# Icons of ID: The emergence of prime numbers as the result of evolutionary strategy

Remember Dembski’s hypothetical example of receiving a message consisting of prime numbers (adapted from the movie: Contact)?

In order to infer design, Dembski has to eliminate regularity and chance. While chance can be eliminated in a relatively straightforward manner, regularity may not be that simple to eliminate.

The emergence of prime numbers as the result of evolutionary strategy by Campos et al

We investigate by means of a simple theoretical model the emergence of prime numbers as life cycles, as those seen for some species of cicadas. The cicadas, more precisely, the Magicicadas spend most of their lives below the ground and then emerge and die in a short period of time. The Magicicadas display an uncommon behavior: their emergence is synchronized and these periods are usually prime numbers. In the current work, we develop a spatially extended model at which preys and predators coexist and can change their evolutionary dynamics through the occurrence of mutations. We verified that prime numbers as life cycles emerge as a result of the evolution of the population. Our results seem to be a first step in order to prove that the development of such strategy is selectively advantageous, especially for those organisms that are highly vulnerable to attacks of predators.

From: ERIC GOLES, OLIVER SCHULZ, AND MARIO MARKUS Prime Number Selection of Cycles in a Predator-Prey Model, Complexity 2001 Vol. 6, No. 4

we find the following

It seems that a relatively simple evolutionary model can generate prime numbers. I wonder how Dembski’s explanatory filter would have performed here? But we already know this.

Can we say “another false positive”, you know one of those pesky things that Dembski keep arguing do not exist for his method?

Good post PvM. Another good example of Dembski’s Clogged Filter. I remember when the movie came out, an astrophysicist saying there were several processes which could generate strings of primes.

Thanks, these postings are meant to show why ID is mostly an appeal to ignorance (or lack of imagination?) rather than a fruitful scientific concept. If it were the latter we would have expected by now at least one non trivial contribution by ID to our scientific understanding.

I would expect that when they say they have a scientific theory, they have a scientific theory. They’ve made several attempts to generate one which serves their religion, but have failed to produce a theory.

I have moved the discussion in which Douglas refers to his fellow Christians as ignorant to the a more appropriate place in the ‘Bathroom wall’. Douglas is free to expose more of his personal theology. If he is interested in addressing the emergence of prime number through evolutionary principles then I encourage him to do so.

PvM,

I suggest that if you want to retain a semblance of honesty and integrity here, you also delete your continuing dishonest and false reference to my having referred to “his fellow Christians as ignorant”. And, while you’re at it, kindly cease making it sound a though I was the one who “derailed” this thread, as there were one or two, or perhaps three, individuals who made posts which brought up “Biblical issues” here in this thread prior to me. Thanks. (I fully expect that you will delete or move this post. Prove me wrong, and be fair-minded.)

Douglas Wrote:

I suggest that if you want to retain a semblance of honesty and integrity here, you also delete your continuing dishonest and false reference to my having referred to “his fellow Christians as ignorant”. And, while you’re at it, kindly cease making it sound a though I was the one who “derailed” this thread, as there were one or two, or perhaps three, individuals who made posts which brought up “Biblical issues” here in this thread prior to me. Thanks. (I fully expect that you will delete or move this post. Prove me wrong, and be fair-minded.)

Douglas seems to be jumping to discussions here since I did not delete these postings, I moved them to what is called ‘the bathroom wall’. And to address your claim, yes you did call fellow Christians ignorant of the Bible, or worse, that they are not really Christians.

What did Douglas argue

I did not call “fellow” Christians “Biblically ignorant”. It is debatable whether people who accept evolution (that is, common descent [with all it would imply about God’s character]) are actually Christians. Just because someone CLAIMS to be something does not make them so, does it?

and

One may legitimately (though wrongly) disagree with whether or not the Bible is true and accurate, but one must be Biblically ignorant, at best, to argue that evolution (meaning common descent, etc.) and the God of the Bible are compatible.

As a Christian and as someone who has no problem reconciling my faith with scientific theory and fact I take offence to Douglas’ claims.

Douglas may take notice of what the Bible teaches

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measurement ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and them shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

PvM: Douglas may take notice of what the Bible teaches.… And PvM may take note that it is a Biblical mandate to “test the spirits” and to test doctrine according to Scripture. He will, hopefully, notice that doing so does NOT violate the Scripture he quoted. He will also, prayerfully, notice that the Scripture is addressing one’s HEART ATTITUDE, and one’s judging of another’s HEART. It does NOT deal with judging another’s doctrines to see whether they are in accord with the Bible.

Now, perhaps Pim would like to answer the following question which I have now asked several times: Just because someone CLAIMS to be something does not make them so, does it? He might also find it edifying to answer a related question:

How does one determine whether someone who claims to be a Christian truly is, or is lying or is deceived?

Douglas shows two things here which are very relevant. Namely that despite the Biblical teachings he continues to judge others and that he found a way to ignore the Biblical message by re-interpreting it in a manner suitable for his purposes. This shows clearly that while there may be a fundamental truth in the Bible, we are poorly equipped to find it when we are able and motivated to interpret the Bible. I could not have argued it better without the examples Douglas is presenting to us.

Douglas asks how one determines whether someone who claims to be a Christian truly is or is lying or is deceived. This once again deals with the Biblical passage I quoted. If Douglas wants to judge then he should be first be judged himself. He has made various claims about what God would and would not do for instance that God would not use evolution to create and yet that is what God is showing us in the evidence presented to us in nature.

I think the conclusion should be self evident.

As far as his accusations/suggestions of fellow Christisnas being ignorant, deceived, or lying I quote the following

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words shalt thou be condemned.

PvM: Douglas asks how one determines whether someone who claims to be a Christian truly is or is lying or is deceived. This once again deals with the Biblical passage I quoted. Partially. That is, if one is going to correctly discern another’s “fruits” (as in, “by their fruits you shall know them”), one must be walking in fellowship with God, at least if one is going to discern the “finer fruits”, rather than those which are obviouslyl rotten. However, part of the “fruits” Jesus speaks of includes TRUTH - anything which promotes a lie regarding God, the Gospel, or God’s character (all three are intertwined, by the way) is a “bad fruit”, and thus something by which one can “know” another. I really wish you would learn to discern the meaning of “judge” by the context in which it appears - in the Bible passage you quote, it does NOT have the generalized meaning of “do not form an opinion one way or the other”. It means to stand in judgment of another’s HEART - if it didn’t, then Jesus would directly contradict another Biblical command, namely, to “test the spirits”, and to watch out for “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. You really have no excuse for not seeing this, Pim.

PvM: If Douglas wants to judge then he should…first be judged himself. You don’t see that you are being a hypocrite in this, do you, Pim? First, you misread that passage, and then say that I should not “judge” another, not even as to their adherence to Scripture. Yet all this time YOU have been judging ME.

PvM: He has made various claims about what God would and would not do - for instance that God would not use evolution to create and yet that is what God is showing us in the evidence presented to us in nature. I have SHOWN, from Scripture and sound reasoning, WHY God would not use evolution. And, evolution (common descent) is HIGHLY contested, even amongst scientists. The evidence presented in nature denies evolution (common descent), strongly and in multitudes of ways.

Now, Pim, tell me, are Mormons “Christian”? How about Hitler? Mormons claim to be Christian, and Hitler claimed to be a Christian. Of course, if you make a judgment in this regard, you will have trespassed your very own interpretation of the Scripture passage you quoted (“Judge not…”). Oh, and even further, how dare you judge that someone who rejects Jesus will go to Hell - but perhaps, completely contrary to the Bible’s absolutely CLEAR teaching on this matter, you would deny that they would, or would refuse to “judge” them in this, in spite of their obvious “fruit”.

Douglas Douglas Douglas… I love how the “beam in your eye” is becoming more and more visible here. You are judging people for their interpretation of the Bible, for their claim of being Christians. And what do we see now? Douglas is now refering to me as a hypocrite.

As far as the question if Mormons are Christians or Hitler was Christian, it depends on whether or not they considered themselves such. I am not the one to judge their claims just because I may disagree with them. The claim that th Bible is absolutely clear on these matters is complicated by the contradictory interpretations of the Bible, the lack of an objective standard.

The issue of common descent is NOT an issue of scientific disagreement although there are some people who reject common descent based on their faith interpretations. Evidence in nature strongly supports evolution but there is of course that issue of the ‘beam in thy eye’.

Btw I am not judging Douglas, I am pointing out what the Bible says here. The judging is not done by me but by a power much greater than me. As far as ‘obvious fruit’ I can only marvel at the ‘fruit’ presented here by Douglas and sigh.

If Douglas wants to deny the fact of common descent or wants to claim (pretend) that he has provided sound reasoning (from Scripture) then let it be so, the beam in his eye is painstakingly obvious to all.

Pim (and Douglas),

I don’t claim to be a Christian, but, having witnessed the actions and proclamations of a lot of the over the top self-professed variety over the years - Swaggart, Roberts, Tidwell, Falwell, etc, etc (one of my favorites was A.A. Allen) - I would suggest that I’m more of a Christian than a lot of the more vocal claimants.

Would it be out of line to suggest that Douglas is suffering from a surfeit of pride in his seeming insistence on having the inside track where biblical interpretation is concerned? Given the breadth of Christian denominations, and some of the knock-down drag-outs I’ve heard concerning the number of sanctified sacraments, I must confess to being a bit bemused, in my calmer moments, by the whole thing.

From my admittedly somewhat short acquaintance with message boards and chat rooms I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that the more capped words a poster uses, the less respect their message deserves.

Douglas,

I would consider Mormons at least borderline Christians. As far as Hitler is concerned, you need to do some more research. Two questions:

Do you accept the bible literally?

Do you consider it the inerrant word of God?

Actually three - how much of it do you view as allegory and metaphor?

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Bob,

I used a fair number of “capped” words in my reply to PvM because he just…does…not…seem…to…get…it. Frustration can get to even the most reserved of us.

Oh, and how familiar are you with the teachings of Mormonism, Bob? For that matter, with the teachings of the Bible, at least regarding God’s character, and regarding the Gospel?

Douglas DOuglas Douglas… Your actions speak so loudly. I love the ad hominem when I point out that there common descent is not an issue of scientific disagreement and Douglas responds

Utter hogwash, and with all the various times you’ve posted at ARN, and then been banned, you should know that what you say is untrue.

Note the lack of any rebuttal beyond the ad hominem. It’s that ‘beam in the eye’ thing again.

And then the following ‘argument’

PvM: Btw I am not judging Douglas, I am pointing out what the Bible says here. The judging is not done by me but by a power much greater than me.

Hypocrisy. And how in the world is this any different than what I have been doing regarding evolution and God’s character? I have merely been … pointing out what the Bible says here. The judging is not done by me but by a power much greater than me.

But that is not what you have done, you have done the judging by calling them ignorant of the Bible, non Christian, hypocrites.

as a Christian it really pains me to see a fellow Christian behave in such an uncalled for manner.

It seems that other than personal attacks and ad hominems. Douglas has little to contribute to the issues of the fact of common descent or the prime number thread.

What saddens me is that Douglas truely believes that his interpretation of the Bible is the correct one although there is no independent evidence of such and it conflicts with what God is telling us with the fact of evolution. That’s all fine with me but he should not refer to those who disagree with him as ignorant, hypocrites or non Christians.

God have Mercy…

Douglas,

I’m familiar enough with Mormonism to make an evaluation of it, and familiar enough with the bible to realize that you are peddling a perversion.

Douglas,

You’re not going to believe this. I’m still trying to get a grasp on its significance. I hope you’re sitting down.

If you’ve been cruising this site you must be aware of the List of Steves. It’s an amusing poke at the ID/DI list of scientists who dispute evolution. At least,I thought it was just an amusing little diversion until I did a little investigation. I’m still rattled about what I uncovered, and I thought you should be among the first to know.

GOD IS A STEVE. HE endorses evolution! You’re no more blown away than I am, but it’s true. Look at this:

Numerologically, Steve is 19-20-5-22-5 = 71 = 8;

GOD is 7-15-4 = 26 = 8.

Holy Moley, I am absolutely speechless! Knock me over with a feather! Rattle me timbers! Hit me ‘side the heasd and call me Spacey! This is really earthshaking - no, COSMOS shaking! GOD SIGNS ON TO EVOLUTION! Holy shit (if you’ll pardon the expression), I am totally flabbergasted! I hope you are too!

Where do we go from here? I realize that you will probably need some time to regroup and rethink, and I totally understand. Frankly, I need some time too. Post up when you’ve digested the import of this discovery and are ready to discuss it - I’ll do the same.

If anyone else wants to assist in working through this challenging turn of events, please jump in - it’s serious and monumental and bedrock important. It’s not often we have a direct indication that God Himself is getting involved, and, when all is said and done, the only way this is going to be resolved is for Him to take an active part (if He is actually out there somewhere, and wants to get involved - although, frankly, I would hope He has better and more important things to do with His time.

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Common descent is not “highly contested” among scientists. It is, in fact, widely and strongly accepted as a firmly established part of evolutionary theory. (I say this with a clear understanding of some of the issues at the very base of the “evolutionary tree” concerning LGT, etc.)

Douglas’s believes that the Bible unequivocably implies that common descent could not possibly be correct.

The conclusion to draw from these two statements is that the Bible is wrong. Something’s got to give. Most people interpret the Bible differently than Douglas and don’t have this problem, but for Douglas it’s an unresolvable dilemma.

It is obvious that the beam in Douglas’s eye has become a thorn in his side. Unable to admit his shortcomings he tries to backpedal by accusing others of having reading comprehension problems when he calls fellw Christians ignorant of the bible, or even doubt that they are Christians. Now he is using the word hypocrite to describe the problem of others when they point out the obviousness in Douglas’s behavior.

Sigh, May God Have Mercy indeed. And may the beam be lifted from Douglas’s eye. What Douglas has documented may not be exactly what he believes he has. What I have done is that you are in error in knowing what God would and would not have done and thus are forced to reject the evidence of common descent. Evidence which is beyond any reasonable doubt. I have no problem with people claiming on faith that the earth is young, that on faith they do not believe in X. But when they start accusing others of being non-Christians, or hypocrites or ignorant of the bible it’s time to point out the immense beam in their eyes.

I will keep Douglas in my thoughts and prayers.

Jack Krebs Wrote:

The conclusion to draw from these two statements is that the Bible is wrong. Something’s got to give. Most people interpret the Bible differently than Douglas and don’t have this problem, but for Douglas it’s an unresolvable dilemma.

It does not have to be a dilemma as Douglas can chose to ignore the facts and accept his faith. It does become an issue though when he uses his faith interpretations to judge others. What gives in those instances is not pretty.

Douglas Wrote:

If evolution (common descent) is true, then God used a bloody and cruel, compassionless, method to form man in His image - think of the implications of that one for a bit. And, as you point out, if God exists, and is almighty, He could have created man using whatever method He chose - now why in the world would He choose blood, suffering, and death, multiplied, to create beings in His image, when He could just as well have created them instantaneously (as the Bible indicates that He did)?

Douglas paints a pretty horrible picture of nature here. If he really thinks of this when he considers evolution, then I understand why he so vehemently denies it.

The God of the Bible does not create by butchery.

I certainly agree. But what does butchery have to do with natural processes?

Douglas seems convinced that common descent is inconsistent with God’s character as he interprets it in the Bible. This leads him to completely ignore (or distort) the evidence of God’s character as it is revealed to us in nature. This is kind of like reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet without also seeing a live performance. You stand to miss a lot of details and subtle meanings.

Based on his comments, Douglas seems to think that if evolution has really happened, then the God of the Bible must not exist. In other words, if he’s wrong, his God disappears. If I were him, I’d be scared of evolution too.

Those of us Douglas calls “biblically ignorant” and “highly questionable” Christians are not faced with such a crisis. We don’t have to worry about our God disappearing because we choose to study both the Bible and nature before forming our ideas about God’s character. It is comforting to know that even if we turn out to be wrong about evolution, our God will still be there. We will have just misinterpreted the evidence we were given.

This is what frustrates me about Christians who have such an inflexible attitude towards evolution. They could gain a more complete understanding if they would only examine the additional evidence of God’s character revealed to us through nature. Unfortunately, they cling to their (mis)understandings of God based on their personal interpretations of the Bible and deny any contradictory evidence. The result is that IDists and Creationists are the best friends athiests ever had. Both proclaim that if evolution is true, God must not exist.

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Russell said, “…But then, the bible doesn’t really get into the how of creation at all, does it?””

Oh Russell, Russell, Russell, sure it does. I’m working from memory here, since my bible’s buried somewhere in my studio, but doesn’t the bible clearly say, “And God said …”? How much clearer do you want?

Thanks for the input on the “numerology” of God/Steve.

I haven’t been following this closely, as I’m still half-convinced that “Douglas” is joking, but earlier, he wrote to Pim, regarding whether common descent is seriously in doubt:

“Utter hogwash, and with all the various times you’ve posted at ARN, and then been banned, you should know that what you say is untrue.”

Then when Pim pointed out this is basically an ad hominem non-response, “Douglas” responded:

You don’t know what an “ad hominem” is, apparently. I offered a rebuttal, in the form of referencing a website, ARN (which you have frequented using several names, being banned under at least two of them, I believe), where there is quite direct and obvious EVIDENCE that what you claimed regarding common descent is utterly untrue.

If “Douglas” really intended to rebut, I suspect he would have been a little more specific than citing all of ARN. (Not unlike suggesting a search through the city dump to find my missing glasses… but I digress). And this stuff about “banning”… how is that responsive? What does that tell us about common descent or doubts about it? Is it possible that was just thrown in to cast aspersions on Pim? (Though, like being named on Nixon’s “enemy list”, I think it might have the opposite effect… but, again, I digress.)

Then:

Would you prefer I post a list of links to all the discussions there which quote from various scientists who have disagreements with common descent? I would think that would be unnecessary, because you yourself participated in many of those discussions.

Well, I don’t know about Pim, nor do I care how he does it (actually, I would prefer a more succinct way than a list of links to discussions, unless they’re really focused on this question) but I, for one, would really be interested in any information “Douglas” has about legitimate scientists that actually dispute common descent.

Douglas Wrote:

You don’t know what an “ad hominem” is, apparently. I offered a rebuttal, in the form of referencing a website, ARN (which you have frequented using several names, being banned under at least two of them, I believe), where there is quite direct and obvious EVIDENCE that what you claimed regarding common descent is utterly untrue.

Note the ad hominem nature of the argument. Rather than presenting an logical, reasoned argument about why common descent is ‘false’, Dougles resorts to suggesting that the evidence that I claimed on ARN is ‘utterly untrue’ because 1) I was banned from posting at ARN 2) I posted using several names. For those not suffering from a ‘beam in the eye’ problem, it is obvious that Douglas uses ad hominem arguments to ‘strenghten’ his case. But even his ARN quotes do little to support that my claims about common descent are ‘utterly untrue’. Not surpising since the evidence for common descent is vaste and mostly accepted by science (although some people reject it based on their faith based interpretation of religious doctrine).

Of course I do appreciate Douglas’s position in that an argument based on facts is unlikely going to be successful which may explain the ad hominem nature of his responses. I encourage Douglas rather than use ad hominems (ignorant, hypocrite, non-Christian etc) he tries to use logic and reason to explain why the vaste amounts of evidence support common descent should nevertheless be rejected.

So perhaps Douglas wants to take Russell’s suggestion and present evidence that legitimate scientists dispute common descent. Even Woese does not dispute common descent, he merely argues that there may have existed a pre-Darwinian period in which horizontal gene transfer makes reconstruction of a single tree quite complicated. But even Darwin did not limit common descent to a single root and in fact allowed for multiple roots.

Douglas presented a thread at ARN in which Mike Gene was arguing that Forrest and Gross interpretation of his ‘state of mind’ as ‘with happy excitement’ was incorrect. While Mike may argue that this was NOT his state of mind at that time, this has nothing to do with how Forrest and Gross may have interpreted Mike’s verbiage and choice of words as ‘with happy excitement’. Nothing here really to show that my statements about common descent are ‘utterly untrue’

Sigh