Evolution of Signaling in Artificial Agents

| 85 Comments

Some time ago I wrote about the evolution of novel strategies for cooperation in computer models of evolutionary processes involving artificial agents with very rudimentary sensory-motor capabilities. Now another such study has appeared showing evolution of the communication of meaningful signals among artificial agents. I was in the process of writing a PT post on it when I was beaten to it by Carl Zimmer. So I’ll only say that starting from scratch (random neural nets), robots who could sense their environments and move and emit light themselves, evolved in a ‘field’ in which there was a food source and a poison source, both of which also emitted light. Under those conditions the robots evolved to signal either the location of the food or the location of the poison. Especially in populations composed of ‘kin’ – genetically related robots – the evolution of signaling resulted in substantially more efficient food gathering and poison avoidance.

Zimmer’s post is here and the original paper is here. Read and enjoy.

RBH

85 Comments

Taking this from the paper:

In all experiments, we started with completely naive robots (i.e., with randomly generated genomes that corresponded to randomly wired neural controllers) with no information about how to move and identify the food and poison sources.

Isn’t this the same as saying that there was zero information at start? As in ZERO COMPLEX SPECIFIED INFORMATION? Isn’t that what random strings of data have according to Dembski?; zero CSI. Then where, oh where did the information in the robot genomes come from?

Sincerely, Paul

Fitness may increase, but I doubt there will be any increases in complexity or information. Depending on how you define complexity and information, of course.

Genetic algorthms have been around a long time, as arguments for NDE. Now, many decades later, they are still primitive.

I am not saying it means nothing. Just hold off on congratulating yourselves on knowing all about evolution.

Fitness may increase, but I doubt there will be any increases in complexity or information. Depending on how you define complexity and information, of course.

So you are basically acknowledging that evolution can take place without increases in complexity or information. Depending on how you define complexity and information, of course.

Glad you cleared things up.

Just hold off on congratulating yourselves on knowing all about evolution.

says the one who congratulates himself on his total lack of knowledge about anything.

in case anybody is wondering where this realpc troll came from, just do a google search on “RealPC evolution” to see where he usually posts and some of the “gems” he’s put up.

hilarious.

Depending on how you define complexity and information, of course.

Please, be my guest. Wild Bill Dembski doesn’t seem to be able to do it, maybe you can give it a shot.

Genetic algorthms have been around a long time, as arguments for NDE. Now, many decades later, they are still primitive.

Yes, but by any objective measurement they do manage to make complex information out of nothing without outside intervention, now don’t they?

“Dawkins Weasel” programs, for instance, annoyingly manage to create computer programs that write Shakesperian quotes all by themselves.

I am not saying it means nothing. Just hold off on congratulating yourselves on knowing all about evolution.

No, we congratulate ourselves on finding one more piece to the puzzle. A process we call “science”.

Another puzzle piece that any and all are free to use, even those in the ID camp, though they never seem to.

By any measure, information and complexity increased, however IDers are quick to point out that ‘they don’t know’ and likely won’t tell.

Why is it that ID revels in ignorance time after time when confronted with real science.

Why is it that ID revels in ignorance time after time when confronted with real science.

simple.

one: it’s easier.

two: it helps them maintain their delusions of reality just that much longer.

Re “Under those conditions the robots evolved to signal either the location of the food or the location of the poison.”

“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Henry

While a great number of things are explained by reductive theory (eg. galaxies, solar systems, etc), biology is somewhat novel. Is there a reductive theory for the natural evolution of intelligence? Is it a fluke, or is there a guiding being that led to this particular outcome?

Evolution might be acceptable, but without guidance, would it lead to the forms we have now? Is the general notion of complexity – especially that of complex forms – yet addressable by science. For a materialist there is a lot of research potential; for a spiritualist there is a lot of gaps for god.

I have no agenda, but I do think that all the realpc’s out there are tipping over the same problem: how does simplistic in/organic chemistry result in an average animal that could write what I have written?

M

realpc, you might stay on previous threads and answer questions posed to you before moving to a new thread. Folks might get the impression that you are dodging those questions.

how does simplistic in/organic chemistry result in an average animal that could write what I have written?

1) the standard “argument from incredulity”. 2) the standard sound of moving goalposts.

1) the “argument from incredulity”.

here’s my response, as i post to all IDists:

the IDist looks at a complex phenomenon, fails to grok how it came to be and gives up: “Goddidit”. simple. not!

consider the universe. it’s large and complex beyond all imagining. how did it come to be? (grok failure: Goddidit). The fundamental problem is that the hypothetical creator must be larger and more complex than the entire universe and everything in it, especially if it is capable of monitoring all in the universe and punishing/rewarding all privileged creatures in it.

I say again: larger and more complex than the entire universe. The ID/creationist ‘simple solution’ (cop-out from intellectual effort) requies a deity that is far more complex than the universe! How is this a solution of any kind?

surely if you are uncomfortable with the idea that we cannot adequately explain how the universe came into existence, you should also be uncomfortable about postulating something even more complex as an ‘explanation’. oh and what is the creator of the creator? (i’ll stop the infinite loop here.)

2) the standard sound of moving goalposts. “yeah, ok, so what about consciousness mr. smarty-pants?!” all i can say is “sad.”

Evolution might be acceptable, but without guidance, would it lead to the forms we have now?

This is not a question science can possibly answer, because it lies outside the boundaries that define science. It’s not possible to determine whether any guiding intelligence exists using the scientific method. It’s not possible to rerun biological history to see what happens. The most useful models say that evolution’s details are entirely contingent - just the right (or at least workable) thing happening at the right place at the right time. Could have been anything within a wide range.

Compare this, very roughly, to betting in a casino. The detailed outcomes are contingent; at any given time, anyone might win or lose. The overall odds are known; the house will win a known percentage in the long run. But on each spin, each roll, each deal, the outcome is not predictable. But this does not prevent the losers from blaming bad luck and the winners from thanking “intelligent guidance.”

RealPC2: While a great number of things are explained by reductive theory (eg. galaxies, solar systems, etc), biology is somewhat novel.

Can you back up this assertian?

RealPC2: Is there a reductive theory for the natural evolution of intelligence?

I can’t help you with one of those, but how much effort have YOU put into studying emergent properties of complex systems? Is science really so ignorant as you have painted it? Do you have a non-reductive theory of intelligence, other than goddidit, that scientists can use to interpret and investigate intelligence?

RealPC2: Is it a fluke, or is there a guiding being that led to this particular outcome? Evolution might be acceptable, but without guidance, would it lead to the forms we have now?

The form it has taken (I guess you mean Us) was a fluke. If you reran evolution from LUCA ~4gya, intelligence may or may not come about; but if it did it would most certainly not look like it does today, though it would not necessarily look radically different, either. It was a contingent process, not a deterministic one.

RealPC2: Is the general notion of complexity — especially that of complex forms — yet addressable by science.

What do you even mean by this? There is an entire science devoted to complexity and I am not refering to the claptrap of WAD. For a basic beginning try wikipedia and look up complexity or maybe systems theory. Many brilliant scientists have been thinking about this subject for a very long time.(And again, I am not refering to WAD.) Try learning something about the subject before you assume science knows nothing.

RealPC2: For a materialist there is a lot of research potential; for a spiritualist there is a lot of gaps for god.

OK. This is true, but it is also trivial. Furthermore, what happens as the research scientists learn more and more and the gaps continue to shrink more and more?

RealPC2: I have no agenda, but I do think that all the realpc’s out there are tipping over the same problem: how does simplistic in/organic chemistry result in an average animal that could write what I have written?

Have you ever sat in an organic chemistry class? The last thing the students think is that it is simplistic, trust me. What ever gave you the idea that chemistry was simple or only capable of simple things. But setting aside this simplicity/complexity thing, do you really have some super secret, dark, insider knowledge that says it is impossible to make intelligence from organic chemisty. A lot of people would like you to spill the beans as soon as possible.

Sincerely, Paul

“Dawkins Weasel” programs, for instance, annoyingly manage to create computer programs that write Shakesperian quotes all by themselves.

What exactly is that? Are you citing a computer trick as evidence for NDE?

Are you citing a computer trick as evidence for NDE?

He is citing an example of the capabilities of an algorithm. Evolution is an algorithm. The capabilities of algorithms are common in important respects. If you wish to dismiss as a “trick” everything algorithms commonly do that you find uncongenial with your requirements, fine. Nature has played a trick on us all.

What exactly is that? Are you citing a computer trick as evidence for NDE?

Yes. Specifically:

Yes, but by any objective measurement they do manage to make complex information out of nothing without outside intervention, now don’t they?

“Dawkins Weasel” programs, for instance, annoyingly manage to create computer programs that write Shakesperian quotes all by themselves.

And now there are three threads where Realpc has failed to back-up his assertions and answer his critics.

What exactly is that? Are you citing a computer trick as evidence for NDE?

As opposed to what? Your ignorance of science?

Depending on how you define complexity and information, of course.

Well, that seems a rather crucial thing to leave out of an argument based on “information theory,” doesn’t it?

Do you have a definition of these terms? If so, you have yet to describe it here, or stand by it. If not, you have no argument.

Just because the “conservation of energy” theory has repeatedly proven “true,” does not mean you can simply replace “energy” with “information” and still have a true theory.

And now there are three threads where Realpc has failed to back-up his assertions and answer his critics.

Everybody needs a hobby!

Just because the “conservation of energy” theory has repeatedly proven “true,” does not mean you can simply replace “energy” with “information” and still have a true theory.

On the other hand there is persistent and convincing empirical data that there exists, in parts of our space-time continuum a law of conservation of ignorance.

Realpc said: Are you citing a computer trick as evidence for NDE?

Yes, they are a direct refutation of the claim that intelligent results cannot be gotten out of nonintelligent agents.

I now brace myself for yor rendition of the Magic Pixie Dust Theory of intelligence, whereby intelligence is mysteriously transferred from people to the objects they manipulate.

Picking nits on Stevaroni’s comment 162812 -

Weasel programs write strings, not programs. In this sense, they are GA, not GP.

Saying GA/GP successfully create complex information “out of nothing without outside information” is an invitation to a front loading argument.

What makes this experiment a much stronger argument is that the factor of co-evolution is explicit. The typical GA example (of the Weasel type) does not make the phenotypes of the population part of the fitness function.

The typical GA example (of the Weasel type) does not make the phenotypes of the population part of the fitness function.

Your nit-pick is in general good. Though I must say that the purpose of the Weasel program is to prove that evolution (NS+RM) can increase information, which was Stevaroni’s point. The front-loading arguments would therefore be an instance of a moving goalpost.

The program is a vivid demonstration that the preservation of small changes in an evolving string of characters (or genes) can produce meaningful combinations (Dawkins)

No, Dawkins’ program did not produce meaningful combinations. The original string was “random,” or meaningless, and the final string just happened to mean something within our culture.

It could have gone from METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL to WDLMNLT DTJBKWIRZREZLMQCO P with exactly the same kind of process. The program doesn’t know the difference.

Yes, I understand Dawkins’ point – that shuffling plus selection works much faster than shuffling alone. Well of course, what else would we expect?

But Dawkins, probably without realizing it, makes a great unjustified leap by saying the program has produced something meaningful.

If there were no target string, and the program spontaneously generated “Hey Dawkins, you’re my creator!” for example, then I would have to acknowledge the accidental generation of meaning.

realpc Wrote:

But Dawkins, probably without realizing it, makes a great unjustified leap by saying the program has produced something meaningful.

If there were no target string, and the program spontaneously generated “Hey Dawkins, you’re my creator!” for example, then I would have to acknowledge the accidental generation of meaning.

You’re assuming our existence is meaningful. Essentially, you’re taking what actually happened (evolved consciousness capable of stupid disagreements like this) and saying that it was meant to be this way, that it was inevitable that it be this way, that we were designed to be this way. Well, no, it’s not, or at least it isn’t provably so. The idea that the world we experience is the goal of anything is unproven.

The world is what it is because of the processes that shaped it that way. Any meaning attached to it comes from the agents within it capable of assigning meaning, such as us.

Realpc said:

If there were no target string, and the program spontaneously generated “Hey Dawkins, you’re my creator!” for example, then I would have to acknowledge the accidental generation of meaning.

The point of the many EA’s is that nonintelligent entities can produce intelligent results, such as solving problems that in some cases the programmers themselves didn’t know the answer to (ie Steiner problems). This runs contrary to the dogma of IDer/creationists like you, who miss the entire point of the exercise by focusing in on Dawkins’ designation of a desired result. In most EA’s that arise in these discussions, that is not the case.

amazing.

is there any thread on this board where RealPC hasn’t managed to show his utter lack of knowledge of the subject matter?

AFAICT, he’s batting 1000.

anyone who can point to where anything he has said actualy exhibits even basic level understanding of the material?

really, am I missing something, or is this person just about as pure a troll as one can get?

David vun Kannon justifiably picks my nits thusly…

Picking nits on Stevaroni’s comment 162812 -

Weasel programs write strings, not programs. In this sense, they are GA, not GP.

Saying GA/GP successfully create complex information “out of nothing without outside information” is an invitation to a front loading argument.

Yes, you are correct. I misspoke (mistyped?) in my haste.

Dawkin’s Weasel programs are instructive because they illustrate the just how vast the leap in optimization speed is when you go from sheer random chance to random chance amplified by selection.

We’re talking 10 to the bazillions versus a few tens of thousand iterations.

Dawkin’s Weasel programs illustrate that a little positive feedback easily reduces the number of generations to get from A to B to realistic numbers.

But they don’t really model the process of evolution.

For that, you need Dawkin’s Weasel generators, which is what I meant to reference in the first place.

For RealPC, These are self-creating software programs that exactly mimic the actions of DNA evolution.

The grand-daddy of these programs was originally described in a research paper written in 1995, Genetic Evolution of Machine Language Software - Ronald L. Crepeau NCCOSC RDTE Division San Diego, CA 92152-5000 July 1995.

you can find it at

h t t p :// w w w.ron-crepeau.com/index/GEMS_Article. d o c (sorry, I have to break it up like that, for some reason I can’t post links)

I don’t know how much you know about low-level computer languages (assembly language), but it’s jaw dropping.

Assume, for the moment, a simple microcontroller, which runs a set of assembly language instructions.

Assembly language instructions are simple things, one byte wide, and each does exactly one discrete, specific action, typically moving data around from register to register, or doing simple bit-wise math.

A typical processor has about 60 instructions, the rest of the bit combinations often do nothing (no-ops).

Completely determinate. In many ways just like genes, small, discrete things that do just one little step, meaningless and insignificant on it’s own.

These instructions live in a “chromosome” a few hundred instructions long. The chromosome is seeded with a completely random block of instructions. Essentially gibberish.

A few hundred of these organisms “live” in their own block of memory. In any given generation, each has it’s small block of code run, and the organisms are then compared to a random criteria to see which was “fittest”.

The fittest is kept, duplicated a few hundred times, and each of those offspring has a randomly selected gene randomly mutated, and the loop is run again.

The selection criteria in the originally program was how closely a block of 11 bytes at one end of the memory space resembled the phrase “Hello World”, but it could have been (and has since been duplicated with) any and all manner of other random criteria.

Let’s be clear, this is a program that writes itself and converges on a randomly chosen target without any intervention at all other than the outside environment killing off those organisms that fit worst.

Just like mama nature does.

Truly stunning evidence.

We had a long conversation last summer about all this, check it out, it’s really frickin’ amazing.

h t t p :// w w w.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/06/evolution_of_co_2.html

RealPC wrote…

So Dawkins improved his little program by creating an algorithm-generator. And you are madly impressed.

and…

Designers are always required,

No, that’s the whole point of the thing, Crepeau’s program wrote itself. Designers are not always requited, nor is intelligence.

That’s big fish, regardless of your chafingly Dembski-esque efforts to idly dismiss it.

And I studied artificial intelligence, and never heard of anything convincing.

Study harder.

And start with the Crepeau paper.

What’s information? Creativity? Give a definition that actually means something.

They are philosophical concepts that cannot be defined precisely. Everyone thinks the meanings are obvious, but they cannot state them logically.

There are things we can do, many others we cannot. Giving precise logical definitions of words like creativity, information, love, evolution, for example, is beyond our ability.

Giving precise logical definitions of words like creativity, information, love, evolution, for example, is beyond our ability.

But of course this is not true. We can easily give precise logical definitions of all these terms. What is beyond our ability is to get people to agree with any definition that offends their preconceptions.

“Information” has been given several different precise logical definitions, each definition serving a somewhat different purpose. But we must recognize that unless we provide a definition and specify that this is the definition we are using, we aren’t going to communicate clearly. The position you take, of throwing up your hands and denying any possibility of defining these terms, while still insisting that evolution is not creative and adds no information, is not honest. You could not make this claim without some notion of what these concepts mean; you won’t pin down the meaning you are using because doing so makes the goalposts so much more difficult to move.

They are philosophical concepts that cannot be defined precisely.

Wrong, twice. Ever heard of information theory?

Everyone thinks the meanings are obvious, but they cannot state them logically.

Wrong, twice. Speak for yourself; The meanings are not obvious, but they can be stated logically.

In terms of your informal usages of the term, which is in general not objectionable unless you start making assertions which hinge on its definition, I think MarkP’s points are apt on how it applies to GAs.

while still insisting that evolution is not creative and adds no information

I believe that evolution is creative and adds information. I think I have stated this repeatedly.

Ever heard of information theory?

We can define information within a restricted context. But when talking about things like biological or cultural evolution, the context is unrestricted.

We can define information within a restricted context. But when talking about things like biological or cultural evolution, the context is unrestricted.

Okay, obviously you do know nothing about information theory. Information is well-defined physically. Hint: the most universal definition relates to entropy, as in, each increase in entropy is an increase in information.

And when we’re talking about biological evolution the context is as restricted as in any other physical system. Subsets of information are important as well, however most information increases during biological evolution that we care about are quite well understood. In cultural evolution, yes, the relevant information would be difficult to define.

I would also say that love and creativity cannot be given precise definitions, if by that we assume that we mean “precese and meaningful” definitions. True, I can define love as grains of sand quite precisely, but I can’t define love precisely in a meaningful sense. Information and evolution, on the other hand, are far more amenable to definition.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s39o

realpc Wrote:

I believe that evolution is creative and adds information. I think I have stated this repeatedly.

Actually, no you haven’t. What you did is insinuate that the algorithm of evolution (as demonstrated by GAs) cannot innovate.

E.g., stuff you’ve said:

Fitness may increase, but I doubt there will be any increases in complexity or information.

Evolution might be acceptable, but without guidance, would it lead to the forms we have now? Is the general notion of complexity — especially that of complex forms — yet addressable by science.

the routines can organize themselves into amazingly complex and creative programs.

No, nothing described here has been amazingly complex. And I studied artificial intelligence, and never heard of anything convincing. Designers are always required, ultimately, and machine intelligence is always very limited.

They’re [the Dawkins programs] examples, at least, of information gain, which you claimed couldn’t happen.

What information is gained?

I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt here (the quotes above are without context), so go on and explain the contradiction. In what meaningful sense is evolution creative in which GAs are not creative?

Realpc said: A message contains no information if it is entirely predictable, or if it’s entirely unpredictable (random). So one way to define information is as a message where the probably is somewhere between 1 and 0. But this can be interpreted in various ways. The probability of a coin landing heads is between 1 and 0, but the probability of landing heads OR tails is 1.

Should we really be taking seriously someone who could write the above? “Probably” [sic] of what?! The rest is similarly confused. It sounds like something written by a 10-year-old, copying random phrases from an introductory probability text he clearly doesn’t understand.

Obviously this guy is making it up as he goes.

As information increases, entropy decreases. But you have to decide what you mean by entropy. If high entropy means low predictability (high randomness), then high information would mean high predictabilty. Which of course it doesn’t.

In information theory, the quantity of information carried by a message increases as the set of possible states selected from by the message increases.

A coin toss has only two possible outcomes. If the coin evolves so that it has three sides instead of two, then maybe we can say the complexity of the system has increased.

But measuring complexity really has to be subjective. If I compare a fruit fly to a zebra, for example, I feel that the zebra is much more complex. But how do you quantify that?

Ignoring the insults, what I am trying to express is the idea (maybe hard to grasp for someone as literal-minded as MarkP) that it can be hard to quantify information in complex contexts. Human language and culture, or biological evolution, for example.

You are claiming simple computer programs can lead to an increase in information, and assuming we can apply the same measures to real life. How do we measure the complexity of a species, so as to compare it to others?

…what I am trying to express is the idea…that it can be hard to quantify information in complex contexts.

You’ve expressed this idea quite well, and repeatedly, thank you. And we’re quite aware of this fact. And we’ve been trying to express to you that your argument is completely invalid unless, and until, you manage to define and quantify “information.” Bleating about how “hard” that is doesn’t reinforce any of your arguments; it only makes you sound like one of those talking Barbie dolls.

Just let us know when you manage it, okay? Then – and only then – we can do the math and see whether this argument of yours has any substance. Until then, it’s nothing but brown air.

Science is as literal-minded as it gets. Want to be flowery and vague, the poetry room is down the hall.

As information increases, entropy decreases. But you have to decide what you mean by entropy.

OK, the only thing you need is an education, and to quit blithering on about things you understand not at all, moron.

Where’d you learn this BS, from the IDists, the creationists, or from some other pig-ignorant pseudo-scientists? Anyway, it’s obvious that you’re incapable of an intelligent discussion of any of these matters.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/35s

Science is as literal-minded as it gets

MarkP,

Progress in science depends on intuition and philosophical speculation. The ID controversy hinges on definitions of information and complexity, which is a philosophical problem. Once terms have been defined and a problem has been clearly stated, data can be collected and analysed. Literal-mindedness is just not enough.

I am skeptical that we humans will ever be able to completely define the system of which we are components. In a way, that means I’m an agnostic. (However, I can still have opinions based on what limited data is available, including personal experience.)

I would rather not call anti-Darwinism Intelligent Design, actually, because ID does not sound agnostic. It sounds like it’s claiming to know more than it could possibly know.

I would prefer to say that Darwinism (or neo-Darwinism, whatever you prefer) has not been demonstrated, and can never be demonstrated. It is neither falsifiable nor verifiable.

The Darwinist claim is that ONLY chance and selection are required to create complex information, and that GAs create complex information using only chance and selection. Proving that the origin of new species does not require any other causal factors.

I do not think that settles the question. Whatever is created by GAs is on a completely different level from DNA, for one thing. It’s a difference of quality, not just quantity.

Progress in science depends on intuition and philosophical speculation.

Progress in science consists ENTIRELY of, and is measured by, literal, physical, measurable, repeatable results. “Intuition and philosophical speculation” are worthwhile only insofar as they lead to such results. No literal results, no progress.

…In a way, that means I’m an agnostic.

I thought you said you were Catholic. Of course, since you completely ignore the Catholic Church’s well-reasoned position on evolution, and science in general, that previous statement was probably meaningless.

I would prefer to say that Darwinism (or neo-Darwinism, whatever you prefer) has not been demonstrated, and can never be demonstrated. It is neither falsifiable nor verifiable.

What you “prefer to say” is irrelevent. Your statement is just plain false, and the fact that you make it proves that you have no clue what you are talking about. Stop pretending that pseudo-mystical know-nothingism is an enlightened position, and go back to bed.

Progress in science depends on intuition and philosophical speculation.

What institute awarded you with a PhD for thinking like this?

The ID controversy hinges on definitions of information and complexity, which is a philosophical problem.

No, the ID controversy hinges on its proponents doing anything of scientific worth.

Incidentally, insofar as the “theory” of ID is built on top of irreducible complexity, ID does hinge on definitions of information and complexity. If the ID movement was interested in doing science, it would provide formal definitions for these terms and others so that it could make testable predictions; but of course, it’s not, and they haven’t. Instead, ID proponents flail about using terms that have no meaning, which allows them to move the goalpost as soon as their ideas are refuted. Much like you, realpc, as you have flailed around with the term “information”.

What institute awarded you with a PhD for thinking like this?

the imaginary one that awarded him his parapsychology degree.

I’ve got it!

RPC is really Dr. Peter Venkman!

bust any ghosts lately, doc?

Progress in science consists ENTIRELY of, and is measured by, literal, physical, measurable, repeatable results. “Intuition and philosophical speculation” are worthwhile only insofar as they lead to such results. No literal results, no progress.

Yes, there have to be measurable results, to answer the questions. But there would be no questions without philosophical speculation.

…In a way, that means I’m an agnostic. I thought you said you were Catholic.

A perfect example of stereotype-induced hallucination! In your stereotype, anyone who not a neo-Darwinist must be a Catholic! (or right-wing Christian fundamentalist).

I am not even Christian. Hope that puts a dent in your stereotype.

But there would be no questions without philosophical speculation.

but of course! Ray Stanz and Egon Spengler never would have created the ghost-trap unless there was a philosophic debate as to the existence of ghosts to begin with!

RPC working on his grad stundent thesis:

“All right, I’m gonna turn over the next card. Concentrate… I want you to tell me what you think it is.”

Realpc, Master of the Obvious, opined thusly:

…there would be no questions without philosophical speculation

There would be no questions without speculation period, regardless of what sort it is. Speculation with undefined terms is not philosophical speculation, it is mere noise. As long as the terms “complexity” and “information” are undefined, they can be replaced with “bla bla bla” with no loss of meaning. That applies to almost every post you’ve made.

I would rather not call anti-Darwinism Intelligent Design, actually, because ID does not sound agnostic. It sounds like it’s claiming to know more than it could possibly know.

It doesn’t just sound that way, it is that way, since the IDers have never demonstrated any way to distinguish actual design from apparent design. It is far from agnostic.

Congratulations, you finally got something right, and in the process helped demonstrate that random shuffling of words will eventually produce something of value.

Congratulations, you finally got something right, and in the process helped demonstrate that random shuffling of words will eventually produce something of value.

like a broken clock, that even still can be essentially correct twice per day.

the IDers have never demonstrated any way to distinguish actual design from apparent design.

On the contrary, they have indeed. They demonstrate it constantly. They use the traditional Religious Method - they SAY so! They point to one thing and say it’s actual, and point to something else and say it’s apparent, and thus so it is. And when two IDers disagree about whether something is actual or only apparent, they resolve this conflict using another part of the Religious Method - they have a schism, whereby each side SAYS they possess Truth, and the other side wallows in Error.

Your blind spot is, you’re looking for a distinction based on the merits of the object. But this is looking in the wrong direction. Objects exist in reality, but design exists in the imagination, in the perception. This is where distinctions must be drawn.

I stand corrected.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on February 24, 2007 10:57 PM.

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