General Question

whitenoise's avatar

Is something either spiritual or materialistic, or do we also have some things that come with being human?

Asked by whitenoise (14121points) July 12th, 2009

Recently there have been a number of discussions in which it was implied that all that can lead an atheist is materialism. As a spinoff we are now discussing spiritualistic atheism.

I feel we are missing out on a whole set of other feelings and motives/motivators: those that I would call human. I think of, for instance: passion, love, care, empathy, sympathy, and a sense of fairness.

Am I right and are these neither materialistic, nor spiritualistic, and if so are they humanistic?

If they are, then what defines the set of feelings, motives and morales that are neither materialistic, nor spiritualistic but just typical human?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

56 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Wouldn’t the will/drive to survive qualify as inherently human? It certainly extends to most living things…

I would agree that those things, while they can be influenced by materialistic or spiritualistic motives, could be categorized on their own. It’s coming close to a discussion of true altruism, I suppose.

Ivan's avatar

All of the things you listed have natural, materialistic causes.

whitenoise's avatar

Thanks, @Ivan. I am however not so much referring to the cause of a feeling, motive or moral but more to the classification of those feelings etc. themselves.

From my point of view spiritualistic feelings and emotions also have a materialistic cause. So in line with your thought, I should conclude that spiritualism doesn’t exist. I refer to another thread, where a reference was made to atheists not having the fallbacks that theists have, since all they can fall bak onto is hard materialism.

That makes me wonder what those of us that are atheists are all missing out on.

Ivan's avatar

“I should conclude that spiritualism doesn’t exist.”

Tadaa! Thread over.

whitenoise's avatar

Thanks @Ivan, but I am still interested in what some other people may like to say about it. Denying spiritualism is like denying the flu. Again: I want to know what exclusive feelings and motivators I am missing out on, because I am not spiritualistic.

(I know it is not the feeling of revelation, since that can be easily chemically and chirurgically provoked.)

Thammuz's avatar

@whitenoise: Denying spiritualism is like denying the flu. Yes and no. They both exist and they both have naturalistic reasons for their existecne, that doesn’t mean that what we feel to be “spirit” is actually sirit. Just like when you feel your throat is burning, because you have one of those nasty flus which come with a side of sore throatt, shivers, fever and whatnot, doesn’t mean there’s actually fire in it.

whitenoise's avatar

@Thammuz I do not mean to say (nor did I) that spiritualism is caused by spirits.
I do not belief in the existence beyond concept of spirits, gods or any of that.

I do, however, believe many people are motivated by spiritualism. So spiritualism exists and I want to know to what motivators, feelings, etc. it has a monopoly of.

JLeslie's avatar

I am completely offended if the implication is that atheists are only interested in material things! Unless I am misunderstanding the definition for material things? Atheists want the same things theists do: love, peace, a productive cooperative society, integrity, family, safety, justice, the ONLY difference is theists think they get these ideals from God, and atheists believe we get it intrinsically. I guess I cannot speak for all atheists, but I doubt many will disagree.

Thammuz's avatar

@JLeslie i honestly don’t think the implication of the term “materialism” is the one you’re thinking of. I think the term is being used in its most specific form.

More fitting terms would be empiricism or positivism since materialism is an ontological assertion, whicle positivism and empiricism are epistemological and, thus, more fitting to a lack of belief (while materialism is, in itself, a belief).

JLeslie's avatar

@Thammuz thank you for the link. Still, the things I listed are not really things that are necessarily tangible or measurable. I understand you are not just talking about diamond jewelry. Working from the wiki explanation it says, “holds that the only thing that exists is matter.” But, I believe non-matter things exist. I believe thoughts are real. Thoughts are what lead us to actions. The theist argues that their actions are guided by Gods Laws. Am I missing the point? Maybe I am confused? Open to criticism.

Thammuz's avatar

@JLeslie: thoughts are real, in the sense that they undeniably exist, and they do exist in material form. They’re information processed in your brain through chemical and electrical stimuli, and no materialist would deny their existence. What a materiaist would deny is a metaphysical explaination for them (the soul, for instance) because (basically) they don’t accept metaphysial claims. An empiricist would reject the notion of a soul up to the moment when it could be actually empirically demonstrated, from that point on it would be accepted (provided sufficient intellectual honesty).

@whitenoise: I know that’s not what you meant, i was simply trying to point out that human perception can be skewed on these subjects…

whitenoise's avatar

I feel that what differentiates my view on life from that of materialism in the defined sense is that I feel that life and mind are not purely materialistic. They are not so much merely matter, but the manifestation of the self organizing patterns within chaotic systems of made-up of matter.

Chaos has self ordering qualities within specific patterns and given the random nature of the systems these patterns are bound to emerge. The sum of the overall system will still perpetuate into maximum entropy, but within parts of the system, stable patterns will locally proof more stable then the chaos around them.

These patterns to me form the essence of life and, for instance freedom of mind. I guess that makes me differentiate between matter and the specificity of its arrangement within chaotic systems. Resulting in emerging self organization that exceeds pure materialistic qualities and enables concepts such as freedom of mind and life.

The materialistic view of a rabbit may be: a couple of pounds of water, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphor, Iron and a little more proteins and minerals. It is their combined emerging qualities, however that turn them into a rabbit.

Nevertheless, I do not want to define views of materialism, but I am looking for the answer on my question,being what human feelings, motivators and morales are exclusive to spiritualism. There must be a spiritual person out there that may provide an answer. @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, for instance claims that we atheists can only fallback on hard materialistic resources: “The materialist is by definition prevented from looking to spiritual resources for relieve their suffering. Philosophically, they believe in only material existence, and thus must rely upon material economic resources to improve or sustain their quality of life.”

What are we missing out on? I particularly think “and thus must rely upon material economic resources to improve or sustain their quality of life.” is bogus.

JLeslie's avatar

@Thammuz So can’t thoughts be called both? Spiritual and material? How exactly are you defining Spiritual? Both, but also can stand on their own?

Thammuz's avatar

@JLeslie Spiritual (in my understanding) would imply that they exist regardless of the body, which as far as science can say, is not true.

JLeslie's avatar

Hmmm…but then are you saying that people who are spiritual believe thoughts exist without the body? You are saying they believe that when the body dies the spirit continues and so thoughts continue? Let’s say it is true, why does it matter to the theists that we believe in God in reference to this?

whitenoise's avatar

Can we for the sake of argument not agree that at the least spiritualism is a particular manifestation of the material realm in which people perceive the material as spiritual. In that case what does that offer these spiritualy guided people that is not accesible to an atheist?

JLeslie's avatar

@whitenoise This is in line with what I am thinking possibly. I admit I feel a little over my head in the conversation, not having thought about this topic in this manner previously or considering these specific terms. I am curious to know also, what is accessible to “spiritualy guided people that is not accesible to an atheist?” I think maybe it has to do with something we don’t understand. If you believe in the God/Spiritual center in the brain, this area becomes very active when religious people pray or something like that…I don’t know enough about the neuroscience. So they feel something, they want to continue to experience. Maybe it is like an addiction? But, then, this leads us back to @Thammuz point that you need the brain to have the thought. Ugh.

Maybe another question is, why does it scare theists to think that you can be good and honest without God?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz @whitenoise @JLeslie

Yes there is an answer, but you must be willing to digest it. This will challenge your current belief system. I KNOW this sounds arrogant… I know it does. But hear me out and see if the arrogance doesn’t turn into insightfulness.

@whitenoise is about to get it. You’re touching all around it and almost there.

@JLeslie, yes, you’ve misinterpreted the use of materialism. It’s not meant to be insulting or suggest that Atheists only care about money and things. Not at all. It only designates that which is made up of energy and matter alone. I’m glad you have an open mind. You’re going to need it for this.

This entire premise is summed up by distinguishing the difference between the Medium and the Message.

“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 (from Betrayal to Betrothal)

Information is proof of an immaterial realm. Information is the message. It is not the same thing as the medium that expresses it. But we must have a physical medium to know of it. That medium is called code. A DVD with 3GB of information doesn’t weigh any more than a DVD with 50MB of information. Only the DVD is material. The information is not.

The information (the spirit) is omnipresent. The material medium is not. The words on my screen may be the same as your screen, but they are not the same physical “things”. But the information they represent is the exactly same. One quantity of information represented in four different space/time coordinates (actually many more if you count the servers and processors).

The spirit of kindness is made physically manifest through a physical act of kindness. The medium expresses the message. Code comes in many forms… including hand gestures, a wink, a nod, a smile, a tear, a sigh… They all “mean” something. They are meaning full.

Code is a material lens that we use to view the immaterial realm of information.

More if you wish.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I think I disagree. The analogy of the DVD, what does the weight of it have to do with anything? I don’t know how DVD’s work, but if it is like lines on a record, then that DVD with more info has more lines. So, my brain with more info than when I was 20 years old has more information, but weighs the same.

Would you argue that spiritualty grows over time? That a young child has little concept of these things? A 5 year old does not share with his brother because of some omnipresent information, he shares because his parents have told him their expectations and rewarded this type of positive behavior, maybe he understands he wants someone to share with him?

dannyc's avatar

The ability to discuss this question is what emanates from being human. The information or ability to define it, as material or spiritual, is a human trait. The definition of how to define the information is part of humans only. The definition might vary depending on the person, but that means that the material/spirituality component is now irrelevant as it is only from being human that the information exists in the first place as a tangible explanation to your question. So the answer is yes to the first part, and yes to the second part, but it is not an or, but rather an and is essential to qualify your question and make the answer answerable. They are disconnected, not either or.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie

The weight of a DVD is illustrative that Information does not add anything to the physical properties of a medium. The example of a record actually demonstrates that more Information can be represented by actually removing physical properties… more groove cuts. Information is independent of the medium that expresses it.

It takes longer to say the same thing in German than it does in English. But the exact same meaning is represented. The same Information can be represented by drum beats, smoke signals, scratches in the sand, color codes…

“Give me your hand” represents the same Information as
“Gib mir deine Hand” or
“Dammi la tua mano” or
”給我你的手”

These are not different pieces of Information. It is the same exact Information represented in many different ways.

The spirit of sharing exists with or without the child. But that child can be a physical medium to express the spirit of sharing. Spirituality is what it is. The ability to express and embrace it grows over time.

Information is the Spirit essence being represented by a physical gesture. It is not the same as the gesture, it is only represented by the gesture.

Did this answer your question properly?

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies and why is it important to you to define these things as spirit, rather than just learned behavior? Or, is it not important to you and you are just trying to define it for me?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dannyc

That human trait you speak of is called Language. Our ability to author code is our ability to express immaterial thought into the material realm. That thought is information, being the spirit essence of a thing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie

In the “spirit” of equality…

The “spirit” of St. Louis…

Those words are pointers. They point to the Spirit Essence of a thought. Those words are not the same thing as the thought. They only represent the thought.

His was a joyful “spirit”.

It’s not a thing that we learn. It’s a thing we learn to point to with words and actions.

JLeslie's avatar

But the thought it organic, comes from our brains. You make it sound like it is from nowhere.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie

Our brains are a physical medium that can be used to represent a thought. Thoughts are information. Information is not energy or matter. Thoughts come from a mind, not a brain.

Information is not energy or matter… Then mind is not the brain.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I don’t think you can separate the two—the mind and the brain.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JLeslie

Then your argument is with Norbert Weiner and the entire field of Information Sciences… not me.

whitenoise's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Hi there, thanks for the input, again. Very interesting.

A few remarks
1) I do not follow your argument for the need of an author, based on the notion that “every code has an author”. Codes are patterns and patterns don’t necessarily need an author as long as there is random change in the system that allows for constant generation of new code, in which more sustainable codes may survive. I don’t think there is a single author for the code that defines the English language, for instance. As soon as a pattern manifests with self-containing qualities, that pattern will survive and stand out from the rest that continues to change. Clouds all over the world share a lot of shape-qualities, without anyone having to coordinate that phenomenon.

2) Furthermore, you say that information doesn’t add anything to the physical state of its medium. I do not see how you can maintain that point of view, particularly not for the example of the DVD you gave. DVD’s with information are definitely physically different from the ones that do not have that information, that’s why you can read them through a DVD reader. The way their matter is ordered is different. So the arrangement of its matter has changed, regardless of it maintaining the same mass/weight.

3) Then you state that various codecs can carry the same information, through the example of “Give me your hand”-translations. That is interesting, but illustrates not the ability of that information to exist independently of the material world. The ability to carry information over different mediums, or different forms of matter does not exclude it from a need of physical matter to retain the codes and the message itself.
A wave pattern on the ocean is not water, nor is it mere energy, but without matter it couldn’t exist. Information is a manifestation of order in the material realm. As such one may distinguish between information and medium. There is no reason to say that being able to distinguish is the same as fully separating them. Furthermore, and more pressing: there is no logical reason to conclude that being able to distinguish between information and medium proves the existence of a spiritual realm that may exist independently of the material.

4) To dismiss the remark of @Jleslie on not being able to separate mind and brain does not put her at dispute with Weiner and the entire fied of Information Sciences. Again: the fact that one may distinguish brain from mind, does not mean one can separate brain from mind.

Finally
Now, returning to the question I asked for this thread, what is present in the spiritual realm that is not available to atheists? So far I have heard no indications of anything that I may be missing out on.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitenoise

Here lies the biggest conceptual leap. It will be the most difficult thing to accept.

Codes and Patterns are NOT the same things. They are almost opposites.

Codes are reducible, always, down to a factor of 1 bit. Patterns are irreducible. The implications of this are profound, and it will be offensive to most. Don’t let that prevent you from considering the premise.

To consider patterns as the same thing as code, that is supportive of mysticism and folklore. It suggests that information is everywhere. It is not. Fractal patterns only represent themselves. Codes always represent something other than themselves. Patterns have no syntax, semantics, error correction, mapping from alphabet A to B, redundancy…

Suggesting that waves have codified information, means that they must be able to communicate a message somehow. Ultimately, this supports legends of talking trees and burning bushes that speak to humans.

A wave pattern is pure energy and matter. There is no information in a wave pattern. Belief that it does is something I call “Apparent Information”. Similar to Dawkins premise of “Apparent Design”. Information about a wave pattern is always produced by a sentient observer. The wave did not speak to the observer. The observer simply describes the wave.

SETI does not look for a pattern. SETI is looking for a codified signal. If information was everywhere, SETI would be out of business very quickly. They fully recognize that where there is a genuine code, that it represents genuine information. Information that came from a mind.

whitenoise's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

It’s not a leap. It is like pigs and animals. You’re telling me that not all animals are
pigs and then go on to conclude that pigs are not animals. That is a false conclusion.

The fact that I said that a code is a pattern doesn’t mean I said all patterns are codes. My reference to a wave pattern is an analogy, you can and should not take it out of its context to tell me pigs are not animals.

Furthermore, how did you come to conclude that “codes are reducible and patterns aren’t”. Repetition and therefore reducibility is at the essence of the definition of a pattern.
I want to understand you, but continue to be boggled by your reasoning.

Thammuz's avatar

So far i agree with what @whitenoise says, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Furthermore the concept of “information” is a man made concept. Information is knowledge, knowledge is our way to organize experience in useful patterns (AKA Code).

The fact that we are able to recognise code in nature doesn’t mean that that code is like the ones WE create. Furthermore because we need a code to be able to understand the codes we find in nature.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitenoise

I’ll go with this writers definition:

“By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”
http://vlab.infotech.monash.edu.au/simulations/evolution/irreducible-complex/

Tornado = hot air + cold air + pressure + wind + time

Take away one element and the tornado will not be possible. Same goes for snowflakes and lava flow and anything else from the world of chaos. Nothing from chaos requires a sentient author. Nothing from chaos produces code. Nothing from chaos contains any information whatsoever. Information is always authored about these things, but it never comes from these things.

The tornado cannot be copied either. Code can be copied exactly across infinite mediums and reduced to a symbol of 1 bit. The symbol for pi represents something entirely different from the symbol. The tornado only represents itself. Code always represents something other than itself.

A sentient authored code can be a pattern. Any song or poem will prove this. But a pattern produced from chaos can never be a code. There is no precedent to support that hypothesis and so believing so requires unwarranted faith in a black swan. I would be very interested to find a code produced from chaos.

Tree rings do NOT tell us about the growing seasons. Tree rings do not speak and humans do not know how to translate “dogwood” into “english”.

An observer views a phenomenon…

She calls it “tree rings”…

She describes her observations…
Ring 1, 2cm
Ring 2, 4cm
Ring 3, 3cm…

Another observer views a phenomenon…

He calls it “growing seasons”

He describes his observations…

1987, avg temp, avg humidity
1988, avg temp, avg humidity
1989, avg temp, avg humidity…

An inferred relationship is made upon the two sets of sentient authored observations.

But neither the tree rings or growing seasons have told us a thing. They cannot speak. They have no encoding/decoding mechanism, no transmitter, no error correction, no noise reduction, no redundancy, syntax, semantics, symbolic structure, sentence/paragraph/chapter structure, and no code mapping from A to B.

Code has all of these things. DNA has all of these things.

@Thammuz said:
“Information is knowledge…”

Information can lead to knowledge only if it is authored, transmitted, and received.

@Thammuz said:
”…knowledge is our way to organize experience in useful patterns (AKA Code)”

Code is our way to express information. Knowledge comes only after we receive and accept that codified information.

Knowledge and Awareness are different things. I can be aware of Quintic Non Linear Equations, but that does not mean that I posses knowledge of them.

Assume you are the first person to ever witness a sunrise. You don’t know what it is, and have no knowledge of it whatsoever. You have simply become aware of an observable phenomenon. The pure essence of experience is upon you. Upon that experience, you describe by codifying information about your observation. That codified information provides you with knowledge about the phenomenon.

@Thammuz said:
“The fact that we are able to recognise code in nature doesn’t mean that that code is like the ones WE create.”

No. It means that it is not a code at all. If humans set the standards for what code is, then there is nothing to recognize if it doesn’t fit the standards. If it doesn’t fit the standards, then it’s not a code.

Genuine code fits the Claude Shannon or Hubert Yockey protocols. Nothing from the world of chaos can run through the protocols. The genetic code is called a code because it can run through the protocols.

Claude Shannon model here:
http://www.ctphotographx.com/clients/infotheory/ShannonComModel.jpg

Hubert Yockey model here:
http://www.ctphotographx.com/clients/infotheory/YockeyComModel.jpg

whitenoise's avatar

I understand your reasoning that no code can come from chaos to be somewhat along the lines of: code cannot emerge from chaos, because it is code and code cannot emerge from chaos. I feel that I must still be missing out on something

There are a whole multitude of scientists that have an enormous amount of energy into this and it seems to be one of the most robust theories nowadays. The first initial spark of live in the prebiotic soup could be the stage at which there is no undisputed mechanism yet, but evolution through organisms and DNA as their genetic code seems pretty solid.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitenoise

I do not deny evolution whatsoever. But I will not deny the debate on how evolution actually takes place, or how it got started.

Un-authored code is a leap. It’s never once been shown to happen so I don’t really understand why anyone would think it could. Sentient authored code happens so often that we take if for granted as something that could happen by chance. This is erroneous.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@whitenoise

Anyway… getting back to the “spirit” of your question.

Knowing that I consider Information as the spirit essence of a thought… separate from the physical and material medium that expresses it, then please accept my answer as a legitimate attempt to address the question at hand.

As Norbert suggests that Information is not Energy or Matter, then it must reside in an immaterial realm. I could go on and on about how Information transcends the boundaries of space and time as well… but let’s just stick with this one notion for now.

You will note that I have not spoken of the “soul”. I see that as different than a spirit. I’m unconvinced that a spirit must necessarily be a sentient entity. The spirit of “jaz” for instance… But there is a belief that thoughts not only invoke spirit, but can actually create them. I’m still considering this.

So there is a basis for claiming an immaterial realm where spirit dwells. I think that typical Atheism has denied this. Perhaps they are making room for this notion as long as it does not contain a god or souls of any sort.

One other quick note about information. There is no evidence to suggest that it can die. It can be created, authored and modified, but nothing suggests that it can cease to exist. Just like energy and matter.

I propose that humans are beings of information. Not only are we comprised of 600mb of code, but we can also create our own codified information beyond that. We become what we think about, ultimately residing in an immaterial realm.

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Ok, i read this whole thing. Took me a while, but i fucking did it.

And i have to admit i’m impressed by the time and effort you put into this. BUT there are some things i’m going to point out.

DNA doesn’t talk either, if we follow your reasoning. We observe a DNA sample, and we observe the being from which we took it. Then we take another and another from more and more. We then compare the samples and the beings and manage to single out which factor influences what. Same as tree rings: we observe the trees, we observe the weather, we draw the connection.

WE draw the connection, the code is made BY US. Yes, it does give predictable outcomes, and yes, it is existent with or without our capability of understading it, but just like the tree rings its correlation with its effects (and thus, its possess of information) is only existent contingently because of the fact that we exist and draw said connection making it a code.

Furthermore information CAN die. And i’ll prove it to you: We have several ancient sources (i’m thinking of the roman empire at the moment) which quote other books (by name or repeating parts of them), this is what is called an “external source”, it is used to pinpoint the period in which the text has been written.
Now: during the rise of christianity in the roman empire there have been LOTS of discontinued books. Books which existed, were published, were known and read by people. Code by your own definition of “authored, transmitted and received”. Here’s the kicker: many of these books which we know by external sources have completely disappeared because they spoke against christianity, and the information which was “authored, transmitted, and received” is now lost forever. We know they did exist, but we don’t know THEM.

“Nothing from chaos requires a sentient author. Nothing from chaos produces code. Nothing from chaos contains any information whatsoever. Information is always authored about these things, but it never comes from these things.”

Just who the hell are you? The ultimate authority on what is and what isn’t? How do you know it doesn’t? Can you prove this? You’re dancing from a bold assumption to the other, making claims and taking them for granted.

Slow down and actually PROVE what you’re saying, otherwise you’re just acting like Descartes when his colleagues pointed out that a sillogism can’t be immediately evident (Cogito ergo Sum, with or without “ergo” is still a sillogism since there are two predicates), simply disregarding the objection and thus going on building his castle up to the roof when the foundations weren’t even there yet.

You have a bad habit, you act like a philosopher. You use axioms as if they were fresh water and you act like everybody accepts them. You speculate plausible things but you don’t bother giving any proof that they’re actually true. Cut that out.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

What empirical reason do I have to believe that chaos can author information? I’ll remind you that I don’t deny the possibility of a black swan. But I have no reason to believe in them until I see one. It’s not my job to disprove a negative.

It’s the same as saying “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist”.

If you have a hypothesis that chaos can author information, then please present it. The onerous is on the one who says it can, and they would surely win the Nobel Prize for doing so. Otherwise we confidently move forward with what is known.

DNA most certainly does communicate. The transcription process is dependent upon communication. Communication is a process of transmitting (talking) and receiving (listening). It is a closed loop communication protocol. It doesn’t talk to us… it talks about us to RNA.

When humans observe DNA, they author information to describe it. Taking samples does not interfere with the conversation that is already going on without us. Nothing is being inferred in the transcription process. It is being communicated from a source alphabet to a destination alphabet, processed, checked for errors, and put into physical action.

What snowflake does that?

As far as the “external source”…

What you describe is the death of the physical medium, not the information. The information was never a part of the physical medium in the first place. How can you claim it dies when the medium is destroyed? It exists in an immaterial realm. Destroying the material does not conclude destroying the immaterial.

Your screen and my screen present code that represents the same information. Where is it, on your screen or mine? The code will soon be on @whitenoise screen as well. Which one of us possesses the information? Please don’t say it is three different quantities of information. It is not. It is one quantity of information being represented by three different physical mediums. Actually many more mediums if you count our brains, the servers, the checksums, the hubs… One quantity of info represented by english, binary, tcpip, ethernet… compressed, expanded… all the same info.

Put a brick through your screen. Have you destroyed the information, or just the medium?

whitenoise's avatar

refraining but thankful that you guys keep going at it

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Put a brick thorugh all the “many more mediums” and the informations will not be present anymore.

Again, assumptions assumptions assumptions. Can you prove that that information still exists? No. Because information exists as long as it is recorded into something, be it our brain, a server or whatever else you can come up with, information needs a medium.
I’d be glad to read Libanius’ accusations to christianity, but sadly IT DOESN’T EXIST ANYMORE. Why? because all those who read it died a long time ago and nobody bothered to make new copies of the book. Medium destroyed = no way to retrieve the invormation. And since you’re such a good debater i’d like to point out that this whole thing about information existing beyond matter and energy is UNFALSIFIABLE.

Furthermore DNA doesn’t “communicate.” It replicates itself through a chemical reaction. No talking involved, no conscience talking to another conscience. That’s it. It can change to an extent to adapt (antibodies are a good example of adaptation) but it can’t all of a suddenly decide that it will be something else. Furthermore it can’t do that on a large scale, what you say might be true for a single cell, but the body around it doesn’t allow cells to change their dna and then replicate. That’s a tumor. And unless all the cells turn into tumoral cells at the same time with the same differences, and i really don’t see that happening, the body will not benefit from that mutation (unlike movies like Phenomenon might make you think). Not to mention that id DNA actually changed to a witneassable extent you’d be able to tell by repeatedly testing the DNA code of a person, we change all the cells in our body at very fast rates, in something like 2 years there should be considerable changes. Yet DNA tests are used to confirm someone’s identity even after years since the sample has been prelevated without any effect on its reliability.

Gee i wonder why, i mean, it might mean you’re WRONG…

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

You need to have this conversation with Hubert Yockey. He is still alive and accept emails. He may beg to differ with your “assumption” that DNA does not communicate.

You may contact him here:
http://www.hubertpyockey.com/

“The DECODING of the genetic MESSAGE from the DNA alphabet to the mRNA alphabet is called TRANSCRIPTION in molecular biology. mRNA plays the role of the channel, WHICH COMMUNICATES the genetic MESSAGE to the ribosomes, which serve as the DECODER. The genetic MESSAGE is DECODED by the ribosomes from the 64 letter mRNA alphabet to the 20 letter alphabet of the proteome. This DECODING process is called translation in molecular biology… (Ribosomes) act like the READING head on a tape machine (Turing, 1936). The protein molecule, which is the destination, is also a tape. Thus, the one-dimensional genetic MESSAGE is recorded in a sequence of amino acids, which folds up to become a 3-dimensional active protein molecule. One is reminded of the linear SIGNALS that fold up to show a 2-dimensional picture on the television screen.”
EMPHASIS MINE

(From Hubert Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Nobody says those things about erosion, ice crystals or lava flows.

Again, as to information…

You are still having difficulty separating the medium from the message. I have demonstrated numerous times that it is not an inherent part of any given medium. Does the music live in the sheet, or the guitar, the internet, the ipod? Does the music live in 1950 or 2009?

None, because information is immaterial. It transcends space/time, energy/matter.

I said a while back that there is no evidence that it can die. But there is much evidence that it is immaterial and not inherently a part of any physical medium.

Here, your argument is with Norbert Weiner, not me. Unfortunately he is dead.

Look Thammuz, everyone always accuses me of making this shit up. I save that for my poetry and fiction writing. What I present here is from the most respected scientists of our era and of their fields of study. I’m not making any of it up, and I do know how hard it is to digest. I’m not going to force it on you. But I won’t allow it to be waved away or denied… I cannot.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

BTW… I did not say that DNA was conscious. Barbara McClintock did.

“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.” (McClintock, B. 1984. The Significance Of Responses Of The Genome
To Challenge. Science 226: 792–801.)

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies First of all: Good, you finally substantiated one of your claims.

As for information: I have demonstrated numerous times that it is not an inherent part of any given medium. So? the piece of paper on which i write records the information, i record the information, my PC records the information. information though is contingent on my capability to percieve it, without a mind there is no information.

DNA and cellular reproduction can be as complicated as you like, it can even have deconding and coding, doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a natural deterministic process. It’s just a medium passing on the data it has recorded to another medium and so on. Just as me reading a book: i record the information from the book to my brain through light and my eyes. But it has to start be recorded into something to begin with for me to attain it. And it can be proven to exist only when it is recorded.

Again, you still haven’t shown me a strand of proof that information keeps existing when all the records of it are destroyed, you just keep assuming it.

Does the music live in the sheet, or the guitar, the internet, the ipod? Does the music live in 1950 or 2009?
The music lives in all of them, becaue they’re all records of that particular information. Wipe them all out (including the author and all those who heard it) and the music’s gone, until by chance someone rewrites the same song (which might never happen, but it’s a possibility).

In my mind i have incredibly beautiful images, but my incapability to draw them in a pleasing way will prevent the world from ever seeing them. That’s still information, it’s not coded yet, but it is information. And it will die if i don’t record it in a medium that lasts longer than my brain.

I’m not gonna deny that some form of information does exist in DNA. That’s a fact, and i do know it.
But the fact that information is present (In a form that we can recognise as such) doesn’t imply that said information HAS to be authored. Just as the order we percieve in the universe is actually due to the fact that we created a scheme that is coherent with the universe, which in turn seems to have an order precisely because of this. We tailored our concept of order to fit the universe, not vice versa. Same goes for information: we taliored our capability of recognising information to fit information in every form, but that doesn’t mean that everything we percieve as information needs an author.

If you saw a mountain range that spelled “asshat” you’d see information in that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a lot of people got together and made the mountain range look like that, there’s still the chance it simply looks like that on its own. But you’d still see information in that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz said:
”..without a mind there is no information.”

That’s the point for the creation of it. But a brain can die and the information still remain in a lost book that no one ever reads. No brain, yet codified info still exists. Info is not dependent upon a brain. But if info comes from a mind, and info is immaterial, then the mind is immaterial. What physical thing can destroy an immaterial thing?

@Thammuz said:
“It’s just a medium passing on the data…”

Yep, right again. But where does data come from? As you say:
”..without a mind there is no information.”

@Thammuz said:
”…becaue they’re all records of that particular information.”

No. They are records of the code, not the information. There is nothing to suggest that information can be copied. Only the code that represents it can be copied. Every copy refers to the same information. Even on a Xerox, mutations occur only to degenerate the copy, thereby making it more difficult to understand the information. It’s called Information Entropy. Changing the information requires a mind to re-author it. Chaos can only degrade the code. Chaos does not author or make exact copies. Snowflakes, Tornados, Earthquakes, Lightning… all unique and never duplicated exactly. Only code can be duplicated exactly.

A “record of” as you say, is not the same “as”. It is a record, a material product pointing to an immaterial agent. And, recording is not the same as authoring. Authoring is the creation of information upon a code. Recording is copying of the code… not copying the information.

@Thammuz said:
”…it has to… be recorded into something to begin with…”

And what is the only mechanism known to cause that to happen?
Sentient Authorship. Or, an intelligent program that was designed to do that from the beginning by a sentient author. This is confirmed thousands of times every hour by millions of programmers all over the world.

@Thammuz said:
“And it can be proven to exist only when it is recorded.”

Like I said, code is a material lens that allows us to look into the immaterial realm of information.

@Thammuz wants:
”…proof that information keeps existing when all the records of it are destroyed, you just keep assuming it.”

A safe assumption when no evidence suggests otherwise. Again, the record is a representation of the information, but it is not the same as the information itself. Refer to Weiner. He clearly designates Information as an independent third agent. Cybernetics, robotics, AI, Information Theory, Computer Science… all based upon this premise.

I can destroy “a” medium, and information remains in place, with no sign of ill effect upon it. I can destroy two, three, a thousand… yet it is still unaffected in the slightest. Since ten thousand copies of a book can be destroyed without affecting the original information, there is no reason to believe that it can be affected whatsoever when all mediums die.

In reality though, we can’t even be sure that all mediums actually ever truly die. The photons on my screen have shot off far into space by now. The brainwaves that exude from my head are pulsating far beyond me at this point. It is codified every bit as much as the English that I write to you currently.

@Thammuz said:
“The music lives in all of them…”

No. Ink lives on the sheet. Strings live on the guitar. Magnetism lives in the internet, and transistors live in the iPod. (Not really alive) Which one of these physical things predefines Sunday Bloody Sunday? None of them do. Their properties can only be arranged as such to represent the music… but ink, strings, magnetism, and transistors are NOT music.

@Thammuz said:
”…until by chance someone rewrites the same song.”

Nothing has ever shown itself to be written “by chance”. Why would you think it’s even a remote “possibility”. I could say the same thing about dragons, unicorns and elves and you would reply the same rejection back to me.

@Thammuz said:
“In my mind I have incredibly beautiful images…That’s still information, it’s not coded yet, but it is information.”

What makes you think that? How does the “image” run through the Shannon/Yockey protocols UNTIL it’s been codified? An image is not equal to information. A description of an image is a codified representation of information about that image. Information is only knowable upon the existence of a code.

An image in your mind is no different than witnessing the first sunrise. You may be aware of it, what it looks like, but no information exists until you codify that observation into a thought about it. It can still take place all in your head, but it’s not info until you can describe it as “swirly” or “yellow” or “dark” or “scary”.

@Thammuz said:
“And it will die if i don’t record it in a medium that lasts longer than my brain.”

You don’t know that. The image might die (I haven’t considered that too deeply), but the thought about it could very well go on forever through brainwaves. This technology is capable of detecting parts of the brain that represent specific thoughts… not the thoughts themselves, but the parts of the brain that represent the thought.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jc8URRxPIg
Some really scary shit huh!

Way beyond simple brainwaves, if this signal is detectable, codifiable, and transmittable, then we have no grounds to claim that it does not move out beyond our physical being.

@Thammuz said:
”…some form of information does exist in DNA.”

What do you mean by “some form”? It’s not called the “genetic kind of a code”. Not the “genetic almost code”…

Get this…
The genetic code is a physical medium.
The Genome is pure immaterial information.

One represents the other. They are not the same things. Using the word “Genome” is just like using the word “PhotoShop”.

PhotoShop is NOT a disc. The Human Genome is NOT a molecule.

Both are immaterial quantities of pure information. If the double helix was not a genuine code that represented the genuine information of the Genome, then biologists could never claim that they’ve “Mapped the Genome”. It is map able, from code A to code B.

You can’t copy a storm cloud, but you can copy the double helix, map it, and represent it in binary language. Yes, binary can express the entire human Genome with approximately 600mb of code.

It still expresses every bit as much the Human Genome as ATCG can express. It could be mapped to color scheme, drum beats, and smoke signals. It could also be mapped to music. All of it would point to the same Human Genome.

Here’s a fun page… DNA through the eyes of a coder:
http://ds9a.nl/amazing-dna/
My favorite quote…
“The source code is here. This not a joke. We can wonder about the license though.”
Even he knows it must be authored.

@Thammuz said:
”…doesn’t imply that said information HAS to be authored”

No? Find a book in the dumpster with it’s title page ripped out. Do you automatically assume that the book just appeared by chance? That it authored itself? Do you assume that it is nothing more than paper, ink, glue and cardboard… basically a rock? No, you naturally assume it was authored. Why? Because you recognize the language structure and understand that the difference between a rock and a book is INFORMATION. Without the information, it would no longer be a book. Just a rock in the trash…

@Thammuz said:
”…the order we perceive in the universe is actually due to the fact that we created a scheme that is coherent with the universe…”

If by “created”, you mean authored, generated, produced, fashioned… and
If by “scheme” you mean code, system, plan, method, technique…
Then yes, humans author code to represent the information about our observations. That information represents our thoughts about the universe. But as I think you suggest, that is only “apparent” order, because we know how it works. Surprising that we call it ordered when it’s actually pure chaos. An accurate description of chaos makes it no less chaotic. Only the description is ordered. Order demands and Orderer.

We MAKE sense out of it. We don’t discover sense in it.

The Laws of the Universe were written by humans. The stars do not speak and no one reads nebula. Gravity does not whisper in our ears and magnetism does not gossip about electricity. Any information about them comes into existence like all other information does. It is authored, we make it, write it, create, fashion, form, craft, construct… all qualities reserved for sentient entities alone.

@Thammuz said:
“Same goes for information: we taliored our capability of recognising information to fit information in every form…”

What? You’ve completely lost me. The only way to recognize genuine information is to understand what a genuine code is. Yockey certainly didn’t “tailor” his depiction of DNA to make it alone “fit” into being a code. He took his lead directly from Claude Shannon:

”“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 P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Yockey did not force DNA into being a code. He recognized it as a genuine full fledged no holds barred grade A code. It fits perfectly. For him to deny that would be unscrupulous. Worse for anyone else to deny that. Inexcusable to suggest that it was bent to fit somehow. The core protocols for Transcription are exactly the same for every code from English to Paelignian.

No one has been able to say that about whirlpools or quicksand.

Don’t claim that humans bend something to fit the protocols, when you are really asking to bend the protocols themselves to include solar flares. Nothing from chaos fits the protocols for very specific reasons Thammuz. If you don’t like it, then write your own protocols and see how they fly in the scientific community.

@Thammuz said:
“If you saw a mountain range that spelled “asshat” you’d see information in that…”

But I wouldn’t. Information bearing code doesn’t randomly assemble by chance. Google’s entire existence is based upon this premise. Credit card processing would be impossible if code randomly assembled.

But, hypothetically… if by chance it did actually happen….

Single words “asshat” are difficult to run through the protocols because they are only descriptive labels. Intentions are not expressed until the sentence level. The double helix expresses intentions and much more.

Nucleotide = Character
Codon = Letter
Gene = Word
Operon = Sentence
Regulon = Paragraph
Chromosome = Chapter

Seeing “asshat” is like seeing a single gene by itself. It’s only a label. That’s why code must have syntax, semantics, error correction, redundancy and so forth… It’s the only way to express intentions. Genes by themselves are incapable of transmitting instructions or having any meaning beyond that which we assign to them. It must be looked at from the position of an entire language structure.

And remember, we don’t see information… it is immaterial. We only see a code that represents information. Asshat on a mountain, may or may not be the product of sentient authorship. That particular phenomenon cannot be determined as a code or any symbolic representation of any kind. To claim it does would be erroneous. My error does not justify the existence of real information. This is another example of “apparent information”. I admit it would be easy to get fooled… but…

It’s the same argument as Dawkins “apparent design”. Which I completely agree with. Just because it looks designed, doesn’t mean it was really designed. Just because it looks like code, doesn’t mean it’s really a code. Assumptions can be our undoing.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz said:

”...the piece of paper on which i write records the information…”

No. The piece of paper just sits there on your desk. You do the writing, the recording, the authoring, the thinking… the paper does nothing.

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “A safe assumption when no evidence suggests otherwise.”
Nothing sugests anything aout what you’resaying. You’re going into metaphysics here, buddy. And you still haven’t given me a shitstain of proof of what you’re saying. If i destroy ALL the physical mediums (even brainwaves and photons) you have NO proof that the information can outlive the code. Which is precisely my point. Even you keep stating means through which the information can survive regardless of the medium by stating OTHER MEDIUMS. You’re assuming that information is immaterial but you’re still referring to mediums every time you have to USE that information. How can you claim that it exists when there is NO WAY to verify your assumption?

Furthermore I’d like to remind you that the human genome isn’t a language. It is a code. you could see it as a long combination of possible options, if you wish, but that doesn’t mean that after decoding it it will turn out to be a “recipie for a human being, just add water” without a proper linkage (and thus coding on our own part) between the dna sequence and the affected elements.

No? Find a book in the dumpster with it’s title page ripped out. Do you automatically assume that the book just appeared by chance? That it authored itself? Do you assume that it is nothing more than paper, ink, glue and cardboard… basically a rock?

Is this all it boils down to? I’m not impressed. And i wouldn’t have wasted my time if i saw that coming. Yours, my friend, is just an elaborate version ofthe argument from design. Which is unscientific, because (again) it doesn’t survive to occam’s razor.
Yes the book would be authored, because my experience tells me that WE author books. On the other hand i never saw a giant celestial guy (i know that’s not you view of god, just trying to make a point) writing dna. I always saw cells replicating it remaining safely within some limits in order to be accepted by the body of which they’re part.

Just because it looks designed, doesn’t mean it was really designed. Just because it looks like code, doesn’t mean it’s really a code.

Yeah, I see how much you get of that objection.
Dude Just because it LOOKS AUTHORED doesn’t mean it is. Are you seriously telling me you didn’t saw that one coming? Are you that stuck in your own convinctions you didn’t notice how “designed” and “authored” are practically nextdoor neighbours as far as concepts go?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I can’t give you a shitstain proof that gravity exists either. No one can. Science is a game of inference, not proof. If the ball falls the same way every time, then we “infer” the existence of an unseen force. We call it gravity, but no one can “prove” that it exists. Since information remains unaffected upon the destruction of numerous mediums, then I infer that the physical world has no affect upon the integrity of information. I put it to you Thammuz, are you denying Weiners claim that information is not energy or matter? Do you deny that information is immaterial? Do you have evidence that material substance can harm the immaterial in any way? If not, then I will confidently infer that information cannot be destroyed (just like energy and matter).

@Thammuz said:
“You’re assuming that information is immaterial…”

So does Weiner, and we are not alone.

@Thammuz said:
”…referring to mediums every time you have to USE that information”

Of course. Why is that so alien to you? Can you see radio waves? Microwaves? Brainwaves? Ultrasound? Dark Matter? All of these agents need mediums as well. Do they cease to exist when the radio is turned off? Did brainwaves suddenly leap into existence upon the invention of the electroencephalogram? They are all inferred through mediums that detect predictable and repeatable results. Information is no different.

@Thammuz said:
”…the human genome isn’t a language. It is a code.”

No sir. The Genome is pure information. It is inferred. ATCG is a code. A code used by the language of DNA to express the immaterial information of the Genome.

@Thammuz said:
”…you could see it as a long combination of possible options, if you wish…”

What? You must be kidding. It’s a set of instructions every bit as much as the instructions to build a cheap desk from an office supply store. It is extremely specific and predefines for a specific outcome. What do you mean “if you wish”? Nothing about DNA or the Genome has anything to do with my wishes.

@Thammuz said:
”…but that doesn’t mean that after decoding it will turn out to be a “recipie for a human being, just add water”…”

Oh but it does. It says “Thammuz” all over it with no question about it. Forensics will confirm that for you after your next crime spree.

@Thammuz said:
”…without a proper linkage (and thus coding on our own part) between the dna sequence and the affected elements.”

Excuse me… but what “coding on our own part” are you talking about? Are you saying that DNA is not a code until humans somehow work it into one? I’m really at a loss here. Please advise.

@Thammuz said:
“Yours, my friend, is just an elaborate version ofthe argument from design.”

Not at all. Please don’t conflate that notion. The argument from design does not consider codified information whatsoever. The Info argument does survive occam’s razor because the agent of information has been added to the equation.

Without the code referring to information, then the book would be a simple pile of paper, glue and ink. No reason to assume otherwise. Paley’s watch is indeed possible to form on it’s own through chaotic processes. I have no problem with Dawkins “apparent design” dissertation.

But a new ingredient has been added to the equation. If when examining the watch, we find the word TAG Heuer, then we have to consider the “Asshat” scenario. There could be something there… maybe so, maybe not (although it’s never been shown to happen accidentally – let’s pretend). Then a closer inspection finds more code, symbols representing numerical information… Goodness! This represents fractions of time! Wow, there’s a tachymetre as well… A chronometre? What are these other symbols? Mysterious etchings that say “carrera” and “swiss made since 1860”…?

Turn the rock over and still more symbols appear. Strange carvings that defy logic… Look! That marking is identical to the one on the front… TAG Heuer again! Impossible it happened twice! How can this be???

Lets cut it open and see what’s inside… shall we? Holy shit! Look at these toothed round things… Look closer… they have strange symbols as well… “1cm” and “foundry” and “metalworks”…

Oh well, it’s just a rock… right?

Don’t you get it Thammuz? The existence of information turns a rock into a watch. It turns a rock into a book. The existence of information is the end all determining factor to discovering if something has been designed or not. That amount of information does not occur naturally.

Now imagine finding another code, but this one has SIX MILLION LETTERS in every single cell of your body. Do you really want to call that an accident by chance?

Occam’s razor is answered with codified information added to the equation.

If all you see is “cells replicating”, then maybe you should open your eyes wider. There is more to see… in fact, there’s something to actually read. Others are reading it, translating it, hacking it, modifying it… join the party.

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Dammit you’re really dumb as you sound.

Ok let me explain to you WHY the argument from design, as well as your argument, fails.

The argument from design fails because it states “there is design in nature, design can’t come from chaos because design is order and order doesn’t randomply come from chaos, so there must be a designer”
Your argument is “There is information in nature, information can’t come from chaos because information is order, there has to be a mind creating the information”

Same shit different pile, really.

What both arguments fail to understand it that asserting something dosn’t make it true, and that that kind of backwards demonstration doesn’t work.

FIRST you DEMONSTRATE that order (information, code, design, whatever the fuck you want) can’t come from chaos with enough time. THEN you can claim your conclusion. BOTH the premises of a sillogism have to be verified and accepted, otherwise it’s just a table missing two legs out of four.
And don’t tell me “you can’t give me an instance where information comes from chaos” (=you can’t prove i don’t have a baseball) you’re the one barring an option (in this case information arising randomly), so you’re the one who has to provide reasons why this option can’t be accepted.

This will most probably be the last post i make on this subject, i’m bored of this discussion and you seem really stubborn on your position (which somehow doesn’t surprise me).

Peace.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

I’m not sure how you got all that… Maybe I am dumb, but I never said “there is information in nature”.

I’ve said all along that chaos (rocks, solar flares, tornadoes) DO NOT need an author. There is no reason to believe they do because they have no code, thus don’t represent information, thus don’t point to a mind.

LIFE has code, not chaos. The code of life represents information. The code of life points to a mind.

@Thammuz said:
”...(information, code, design, whatever the fuck you want) can’t come from chaos with enough time.)

Time + Chance has never been shown to produce a code of any sort. What makes you think it can? Why should I think it could? Why should anyone?

SETI is not looking for life. SETI is looking for a code bearing signal. They understand that where there is information, there is also life. Yep, they’re as dumb as I am.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

Let’s break this down to first principles.

I have billions, trillions, nearly an infinite amount of examples that code is always authored from a mind. This includes human code, bee waggles, whale song, wolf howls…

Do you have one single example that code can arise through the chaotic processes of chance? All you need is one…

Let me also reiterate that chaos does not need an author. It does not need a designer. Erosion can slide, ice crystals can form, and stars can collide without ever suggesting the need for a designer of any sort.

But life… That’s a different story. Life has code, and we do know that code comes from a mind.

That’s just the way it is. I didn’t make the rules Thammuz. But I will play by them.

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Do you have one single example that code can arise through the chaotic processes of chance? All you need is one…
That would be DNA, until you prove that DNA is authored, that is.

Maybe I am dumb, but I never said “there is information in nature”.
You said there is code, Mr. Nitpicky, the argument is still the same. And you still have to prove how is information supposed to exist beyond the code.

This is just an argument from personal incredulity, but that’s not how science works. (Now imagine finding another code, but this one has SIX MILLION LETTERS in every single cell of your body. Do you really want to call that an accident by chance? Yes i do, because i have no reason to think otherwise. Astronomically unlikely doesn’t mean impossible.)

Until there is PROOF that DNA is authored, we will act as if it was not. Why? because there is no reason to think that it is, and since nobody is authoring DNA as we speak there’s no way to determine that AT THE MOMENT.
When and if there will be a reason to treat DNA as any other mind-authored code even though we see it in nature without any apparent linkage to any mind, we will start treating it as such. Just as we will start treating design as somethign that exclusively comes from a mind when and if there will be any empirical reason to.
As i already said you’re doing a more complex version of the argument from design, nothing more.

And let this be a reminder for the future: Just because there is some 3 – 4 scientists that agree with you this doesn’t make you exempt from providing reasons for what you’re saying.
Every time i asked you to demonstrate me that information keeps existing even after all its material codifications are destroyed you simply said “that guy says it too” or “prove me it doesn’t” (which is a blatant shift of the burden of proof, you claim you prove it).
Now, unless that guy is the one who created the universe and can show me proof that he did (blueprints and such) i don’t give a fuck if he said it. I want YOU to give me reasons, or at the very least to give me some paper where the guy does.

Without that you could as well have quoted santa claus. Science doesn’t work that way. You don’t automatically start being right on everything after you are given a nobel prize (McClintock was awarded her nobel prize for her discovery of “mobile genetic elements”, that’s it. It doesn’t mean everything she said was pure gold).
If you say something bollocks you said something bollocks, and it doesn’t get any more or less bollocks wether or not you have a nobel prize. Science doesn’t accept arguments form authority.

But then again you’re not gonna get it and i’m not gonna waste anymore of my time.

Peace and, this time, out.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

I’d hoped you might be more creative. Just to be clear, would you please verify that:
“DNA”…(is definitely) ”…one single example that code can arise through the chaotic processes of chance?”

While you’re at it, please describe the mechanism that allows you to support that claim. Unless of course you’re too busy writing your Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Please present your hypothesis on how chaos can author code. A statement alone will not suffice.

What do you mean by “You said there is code”?

I said that DNA is a code. I never said there is code in chaos…
I never said that. Please do not misrepresent my comments.

@Thammuz said:
“And you still have to prove how is information supposed to exist beyond the code.”

Am I talking to a wall? I don’t have to “prove” anything. I don’t have to “prove” that brainwaves exist beyond the electroencephalogram. I don’t have to “prove” that radio waves exist beyond the tuner. I don’t have to “prove” that a baby exists beyond the ultrasound. I don’t have to “prove” that radiations exists beyond the solar flare. And I certainly don’t have to “prove” that information exists beyond a code.

I will infer these things just like every other reputable scientists does. I will support my inference with all the previously noted examples… (the same ones you refuse to acknowledge).

@Thammuz said:
“Until there is PROOF that DNA is authored…”

Until there is PROOF that a BOOK is authored…”

@Thammuz said:
”…we will act as if it was not.”

Act all you want…

@Thammuz said:
“Why? because there is no reason to think that it is…”

The existence of a code is THE reason. THE ONLY REASON

@Thammuz said:
”…and since nobody is authoring DNA as we speak there’s no way to determine that AT THE MOMENT.”

And since nobody is authoring a BOOK as we speak there’s no way to determine that AT THE MOMENT.

That’s brilliant Thammuz. Just BRILLIANT!

@Thammuz said:
“When and if there will be a reason…”

There is a reason. CODE

@Thammuz said:
”…to treat DNA as any other mind-authored code…”

Mind authored code is the only kind of code there is.

@Thammuz said:
”…even though we see it in nature without any apparent linkage to any mind…”

Where do we see code in nature? Aside from life, where is this mysterious code you insist upon seeing? Is it next to the Unicorn? Are the Elf’s keeping it a secret until I say “please”? Where is this glorious natural code from nature? Where? Where? Where?

@Thammuz said:
“Just as we will start treating design as somethign that exclusively comes from a mind when and if there will be any empirical reason to.”

Uh… We already do. Everyone accepts that “design” comes only from a mind. The argument from Design asks if the Universe was designed… It doesn’t ask if “design” requires a mind. Heh… are you telling me that the Universe WAS designed, but it didn’t have a designer? That’s a new one! HA! Oh Hell… Hahahahahahahahaha…!

@Thammuz said:
“As i already said you’re doing a more complex version of the argument from design, nothing more.”

No Thammuz. I never said the Universe was designed. Get past that. The argument from Design says the Universe was designed. I never said that. But I think YOU might have said it in the previous quote above… Hahahahahahahahahahaa!

@Thammuz said:
“And let this be a reminder for the future: Just because there is some 3 – 4 scientists that agree with you this doesn’t make you exempt from providing reasons for what you’re saying.”

Thanks for the reminder. Let me remind you that I’ve given plenty of reasons and backed them up with quotes and evidence from the most prominent scientists in their fields. You offer youtube adhoc and call it proof.

@Thammuz said:
”…you claim you prove it”

No. I infer it, and with very good reason. Just like every good little scientist should.

@Thammuz said:
“I want YOU to give me reasons”

See above, and above, and above that.

@Thammuz said:
“Without that you could as well have quoted santa claus. Science doesn’t work that way.”

Then stop believing in Santa Claus and provide me with a proven natural mechanism that can author codified information. If you can’t, then be a good boy and ask Santa for one.

Thammuz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I said that DNA is a code. I never said there is code in chaos
You said DNA is code, code exists in nature. You said there is code in nature. Where have i said you said there is code in chaos?
Copypasta from MY post :”There is information in nature, information can’t come from chaos because information is order, there has to be a mind creating the information
Then i corrected it to: ”You said there is code, Mr. Nitpicky, the argument is still the same.
And your argument IS this. You said that code HAS to be authored.

Until there is PROOF that a BOOK is authored…
Well, shit on a stick, i can empirically verify book authors.

I will infer these things just like every other reputable scientists does. I will support my inference with all the previously noted examples…
And you will be wrong, because a baby which is completely unpercievable is not a baby. Information is in your mind and in the code, you can’t prove it to be anywhere beyond that. And saying “i infer it” is just a fucking cop-out. You know bloody well that those other examples CAN be verified. You can measure brainwaves, you can see the baby once it gets out of the womb, you can measure radiaton coming from the sun. You can’t measure information in absence of a medium, just as much as you wouldn’t see a baby with ultrasound if there wasn’t one in the first place.

Mind authored code is the only kind of code there is.
Prove it.

Where do we see code in nature? Aside from life, where is this mysterious code you insist upon seeing?
So life isn’t part of nature now, huh? Congratulations you just broke through a new bar of stupidity.

The argument from Design says the Universe was designed.
Not necessarily: A teleological argument, or argument from design, is an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design, or direction — or some combination of these — in nature.
And if i’m not mistaken LIFE IS PART OF NATURE, isn’t it?

For the record: shiny mirror you got there seeing how you tell me:

No Thammuz. I never said the Universe was designed. Get past that. The argument from Design says the Universe was designed. I never said that.

But a couple of posts above we have:

Don’t you get it Thammuz? The existence of information turns a rock into a watch. It turns a rock into a book. The existence of information is the end all determining factor to discovering if something has been designed or not. That amount of information does not occur naturally.

I call bullshit, you disingenuous piece of shit. You KNOW your is an argument from design, and this is blatantly obvious from these two quotes. And not only you know it, but you’ve been so careless to actually let it out AFTER being called out on it.

You’re trying to cover your ass and you’re even projecting while doing that.

I’m done with you, seriously. I thought you were just dumb, but seeing your last post i have to rethink that, you’re not dumb at all, you’re a disingenuous bastard.
And you’re so good at it that i even stopped in my tracks wondering if i was making any sense afterall for a while.
Good thing i read your last post that vanquished those doubts.

I’d say “Peace” but i really don’t give a shit. Adios.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Thammuz

Nice try with the tricky word jam. I won’t be lured into convoluting the word “nature” to depict every nuance of this discussion. You want to lump together “life”, “code” & “chaos” all in one word and call it “nature”… but only to confuse the issue. You are clever Thammuz.

But I’ll play along. If by “nature” you mean “natural”… then yes, it is perfectly natural for code to require authorship. It is perfectly natural for life to require code.

But if by “nature” you mean the entire physical realm of energy and matter, the entire universe of existence… then NO! Code is NOT everywhere in the universe. Code only exists where life is present. Remove all life, and there is NOT a shred of code to be found.

Now you have actually misquoted me in order to serve your cause.

@Thamuz said:
“You said there is code in nature.”

I NEVER SAID THAT. Please retract your statement.

@Thammuz said:
“…i can empirically verify book authors.”

Sure you can. But we’re not talking about codes where the author is known. We’re talking about anonymous codes. We’ve been over this… So again…

How will you empirically verify the anonymous author of a book with it’s cover ripped out?

How will you empirically verify the anonymous author of a note found on the street?

How will you empirically verify an anonymous etching carved in a tree?

How will you empirically verify anonymous graffiti on a box car?

How will you empirically verify an anonymous message in the sand?

How will you empirically verify anonymous writings on an ancient vase?

How will you empirically verify anonymous texts attributed to Plato but widely accepted as not from him at all?

How will you empirically verify anonymous hieroglyphics?

How will you empirically verify an anonymous note left on your car that warns you of a flat tire?

Will you assume that all of these codes just wrote themselves? By your standards I should think so. Why not? There is absolutely no reason to attribute sentient authorship to any of them until the author can be brought front and center so that you can actually see and touch them… Right?

BUT EVEN THEN…

Just because they admit to writing the code is not PROOF that they actually did.

We could have video tape of Jesus Christ himself rising from the dead and it wouldn’t PROVE a single thing.

@Thammuz said:
“And you will be wrong, because a baby which is completely unpercievable is not a baby.”

Are you out of your mind? First off, the ultrasound is what allows perception of THE BABY. It is no more or less a baby because of it. Secondly, there are realities all around us that we cannot perceive. That doesn’t make them any less real.

I didn’t perceive of you until less than a week ago. Was Thammuz non existent until I perceived of Thammuz? Bonkers! How could I perceive of Thammuz (or the baby) unless Thammuz was Thammuz and the baby was the baby… before I perceived it, you, them?

@Thammuz said:
“Information is in your mind and in the code…”

Prove it.

Information comes from a mind. It is not IN the mind and it is not IN the code. The code represents the Information. That’s why we have these two words called “medium” and “message”. One represents the other. If it wasn’t this way then “medium” and “message” would be one word. And I’ve already demonstrated numerous times that information is independent from the material medium that expresses it.

Your best argument against it is to reduce Norbert Weiner to the level of Santa Claus. Norbert Weiner’s legacy runs practically EVERYTHING in your modern day life. There are no elves in his workshop either.

@Thammuz said:
“…you can’t prove it to be anywhere beyond that”

Thammuz, can you prove to me that the sky is blue?

@Thammuz said:
“And saying “i infer it” is just a fucking cop-out.”

Now is that just me that is a cop-out? Or do you include the entire field of science as a cop-out as well? Is it a cop-out to infer the existence of gravity? Is it a cop-out to infer the existence of dark matter?

Hypothesis:
Information ALWAYS and ULTIMATELY comes from a mind.
Predictable… Yes
Consistent… Yes
Falsifiable… Yes

You are free to falsify the claim at any time. Just provide one example of another mechanism that can author code. I can’t. Maybe you can.

@Thammuz said:
“…those other examples CAN be verified”

Yes, with instrumentation, just like information. Just check the code. Code is the instrument to verify information exists. What’s the problem here?

You can’t see brainwaves. You can only infer them by looking at the etchings on an electroencephalogram.

You can’t see information. You can only infer it by looking at a code.

You can measure brainwaves with CODIFIED instrumentation.

You can measure information with CODIFIED instrumentation.

@Thammuz said:
“..you disingenuous piece of shit”
“…you’re really dumb as you sound.”
“...you’re not dumb at all, you’re a disingenuous bastard”

Well thanks for the critique. It’s always good to get a second opinion about myself. It’s even better to see the weakness of your position come through clearly in your insults.

@Thammuz said:
“You KNOW your is an argument from design…”

Your reference about Design says absolutely NOTHING about code or information. Thanks for “proving” that my position is NOT an argument from design.

As well… as your reference requires… I am not arguing “for the existence of God or a creator” I never mentioned God Thammuz. I never mentioned a creator either. A creator and an author do not necessarily have to be the same things. An artist can be a creator with no code at all. An author uses code. I said “sentient author”. And I never once described the nature of the author.

I love it when others mention God before I do, accusing me by assumption only. It turns the Atheist into a complete parody of the religious fanatic that they mock.

Your assumptions about me are your own undoing. That’s why it’s so hard for you to carry on an intelligent conversation with me. You can’t get past the “GOD” wall. It reveals how much dogma your position really suffers from. You can’t even consider genuine science that is right in front of your face because you’re afraid it will tear your Atheistic foundations down to a crumbling shredded heap of lies.

Your reference also requires a “perceived evidence of order”. There is nothing “perceived” about a code that specifically pre-defines for a particular outcome. It’s not “perceived” order. Code is extremely defined order. Defined from a mind.

The sentient author might or might not be a God. It might or might not be an extraterrestrial alien. It might be some form of sentience that we are completely unaware of and/or cannot even associate with. But it must be sentient and it cannot possibly be human (as we typically define them).

But if you still want to hold me to the argument from Design… OK… I’ll play along with you again.

Since you brought up God in your reference, I’ll let you in on a secret about one of my perspectives on God…

You believe in chance… right? Well, if by chance, a God really did get life started on this planet… I mean if it really really happened that way… then…

IT IS PERFECTLY NATURAL FOR IT TO HAVE HAPPENED THAT WAY!

There would be NOTHING supernatural about it whatsoever. If there really is a God, then it’s perfectly natural for God to exist!

That’s right Thammuz… I don’t believe in the supernatural. I don’t believe there is such a thing.

My perceptions about what a God actually is go very far beyond that. And the typical Theist is just as frustrated with me as the typical Atheist is.

Oh well… It’s sad to see you leave. There is so much more to talk about. RNA, psuedogenes, legacy files… and lets not forget the original question prompt… “spiritual or material”.

You’ve been an absolutely extreme delight.

BTW…

No hard feelings. I said from the very beginning that this would confront your current beliefs. I knew from experience this would get heated… Nothing on you, it’s just the nature of these conversations. It’s hard, very hard to digest something you don’t want to swallow. I wish you the very best.

rOs's avatar

We are not humans living a spiritual existence, we are Spiritual Beings living a human existence.

BiZhen's avatar

Spirits do not exist. Everything is material.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther