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ETpro's avatar

Does Anthropic Theory really prove that the universe must have had an author?

Asked by ETpro (34217 points ) February 20th, 2010

As physicists explored the universe, they were amazed to find a series of natural constants that are fundamental to the existence of the universe as we know it, and indeed of intelligent life within it. For instance, Planck’s Constant is 6.62606896(33) x 10 to the minus 34th power J•s. That is a very, very small number. But all things remaining fixed, if you changed Planck’s Constant by even a tiny bit, the nuclear reactions that created stars would never have occurred. Without stars to forge heavier elements than hydrogen and helium in their nuclear reactions, there would never have been rocky planets, or carbon, or life in any form remotely like ours. The same is true for the mass of a single electron.

So do you think that means that Planck’s Constant was an incredible lucky break for man, or that some prior intelligence ordained it so that the universe would develop life, or is the whole argument flawed and if so, why?

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173 Answers

phoebusg's avatar

I don’t know. But if some would think it does, then who would be the author of the author?

Nullo's avatar

It certainly helps.
@phoebusg
Why would the author necessarily need an author of its own?

laureth's avatar

I don’t believe it does. Here’s my metaphorical reason why:

“A farmer sowed his grain far and wide: on fertile land, on a slope, on rocks, in puddles. Only that on the good dirt grew, the rest of the seed was wasted. The growing wheat said, ‘It is a miracle that we are here! On the slope it would have rolled away, on the rocks we would not root, in puddles we’d drown. What a great farmer, to plant us exactly where we’d grow and no other place!’”

In other words, if the numbers had been different, we’d not be here to question why we’re here. Perhaps with different numbers, different things would have happened, leading to life forms that we can’t even imagine, saying it’s fate that their number was picked. Perhaps all of them were tried in other universes, and we’re in the one that worked.

I am of the opinion (unverifiable, of course) that life working “no matter what the number” would indicate more possibility of an author – if I’m pressed to believe in an author. That would indicate that the author meant life to happen, no matter what – design, as it were. The idea that it’s so darn specific leads me to believe that either we’re a lucky roll, or the only roll that could have happened, or that all of them were tried and we’re in one of the situations that worked.

@Nullo – if an Author doesn’t need an author, why does the Universe need an author?

Rarebear's avatar

The short answer is no.

A medium length answer is that there is one theory called the multiverse theory where there are an infinite number of universes with possibly different constants. In that theory, the chance that there is a universe like ours that we can live in is statistically close to 100% because there is infinite possibilities.

There is a long answer I can write as well that gets into much more technical detail, but it will bore everybody.

ETpro's avatar

@phoebusg Good point. Thanks.

@Nullo The author needs an author for the same reason the universe needs an author. Our finite minds think all things have a point of origin and all things that are made have a maker. But that is nothing more than a brain pun based on our very limited, finite perception.

@laureth Great parable. It does make an interesting point that there is a built in tautology underlying the whole argument of Strong Anthropic Principle. Actually, the whole question may be verifiable if there is a Theory of Everything and if we are able to discern it.

@Rarebear If you have the time and interest to write it, it is the long answer that I am interested in. I will definitely take the time to read it.

laureth's avatar

I would too, @Rarebear – I actually eat this stuff up.

philosopher's avatar

@Rarebear
I find this fascinating. Not boring.
I am also looking for up dates on the Atom Smasher.
I started out as a Liberal Arts Major and took many Science corrects. I understand a lot and wish to learn more.
I think it is very sad that many people do not wish to understand.

phoebusg's avatar

@Nullo why do you need an author in the first place then? ;)

As for the multiverse theories, I think it’s just one universe. Hence the term, one – is all. But it is so big, that if you want to perceive it a multiverse, go right ahead.

Rarebear's avatar

Okay.

The question of why the universe is the way it is is basically the core question of cosmology. Subsets of that, the Big Bang, the Ekpyrotic theory (an alternate theory of the beginning of the universe involving colliding “branes” of universes), Inflation, Acceleration and dark energy, dark matter, etc. are all important, but it all goes back to the core question, “Why are we here?”

There are two anthropic models of the universe, the strong anthropic and the weak anthropic. The strong anthropic model is the one that @ETpro is actually asking about. This model basically states that the universe is the way it is because we are here. In a longer form, it states that the universe is the way it is so as to create a condition that we can exist. This model leaves a lot of scientist uncomfortable, because, as @ETpro assumed, the next question is why is it in such a configuration that we can exist? Was it a Creator?

The weak anthropic principle, however, is widely accepted. The difference is subtle, but critically important. While the strong anthropic principle states that the universe is the way it is so that we can exist, the weak anthropic principle states, we exist because the universe is the way it is. In other words, if the universe didn’t exist the way it is we would be here. Do you see the difference?

The multiverse theory, which I hasten to add has no experimental evidence to back it up—it’s just theoretical math written by string theorists at this point, states that there is an infinite number of universes, with an infinite number of possibilities. When you have an infinite number of possiblities, the chance that you exist is not only probable, but certain.

Good Radio Lab on the multiverse theory here
http://blogs.wnyc.org/radiolab/2008/08/12/the-multi-universes/

Nullo's avatar

@ all you people,
The question is tricky because it sneaks in the false assumption that all authors must necessarily come from somewhere and then asks where that might be.
Everything which has a beginning has a cause. The universe has a beginning, therefore the universe has a cause. BUT, if something doesn’t have a beginning, then it needs no cause.

laureth's avatar

@Nullo – so if the Universe has no beginning, it need not have a cause. If it’s just an endless cycle, sometimes expanding, sometimes retracting, always has been, always will be – it would not need a cause any more than your Author would.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Thanks for taking the time to give your more detailed analysis. Yes, I did have the Strong Anthropic Theory )SAP) in mind when I asked the question, but one acceptable attempt at an answer would certainly be, that’s the wrong answer, the Weak AP or (WAP) is actually right, not the SAP. Where do you come down on this?

Don’t you find Dark Energy and Dark Matter a bit like Ptolemy’s Theory of Epicycles? Sure, it fits observed data. It was formulated to fit observed data. Unfortunately, after accepting the elegance of circles within circles within circles for many eons, we finally found out that the Theory of Epicycles was utter bunk, a description carefully crafted to fit observed data, but not drawn from any understanding of the motion of things.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No, Anthropic Theory does not prove the existence of God.

But @Nullo is very correct. The premise of God is a being that is not confined to the limitations of our physical universe. If this God dwells within a realm of timeless eternity, (as is the popular belief) then there is no time or space within that realm. This God would not necessarily need a creator, for it is presumed to be in a complete eternal state of is-ness.

A hard concept to swallow indeed. But one we must consider even if we cannot fully grasp the notion. My dog can’t even grasp why I tie my shoes. How much more advanced would this God being be from us than I am from my dog?

@laureth

It’s pretty common knowledge that the universe is purported to have sprung into existence approximately 13.7 to 13.8 billion years ago. This is old news, and bounce theory has been soundly rejected because an engine cannot oscillate under the tremendous entropy that our universe is subject to.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro I’m not familiar with Ptolemy’s Theory of Epicycles, so I can’t comment on that. In terms of dark matter and dark energy, it’s a good question. There are times in physics where theory goes ahead of observation, and other times where observation debunks theory and a new theory has to be written—such is the case with dark matter and dark energy. One of the initial lead investigators of one of the two groups that discovered dark energy is actually an acquantaince of mine. I asked him once about it, and he told me he was stunned by the result as everybody else. They were not expecting an accelerating universe. But it is. Certainly if further experimental evidence shows that it is NOT true, then the models will need to be changed.

This happens in science periodically. The most famous example is Newtonian motion and gravity. Newton developed a theory based upon observation that held for hundreds of years. But then, there were observations that showed that Newton could be wrong, and then ender Maxwell, Lorentz, and finally Einstein.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies There actually is a theory called the Ekpyrotic theory that involves colliding branes, which is sort of a bounce. http://wwwphy.princeton.edu/~steinh/npr/

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes I’ve seen that and it is wild wild wild. Thanks for the reminder… will review.

Rarebear's avatar

And if you really want to get into this subject, there is a series of podcast on Astronomy Cast that are outstanding.
http://www.astronomycast.com/category/astronomy/cosmology/

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

Will do. Thanks. Have you seen that photo that’s floating around on the internet I can’t find it Where it compares colliding galaxies to a human neural network? The images are practically identical. Absolutely amazing coincidence.

antimatter's avatar

Ok it’s interesting and not boring at at all! So my personal theory is that we were created by accident, a serious of chain events took place until we ended up where we are today. The Big Bang theory is cool but who or what created the material to make it all happen? If you say God, than who created God? Something made something. I think God was created as well. I think there will never be a correct answer to this question, there can only be theories and speculation. As for the multi universe thing I hope one of my other alter egos will be better off in life and don’t have a shitty 12 hour job 7 days a week.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@antimatter said: “I think God was created as well”

At some point the infinite regression argument has to stop. Who made the God that made the God that made the God that made…

Logic dictates that there must indeed be a first uncaused cause. Time itself began at the Big Bang. So there is no such thing as a concept of “before” the Singularity. Thus, a timeless state of existence must be possible. Notions of beginning or created would not apply to a timeless state of existence.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Your proof of the existence of God is every bit as fragile as an Atheist’s ‘proof’ of God’s non-existence. You are pulling the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics from a universe where it pertains, and applying it to something outside conventional space-time. In classical terms, the question, “What was before the big bang?” makes no sense. For the word “before” to have meaning, there would have to be space-time with which to define it. But a timeless condition that creates universes would exist outside space time just as God would, and so would not be bound by entropy any more than your conception of God is bound by entropy. That ‘proof’ may satisfy dedicated theists, but it is hardly scientific.

You seem to suggest that Atheists are creatures of faith, choosing to ‘believe’ that there is no God. On this, I agree. But then you move on to make the same mistake you have just found the atheist guilty of. Most scientists set aside the issue of God because accepting divine authorship is not a useful construct in answering the questions of existence that the universe poses. If God set Plank’s Constant at its present value knowing that this would produce life, then there is no need to ask why Planck’s Constant is what it is. There’s no need to look for a Theory of Everything. Everything just what it is because God said so. So there is no need to delve any deeper into science. In fact, there was never any need to delve into science to start with, because God set everything in place just as it should be, and knowing why would be seeking to know the mind of God, which would be impossible for finite man.

Regarding the similarities between colliding galaxies and neurons, it may be no coincidence at all, There is a remarkable similarity between Mandelbrots, river basins, erosion patterns, cloud formations and lots of other inteference patterns that are generated by constantly varying states in a dynamical system. What’s probably at work there is an underlying simplicity of the math that controls each.

I don’t think logic dictates necessarily that there be an uncaused cause. Again, you are being seduced by a brain pun pretaining to the universe we dwell in, one where the arrow of time rules supreme. Suppose there is no cause, that infinity is the answer instead of a finite beginning. Infinity is just as logically necessary as is an uncaused cause. If we come to the end of the universe, is it really the end? If it were, the universe would expand till it crashed into the ending walls. But what would lie outside those walls, if not potential nothingness going on infinitely?

laureth's avatar

Neil Turok had some interesting things to say on the Big Bang not being necessarily the Origin event.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, as a atheist I can speak with a little authority on atheism. :-)

I’m not an atheist because I choose not to believe in God. I’m an atheist because I see no empirical evidence of a god. If someone shows me some verifiable reproducible evidence of a god then I’ll be more than happy to believe in God. Again, it’s a difference of emphasis. I don’t believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Heaven, Hell, ghosts, astrology, homeopathy, the aether, or telepathy for the same reasons.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear It would seem to me that the paucity of evidence in God’s existence is reason enough not to believe in God, but there is a paucity of evidence in Not-God as well, and that is an equal reason not to believe in Not-God.

island's avatar

ETpro said:
“No, Anthropic Theory does not prove the existence of God.”

Well, science doesn’t “prove” anything… but weather or not the anthropic physics indicates that there is a higher intelligence involved… depends on which atheist physicist that you ask.

Vic Stenger would say… “What anthropic physics?”

But Lenny Susskind would say… “Well, if there is no multverse then the IDists have an argument.”

Stenger’s game is to look for ways to deny the implications of the physics, whereas Lenny’s is to use it to blackmail his peers, but at least Lenny isn’t willfully ignorant of the “appearance of design” that the physics projects.

ETpro's avatar

@island Excellent answer. Thanks and GA awarded. However, I believe we will find that the multiverse is just one possible answer to a Universe with life but without an Intelligent Designer.

And BTW< welcome to Fluther. I hope you will find this a stimulating site.

island's avatar

You are correct ETpro, but “other possible answers” doesn’t dispel the “appearance of design” without a final theory, for which, there is none.

island's avatar

This is a highly informative link, albeit somewhat technical at times. I wrote it:

http://knol.google.com/k/the-anthropic-principle

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro said, “It would seem to me that the paucity of evidence in God’s existence is reason enough not to believe in God.” For me it does. I don’t believe in things that don’t have any evidence.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear said: “I don’t believe in things that don’t have any evidence”

Consider that some “things” are not things at all. see my comments below

@ETpro said: “Your proof of the existence of God is every bit as fragile as an Atheist’s ‘proof’ of God’s non-existence. You are pulling the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics from a universe where it pertains, and applying it to something outside conventional space-time.”

I’m unsure that you’ve read me correctly. Where in this thread have I offered proof of God? Read me again.

@ETpro said: “In classical terms, the question, “What was before the big bang?” makes no sense.”

That’s practically exactly what I said. Read again please.

@ETpro said: “For the word “before” to have meaning, there would have to be space-time with which to define it. But a timeless condition that creates universes would exist outside space time just as God would, and so would not be bound by entropy any more than your conception of God is bound by entropy.”

No argument here. What are you getting at? Have I suggested anything different?

@ETpro said: ”That ‘proof’ may satisfy dedicated theists, but it is hardly scientific.”

I’m really confused ET. What proof has been offered here?

I clearly said “No, Anthropic Theory does not prove the existence of God.”

___________________________

@island said that @ETpro said: “No, Anthropic Theory does not prove the existence of God.”

Sorry guys, but I’m the one who said that, not ETpro.

____________________________

@ETpro said: ”You seem to suggest that Atheists are creatures of faith, choosing to ‘believe’ that there is no God. On this, I agree. But then you move on to make the same mistake you have just found the atheist guilty of.”

Now I’m really confused. Are you applying my comments from your Dualism question to this question? I’ve never mentioned such a thing here and it is quite inappropriate to conflate my comments in this question with those specifically applied to another. Feel free to ask me anything you want, but please keep it in context of each separate question at hand.

@ETpro said: ”Most scientists set aside the issue of God because accepting divine authorship is not a useful construct in answering the questions of existence that the universe poses.”

We’ll have to agree to disagree here. It seems to me that if indeed there is, in fact, a God being, then it would be a very “useful construct” to acknowledge that and use it accordingly to “answering the questions of existence that the universe poses.”

And Here I must point out a common problem I have discussing these issues with Atheists in general. I’ve seen it over and over again throughout the years and I’m absolutely convinced it is the biggest barrier to our understanding one another clearly. I’m so perplexed at how Atheists allow themselves to personify the mute cosmos, treating it like a sentient entity unto itself. I mean, I really do understand what you are saying, but I’m not so sure that you understand the implications of how you are actually saying it… and you’ve done it a couple of times. Enough to make me wonder if there really is an entirely different mindset out there that cannot come to terms with the silent veracity of our universe.

Yes, I understand, I certainly hope that I understand, that you must be speaking metaphorically when you say:“answering the questions of existence that the universe poses”… For you must ultimately realize, that the universe does not pose questions. There is no reason to personify the mute cosmos, and doing so, unwittingly hoists a semantical barrier between us and our ability to communicate effectively with one another.

Here, you did it again, when you said,: ”What’s probably at work there is an underlying simplicity of the math that controls each.”

You do understand, don’t you, that math does not possess an underlying anything, and it has no capacity to _control anything at all. Math does not control anything anywhere in the cosmos. There is no principle of math other than what humans create for it. We don’t discover mathematics. We create it. The universe does not have any hidden mathematics of its own and we are not uncovering any mathematics from it, nor discovering any mathematics in the cosmos whatsoever. The Laws of the Universe are not given to us by the cosmos. The cosmos does not communicate messages to humans. The Laws of the Universe are written by humans to describe an observable or theoretical phenomenon.

Math is a language tool and nothing more. And like all language tools, we use it to describe observable phenomenon, and that is all. Thinking otherwise lends support to mysticism and folklore with tales of talking trees, whispering streams and burning bushes that give messages to birth a violent nation.

We must be extremely careful and precise with our word choices when discussing these issues. It’s much too easy to be lead to believe that Math is just out there floating around waiting for us to find it. That perspective is dangerous, and leads us to false conclusion about many things in the natural world. It tempts us to conflate the existence of Information where there is no real Information to be found.

For instance: It is a common mistake to claim that Tree Rings somehow tell us about the Growing Seasons. If this is so, then Trees can talk. If this is so, then Trees can communicate messages to human beings. Do you see the danger in this? My objective is to protect the science that I love from such errant belief structures.

The Tree Rings do not tell us anything. They cannot. They have no transmitter, no language, and no code that fits any formal definition of the word. They have absolutely none of the mechanisms required to communicate any data to humans whatsoever.

We simply observe and describe them. We create our own data about them without the need for Trees to speak or for humans to learn Dogwood-ese.

Ring 1 – 2cm
Ring 2 – 1.5cm
Ring 3 – 3cm

We observe and describe. And we do this with a human created description tool called Mathematics.

Another observer describes the Growing Seasons…

2001 – avg 24%hum, avg 74degrees
2002 – avg 20%hum, avg 76degrees
2003 – avg 26%hum, avg 72degrees

We then Infer a relationship between the two sets of Sentient Authored Information. But we certainly don’t receive message from Trees.

____________________________________________

@ETpro said: ”But what would lie outside those walls, if not potential nothingness going on infinitely?”

Again, we must be very careful and quite precise when discussing these notions of infinity.

You used the word ”nothingness”. (noun
the absence or cessation of life or existence).

No Thing Ness

It is the noun form of the pronoun nothing (pronoun
not anything; no single thing)

No Thing.

The hard Materialist has a big problem here. For the ”thing” that is being referred to must be a physical thing consisting of no – thing more than energy and matter alone. The etymology of the word is a placeholder for material objects and actions in the physical world that are not individually referred to. That’s why it is a pronoun.

So when you say the phrase ” But what would lie outside those walls, if not potential nothingness going on infinitely?”… You’re actually treating nothingness as if it were a actual physical thing unto itself.

Again, “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

This implicitly suggests a non-physical agent that is not confined by the physical rules of energy and matter alone. This implicitly suggests a separate realm or dimension or whatever we should call it that is beyond any notions that we attribute to common perception of our physical universe.

So… asking what would lie ”outside those walls” or presuming that ”nothingness goes on” is the very same fallacy as applying concepts of ”before” to the beginning of time at the point of Singularity.

Our human language fails miserably to define such notions as eternity and infinity. Must we make it worse by incorrectly supposing they are comparable to any-thing that we have ever encountered before?

Concepts of thing, where, before, after, here, there, soon, now DO NOT APPLY to non physical realities. We cannot afford to put the constraints of physicality upon them.

_______________________________

Nothing… It’s what rocks dream about.

Plato?

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Regarding Where in this thread have I offered proof of God? I was inferring your belief in an Author of the universal laws from a series of yourstatements.

You wrote in response to @Nullo “The premise of God is a being that is not confined to the limitations of our physical universe. If this God dwells within a realm of timeless eternity, (as is the popular belief) then there is no time or space within that realm. This God would not necessarily need a creator, for it is presumed to be in a complete eternal state of is-ness.”

And again, ” @antimatter said: ‘I think God was created as well’

At some point the infinite regression argument has to stop. Who made the God that made the God that made the God that made…”

If I have misread you, please state your beliefs plainly. I am not trying to put words in your mouth. And in return I will say that I am not an atheist or a theist. I am in awe of all that I see around me, and do not know how it got here. I am intrigued by that question. I hope the answer turns out to be that there is an Author and that the purpose of the creation was to develop intelligent life to talk to, because I have so many questions to ask.

Regarding my statement answering the questions of existence that the universe poses of course I am speaking metaphorically. I can assure you I do not hear the universe whispering questions in my ear at night. No talking trees, or math seeping under the door fresh from the Andromeda galaxy, either.

Regarding nothingness, I am using it specifically as the state of nonexistence of everything. While you are right to note that the word is often misused, it is still not an impossible concept to grasp by a simple thought experiment. The universe is currently expanding. That means that while space-time as we think of it stops at its outer boundry, the boundry keeps pushing further out. If there are other universes floating about far beyond ours, perhaps expanding toward us, then space gose from here to there and our universe is just expaning into the space between the separate universes. But if ours is it, then we are expanding into what we would best call nothingness, for want of a better term.

I do understand the point where normal definitions of space-time break down—as in before time or beyond space. But I am confident you understand the thought experiment to get to those places as well. If not, I have done what I can to explain it and would prefer to let it rest.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m not sure which comments you want me to respond to. I could respond to you point by point, but I’m worried about getting off topic.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro

Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately, I had no intentions of stating my personal beliefs for this question. My goal in every response was to clarify some common misconceptions about what a God being is actually supposed to be. I’m honestly a little perturbed (not at you) at others who consistently hold a “theoretical god” to the same standards of common materialism. I don’t believe in that god either.

I also wanted to straighten out some common misconceptions about time, space, and the cosmos as well. I certainly don’t claim to know everything. But I do keep up on the realities behind the latest knowledge available the best I can. So when I see dated theories and circular philosophical arguments being drug out again I feel a need to settle the score a bit.

Bounce Theory and Infinite Regression don’t really stand up any more against our having pinpointed the discovery of the beginning of space/time and the fairly well accepted acceleration theory. You’ll notice I did not mention a thing about multi-verse. I have my own position on that and other things but none of which need to rush out and challenge others. I’d rather hear others views on that first and weigh their insights against my own before being tempted to speak upon the issue.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the same thing I have. I’ve seen profitable move in the right direction in this past year alone in the way Atheists and Theists are able to communicate with one another. Am I wrong to notice that the Religious Fanatic seems to be disappearing rapidly, at the same time Atheists are starting to realize that all Theists are not just plain stupid, just because they are Theists? Am I wrong to see that both camps are starting to understand the other side believes they have very good reasons to support their world views? Is a move towards mutual understanding afoot? Can this be a bad thing at all? Dogma wags its tail in many arenas. Best we kill it dead wherever it may be found.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

I trust your judgment and value your opinion on anything you feel necessary to address. I will not insult you by baiting your response.

Rarebear's avatar

Okay, let me see, I’ll try. It’s tough when you’re responding to several people at once, and I’m not sure who I’m quoting. In fact, I’ll just cherry pick one.

“I’m so perplexed at how Atheists allow themselves to personify the mute cosmos, treating it like a sentient entity unto itself.”

I don’t. I don’t perceive the cosmos as an entity. I’m not sure what you mean by this.
I agree with a lot of the other stuff you wrote.

In terms of “proving a non existence of God,” I don’t need to, as you can’t prove a negative. To me the burden of proof is on the theists.

But personally, I have no problem with theism. I’m just an empiricist and so therefore it is against my nature to believe in God. Until that is proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt, I will continue to be an atheist. But you are free to have your beliefs and I would never disparage them.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I have noticed a change in the level of discourse as well, but I attributed it to having changed discussion venues rather than a raising of the bar in general. I sincerely hope you are right.

I can assure you that there are still a large crowd of people on both sides of the issue who seem incapable of understanding one another at all. I am active on a social Q&A site called Sodahead.com and there this question would rapidly degrade into nothing but a flame war. In fact, they allow posting of images and videos, and many of the debaters seem to prefer finding a cartoon parody of their opponent’s looks to even bothering to write about what the other individual wrote.

Rarebear's avatar

I lost track of the debate also, which is why I hesitated to respond. Truth be told, with people quoting each other, I’m not sure who is on which side of the debate.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It could be there is actually no debate at all. At least I’ve nothing to really debate against the OP. Anthropic Theory does not prove the existence of God.

My issue is against that tired old question of “Who created God”. How many times must it be said that the supposed God being is not confined by the same limitations as humans and the physical universe we live in? We can’t even have the discussion if we’re not talking about the same supposed God being. Are we speaking of “god” or “God”?

My view is simple. I completely reject any notions of the Super Natural, thus, if there really is a God, then it must be perfectly natural for that God to exist. And if there is a non physical realm that exists independently from the physical realm of energy and matter, then if that is so, then it is perfectly natural for it to be that way.

And my thesis follows logically then, that if indeed all codes must have sentient authorship (as that is the only empirical mechanism that has ever been demonstrated to do so), then a belief that the cosmos could author a genetic code is an unwitting belief in the Super Natural, begging a miracle from “nature” to do what it has never been empirically verified.

Rarebear's avatar

I’m going to try to put it less eruditely than you did, but more concisely. See if this jibes with what you’re saying.

1. I do not believe in God
2. If there is a God, then God is a natural being that can be proven with empiric data
3. If God can be proven with empiric data then it is not a god.
4. Therefore I do not believe in God.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You suppose that we’re speaking of the same God. Your deduction does not work for me because #1 is false for me, and #3 assumes that God is reducible to god.

Rarebear's avatar

Okay, then my mistake. Then that represents my position.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

To clarify, I don’t even like to use the term God because of all the baggage.

I stick with Sentient Author. I don’t know what it means beyond that. It could be Aliens, it could be time travelers… but that only pushes the question back further.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I would say that DNA code is a code without the necessity of intelligent authorship. If your explanation of the origin of the universe is, “God did it.” then it isn’t a great leap to suppose that God also set the wheels in motion that produced RNA and DNA. But this is a circular proof. It requires you stepping outside the physical universe just as surely as does the Atheist using the “Who created GOd.” gambit.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I don’t, and haven’t made any claims about who or what created the Singularity. Not on this forum at least. I haven’t found a pre-existing code that determines the underlying foundation behind the universe. Until I find that code, there can be no such claim made by me.

But, we have found a code for life. I can make that claim for life needing a sentient author.

I’ve even built a case against code in the cosmos. SETI would be out of business real quick if codified Information was everywhere. But I will not deny that when we do find a code, that we must infer sentient authorship. SETI is not looking for life. They are listening for a genuine codified signal that conforms to Perlwitz, Burks, and Waterman’s definition and conforms to Claude Shannon communication protocols. They fully understand that where there be codified information, there must also be a sentient author behind it. DNA fulfills that requirement in spades and on numerous levels. I can make the claim for life with great confidence. To do otherwise would be ignoring the facts.

Norbert Weiner informs us that Information is not energy and not matter. Since code always represents information from a mind, then there must be an immaterial realm beyond the physical brain to allow for the mind. The etymology of Information is Thought In-To-Form.

Code is our bridge into that immaterial realm. Code is a material lens that allows us to view the immaterial realm of information.

As for a God concept as creator of the cosmos, well, if that be so, then we are ultimately left with a need for concluding sentient being that consist of pure immaterial information and is not confined to our physical interpretation of “things”. This must be a realm of pure Information. A realm where physical code is not required to express Information. Perhaps a realm of pure thought, which is why I’m so intrigued by colliding galaxies looking so much akin to neural networks.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies When you state that “code always represents information from a mind” you make the mistake of imposing your experience on the universe and beyond it. Code seems that way to you because that is your experience with it—mine too. But it disingenuous to forbid me positing an author-less code because you have no evidence it can exist, then posit that a master Intelligence outside and always existing wrote all the codes that run this universe. You have no more proof of the existence of this Master Intelligence than I can provide you of self-writing code.

It has occurred to me that this universe might operate in some way like a very vast computer, with strong and weak forces and gravitational pulls linking everything to everything. Every time the state of anything changes, everything else in the system “knows” it. We humans have something around one trillion neural connections in our brains. The universe, viewed in that way, has how many? It’s certainly a number I can’t even conceive.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I don’t have a code for the cosmos. I do have a code for life. I make no claims about the cosmos other than a tautology of speculation based upon interdisciplinary connections. I do make claims about life because that’s what the evidence demands of me.

Code is the smoking gun. It does not necessarily reveal any specific author. But it does reveal the presence of an anonymous author. Guns don’t fire themselves, and you can take that to a court of law.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You seem mired in your brain pun, so fine. Let’s agree to disagree on this.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

There is nothing mired about accepting evidence for what it is. There is something very mired in believing in something that has never been demonstrated as remotely possible.

Can you deny anything that I’ve said?

Sentient Authored Code is:
Predictable
Testable
Repeatable
Falsifiable

Non-Sentient Authored code is NOT

Where is the brain pun?

Rarebear's avatar

Mired in a brain pun. I love it.

No, DNA does not require an author, what it required was time and evolution. Personally I find it much more beautiful knowing that DNA (and life) happened entirely naturally rather than shepherded along. We exist despite the design flaws.

island's avatar

“No, DNA does not require an author, what it required was time and evolution.”

Wow, what a leap of faith past the observed facts as they relate to this topic.

If there is an anthropic principle in effect, (which there most apparently is), then both, DNA and evolution are “shepherded along” by bio-oriented environmental pressures that are anything but accidental. See: Goldilocks enigma, habitable zones, Gaia theory… and my previously linked page.

What you guys don’t realize is… the choices aren’t either/or, as in, either, by design, or by accident. There is a another completely non-accidental natural solution to the life-phenomenon that falls directly from the natural expectation that physicists have for a law of nature that explains from first principles why the forces are configured the way that they are, rather than some other.

A true life-oriented cosmological principle requires carbon based life in the path of least action of the evolution of the universe.

It does not matter whether or not you buy it… it is always an evidenced scientific plausibility without a cosmological principle or a complete theory that explains why we are simply a consequence of what naively appears to be bio-oriented physics.

Unfortunately, this fact isn’t something that you’ll willingly get physicists to recognize without nailing their ideologically convinced hides to the garage wall, but it IS a fact nevertheless. Paul Davies is about the only physicist that I know of who openly recognizes it.

Anywho… take it for what it’s worth, denial is NOT the way to go if you want to live in reality, rather than an idealization.

laureth's avatar

Today I went to the food co-op. I noticed that in the bulk bins, the grains of rice and wheat formed particular patterns. In the top, where they were poured in, they lined up mostly horizontally, with the grains aligned like this: ===== This is because when they landed, they would turn flat due to the pull of gravity, the inability to stand on end in a stable manner, and the fact that the other grains were falling on top of them.

However, near the bottom, where grains were coming out the chute, they were lined up mostly vertically, like this: IIIIIIIIIIIII This is because as the grains below them preceded them out the chute, they would fall with the heaviest end downward, and be frozen in that position as the chute closed, sandwiched in by their brethren.

Still with me?

The interesting thing about this arrangement of grain in the bulk bin is that it’s because of the forces of inertia, gravity, etc., affecting the distribution of wheat and rice – and not because an author lined them up by hand, painstakingly making the top ones look like == and the bottom ones like IIII. Thus, the very not-random arrangement is not a sign that there’s a bulk bin deity that spends all of her time arranging grain.

Of course, you could argue that there is a bulk bin goddess who works through the mysterious means of gravity, making grains slightly bigger at one end, affecting the mind of the inventor of the bulk bin so that he put a chute at the bottom instead of a scoop at the top, etc. However, that’s the sort of deus ex machina that takes this kind of reasoning out of the rational and into a place where you can just let any wild, unsubstantiated thought claim causation. You’re perfectly free to do that, of course, but I wouldn’t call it science.

And that’s the problem I have thinking that this all points to a Creator/Creatrix/Author/God. It’s a big leap from the measurable and observable to the place where any idea at all has credence. Is it so hard to feel that “we just don’t know what started things, but we’re working on finding out” that we have to attach it to a God event? The Greeks didn’t know what made the Sun go ‘round, so they attributed it to Apollo and his chariot – an irrational, evidence-free way of explaining what they didn’t yet have the knowledge to explain. Today we know it’s a flaming ball of gas, not Apollo. And in due time, we may very well figure out the Big Bang and see that it has no divine pull of the finger behind it – it’s just the way that the cosmic grain fell into the galactic bulk bin. Maybe the way the DNA fit together is less like God putting beads on a string, and more like grains falling in because that’s where they fit.

island's avatar

“it’s just the way that the cosmic grain fell into the galactic bulk bin”

To use this example as an illustration of the anthropic principle, you would first note that physicists would expect the bottom grains to look like this… IIII… if “it’s just the way that the cosmic grain fell into the galactic bulk bin” ... but what they find looks like this ==, as if someone had intentionally lined them up in a manner that runs contrary to what our best theories predict that they should find.

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0512148

laureth's avatar

Right.

island's avatar

Right… you’re example was bogus… ;)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear said: “No, DNA does not require an author, what it required was time and evolution”

I hope you don’t think this is a debate. I cannot debate an opinion. All I can do is present the science and let you come to your own conclusions.

Evolution requires a source code. No code = No Evolution. A change in the genome is the very mechanism that Natural Selection acts upon. Everything else without a code is simple cause and reaction. Cause and reaction does not program. The Universe cannot speak.

@island is correct. There is a middle ground. It’s not all or nothing. If we’re not going to debate the issue, then let me share the science with you that you may not have been aware of. It doesn’t get much publicity because it typically flies against @laureth‘s proverbial “grain”.

Don’t confuse Code with Complexity. They are practically opposites. I’ll explain the numerous differences if you request, but for now, just look at the mathematical evidence behind the impossibility that chaos could ever author code.

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 the 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.

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

Shall we leap to believe in miracles?

But let’s go ahead and take a leap of faith and start 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”

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. The entire universe is only estimated to have 10^80 atomsSo you must know what a mind boggling miracle you are asking for.

But let’s give the cosmos an even easier problem to work on. 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. But there’s not enough time since the Big Bang to even come close to writing 130,000 character sentence.

“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

__________________________

No one is accounting for where the Source Code came from.

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?

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.

Barbara McClintock was forced underground with her research for 2 decades. She was demonized for her discovery of the self regulating transposition process. She was ultimately awarded the Nobel prize for her discovery.

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

laureth's avatar

@island – if the grains at the bottom were like === instead of III, that is, contrary to what we could predict with our best reasoning skills, that would imply to me that something (or Someone) else was at work: i.e., it was a supernatural hand that arranged the grain. But if the grains line up as physics would dictate, that (to me) does not imply that it needed anything other than physics to do it. Does that makes sense? It’s why I said “right.”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The Grain doesn’t need a sentient agent to arrange in any manner whatsoever. But if the grain formed a code, then we must infer authorship.

Complexity is not the same thing as Code. Complexity has never formed a Code either.

Rarebear's avatar

The sub-debate between laureth and island reminds me of a wonderful book I read, The Self Made Tapestry

laureth's avatar

And the bit about Code needing an author reminds me of the Watchmaker analogy.

Rarebear's avatar

@laureth Have you read Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker? Wonderful book.

laureth's avatar

I have not. I’ll add it to the list.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@laureth

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.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Wrote:

Can you deny anything that I’ve said?

Sentient Authored Code is:
Predictable
Testable
Repeatable
Falsifiable

Non-Sentient Authored code is NOT

Why yes, I can deny all that. It only is true if I accept your beginning position that all known code is authored, which limits code to that generated by humans. The moment you step outside the human generated code arena, your premise that all known code is authored no longer applies.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The weakest possible argument for an Internet forum is the one that begins with “That leads me to believe that you are having difficulty with understanding Information.” What it generally means is, my mind is already so fully made up that you are obviously stupid if you don’t see the perfection of my opinion.

The Watchmaker Analogy is particularly telling to your Codified Information analogy. Paley saw the inner workings of a watch. The works were incredibly intricate, worked smoothly, and did something useful. He know that the watch had a designer. So he generalized (as human minds are so want to do) an said, Aha, everything that is intricate, smooth working, and does something useful has a designer. He applied what is true in the set of human designed things to all things in the universe. He did not bother to observe first that the universe is incredibly intricate, works smoothly and does something useful—nor that hundreds of sub-systems within it fit the same description. Now maybe all these other systems need a designer just as watches within the human system do—but maybe they don’t. We simply do not know that yet.

You are doing the same thing Paley did when you extend your human understanding of coded information to all coded information. Yes, within the realm of human generated code, all code exists because an author coded it. But outside that realm, the mere fact that we encounter a code does not tell us that it came to be in the same way that codes we are familiar with do.

island's avatar

laureth said:
“if the grains at the bottom were like === instead of III, that is, contrary to what we could predict with our best reasoning skills, that would imply to me that something (or Someone) else was at work: i.e., it was a supernatural hand that arranged the grain.”

Or a law of nature that constrains the dynamics of grain settlement to an otherwise unexpected configuration.

“But if the grains line up as physics would dictate, that (to me) does not imply that it needed anything other than physics to do it. Does that makes sense? It’s why I said “right.”

Right, but the anthropic principle is an example of the former, not the latter. The forces of the universe are not “lined up” as physics dictates without throwing first principles to the wind while assuming that “increasingly ambitious ideas”, (like the multiverse), will explain it.

Is Our Universe Natural?
http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0512148

This is fine if you have a final theory… or maybe even a complete theory of quantum gravity to justify the unobservable leap of faith… but it will never supercede the natural expectation for a cosmological principle that explains the observation from first principles, and without said final theory… this leap of faith is just idle theoretical speculation.

@Rarebare: What debate?... I’m stating the facts.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies says:
“The Grain doesn’t need a sentient agent to arrange in any manner whatsoever.”

WHOOOOSH…. is the sound of the anthropic analogy going right over your head… ;)

Rarebear's avatar

@island I’m unimpressed with that physics paper you keep posting as supporting your point. First of all it’s basically an opinion piece. Second of all, it talks about the multiverse theory which if you read my comments above I already granted is a plausable theory. If the multiverse theory is correct, then basically the weak anthropic theory is correct which lends itself neatly to a universe that is without any supernatural beings, creator, or designer.

island's avatar

Rarebear… I have no idea what you’re talking about, as it does not apply to anything that I’ve been saying.

Rarebear's avatar

@island OK. Let me be ask a simple question. See if you can answer with brevity. Why did you post that physics paper?

island's avatar

@Rarebear To show that our universe is not configured as is expected by quantum field theory.

And the alternatives to this tosses out the first principles that are normally expected to explain the way that the universe is configured… like an energy conservation law, for example.

And these alternatives are not science without a final theory.

So the “appearance of design” takes theoretical precedence, (per the scientific method), over whatever lame unproven speculative alternative to first principles is out there.

Rarebear's avatar

@island Just to make sure I understand your position clearly. You are advocating for consideration of a universe with intelligent design—i.e. a universe that is guided by an intelligent designer (i.e. God or some such)

island's avatar

@Rarebear Nope, I’m all about science and first principles. A bio oriented cosmological principle to be exact… more in line with these guys… but not exactly.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=3533936

Regardless, what I’m saying is factual, no matter whose side I’m not on.

And without first principles or a complete theory… the creationists have a stronger argument per the evidence.

island's avatar

This is a more popularized description of Sagan and Schneider’s theory:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2004/09/30/2003204990

Rarebear's avatar

@island Ah, so you’re a creationist.

island's avatar

Uh… just wow.

Rarebear's avatar

Indeed.

island's avatar

Okay, look, I’m an atheist because I think that I know the whole story here, but that is beside the point. I said nothing differently than Leonard Susskind does in the following interview, except that I’ve included ALL other theoretical speculations other than the multiverse into my FACTUAL point:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18825305.800-is-string-theory-in-trouble.html

In the interview, Amanda Gefter asks strong atheist physicist, Leonard Susskind:
If we do not accept the landscape idea are we stuck with intelligent design?

The “landscape” is the unobservable and as yet unjustified speculation known more commonly as the multiverse.

Lenny, (the strong atheist), answers:
“I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.

Excep the IDists have the “appearance of design” like a guy that’s standing over a dead body with a smoking gun. Maybe he was shooting at the guy that actually killed this person… but this more distant plausibility sure as heck wouldn’t be enough to ignore the obvious suspect… duh.

“The appearance of design is undeniable”
-Lenny Susskind

Rarebear's avatar

@island Okay. So now you’re not being obtuse; I’m glad I could finally draw you out.

island's avatar

DAMN!... lol

Obtuseness is not what I was going for.

island's avatar

Although… I WAS insisting on a self-honest assessment of what I was saying. Even if I was a creationist… what I said would still be correct.

Only… what I said would be viewed very differently… and THAT is exactly the problem that people have that forced Brandon Carter formalized the Anthropic Principle in the first place:

http://knol.google.com/k/the-anthropic-principle#

Rarebear's avatar

Okay, I’ll give you an honest assessment of what I read. You didn’t intend to be obtuse, but that’s what I saw. You’re obviously very well read. I find it difficult, however, to follow arguments when they reference books without clearly explaining the point of view, and when people make assumptions in knowledge when they write.

Look, I’m a physician, a professor and have been a teacher for over 20 years. I give lectures all over the country and am chair of two national medical education committees in my specialty. When I’m talking to other physicians I make certain assumptions about what they know. When I’m talking to non physicians, or online forums such as this, I simplify things such that an intelligent lay person can clearly follow what I’m saying. For example, if someone asks me about swollen legs I won’t immediately launch into a discussion of the pathophysiology of cor pulmonale, pulmonary hypertension, hepatic congestion, and venous retention.

See what I mean? That’s why your arguments confused me. You are impressive in you’re knowledge base, and you write extremely well. Remember your audience, though. To be blunt, I would have been better served by a dumbed down, shorter explanation of your point of view.

island's avatar

Thanks very much. I appreciate your compliment and constructive criticism.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro said: “The moment you step outside the human generated code arena, your premise that all known code is authored no longer applies.”

Humans are not the only creatures that author code. Wolf Howls, Whale Song, Figure 8 Bee Waggle Dance… All conform to Perlwitz, Burks, Waterman def of Code and run through Claude Shannon protocols effortlessly. Those are the same protocols and definition of code that SETI uses to “listen” for extraterrestrial life as well. They are the same protocols that Hubert Yockey used to discover that DNA was a code and that RNA uses for transcription.

It’s not just a human thing by any means.

island's avatar

Yeah, it’s a pretty well known fact that the bio-oriented principle isn’t strictly anthropic.

It also isn’t limited to Earth, although it is very strictly limited by the Goldilocks constraint, which applies only to planets in galaxies that evolved under near identically balanced circumstances as ours did.

island's avatar

This explains the goldilocks enigma as it makes falsifiable predictions about life elsewhere in the universe:

http://evolutionarydesign.blogspot.com/2007/02/goldilocks-enigma-again.html

ETpro's avatar

@island Of course it explains the Goldilocks Enigma. That’s what it is designed to do. It is no more certainly correct because it does that than Ptolemaic Epicycles were right about explaining the orbits of the planets. Newton’s law of inverse squares also describes the motion of the planets (or comes so close that relativistic considerations can be ignored for most purpose). But unlike Ptolemy’s Epicycles, Newton’s laws explain a whold universe of things and don’t have to be tailored to fit observed facts, they predict unobserved systems.

Claiming you have explained why the universe is so perfectly fit for life by concluding that God made it that way is no different in concept from the Greek claim that Apollo moves the sun across the sky in his chariot, except that a different diety is invoked. You encounter something that baffles your current understanding, and conclude only a supernatural force can explain it. I can just as readily tell you that life is what it is because it is so uniquely suited for the universe it appeared in. That is probably a much better answer, in fact.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

ET, do you have any issues with my claim that our concept of God does not necessarily have to be Super Natural? Why can’t it be considered perfectly natural for that being to exist, if indeed it does exist? It may be completely alien to us in all common perceptions of our physical realm. But if it is really there, then what is so Super Natural about it?

I fear that religion has spiked the punch with claims of a Super Natural God being for both the Theist and Atheist alike. That’s why I refuse to use the word God or god. It may be God-like to our perceptions, but so were the Spaniards to the Inca Indians.

This being may be so far advanced from us that we cannot possibly hope to ever understand its true nature. But such a being is becoming more a probability every day. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned anything about the common religious perspective of an afterlife. We don’t need to bring that baggage into the discussion at all. I’m not promoting a religious perspective of what a soul or a God must be like. Religion attempts to make God fit into a box even more that the Atheist does. We can have this discussion sans dogma. In fact, I think we must.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies No, I have no problem conceding that God may exist, and that if so, may be natural or supernatural. I also have no problem with the thought that the multiverse may exist. I only balk at the insistence that for order to come from chaos, God MUST exist. Not so. Order comes from chaos all about us.

The spiral patterns in galaxies.

The interference patterns generated by galactic collisions.

The rings of Saturn and the fractal interfernece patterns that ripple through them as the moons of Saturn vary their gravitational pull on the rings.

The seemingly fractal patterns made by erosion, cloud formations, trees, leaves,,,

Self replication of clay—the Clay Genesis postulate.

Is this because God authored all this, and set the rules in place to generate its order? Perhaps it is. As I said earlier, I sincerely hope that it the case. I far prefer that explanation from a selfish viewpoint, as I might then expect some day to meet this intelligence. But sadly, the God explanation is not yet the only possible conclusion to “life, the universe and everything.”

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro
For teh record, I’ve seen those examples and similar used to support the claim that there must be a God. The meaning of evidence can change with your paradigms. :\

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro I agree with you on the multiverse. Until there is experimental evidence, it’s just another pretty theory with cool math.

Complexity Theory talks forming patterns where none previously existed, for example all the examples you brought up. Look at a honeycomb, for instance. Why a 6 sided shape? It turns out to be the most efficient shape. Tree bark and beer bubbles also form hexagonal patterns as well—for the same reason.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo Precisely. What a human sees in the view screen depends to a great extent on the worldview they bring to the viewer. The reason I trust science and reductionism more than theistic interpretations is that they have such different starting points. The good scientist (mind you, all are not good) starts with observation of the world around us and no preconceived agenda as to what to ‘prove’ about it. The theist, on the other hand, starts from the holy writ s/he has been handed and looks at the world around us to find proofs of that holy writ.

@Rarebear I personally have a great fondness for the study of those clevel beer bubbles. :-)

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro
I think (though really, it depends on the theology) that given enough time, the scientist and the theist would eventually arrive at the same conclusion. Science and religion aren’t incompatible, after all.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear That’s priceless. And who says scientists are a bunch of stuffed shirts?

@Nullo If any of the various world theologies have it right, then science and that religion may converge. Since many of the competing theologies claim absolute truth, they cannot possibly all be right. At the very least, all but one of such systems are bunk. But it is also possible that there is an intelligence outside of and transcendent above space-time and that no amount of study of the physical universe will confirm that being’s existence.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro wrote: “But it is also possible that there is an intelligence outside of and transcendent above space-time and that no amount of study of the physical universe will confirm that being’s existence.”

And I’m perfectly willing to accept this—it’s just that I will not pay any serious mind to that hypothesis until there is some evidence of experimental proof.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro said: “it is also possible that there is an intelligence outside of and transcendent above space-time and that no amount of study of the physical universe will confirm that being’s existence.”

I completely agree 100%.

That’s why I have to draw the line at code. We have found no code to the cosmos, therefore, the watch could have appeared by chance. Though, if we find a code for the watch, we must confidently infer authorship.

Everything you mention above is fractal patterns from chaos. No author required. But let me draw the line between patterns and code… please, for there is a monumental difference in the two.

Pattern = Irreducible Complexity

Code = Always reducible down to one bit.

Pattern = Cannot be copied exactly

Code = Can be copied exactly

Pattern = Never symbolic representation

Code = Always symbolic representation

Pattern = Without syntax, semantics, error correction, noise reduction

Code = With syntax, semantics, error correction, noise reduction

Pattern = Probability space A

Code = Maps probability space A to probability space B

Patterns = Must have code to describe them

Code = Must have a pattern to describe

Patterns = Only represent themselves

Code = Always represents something other than itself

Pattern = No transmitter, not receiver

Code = Must have transmitter and receiver

Pattern = Never predicts a physical reality

Code = Can predict a physical reality

Pattern = Never needs a programmer

Code = Always needs a programmer

_______________

No code to the cosmos has been found. I cannot make a scientific argument for God creating the universe. I can only make a scientific argument for God creating life… because life has code.

But here’s where it gets interesting… ART cannot be proven to be designed or authored in any way unless we actually witness the Artist creating it. Artwork has no code to pre-determine its existence into physical reality. Though, like Codified Information, Art is still a product of Mind into Reality, it is impossible to claim it as the same as Authorship (or Design) for it is without code entirely. Yet the True Artist will claim it has Meaning to them, and invite the viewer to create their own Meaning as well. A relationship forms between the Artist and the viewer based upon sharing their own Meanings with one another. A True Artist does not insist that the Viewer shares the original Meaning fo the Artist. A True Artist encourages the Viewer to become their own Artist and make an entirely New Meaning. A bonding relationship forms without the need for Code. Art is not the same as Design. Art is for pleasure and self expression. It is the ONE major difference between animals and humans. It is the ONE facet of our creative abilities that allows us an infusion of essence without the need for codified description. The True Artist claims to be creating as One with the Cosmos.

Is this a clue? Is the Universe a piece of Artwork? One that doesn’t require an Author…

Could it be said, that:

Life requires an Author.

Cosmos requires an Artist.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Then we agree. I just choose to call myself an agnostic rather than an atheist, because I neither believe in God nor believe there is no God. I am equally agnostic regarding the multiverse.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

I beg to differ. Human generated fractals most definitely proceed from a generating code. Naturally occurring fractals do to, but the code that creates them is writen into the rules that govern the universe.

I agree that life requires code to generate it, but that code is written into the fabric of the universe as well. It is not easy for us to see. It’s not as readiuly discerned as the code running our computers. But it is there. It has to do with rules that determine electron shell arrangements, 2 – 8 -18… – 8. It has to do with carbon having only four electrons in its outer shell and wanting another four. It has to do with quantum mechanics and the rules that govern chaotic dynamical systems.

Nature has never, even with all the chaotic combinations of 13.7 billion years and trillions to the trillionth power interactions, constructed a watch. That is quite true. But it has constructed things so far more complex and wonderful that the comparison is utterly silly, and yet we humans are looking for the nature-made watch as evidence of a proper code.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro I find the line between atheists and agnostics to be fuzzy at best anyway. It’s a matter of semantics. I choose not to believe in God because there is no evidence for God—but I’m perfectly willing to accept the possibility of one. If that makes me “agnostic” and not “atheist” I frankly don’t care. To me, since a god is outside the realm of measurement, I ignore the possibility.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Like most religious people, you’re making a leap of faith that just because DNA is a code therefore it has to be designed. Nope. DNA and life can be completely explained by evolution, natural selection, biophysics and biochemistry. No designer needed.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro.

That’s an assumed code… (Apparent Information). It follows none of Purlwitz, Burks, Waterman def for code and fails Shannon protocols miserably. You can’t just call it a code for the heck of it. There are extremely specific qualifications for something to be considered a code. It’s the only reason that DNA is called the Genetic Code. It is specifically the same reasons why we don’t say the Solar Flare Code, or the Tornado Code, or Gravity Code… They are not codes no matter how much you want them to be. Fractal Patterns and Forces have no transmitters, receivers, error correction, redundancy, syntax, semantics… THEY ONLY REPRESENT THEMSELVES and nothing more.

“2 – 8 -18… – 8” is not a code from the cosmos. It is a description from your mind that describes an observable phenomenon.”

A Tornado is not a code. It can be described with code though…
Hot Air + Cold Air + Wind + Pressure + Time = Tornado

The Tornado can never be copied exactly. But my Codified description of it can.

Please stop conflating Code and Complexity. They are different for very specific reasons that I have previously outlined.

@Rarebear

OK sorry. I’m going to have to step out of this discussion with you. You’re taking the argument circular with nothing more than your opinion to support your statement. Every time you say:
“DNA and life can be completely explained by evolution, natural selection, biophysics and biochemistry.”

Then I must also repeat myself as well. And nobody likes that. I’m not giving my opinion. I’m sharing science. Please address the science and stop promoting your opinion. Here I go again… If you want the links, please get them from above. And please address them before presenting your opinion again. The Math and Science don’t support you.

“just look at the mathematical evidence behind the impossibility that chaos could ever author code.

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 the 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.

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

Shall we leap to believe in miracles?

But let’s go ahead and take a leap of faith and start 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”

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. The entire universe is only estimated to have 10^80 atoms… So you must know what a mind boggling miracle you are asking for.

But let’s give the cosmos an even easier problem to work on. 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. But there’s not enough time since the Big Bang to even come close to writing 130,000 character sentence.

“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…”

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Here is a discussion of Perlwitz, Burks, Waterman’s thoughts, indeed one that is trying to read the same result you see into their work on the meaning of a code. But the analogy to Apollo still pertains. When faced with something they couldn’t explain, the Greeks assumed it had to be under the control of a superior intelligence not unlike their own—they anthropomorphized the apparent motion of the sun.

The referenced article makes great mention of the fact that science cannot fully explain how RNA and DNA got coded, then makes the same leap the Greeks made, anthropomorphizing the coding of DNA. God obviously did it because our pioneers in binary code such as Shannon have laid out a definition for code that nature doesn’t appear to match. Sorry, but that is no proof at all. It is just answering one mystery by proposing another mystery as its solution and pretending that tidies things up. For me, it doesn’t.

As to code, here is a good definition. “In communications, a code is a rule for converting a piece of information (for example, a letter, word, phrase, or gesture) into another form or representation (one sign into another sign), not necessarily of the same type.”

The rule set for turning the raw materials of the nascent universe into hydrogen and helium after the big bang, and those for fusing those atoms into other elements fit that description. The rule set for electron shell interactions between elements fit that definition. Amazingly, 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom can get together and form water just fine. They don’t need a lot of error correction and filtering to remove line noise. Why should that disqualify their marrying up from being the expression of an underlying code?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro said: “The rule set for turning the raw materials of the nascent universe into hydrogen and helium after the big bang, and those for fusing those atoms into other elements fit that description.”

No it doesn’t. You speak of energy and matter conversion and that’s all. It’s not Information.

“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

Your “good definition” specifically says… “a code is a rule for converting a piece of information” and the examples given (a letter, word, phrase, or gesture) are ALL mind properties of a sentient entity.

ETpro's avatar

You laid down a definition that is specific to man. DNA isn’t information in that sense any more than the blueprint for water is. It is just an incredibly complex set of chemical processes. There are no letters, words, phrases, or gestures in DNA either. It is still a code for the production of something, as is the electron shell attraction ebtween hydrogen and oxygen.

I don’t know if we can get past this anthropomorphizing issue. It suits your cause, so I doubt you will drop it. If that is the case, then we are at an impasse and may want to agree to disagree.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“The genome is sometimes called a “blueprint” by people who have never seen a blueprint. Blueprints, no longer used, were two-dimensional, a poor metaphor indeed, for the linear and digital sequence of nucleotides in the genome. The linear structure of DNA and mRNA is often referred to as a template. A template is two-dimensional, it is not subject to mutations, nor can it reproduce itself. This is a poor metaphor as anyone who has used a jigsaw will be aware. One must be careful not to make a play on words.”—
Hubert Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life

“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.”
Hubert Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life

mattbrowne's avatar

If you want to dig deeper here’s a book I recommend:

Cosmic Jackpot – The Goldilocks Enigma – Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies

Description: While this multiverse theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. Some scientists think the multiverse does violate the Occam’s Razor principle.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@mattbrowne
Thanks Matt, good to hear from you. I’m having trouble accepting notions of Multiverse myself, at least in the way I understand current presentations of it. Most discussions of Multiverse seem rife with paradox… to me at least.

My interests currently lie in drawing comparisons between two other concepts. Two concepts that seem to satisfy Occam’s Razor, and touch on Multiverse ideologies in a more considerable manner. I find that joining concepts of Middle Knowledge together with concepts of the 4th Dimension are much more palatable to me personally than Multiverse Theory.

Middle Knowledge is the knowledge of all potentiality. It is the knowledge attributed to a God and argues for an ability to know in advance all variable outcomes from a single intentional decision by a sentient being. I propose that Middle Knowledge must also be capable of understanding these outcomes across multiple planes of time, in that Middle Knowledge must allow for the immediate, middle, and end physical processes necessary to manifest any thought into a physical action observable at a specific space/time coordinate.

Middle Knowledge should also be capable of “knowing” the resulting action/reaction outcomes that sprang fourth from the original event.

Basically, Middle Knowledge is “All Knowing”. Yet is different than “Omniscience” in that Middle Knowledge does not necessarily know “everything”. Middle Knowledge may not “know” the cure for cancer, nor what is on the other side of a Black Hole. If those propositions are impossible, Middle Knowledge may never know. Omniscience can know when Middle Knowledge cannot.

Comparing Middle Knowledge to a 4th Dimension shows striking similarities. A closed loop system so to speak, look at this HyperCube simulation. Remember, the Hypercube is not a 4 Dimensional Object. We cannot detect 4 Dimensional Objects in our 3 Dimensional Realm. This animation is only a shadow of a 4 Dimensional Object, and one reason why we can claim the 4th Dimension does in fact exist.

This is a very simple one. But it serves to illustrate the “all possible conditions” of a single cube.

Could this be a mathematical graphic illustration of a simple quantity of Middle Knowledge? Perhaps not in this simple form (a shadow), but consider the actual 4D entity itself, not the 3D representation of it.

Fanciful Paper Artists actually construct these 4D Shadows into physical reality. Is this 3D Model a word in a 4D alphabet? As humans in a 3D realm, we require space and time to view these shadows. But try to imagine a realm not confined by space and time. A realm that would allow All Potential Conditions of this Double Sphere to be known all at once. We can only detect one state of condition at any given time and place. Yet these models do illustrate more than one potential condition.

The Multiverse begs us to consider that the potential reality is in fact a current reality made manifest. Yet combining Middle Knowledge with the 4th Dimension only suggests that it is possible to know of all potentials without them ever having to become manifest into physicality.

Refresher course on the 4th Dimension

These Dimensional concepts are presented in infinite forms. But remember, as Carl Sagan says, they are only “shadows” of 4 Dimensional entities. The actual entity extends beyond the capacity of our 3 Dimensional Realm to detect.

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne Occam’s Razor is a useful tool for science, not a law limiting where science can go. Relativity didn’t make Newton’s explanation of inverse squares less complicated, it made it far, far more complicated—so much so that supercomputers are required for accurate, relativistic calculation of space travel. Likewise, quantum mechanics did not simplify. Unfortunately, sometimes observed data requires additional complexity.

Also, the multiverse idea doesn’t imply that there is a copy of us in every universe. I may not be in any other universe, even if they do exist. It implies a series of separate systems in which all potential possibilities of the nascent universe are expressed. And I am as agnostic toward this theory as I am the God Theory.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I have not read Yockley, so I cannot discuss his thoughts with you yet. I have added his book to my rather long reading list. It seems an obvious anthropomorphization to ascribe human terms from Shannon’s work to DNA and RNA. Yes, these molecules carry coded information in a very broad sense, but information being “letters, words, phrases, or gestures”? Nope—not in DNA. And there are plenty of albeit simpler chemical “codes” where one molecule passes “information” in that broad sense to other molecules or reactions of elements. Therefore, I suspect Yockley approached his effort with the same determination to see what he wished to see that you reveal in your arguments. But I will read his work with an open, though not naive mind.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I suggest you read Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro
I believe that all religions stem from a single ‘true’ faith, but had bits that many people didn’t like that caused them to go elsewhere. This I conclude from noticing the various similarities between religions.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies So I take it you won’t read the book because it goes against your religious beliefs. I can accept that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I fully admit to not having read The Blind Watchmaker. Perhaps I should. The principles within that book as proposed by Atheists I’ve debated are so prevalent that I feel I have a good understanding of the concept though. What is it about the book that you think I’m missing?

What religion do you think I follow? When do you think was the last time I was in a church?

Would you believe me if I told you that I think Religion is pure evil, and a scourge upon humanity?

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I see religious belief as any belief in a creator or a designer. You don’t need to belong to a church. The other side of the coin is also possible—you can go to a church and be an atheist. I’m an observant atheist Jew, but that’s a story for another thread.

I don’t see how you can have a good understanding of Neodarwinism without having read one of the most important works of the foremost Neodarwinist of our age.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo “I believe that all religions stem from a single ‘true’ faith, but had bits that many people didn’t like that caused them to go elsewhere. This I conclude from noticing the various similarities between religions.”

This may well be, but you do not need God to exist in order to explain the similarities between the world’s great religions. If religions were invented by man, then one would reasonably expect their laws of human behavior to be shaped by the viewpoints of mankind. Many of the restrictions that the world’s great religions embrace are simply logical constructs for the greater good of society, and thus the greater good of individuals living in society.

Also, the great religions Westerners are familiar with, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha’I Faith; were all forged in the same crucible. Furthermore, early in the forging process, the Jewish nation, who was keeping their religious beliefs as an oral tradition at the time, fell under the influence of other Middle Eastern powers with their own pre-existing religious traditions. We find whole sections of the Gilgamesh Epic being replicated in the Old Testament. There is Sumerian, Babylonian and Egyptian influences in Judaism and that is retained in the modern religions Judaism spawned.

These same ancient cultures spread their philosophies to other parts of the ancient world with their empire expansion and trade. Interestingly, Eastern religions thought is not typically monotheistic but has many of the same rules and regulations for human behavior as the monotheistic western religions. This adds credibility to the thought that these strictures are simply the logical conclusion of wise men and collected societal wisdom, and not necessarily a set of rules carved in tablets of stone upon the summit of Mount Hor.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

Sure, I understand and you may have a point there. But if you’re an observing Atheist Jew then you are much more religious than I am because you actually practice (in whatever part) a religion. I do not.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but the difference between Classic Darwinism and NeoDarwinism is the introduction of random mutation. Origin of Species (which I have read) never mentions random mutation. And Dawkins work came after Barbara McClintock’s, whom of which specifically rejected random mutation in favor of controlled mutation. And McClintock’s work stands up to the math. Dawkins doesn’t even come close.

What would I get out of it?

Rarebear's avatar

I’m impressed you read OOS. It’s a very difficult book to get through—I’ve never read it. I have a friend of mine who is a herpatologist who had a tough time getting through it.

And what you would get out of reading Dawkins? I thought I already answered that. You would have a first hand understanding of what you’re attempting to criticize.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Christianity was originally called “The Way” (yes, just like Buddhism). It became a religion when people needed to label themselves and start arguing about the nature of salvation. They got away from the original teachings and did not understand what a Christ actually was. They began claiming Christ as God.

But Christ never once said he was God, nor the son of. Others said those things about him and the religion was born.

Christ said one thing about who he was.

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one shall come to the father except through me”.

A simple philosophy really… Accept the Way of Truth and Live. Very similar to the “Way” of the Buddhist. And Buddhism is a philosophy too, that only became a religion when it was modified into Hinduism.

Funny side note, that no one seems to know where the missing 12 years of Christ’s life in the Bible were spent. In reference to @Nullo‘s perspective, I completely agree. Remember, Jesus specifically warned the disciples to stay away from Asia after commanding them to spread the good news.

I have a personal theory that Christ went to Asia during the missing 12 years to either learn or teach. Probably to teach though, because Buddhism sprang up about 100 years later. He may have spread his message between two different cultures and didn’t want either one to taint the other.

The philosophy of The Way in Buddhism is extremely similar to the teachings of Christ while it was still a movement known as The Way… before Christianity made it a religion by clouding it with dogma. Religion is dogma, and practically every notion of man suffers from it… including Science.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

I have no issues whatsoever with Classic Darwinism. I believe in it. OOS made perfect sense to me. I need to get my copy back from the friend I lent it to though

Darwin’s thesis revolved around Natural Selection. Without the book in hand, I cannot quote him directly. But he mentioned an as of yet unknown, mysterious mechanism that must be required for NS to function upon. He actually was much more friendly to divine intervention than most people give him credit for.

Well, the race to find that unknown mechanism resulted in birthing a dogma by the name of Random Mutation. It’s the same thing as saying “Singularity”. Those words are placeholders that mean “We don’t have a freakin’ clue, but if we put a name on it and make you think we do, then we’ll get lot’s of grant money”.

Bingo, the Happy Accident was born. Science just wants one free miracle, and then they can take it from there with no problem, no questions, and no God.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, I’m sorry, but you’re showing a lack of understanding of modern evolution, and you’re reciting typical Intelligent Design (i.e. Creationist) arguments that hold no water. Again, and now I’m a broken record again, you need to read Dawkins.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

ID Creationists don’t accept any type of Evolution whatsoever. I do. But I believe in Intelligent Evolution… I.E. via controlled mutations as the missing Classical Darwin mechanism.

And the “Happy Accident” rap is not from Creationists (as far as I recall). I don’t really remember, but honestly I believe that term was first coined by Dawkins, Hawkings, or Sagan.

Rarebear's avatar

You can label it with whatever phrase you like. You’re still advocating evolution guided by an intelligence. That’s Intelligent Design.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Are you familiar with the BZ reaction in chemistry? You can read about it here and see an amazing video of it happening here.

The Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, or BZ reaction, is one of a class of reactions that serve as a beautiful example of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, It is noteworthy that the first such ‘perpetual-motion’ oscillating reaction was reported by William Bray back in 1921. He found that hydrogen peroxide in the presence of an iodine catalyst would oscillate between H2O2 and H2O + O2. No one believed him or even bothered to check, as they knew thermodynamics laws made such a reaction impossible. What the textbooks on thermodynamics had forgotten to tell them is that the laws of thermodynamics are specific to equilibrium systems. Thermodynamics in non-equilibrium systems is altogether different, and BZ reactions are quite consistent with the laws governing that particular context.

I mention this because it shows not only chemical compounds having a built-in ‘code’ telling them to do something interesting, but the capacity to do it over and over. It also shows how easy it is to be lulled into believing that your established context applies to life, the universe and everything. Unless you are God, trust me, it doesn’t.

Rarebear's avatar

Oh COOL video!!!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro

Thanks for the video and the link. That is extremely interesting. I’m still puzzled though as to why you claim that as a code of some sort. The Wiki article certainly did not.

From the article:

“a class of reactions”
“chemical reactions”
“These reactions”
“under the influence of stimuli, patterns develop”
“this reaction sequence”

Though non-linear, it is still a clear example of stimuli producing patterns… cause and reaction. There is no code here. Sure, a structure forms, but where is the code? What part of this phenomenon is reducible? How does this represent Information?

The article clearly states: “the mathematical models of the BZ reactions themselves are of theoretical interest”

That means that the Math is of theoretical interest… not the reactions. Only the Math is Codified Information. And the Math is authored by observing, describing, and modeling the reaction. The Codified Information doesn’t exist until someone decides to observe and describe something.

Self organizing activity is not equal to code. The result may give us a new medium to express a code upon, but that in no way suggests that the result is a code itself. What do you suggest it is saying? If it’s a code, then it must be saying something… right? And if all it’s saying is “Hey look, I’m a classical example of non-equilibrium thermodynamics”, then that’s not a code because it only represents itself. Genuine code always represent something other than itself. C-A-T represents a furry four legged feline. The Double Helix represents @ETpro, and forensics will confirm that for you after your next crime spree. But the Double Helix never represents the Double Helix any more than the word CAT represents the letters C-A-T.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

Though I’ve offered a couple of examples, apparently you’re still having difficulty understanding the difference between I.D. and I.E.

I’m not the one who discovered controlled mutation. And I have no evidence whatsoever that an intelligent agent is guiding every mutation. I only claim that there must be an intelligence behind the initial source code. Robotics, AI, Computer Science is full proof that code can and does re-author itself based upon reaction to stimuli. But in every case, the program was designed to do that from the very beginning by a sentient entity. Programs can definitely evolve.

Now, if you’re not going to allow me to distinguish these differences between I.D. and I.E., then why did you bother to earlier distinguish Neo Darwinism from Classical Darwinism?

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The BZ Reaction is a perfect example of unexpected order emerging out of chaos. The individual molecules in the solution in the petri dish are moving about randomly, colliding into one another and the dish walls just as a gas would do in an equilibrium systems. But within them, in the electron shells of each atom that make them up, and in quantum mechanics are the plans to make orderly squiggles appear and disappear over and over again.

About the meaning of code, here is what the dictionary has to say. Of the various meanings, definition 1 is the only one that aptly applies to DNA, and it applies equally well to the set of rules that produce all the amazing patterns in a BZ reaction. You have taken the word code from a computer context and tried to apply it to life, and the context there is different.

The reductionist scientific method falls apart when you enter a study already knowing what you want the data to tell you, and only look for ways to organize your data so it says that. You have written a set of rules for your game in which code means only what it does in computers, cryptography, messaging and DNA; and then concluded that since the first three all have authors then the 4th must have an author as well. Any instruction set that lies outside your 4 examples of ‘code’ you simply declare to be different. It’s set of rules are ”not code” even though the operative dictionary definition of code, “a set of rules about how something must be done”, clearly does apply.

Shifting definitions to suit the argument is one of the many reasons why it is said, “Never bet a man at his own game.”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But I didn’t discover DNA was a code. Yockey did (with help from Gamow). Your argument is with them, not me.

The “set of rules” is not the phenomenon. The “set of rules” is a description of the phenomenon.

The medium is never the message… never ever.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I plan to read Mr. Yockey’s work and see if I have any argument with him. I am willing to be persuaded. It is also quite possible that Mr. Yockey set out knowing what he wanted to prove, and was able to find a way to view his data so he proved it.

I’m sorry, but I don’t follow you on your discussion of a set of rules. I was not saying theat the rules and the phenomenon they generate equate.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Okay, fine. Why don’t you try laying out for me again, with brevity, what the difference is.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yockey is a known Atheist.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

Well, aside from what I’ve already laid out, I.D. proponents are generally insistent that God fit within a fairly narrow religious perspective (read dogma), and usually a Christian one at that. A very Super Natural perspective.

The few I.E. proponents out there leave the question of what a God is, can be, should be, quite open, and quite natural to the nature of things if indeed that sort of being does truly exist. This being would transcend any labels that a religion could possibly shackle it with.

My personal belief, is that this being does not only dwell in a realm of pure Information, but that it is also a being of pure Information… Yes, that’s right… God IS Information.

But just as my concept of Brain Surgery is limited compared to one who has actually earned that title, I cannot expect a few sentences written here to fully illustrate the truths that I have earned.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Okay, and as someone who has actually performed brain surgery I can actually discuss it in a few sentences, but that’s another thread.

Okay, for the sake of argument, God is information. But my question to you is what does God do?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Would I not be foolish to presume that your few sentences about brain surgery might give me equal understand with your knowledge of brain surgery? Would I not insult you to assume that the essence of reality behind your long education and experience could be reduced to a few sentences?

You invite me to speculate further. That could only put a target on my chest for you to aim at. I only ask, that before you shoot, to please try and understand that I must feel that I have very good reasons to hold the position that I do. It would be unwise of me to sit in your operating room and reject every decision that you made, simply because it didn’t look right to me. You earned that responsibility of Truth, not me. It is safe in your hands, not mine. My hands could only butcher the Truth that you have earned through your hard word and great sacrifice. Shall I be trusted with the Truth that you have earned?

God = Information = Truth
Satan = Entropy = Deception

My ignorance about brain surgery is only a Satan cast upon the God you have earned. My ignorance is Entropy cast upon your Information. My ignorance is Deception against the Truth you have earned. And though your Truth is free for all to pursue and earn for themselves, it never the less, must always be earned. It’s there for me if I want to earn it. But I have not earned it as you have.

What does God do? It’s like asking what does Information do. Or what does Truth do?

It’s not a question of what they do, as much as what they allow you to do to, the degree that you have earned them.

mattbrowne's avatar

This website http://www.closertotruth.com/god recommended by @Zuma some time ago, contains videos showing both sides of the argument.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I had no idea such a resource existed. Thanks again Matt!

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s an amazing collection of great thinkers. Here’s an overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closer_to_truth

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yeah I’m browsing through it all as we speak. On the surface, it looks like a contemporary theistic answer to TED.

mattbrowne's avatar

There are plenty of atheist answers as well. There’s Daniel Dennett, Peter Atkins, Michael Tooley and Susan Blackmore among others.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Yes I’m noticing that right now. Once again, I speak too soon. Now, is my time for listening.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Okay, you still didn’t answer my question though. You said that IE and ID are different. I want to know how they’re different. Instead of answering you went on again about brain surgery. I can actually explain brain surgery pretty easily and clearly.

But here is what you said, which I can only assume is part of your argument for IE.
God = Information = Truth
Satan = Entropy = Deception

I have a few problems with this. First of all, I do not accept that God and Satan exist as there is no evidence for them.

Secondly I have a problem with equating entropy with deception and information with truth. That makes no sense.

Try again. Let me state the question again. What is the difference between Intelligent evolution and intelligent design?

If you like, I’ll explain brain surgery.

Patient bumps their head and gets a blood clot under their skull. The blood clot expands and pushes on the brain. The brain surgeon cuts a hole in the skull and sucks out the blood clot saving the patient.

See that wasn’t so hard? Why don’t you try doing the same thing?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sorry @Rarebear, I’ve listed numerous differences between IE and ID. More differences than there are between Classical and Neo Darwinism. I can’t make you accept my answers. I can only offer them to you.

I’d thought we gotten past that because you said “OK fine” and then asked “What does God do?”... of which I gave an answer for.

I shall not suppose that your 3 sentences about brain surgery give me equal knowledge of brain surgery with you. I shall suppose here is a bit more to it than that. You certainly didn’t spend all those years in school and internship to reduce your knowledge to that simple of an explanation. Hearing that explanation brings me no closer to understanding brain surgery than before. I shall suppose that I would have to earn that Truth just as you did. Nobody wants me operating on them without earning that Truth.

And you are free to have as many problems with my perspective that you wish. I feel no need to defend it any more than you would feel a need to defend your knowledge of brain surgery if I jumped to disagree with you. I warned you of the target on my chest and asked you not to shoot without first considering the Truths that I may have earned for myself. You chose to shoot anyway. That’s fine, but please don’t suppose that I have any more time to explain the fullness of my journey to you, as to what a God is, anymore than you have the time to explain the fullness of what brain surgery is to me. We cannot know what the other knows without taking those journey’s for ourselves.

I wish you well on your journey.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Teaching isn’t all about giving “equal knowledge.” Teaching is about relaying concepts in a clear concise fashion.

If you’re not willing to do that for me so I understand what you’re trying to say, that’s fine. Look. If it will help, I promise to lay off and not attack your position. I will simply just ask questions until I’m sure I understand your point of view.

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro
Thus we again see the importance of the paradigm :D.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo Roger that, my friend.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I found a discussion of Yockley’s work you may find interesting: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/addendaB.html#Yockey
Mind you, I won’t let Richard Carrier doubts about Yockey’s work disuade me from reading his book. I am sure it presents worthwhile thought on the matter.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Okay, I read through the whole thread again. Nowhere do I see “Intelligent Design is THIS, and Intelligent Evolution is THAT.” Try to explain it to me like I explained the evacuation of a subdural hematoma to you. Pretend I’m a 12 year old, because as I read what you wrote now, I’m seeing a lot of hair splitting. When you get down to it, there’s no difference in my mind. Both ID and IE require some sort of designer or creator to “shepherd” the process of Evolution (or cosmology as the case may be as that’s what this thread started about).

You asked me to explain modern Evolution to you, or Neodarwinism. Fine. In a nutshell, Neodarwinism is evolution by natural selection, where genetic change occurs through mutation and genetic drift.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

All of this has been said before in my previous comments.

ID rejects Evolution entirely.

IE accepts Classic Darwinian Evolution (before the concept of random mutation was introduced) based upon the work of Nobel Prize Recipient Barbara McClintock and other researchers like James Schapiro who have confirmed her work. A work which rejects the modern Neo Darwinism view that random mutation is a viable mechanism for Natural Selection to function upon. IE accepts Genetic Drift and Natural Selection just fine. But take out Random Mutation and exchange it for Controlled Mutation.

This statement is supported in my comments above with McClintock and Schapiro quotes and link provided.

ID fails the watchmaker argument against Dawkins assessment of Apparent Design.

IE resolves the watchmaker argument between Paley and Dawkins by introducing Information into the equation. Dawkins refuted Paley strictly upon the grounds of energy and matter alone. But life is not energy and matter alone. Life = energy + matter + information. Something that neither Dawkins or Paley considered when making their original arguments.

This statement is supported in my comments above with Norbert Weiner assessment of Information, Hubert Yockey discovery that DNA was a code, and that it conforms to all protocols of Claude Shannon Information Theory. Yockey link provided above.

ID rejects Evolution entirely under the premise that a Biblical God must have “designed” life on earth and there are discrepancies in the fossil record along with claiming that no real evidence for Evolution has ever been empirically demonstrated.

IE accepts that Evolution need no “shepherd” to guide the process. IE only notes the necessity of a sentient agent to program the original source Information for Evolution to begin. From there, life is free to evolve itself, with no need for further outside sentient intervention.

This claim is supported in my comments above clearly noting that “Robotics, AI, Computer Science is full proof that code can and does re-author itself based upon reaction to stimuli. But in every case, the program was designed to do that from the very beginning by a sentient entity. Programs can definitely evolve.”

ID rejects the possibility of Extraterrestrial Aliens being responsible for life on our planet.

IE accepts that Extraterrestrial Intelligence could be the original source for the Information catalyst to begin life on our planet. Making specific note of respected Abiogenesis proponents such as Leslie Orgel: the self-organization of the reductive citric acid cycle without the help of “informational” catalysts would be a near miracle.

@Rarebear said: “Pretend I’m a 12 year old, because as I read what you wrote now, I’m seeing a lot of hair splitting.”

My son is 13, and he understands the differences I’ve outlined very clearly.

@Rarebear said: “Neodarwinism is evolution by natural selection, where genetic change occurs through mutation and genetic drift.”

Neo Darwinism suggests Random Mutation. Classic Darwinism (Origin of Species) never mentions the term Random Mutation. Barbara McClintock was awarded the Nobel Prize for her discovery of transcription, of which she was demonized for two decades and forced to take her work underground because geneticists were afraid of that her research would topple their careers.

Her words, (again),
“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.”

“A goal for the future would be to determine the extent of knowledge the cell has of itself, and how it utilizes this knowledge in a “thoughtful” manner when challenged.”
Barbara McClintock, Gifts of Speech

_______________________________

There is a “hair splitting” difference between Classic, Neo, and NeoNeo Darwinism. The latter of which is closer to Classic, as Darwin never mentioned Random Mutation. The answer lies in Controlled Mutation, and research abounds on this way beyond my means to illustrate it here in this thread. Neo Darwinism is rapidly becoming extinct.

The differences between IE and ID are not so subtle, and quite profound.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ETpro

I read your link. Thank you.

The author can argue with Yockey all he wants about the math behind extraterrestrial intelligence. He’s missed the point of Yockeys book. Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life is simply a wonderful historical accounting of how DNA was discovered to be a genuine code, and the processes that took place that allowed them to arrive at that conclusion. It’s a wonderful story of how the Linquist Gamow escaped Russia and played an intregal roll in the process. It should provide you with the best understanding of why DNA is every bit as much a genuine code as the English language, and exactly why nothing else in the Chaotic Universe is.

The author is much more concerned with protecting SETI from Yockey than disproving that DNA is a code. The argument of DNA being a Genetic Code is settled and over.

Try this guys opinion. He sells Dawkins books on his web site.
Opening quote The source code is here. This not a joke. We can wonder about the license though
Even he understands that all codes need authors.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m going to just point out to you the sentence where you and I have an irreconcilable difference. I promised not to attack your position, and I won’t. But you need to know where I think you’re wrong and I’ll leave it at that.

“IE only notes the necessity of a sentient agent to program the original source Information for Evolution to begin. From there, life is free to evolve itself, with no need for further outside sentient intervention.”

Cirbryn's avatar

Regarding the OP: The Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) argues that the values of various universal constants on which our existence depends must either result from unreasonably unlikely luck, or from a God that set the constants with us in mind. There are two responses to this: First, the conclusion of unreasonably unlikely luck assumes the constants were established independently in a single “attempt”, and that no form of intelligent life would be possible under the vast majority of other “settings”. We have no reason to assume any of that. Secondly, the second option, rather than explaining what would otherwise by considered unresonable luck, actually serves as the most egregious example of it. If we would be unreasonably lucky to have a universe in which a few constants have values friendly to life, how much more lucky must we be to have a universe that includes a very complicated, uncreated, all-powerful deity that is of a mind to twirl the cosmic knobs to our advantage? The introduction of God doesn’t solve the supposed problem, it compounds it.

@RealEyes: The introduction of random mutation is no more a point of disagreement between classical and neo-Darwinism than is the introduction of genes. Classical Darwinism could not explain the production of new variations on which natural selection could act. Neo-Darwinism essentially showed how genetics would provide that variation. It wasn’t a disagreement with the original, it was the provision of a mechanism for a part of the process that Darwin couldn’t explain. And McClintock’s work does nothing to undermine that. In fact the discovery of transposition (not “transcription” as you called it) removes one potential objection to the formation of new genes. Without transposition it would be difficult for a gene that performs a particular necessary function to mutate so that it performs a different function, because its ability to perform the original necessary function would be lost in the process. With transposition, the gene is copied (transposed) to another part of the genome, allowing the original copy to continue performing the original function while the second copy is free to mutate. And all that takes place randomly. It has nothing to do with “controlled” mutation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Cirbryn said: “With transposition,… all that takes place randomly. It has nothing to do with “controlled” mutation.”

James A. 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).”
A 21st Century View of Evolution

__________________________

@Rarebear said: “I promised not to attack your position, and I won’t.”

Perhaps you’ve misunderstood me. Not attacking my position is to your benefit, not mine. That’s one of my earned Truth’s I spoke of earlier… Remember our earlier discussion where you said: “Teaching is about relaying concepts in a clear concise fashion… If you’re not willing to do that for me so I understand what you’re trying to say, that’s fine.”

Understanding requires the learner to first lay down their guns. Understanding is impossible for the one who would jump to attack. Attacking reveals the “fixity of assumption” that Barbara McClintock suffered, forcing her underground with her research. That’s why she said: “One must await the right time for conceptual change.”

Yes, I know why you disagree with my position. Again, you are free to disagree. I’m not here to convince you of anything. I’m only sharing the math and science that you may not be aware of. Make up your own mind. I would hope you choose your path based upon the best knowledge at hand and not faith in a randomly occurring source of information that has never once been empirically demonstrated. Even the staunch Abiogenesis proponents concur that it would be a miracle, because the math suggests it is impossible.

For the third time… And from the very mouths of the most respected Abiogenesis Researchers in the field…

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

Shall we leap to believe in miracles?

But let’s go ahead and take a leap of faith and start 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”

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. The entire universe is only estimated to have 10^80 atoms So you must know what a mind boggling miracle you are asking for.?

But let’s give the cosmos an even easier problem to work on. The Math behind Abiogenesis is a rework of the Infinite Monkey Theorem. I’ve given you the building blocks, just like the Monkeys were given an alphabet. But there’s not enough time since the Big Bang to even come close to writing 130,000 character sentence.

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

Your disagreement with me does not stand up to the math or the science. I’m very much wondering what you base your position upon other than your own personal opinions.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies This is what you wrote. “IE only notes the necessity of a sentient agent to program the original source Information for Evolution to begin.”

You can deny it all you want, but that’s Creationism. You are requiring a Creator (“sentient agent”—whatever) to start the evolutionary process.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It is a common problem with Atheists to tell others what they believe in and what to call it. If I say that I believe in God, it must be a god of their choosing. I really don’t know why.

Is Classic Darwinism the same as Neo? If so, then why change the prefix?

Is Classic Physics the same as Quantum? If so, then why change the prefix?

Will you tell the Quantum Physicist that he is in “denial” about his belief in Newtonian Physics?

How about we all decide for ourselves what we believe in, without the need to tell others what they believe in… or what to call it. ID comes with too much baggage and has been rejected in court as unsuitable to teach in public schools. IE is based purely upon exposing the research of the greatest minds of our time. I can’t wait to take the actual math and science into the courtroom. Wouldn’t teaching our children the real science be the proper thing to do?

Rarebear's avatar

I call it as I see it. Your worldview demands a Creator. Therefore you are a Creationist.

Cirbryn effectively explained the difference between Classical Darwinism and Neodarwinism. I suggest you read it.

Quantum physics is a subset of physics. Your dichotomy is false.

I teach my child that there is no need for a Creator or God to explain the natural world.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But why would you teach him that if the math and science says it is absolutely impossible? Do you have another math/science that I’m unaware of? I haven’t really heard anything to support your claim yet. Do you suggest the support for my argument is wrong? None of it comes from proclaimed Theists, as far as I know. It’s just the math and science, that’s all.

Both you and Cirbryn are free to ignore McClintock and Shapiro if you like. But others are not. And many others understand and accept their well founded research. Ignore Yockey, Shannon, Weiner, Kittle, Kroemer, Orgel and Line too… but this wave is coming nonetheless. We are forced to face uncomfortable questions. Those questions will soon come from our children when they are taught the truth in school.

Rarebear's avatar

In answer to your comments, in order
Her, not him.
Because it’s not.
Apparently so.
Because you refuse to read what I asked you to read.
No it’s not.

Next paragraph:
Taking quotes out of context does not equal proof.

Oh, by the way, I also teach her that there is no God.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I imagine a future that parodies the past. Parents used to raise their children to know and fear God, only to watch them turn away later in maturity. Now I see a world where parents raise their children to reject any possible concept of a God. Where shall the maturity of the modern child lead them?

Now, you have accused me of a great injustice. What comments have I taken out of context? I should not wish to misquote or misrepresent anyone. If I have done so, then please correct me. I fully understand the implications of doing so, often seeing the Bible or Bhagavad Gita, and even Buddhist text taken out of context to serve a particular slanted agenda. It’s the wrong thing to do no matter how it is done. Misrepresentation is a nasty offense. So please, tell me, how have I done this?

I’m confused as to why you don’t agree that I have quoted math and science. “No it’s not” means that I’m missing something or that the research I’ve studied is not math or science. Please explain.

I had a 50/50 chance to guess your child’s gender correctly. I was wrong.
How could the universe get it right with a 1 in 10^200,000 chance?

Rarebear's avatar

I was just tweaking you about the gender thing, sorry.

Look. You are quoting a few scientists. What you don’t understand is that I don’t CARE about quotes. I care about actually hard scientific evidence.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sure. Consider the links provided then. I’ll pick up a copy of Blind Watchmaker and give it a go.

ETpro's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I am not following your argument regarding McClintock’s work and can’t even confirm what James Shapiro you mean. There was a James A. Shapiro who was a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Is that the Shapiro you are referring to. Can you supply me a citation to follow up Ms. McClintock’s work, as what I can find deals almost exclusively with the mapping of the genome of maize and its cultivation.

I do not disagree that we can fairly describe both DNA and RNA as codes. They don’t contain words, symbols letters and so forth as the dictionary definition of code requires, but they clearly do provide an incredibly detailed instruction set on how to do certain things.

I find fault with your argument at two points:

1—You argue that there are no other examples of code in the natural universe. I disagree deeply with this. The entire universe runs on a set of rules. The “code” is so complex that we honestly have no idea how it all works. The rule set qualifies as a code every bit as well as does DNA. It passes on information about what every electron, protron, neutorn, quark, photon, gamma ray, neutral pion and so on ad infinitum everywhere in the universe must do at any given moment over all of time.

We know how bits and pieces of the universe behave. From that, we take poor stabs at guessing what the rule set looks like. But one might accurately say we’ve established a few islands of knowledge in the midst of a vast sea of ignorance. That’s how complex Nature’s rule set (code) is.

2—I disagree when you state that since all man-made codes have authors, DNA must have an author too. That conclusion is no different than the one that says since all man-made ordered systems have an author, the universe must have an author too, and thus God must exist. Both simply look at phenomena we don’t yet understand and explain them away by attributing them to a divine, supernatural being’s actions. As @Cirbryn pointed out, that just moves the issue we can’t understand from one point to another. It could be true that there is a God. It could even be true that the universe itself is sentient. But it could equally be true that we just don’t yet know how life got started, but it did so through entirely natural processes.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro And just to piggyback on what you said, I totally agree with Dawkins’ assertion that if there is a Creator, be it God or LGM, (or indeed if the Universe is sentient or not) it’s a scientific question. If God created life as Realeyes seems to be asserting, then we should be able to ultimately test it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hey guys this thread has taken up more of my time than I really expected. I feel as though I’m just repeating myself multiple times now.

McClintock HERE

Schapiro HERE

@ETpro
You’re mistaking properties and forces as synonymous with code. Gravity is not a code. Gravity is a force. Gravity cannot pre-determine a specific outcome in advance. Only our mathematical calculations can predict an outcome. The math is a code, the gravity is a force. The force of gravity can cause an asteroid to crash. But gravity does not predetermine a specific outcome, (parabolic vs elliptical orbit). Only math can do that. Math is the code that describes the properties of gravitational force.

Gravity does not map probability space A (asteroid) to probability space B (orbit). Only code can do that.

And again, codified information is not a man-made only phenomenon. Animals do it as well. And SETI bases their entire platform upon receiving a signal from a sentient entity. If code were everywhere, then SETI and Google would be out of business very quickly. These information based companies very foundation are built upon a foundation of noting the differences between Chaos and Code.

And I think you guys are missing seeing the forest for the trees. Codified Information IS the Test. One that is predictable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable… It satisfies every step of the scientific method to determine whether or not a sentient mind is at work. We cannot prove gravity or brainwaves either. But the scientific method does allow us to confidently infer their existence. An existence that cannot be held, touched, smelled, seen, or tasted.

______________________

I must take a break from this thread and get back to my life and work. Please know that I’ve enjoyed speaking with you all. No need to uproot your belief systems. I know that everything I’ve presented goes against the common grain. But the research and evidence is out there nonetheless. Being aware of it may not change any perspectives at all. But that awareness can only assist everyone in our pursuit of truth. It’s at least worth considering.

ETpro's avatar

I’ve enjoyed the discussion, and appreciate the break from it as well. The link to McClintok talks about her work in defining transposition. It’s a long piece, but nowhere in it do I find a mention of code. I did find the piece on Dr. Shapiro more to the point. He proposes his view as a third way separate from Neo Darwinism and Creationism. Apparently, his views are not widely accepted among the scientific world.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Last post for clarification, and then I’m out for a while;)

No, McClintock does not mention code. But try and see the forest through the trees.

A philosophers job is to see interdisciplinary connections. One’s that are not so obvious from any one specific industry. Stepping outside all of them, after studying and researching all of them, can provide a perspective otherwise overlooked by those stuck within their particular specialties.

I’ve never once claimed that any one scientist or mathematician claims the existence or necessity of God. I believe that most of the people I’ve quoted are Atheists. But when their research is compared, and contrasted against the other, a surprising picture unfolds.

If THIS presentation wasn’t so tainted with a religious slant, it would actually sum it all up in a very exhaustive 2 hour video. I’ve been trying to shoot a hole in this argument for years and just can’t. Every attempt only reveals more support. Support that the original presenter doesn’t even know about. I’ve researched every claim for the past 5 years and cannot find one problem with it. It has only opened doors that confirm, and opened newer doors of confirmation as well. Good luck on your journey.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Cirbryn – Great to hear from you again !

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies and @mattbrowne Just so you know, I’m “Benny Mattson” from Wis. I had to change my screen name—well long story that.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Philosophy is fine for the philosophers, but it’s not science. Your comment “Try to see the forest through the trees” doesn’t make any sense in the context of the criticism that @ETpro wrote, and what we’re failing to see is how that supports your claim that the DNA/RNA code (whatever) was designed by a creator. I read through the McClintock lecture carefully and I can’t find anywhere where it supports your point. It’s a lecture on the her lab work. Shapiro’s paper is more of an opinion piece, but in that, too, nowhere in it do I see any support for the claim that DNA was designed by a creator.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Rarebear

Repeating myself yet again…

“I’ve never once claimed that any one scientist or mathematician claims the existence or necessity of God. I believe that most of the people I’ve quoted are Atheists. But when their research is compared, and contrasted against the other, a surprising picture unfolds.”

McClintock and Schapiro work specifically refutes random mutation in favor of controlled mutation.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Be that as it may, it still does nothing to put forward your assertion that DNA was coded by God.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We are in agreement. I never said McClintock/Schapiro research indicated that DNA was encoded by God.

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I was under the impression that you brought up the research to support your point that DNA could not have been created under purely natural processes under evolution and natural selection. I’m glad I’m wrong.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

McClintock/Schapiro only refute the common erroneous claim that random mutation is what Evolution functions upon. Their research favors controlled mutation, and is but one of many supports for my adherence to Intelligent Evolution.

ETpro's avatar

It’s too bad we don’t have a top-flight geneticist here to chime in. From my studies of our present knowledge mapping genomes, we have learned the classical human concept of a gene for “X” is accurate in certain isolated instances, but mostly misleading and not at all useful to a higher level of understanding of what is and isn’t coded in DNA. For instance, we know that a certain mutation in the DNA of drosophila is associated with vestigial wing mutations. However, the gene actually appears to control the ion pumps that serve in insect development throughout the organism, and the exact same mutation sometimes produces perfectly formed wings but variations in entirely different structures of the fruit fly. So the gene is definitely not a “wing kit” in the sense that human blueprints would be understood. Its final effect is controlled by context and impacted by external influences. This means that DNA control is stochastic and not at all like a computer program flawlessly executing the same result every time it is run.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That does not necessarily lead to a stochastic explanation. And that conclusion specifically denies current research of those I’ve mention and others. There is another more plausible explanation, and it is more akin to A.I. than stochastic.

The foundation for this is found in the quaternary/ternary nature of the DNA molecule. DNA is not binary. Quaternay/Ternary logic is exponentially greater in its ability to Act Upon stimuli, rather that React To stimuli. There is a big difference. And the greater logic capacity is able to Act on an individual basis dependent on the organism and environment at hand.

“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.””

“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.”

“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.”
LINK

Wave Genetics is actually demonstrating that it’s much more involved than quaternary/ternary. DNA is actually being exposed as a resonant structure, producing sound waves and light, and also using its 3-dimensional form to assist in its decision making power. It’s being found to be more like a video tape that some now feel can be tricked into running in reverse, or looped to repair a damaged mechanism.

That’s why Gariaev claims it as “a quasi-intelligent system”.

“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.

There is another caveat to all this. We may actually be uncovering an Immaterial Phantom nature to DNA.

“The spectrometer readings in 10 minutes after the removal of the cuvette with the DNA sample. After the cuvette part of the spectrometer was cleared by gaseous nitrogen, the spectrometer started giving the background readings, like in the Figure 1a. above, but within 5–8 minutes a “phantom” was registered again. This procedure was repeated many times, and each time a “DNA phantom” would return. Approximately in one month the “phantoms” gradually disappeared, or ceased to be registered, shifting beyond limits of sensitivity of the spectrometer.”

Absolutely Fascinating Research

ETpro's avatar

It most certainly does lead to a stochastic situation, as the context is stochastic. DNA is not a code for an organism within itself. You could place a DNA sample in a test tube and wait an eternity. It would never replecate itself. To do so, it must be within the right context. It requires a specific, rather controlled environment, RNA messenger transport of the right materials, etc.

We appear to be at an impasse in this debate. I have read your references and found they fall far short of establishing in my mind anything close to the level of confidence they seem to give you in the authorship of DNA. In my favor, most of the world’s scientific community is in my camp. I remain open-minded on this, but do not feel you are equally so. Let’s agree to disagree and remain friends, as I value the depth of your thought process greatly.

Thanks for the line to Wave Genetics. That looks like interesting reading. I shall follow up on it.

I recommended earlier that you read The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World by British biologist Jack Cohen and British mathematician Ian Stewart. It’s fascinating and relatively accessible reading, but the last few chapters are truly the interesting part. If you read it, be sure to stay the course to the good parts.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Will do… Thanks! The gift is mine. :)

Rarebear's avatar

on a side note Ian Stewart also wrote an annotated version of one of my favorite books, Flatland

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