidable conceptual leaps, and also requires the laws of physics to bend quite a bit at times.

But you’ve already decided that I “don’t have any…knowledge of natural sciences” and that I “do not understand…theories” that I “have read”.

So what exactly is the point in discussing this with me?

@The_Idler said: “your argument is circular, in that you rely on the assumption that all information is authored”

If that’s all we’ve seen, then that’s all we know. To go beyond what we know… well, that is assumption.

@The_Idler said: ”…to demonstrate that genetic information must be authored (when there are other reasonable explanations)…”

Do any of your assumed ”reasonable explanations come without a “Maybe”?

@The_Idler said: “to demonstrate that sentience must pre-exist and so inhabit a special realm of the Cosmos”

But that’s not what I said. I don’t claim this sentient entity to exist in a “special realm” of the Cosmos. It could be within the Cosmos, or outside the Cosmos… I don’t know. I only claim that Information is independent of matter/energy. And thus, there is in fact, an immaterial realm beyond the confines of matter/energy. I don’t know “where” it is. And that’s not even my claim. Your argument is with Norbert Weiner… not me.

So who am I to trust on this issue, You? Or Norbert Weiner? Would you trust me over Norbert?

Thus far, I have demonstrated that sentient intelligence can and does produce Codified Information. Not knowing who the author is does not negate this fact. Will you assume that an unsigned ancient manuscript wrote itself? Or that the ink slowly evolved into letters via abiogenesis and somehow into an actual message? Will you assume that a note found on the ground is the product of chaos? Will you assume that a torn cover-less book does not have an author?

Name one code on this planet that you can rightfully claim does not have an author just because the author is anonymous. Give one empirical precedent to entertain such a thought.

@The_Idler said: “The more probable explanation is that, via abiogenesis and evolution, Life, genetics – and so information – were borne out of Chaos, subsequently giving rise to sentience.”

With nothing more than a “Maybe” to stand on? Who is making the assumptions here?

@The_Idler said: “Insisting otherwise would necessitate “Shooting… down with science, reason, or logic” all theoretical mechanisms of information-from-chaos (Abiogenesis), which you cannot do…”

Key term, “theoretical”. And I have no desire to “shoot down” a theory. If Abiogenesis is true, then I’d really like to know the truth. But we both have a responsibility not only to acknowledge what we know to be true, but also ask logical questions about any and every proposed theory that is presumptuously taken as truth when it hasn’t earned that rank.

We know that sentient authorship is a proven mechanism to author code. Do you deny that?

We know that NO THEORY of Abiogenesis has ever been proven as fact. Do you deny that?

We know that Abiogenesis is PURELY HYPOTHETICAL. Do you deny that?

Are you really going to make me drag out all the problems with Abiogenesis just to meet your satisfaction? Can’t we just take your word for it and leave it at Maybe?

You ask me to consider that Maybe, all codes are not the product of sentient authorship. That’s a tall order when no other mechanism has ever been shown and there are thousands of years and nearly infinite examples to consider.

That gives the Inductive proposition quite a bit of credence don’t you think?

Let’s take the fundamental inductive argument with Socrates…

Socrates is a man.
All men are mortal.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Will you now argue that “All men are NOT mortal” to satisfy a rejection of the claim? Have you ever heard of or seen a man that wasn’t mortal? To believe otherwise is mystic.

DNA is a Code.
All codes have sentient authors.
Therefore, DNA is the product of sentient authorship.

Will you now argue that “All codes are NOT the product of sentient authorship” to satisfy a rejection of the claim? Will you argue that DNA is not a Code? Have you ever heard of or seen a code that wasn’t sentient authored? To believe otherwise is mystic.

What is the difference? Nothing but a Maybe can refute either one of them.

I will never rule out the possibility of a Black Swan. I’m also not going to hold back science by sitting around waiting for one to show up. I’m certainly not going to try and make up a hypothetical Black Swan.

BTW… when you said: “Interestingly enough, the structure of one of these replicators holds ‘information’ about its predecessors and the world they lived in. The structure indicates a particular series of events must have happened on Earth. This is information.”

How do we determine the existence of Information without a code to base that claim upon? I’ll bet you think that tree rings “hold” information about the growing seasons too. Are you confident in your grasp of what information really is? Information cannot be “held”. How can something immaterial be “held”. Information is referred to, not held. And the only way we can refer to Information is via a genuine code that meets the Burks, Perlwitz, Waterman definition and runs through the Shannon protocols efficiently.

Much earlier, before the “nyah nyah” you mentioned that my Codified Information argument was the “Watchmaker Fallacy”. That leads me to believe that you are having difficulty with understanding Information. I completely agree with the Watchmaker Fallacy. It’s one of the many reasons I’m not an Intelligent Design proponent. Dawkins was quite correct in his coining the term “Apparent Design” in The God Delusion.

But both Paley and Dawkins alike were basing their arguments on a foundational premise of energy and matter alone. Information was not included in that scenario whatsoever.

Introduce Codified Information and the Watchmaker argument is resolved.

Sure, there is no reason not to believe that pure chaotic pressures could have indeed lead to the summation of particles in the form of a recognizable watch. A fine theoretical example of irreducible complexity. No problem with that at all.

But the game changes entirely upon the introduction of the third agent of Codified Information. A two fold resolve exists. Looking at the watch alone, we cannot necessarily tell if it was designed. But if we found a set of Codified Plans that determined the Watch’s existence before hand, then, and only then do we know it was designed. Finding the architectural plans resolves the question of designed or not. The watch could not have been made by a sentient entity if there were no plans to make it with.

DNA is the plan for a human being. We’re not just looking at a watch any longer. We’re looking at a watch and the plans that made the watch possible. Plans overturn any possibility that that particular watch was the product of chaos.

But as to the watch, let’s say we cannot find the plans, and we’re left with just a watch. Upon closer inspection we find something other than just a culmination of matter/energy. We find Codified Information. It says “TAG Heuer”, and “chronometer” and “Sun-Sat” and “1–12”. Lets open it up and look further… These strange things look like gears, ok, maybe they formed by chaos… but they also have markings, “1.5cm” and “Swiss Foundry”… all clues that point to a set of pre-existing plans.

The building you are in right now cannot be proven as designed… until you locate the specific architectural plans that pre-determined its existence into physicality. Find a Code for the building, and witness the Thought of a Mind expressed into physical Form. Thought In-To-Form… that process is called Information.

Look up any definition of Information. It will present as a collection of facts and knowledge. The cosmos does not produce facts and knowledge. To believe otherwise is to believe that the cosmos can communicate a message to humans. In honor of Dawkins “Apparent Design”, I call this errant belief “Apparent Information”… to see a Information where there is none to be found.

I don’t believe in Intelligent Design. I believe in Intelligent Evolution.

I don’t believe in the Super Natural. I believe that if there is a higher intelligence, then it is perfectly natural for it to exist. Believing that Code can be created by Chaos is belief in the Super Natural. It would be beyond the capacity of Nature to do such a thing. And there is absolutely no reason to believe in such a mystic Black Swan.

Robotics, AI, Computer Science… all confirm that Code can and does rewrite itself without the need for sentient intervention. But in every instance, the original Code was programmed with this capacity from the very beginning by a Sentient Author.

Abiogenesis does not account for the huge chasm between the laws of Physics and the laws of Information. It can get us the building blocks, but it cannot provide the Info necessary to program for living organisms. That requires a code. And all codes come from a mind.

Challenge your theory to its own gigantic conjecture that base pairs definitely strand in the soup. Then clarify how the quaternary code appeared without reference to a synthetic ribosome produced in a lab. A synthetic ribosome will never do.

Then compare your findings to the math. Nanoarchaeum has the smallest number of base pairs that we know of at 480,000. That’s 4^480,000 potential configurations… that’s 10^200,000. current astronomers put the number of particles in the universe at somewhere between 10^72 and 10^87 so do you know what a mind boggling miracle you are asking for?

The Math behind Abiogenesis is a rework of the Infinite Monkey Theorum. I’ve given you the building blocks, just like the Monkeys were given an alphabet. “The text of Hamlet contains approximately 130,000 letters…Even if the observable universe were filled with monkeys typing for all time, their total probability to produce a single instance of Hamlet would still be less than one in 10^183,800. As Kittel and Kroemer put it, “The probability of Hamlet is therefore zero in any operational sense of an event…”, and the statement that the monkeys must eventually succeed “gives a misleading conclusion about very, very large numbers. This is from their textbook on thermodynamics, the field whose statistical foundations motivated the first known expositions of typing monkeys..

That’s why Leslie Orgel (renowned Abiogenesis proponent) said: the self-organization of the reductive citric acid cycle without the help of “informational” catalysts would be a near miracle.
emphasis mine

Do you believe in miracles Idler?

this is the tip of the iceberg on my problems with abiogenesis

But let’s go ahead and give you the benefit of starting with “a membraine enclosed ribozyme capable of plymerising itself and its counterpart copy…” Martin Line makes a great case in A Hypothetical Pathway from the RNA to the DNA World, but in the end still warns us that “The pathway proposed is not intended to represent reality” and requires “a formidalbe conceptual leap” and hopes that “If support for some of these steps can be shown, final resort to an intelligent creator for the origin of life (Gibson, 1993) may yet be premature”

Is this the last hope for the Atheist… Abiogenesis? Science of the Gaps

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Shuttle128

I’ve read through your post and wanted to let you know that I need more time with it. We seem much more resolved than our past conversations would indicate. And I haven’t had the chance to review the other paper. I’m very interested… but time and work and all that you know. Very much appreciate your thoughtful and highly insightful comments. I’ll be a minute.

Shuttle128's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Not a problem, gives me a chance to get much needed work done as well.

I did want to mention something from your conversation with @The_Idler though….

“We know that NO THEORY of Abiogenesis has ever been proven as fact. [...] We know that Abiogenesis is PURELY HYPOTHETICAL.”

No theory can ever be proven as fact, and every theory is hypothetical.

Because evidence for theories are based on inductive arguments there is always the possibility that the evidence for the theory occurs even though the theory is false. In fact, to use an inductive argument myself, most theories in the past have been false, therefore it must be highly probable that a theory with supporting evidence is still false.

If evidence for a theory is based upon inductive evidence then all theories can be seen as hypothetical. The underdetermination of theories shows that there will always be a secondary theory that could explain the same evidence so any theory will be hypothetical even if evidence supports it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You are very correct. Agreed. The goal then is to determine how inductive arguments weigh against one another based upon the empirical evidence available at any given moment. As I said, there could always be a black swan. But waiting around for one to appear is no reason to deny what is already known.

I’ve replied to our other conversation here

The_Idler's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
You use “atheist” as a pejorative. I don’t know if I am an atheist… Am I? What is an atheist?

I don’t believe in the existence of God, but I don’t believe that the existence of God is impossible.

Now, first you continue to insist that Abiogenesis is ‘just a theory’, and therefore infinitely less worthwhile than sentient authorship, an assumption based upon a minuscule level of observation of a minuscule section of the universe for a minuscule amount of time.

Your comparison to “socrates is a man” is idiotic, because we may well assume that all the men, ever in the universe have existed on Earth and within the history of the human race, but to do the same for ‘code’ is totally ridiculous, and that fact is significantly detrimental to your argument from induction…

You can assume that if there was an immortal man ever in the universe, we’d have known about it, but to do the same for ‘non-authored code’ takes some considerable faith in the depth of your knowledge…

I might observe ten white swans on the lake, I might be so cheeky as to propose that every swan on that lake was white, but I wouldn’t be so stupid as to assume that every swan in the Universe were white.

Why do you continue to say “Just a theory!” and “Maybe!”, when any proposition based upon sentient authorship, concerning the actual mechanics of it, would be “just a theory” based on your assumption that “maybe” human history on Earth is 100% representative of the entire history of the universe?
I can say just the same to you.

Nevertheless, your argument and evidence make strong support for sentient authorship, and have given me something fun to think about while I tend the CNC machines (finally got a job).

I just want to say, I never considered alien intelligence to be such an unreasonable explanation for Life on Earth, but that leads to the question of their beginnings…?

——————————————————

Now, on, to the good part…

“I don’t believe in the Super Natural. I believe that if there is a higher intelligence, then it is perfectly natural for it to exist.”

I am really sorry for lumping you in with the supernaturalists.
I couldn’t imagine why anyone would prefer sentient authorship to abiogenesis, beyond a desire to prove a need for God, and, not having encountered any such person before, I made a foolish assumption. My bad, Mr. Black Swan.

Now, thankfully, we can talk about this reasonably.

If I am to take your explanation of sentient authorship to be true, I must ask…
from where cometh this sentience?

Based on all the observations of all the humans on Earth, ever:
All observed sentience is a product of complex life,
all observed complex life is a product of coded information,
sentience is a product of coded information.

TESTABLE: Check! I am sentient and I am the product of coded information.

REPEATABLE: Check! Other sentient beings on this forum are and will continue to be.

FALSIFIABLE: Check! Just demonstrate another sentience, which is not a product of Life, or another Life, which is not the product of coded information.

It is THE PERFECT Inductive Argument…

Will you now argue that “All complex life is NOT the product of coded information” to satisfy a rejection of the claim? Will you argue that sentience is not a product of complex life? Have you ever heard of or seen complex life that wasn’t a product of coded information? To believe otherwise is mystic.

What is the difference? Nothing but a Maybe can refute either one of them.

I hope you’re not going to try and make up a hypothetical Black Swan.

Any ideas you come up with to explain non-living sentience or non-coded Life are, and I quote…
PURELY HYPOTHETICAL

And so we find ourselves in a nasty circle of causality regarding sentience and code.
There are two places, at which this circle can be broken, and they represent our respective preferences:
1. MAYBE there is a mechanism, by which code or sentience can be borne out of Chaos, e.g. abiogenesis, one then giving rise to the other.
or
2. MAYBE sentience or code pre-existed or ‘entered’ the universe, one then giving rise to the other.

I have plenty of hypothetical explanations of the mechanics of number one,
have you the same for number two?
Just how exactly COULD sentience or code come out of a singularity? I thought you said information could not come from chaos.
OK then, how EXACTLY could code or sentience ‘enter’ the universe?

I say exactly because Abiogenesis is an entire field of study, dedicated to determining how EXACTLY information might be borne out of chaos, but I haven’t heard any other theories about how sentience or code might have otherwise ‘entered’ the universe.

Remember, any theory you present to explain this is, in fact, ”PURELY HYPOTHETICAL”,
I’m just asking out of interest, I wonder why you think it is a more reasonable explanation than abiogenesis…

ETpro's avatar

@The_Idler I feel about as you do regarding the existence of God. I identify myself as agnostic. What’s in a name?

Excellent analysis. Thanks. One note. Wherever we chose to place it, all our genisis stories run into that nasty circle of causality somewhere. We either have an uncaused cause to start it all, or infinite spacetime. Either one presents its problems to a finite mind.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m very pleased and impressed that you considered my argument. I agree with everything you said as well. I do not claim to know anything at all about the nature of the seemingly required author for the genome.

Refuting your reverse induction would require me to embrace religious teachings. I’m not willing to do that for this discussion. Avoiding the “G” word at all costs is paramount to my position. However, building an argument for a non-physical sentient entity need not automatically slide our slippery slope to G.

My hypothetical black swan is built upon the if/then fulcrum that balances the brain with the mind. If we are to take Norbert Weiner at his word, and understand that…

“Information is information. Not energy and not matter. Any materialism that does not allow for this cannot survive in the present”
Cybernetics, p147

… then, we must consider that there is indeed an immaterial realm beyond the material confines of energy and matter alone. That realm is not hypothetical. It is very real, albeit not physically real. The realm of Information is non-physically real.

My argument for a non physical black swan (yes, we’ll call it… “BS”) is an argument for a realm of pure concept, pure consciousness, pure thought. A realm beyond physicality that DOES NOT require an image/object association (dualism) to express thought into a physical realm.

Thought is non-physical. Brain is physical. Brain is the physical medium that allows non-physical thought to be expressed into the physical realm. Just like code is the physical medium that allows non-physical Information to be expressed into the physical realm. Our physical realm depends heavily (100%) upon image/object relationships to express immaterial thought into material physicality.

The CNC machine you work on is a physical expression of a non-physical thought. The products it makes are also physical expression of non-physical thoughts. Both the machine and the products it makes began as a thought from a mind. That thought was brought into physicality by expressing it upon a physical set of codified plans that pre-determined the physical reality before the physical reality ever came into existence.

Proceeding further with this line of thinking requires us to get past this point. That being, there is more to our reality than a materialistic reality of objects. There is also an immaterial concept of objects that is separate from the physical form.

This is an extremely difficult concept to discuss. Our language breaks down when describing and considering these notions. But rejecting this principle, I fear, will be the undoing of the science that we both cherish. I’m seeing more and more religious-like dogma accompanying scientific discussions these days. I am alarmed to say the least. The biggest truancy being some commonly held misconceptions about mathematics. It seems that many students of modernity honestly believes that Math is an independent agent from humanity, and that it is somehow being discovered just floating around in the ether. Or physicists are somehow discovering the laws of the universe. This is unfortunate and very dangerous. It has the unwitting ability to foist science into the very mysticism that it rejects.

Let us be reasonable men here, with the understanding that the Laws of the Universe and Mathematics are nothing more than human descriptions that describe observable and theoretical phenomenon. The sky does not speak or communicate messages. I think you agree with this. Particle waves do not have the ability to transmit meaning. I’m sure you agree with this. Embracing that position will only foist science into the dark ages, and ultimately form religious dogmas where Math and Physics are looked upon as Gods.

We must realize that the object is not the same as the image of the object in our minds. Our minds describe the object by creating an image of it. The image of the object is a non-physical reality. We must therefore embrace concepts of non-physical, immaterial realities. We must consider Norbert Weiner’s claim very carefully. We must consider the fundamental necessity of an immaterial realm. A realm existing of pure Quintessential Thought from a mind.

Congratulations on getting your job.

Ron_C's avatar

Wow, this has become an “intelligent design” debate. The way I understand it life only had to evolve once from the chemical soup that was earth. After that natural selection is responsible for future development. Small steps, bacteria borrowing parts of the genetic code from other organisms, and survival of the fittest are all examples of natural selection.

If something looks designed, it means we need to look further into it to understand how that particular strain came to be. No designer is necessary.

And to answer the question, it is quite possible, given the right conditions and evolutionary pressure, many species of animal will become sentient. Maybe some like squids and Dolphin are but they choose not to involve themselves with material things. Maybe they have no need to.

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