ID Exposed: Bill O’Reilly: Right for once, admits that ID is religious

| 79 Comments

flunked.jpgThe ID crowd was all giddy about Ben Stein appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show, little did they know that Bill would introduce ID as follows:

“intelligent design, that is, a deity created life”

Seems that Bill and Ben never got the Discovery Institute’s talking points. I am almost starting to accept the hypothesis that Ben Stein is doing this all to expose ID with “Expelled”. Surely this belongs in the category of humor.

79 Comments

Well they’re just fighting for free speech, you know. Taxpayer-subsidized religious free speech. It’s the least we could do for a concept which has never been able to compete in the marketplace of ideas. How can a concept like ID be free when it’s completely unable to defend itself against empirically-based concepts?

I mean be fair, do you want it to die scientifically just because it has no evidence in favor of it? The First Amendment guarantees interference of religion in government, and thus subsidies for religious ideas in the scientific sphere, doesn’t it?

I think they’re going back to an older notion of “freedom”: If you are in control, then you are free (the aristocrats were proud to be free, as their serfs were in bondage), and who cares about the loss of freedom to others that entails?

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

ID means that a deity created life?

That means that ID has no complaint with evolutionary biology, then.

After all, evolutionary biology is just about the relationships between different forms that life takes.

Evolutionary biology is in the same situation as linguistics is. Linguistics may demonstrate that French and Spanish have a common ancestor in Latin, but have practically no idea about the first human language.

What would it be like, though, if some sort of language-ID advocate would insist on teaching in K-12 languages classes that “a deity created language”? Or, maybe they would insist merely that the language classes “teach the controversy”?

But, that is a digression. We should be happy that ID has admitted that there is no problem with evolutionary biology.

Ben Stein’s initials sum it up quite nicely…dontcha think?

(sigh)

What would it be like, though, if some sort of language-ID advocate would insist on teaching in K-12 languages classes that “a deity created language”?

It’d likely involve some Babel-ing.

TomS Wrote:

if some sort of language-ID advocate would insist on teaching in K-12 languages classes that “a deity created language”?

You mean they didn’t? :-)

If the ID hypothesis is true, it could indeed plausibly and rationally FOLLOW from the hypothesis that “a deity created life.”

However, the religious claim “a deity created life” is NOT required, NOT pre-assumed, and NOT stated at any point of the 3-point ID hypothesis as given in Dr. William Dembski’s book Intelligent Design (1999 IVP).

Hence, ID is not religious. Clear as glass, and most rational.

You guys want it to be “religious”, of course, because you have a religion of your own (it’s called evolution), you’ve got a lot of emotional devotion invested in it, and you don’t want to see it get undermined in the public mind by having to deal with a scientific competitor like ID.

But that don’t change the facts. Philosophical support for theistic claims can FOLLOW from ID (just like atheism can philsophically FOLLOW from evolution), but ID is clearly NOT religious.

FL

P.S. People seem to be getting the message that ID is not religious and not creationism, and they ARE speaking up. Read this letter for example, you will enjoy it immensely:

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?i[…]111&src=

:)

People seem to be getting the message that ID is not religious and not creationism, and they ARE speaking up. Read this letter for example, you will enjoy it immensely

Oh, wow, some unknown guy wrote to a paper and claimed that ID is not creationism, without considering the evidence that indeed ID is creationism or presenting any evidence at all. Very convincing.

FL Wrote:

However, the religious claim “a deity created life” is NOT required, NOT pre-assumed, and NOT stated at any point of the 3-point ID hypothesis as given in Dr. William Dembski’s book Intelligent Design (1999 IVP).

It’s implied since what remains after regularity and chance processes have been eliminated is either the empty set, or reflects our ignorance or is the ‘supernatural’. No wonder ID has been trying to redefine intelligence as supernatural (wink wink).

So pick your option:

1. ID is tautologically false 2. ID is scientifically infertile 3. ID is religious

None of the three logical choices are very appealing really.

FL, Young-Earth Disciple of the Deceiver-Designer, spake thusly:

If the ID hypothesis is true, it could indeed plausibly and rationally FOLLOW from the hypothesis that “a deity created life.”

That’s an ASSUMPTION, not a “hypothesis.” And the fact that we have to make that assumption at the start, in order for the “ID hypothesis” to “follow,” only proves that ID has no grounding at all unless we make that assumption. If we can’t prove a designer unless, and until, we assume a designer, then for all practical purposes, we can’t prove a designer.

…because you have a religion of your own (it’s called evolution)…

Yet more blatant dishonesty from a guy whose God allegedly created a whole Universe full of systematically deceiving evidence. (Did someone say “moral relativism?”)

FL, nice use of an editorial to prove what? That some guy in Naperville, IL thinks intelligent design is scientific?

Maybe “Philosophical support for theistic claims can FOLLOW from ID,” because St. Thomas Aquinas was the first to advance an ID/Teleological argument for the proof of God. This has long been debunked in philosophy as bad logic (most notably by devout believer and philosopher Immanuel Kant).

Maybe your argument should be that the designer designed evolutionary mechanisms, then your “theory” will hold water.

FL lied: “ID is not religious.”

Oops - hit ENTER by accident - but it looks good by itself, doesn’t it? Anyway:

Here’s what a few other folks have to say about that, FL - I would appreciate your comment on the following:

“We have concluded that (intelligent design) is not [science], and moreover that (intelligent design) cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.” – Federal Judge John Jones, Harrisburg, PA, December 20, 2005.

“Evolution is a cornerstone of modern biology” and “Intelligent design is not a scientific theory. I don’t regard intelligent design as a scientific topic.” - White House science advisor John H. Marburger III

“Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit, so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” - Philip Johnson, one of the originators of the intelligent-design movement, on a Christian radio talk show in 2003

“This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science. It’s about religion.” Philip Johnson, 1996

“Christ is never an addendum to a scientific theory but always a completion.” - William Dembski, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, from his book, “Intelligent Design,” page 207

If the ID hypothesis is true, it could indeed plausibly and rationally FOLLOW from the hypothesis that “a deity created life.”

You mean, if it turned out that an unknown entity working in unknown ways toward unknown purposes was truely behind life (And how would anybody find that out, moron? Furthermore, how would you know that it didn’t use MET methods to make life, moron?), then it might follow that a deity created life?

Gee, since that kind of deity is exactly the sort that Dembski wants, why do you suppose he makes that sort of entity into his “designer”? IOW, can you think at all, FL?

However, the religious claim “a deity created life” is NOT required, NOT pre-assumed, and NOT stated at any point of the 3-point ID hypothesis as given in Dr. William Dembski’s book Intelligent Design (1999 IVP).

So he lied there, moron.

“The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.”

–William Dembski

www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/09/science-friday.html#comment-48043

We repeatedly make the point that Dembski and the rest of you lie constantly. If you can come up with any reason we shouldn’t accept this as the truth, why don’t you for once come up with something?

Hence, ID is not religious. Clear as glass, and most rational.

Clear to stupid believers of lying pseudoscientists.

You guys want it to be “religious”, of course, because you have a religion of your own (it’s called evolution),

The boy can belt out the BS fed to him by his masters. Good dog.

you’ve got a lot of emotional devotion invested in it,

Yes, funny that, we value the freedoms promised to us, and which are threatened by the ones who have no honesty, no science, and no decency.

and you don’t want to see it get undermined in the public mind by having to deal with a scientific competitor like ID.

The dolt who has never come up with a single reason why we should treat ID as a “scientific competitor” just yammers on that it in fact is.

But that don’t change the facts. Philosophical support for theistic claims can FOLLOW from ID (just like atheism can philsophically FOLLOW from evolution),

Small-time idiot, support for theistic claims can FOLLOW from the evidence if honest evidence is provided that backs up that claim. But if it’s just a lot of manipulation and distortion of the process of gathering and interpreting evidence with an eye to affirming your desperately-held and false beliefs, then it’s just lies.

but ID is clearly NOT religious.

Gee, you managed not to support a single one of your claims. But you did obey your masters. Again, good ID dog.

FL

P.S. People seem to be getting the message that ID is not religious and not creationism, and they ARE speaking up.

You mean spokesmen like these?

O’REILLY: Okay, do you think thought that people who believe in creationism are being persecuted in America?

STEIN: There’s no doubt about it. We have lots and lots of evidence of it in the movie. And you know Einstein worked within the framework of believing there was a God. Newton worked within the framework of believing there was a God. For gosh sakes Darwin worked within the framework of believing there was a God. And yet, somehow, today you’re not allowed to believe it. Why can’t we have as much freedom as Darwin had?

Here you guys just pick up and regurgitate the lies of your stupid masters, then they turn around and pointedly cut the ground out from under your dishonest claims. Granting that truth and honesty mean nothing to you, FL, aren’t you at least tired of telling lies that your own side reveals to be lies?

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

As an ID’er I do believe that there is an intelligent designing force (ID) that produced both the universe and the biological substructures in question. I am not however religiously devoted to this “God-force” (for it it just another force of nature). I am not religiously devoted to the electromagenetic forces or the nuclear strong or nuclear weak forces either. Nor am I religiously devoted to Jesus, budhha, Mohammed, Kirshna, Confucious or any other religious icons. Nor am I religiously devoted to the Bible the Quran or any other “holy book” of any kind. I am now and have always been an anti-dogmatist. As far as I can see, the fact that I am an ID theorist does not mean that I am “religious” (as that term is understood in our culture). “Religion” seems to involve some kind of passionate interest in ancient history that I completely lack. If my interest in the God-force or the nuclear strong force makes me “religious” then by such definitions I am indeed “religious,” but I would question the legitimacy of such definitions.

William: you’ve told us what you DON’T believe; but you haven’t told us what you DO believe, or what, in all your beliefs, makes you an “ID theorist.” Are you referring to the mere fact that you believe in a Creator(s)? That alone does hot make you an “IDer” as that word is commonly used. In the public discourse (and in courts), an “IDer” (a.k.a. “creationist”) is someone who not only believes in a Creator/Designer, but also believes (or claims to believe) that his belief can and should be treated as “science,” while not doing any actual scientific work to prove his claims.

I, too, believe in at least one Creator, but I am not an “IDer” or “creationist,” for the simple reason that I do not claim that any part of my god-belief is scientifically proven or provable, nor do I resort to my god-belief to explain any material phenomenon.

PS: William, you do have one thing in common with other “ID theorists:” you don’t attempt to describe any actual “theory” of ID. In the interests of presuming innocence, however, I won’t use that snippet of evidence alone to damn you as an “IDjit.”

William wrote:

“…have always been an anti-dogmatist. As far as I can see, the fact that I am an ID theorist does not mean that I am “religious”…”

Well then, if your are an “ID theorist” then you must have a theory of ID, right? So you have a hypothesis that has been tested many times and has never been falsified, right? So you have evidence for this “theory” and it explains all of the observations better than any alternative, right? I mean, after all, we know you are not “dogmatic” because you said so, right? So your views are based on evidence, right? So let’s have it, what is the scientific “theory” of ID? What evidence suppoerts it? Where is this evidence published? Why do you think that it has better expalanatory power than MET? What is this mysterious force if it is not God? What is the evidence for this force (hint: saying that something couldn’t be produced by natural forces is not evidence for any specific force)?

Anyway, just because ID doesn’t really have to be religious doesn’t mean that it isn’t. Just because not every single person who claims to be an ID supporter is not religious doesn’t mean that most are not religious. Just because some people may not have religious motivations for their belief in ID doesn’t mean that most do not. The history of the ID movement is well documented. If you don’t want to be associated with that history, then don’t use the same terms they do. Their arguments are tainted, their true motivation is obvious and they have failed miserably in the legal department. At least pick two other letters to set your views apart. You are flirting with a devil who pretends to be Jesus. The Bible warns about stuff like that, even if you don’t believe in the Bible.

Compare and contrast:

FL:

… ID is not religious. …

Dr. William Dembski:

Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.

” So pick your option: 1. ID is tautologically false 2. ID is scientifically infertile 3. ID is religious. None of the three logical choices are very appealing really.”

- nor are they mutually exclusive - I chose 4. all of the above

William Brookfield Wrote:

These papers have actually been available for more than a month now. What is missing is the rapid responses from ID critics that usually follow from William Dembski’s publications.

Brookfield’s blog

Ironic isn’t it…

I like the way that they discuss the “two” opinions as if there was only one bogus intelligent design alternative. In science class we aren’t in the business of teaching nonsense as science, and definitely not in the business of teaching religion as science especially the “one” other religious opinion that these guys want to teach. How pathetic can anyone get? They provide more evidence for why we need a separation between church and state in that short talk than someone could spend an entire class discussing.

I noticed that the propagandists at the Church of Discovery Institute have expunged from their postings yesterday’s breathless announcement of Ben Stein appearing with Blabbermouth Bill.

What a bunch of clowns.

Maybe your argument should be that the designer designed evolutionary mechanisms, then your “theory” will hold water.

that would be like putting a paper cup inside of a plastic glass to hold water.

just to make it clear, it’s not only NOT a theory, it’s completely unnecessary even conceptually.

but, if a religioso can make themselves happy being a theistic evolutionist, at least it keeps them out of the way.

Dembski and Behe et al. have pretty much dropped the “designer is a big secret” from ID. They’ve been called on it so many times, seems like a good idea.

Even if you claim intelligent aliens or the Galactic supercomputer or Xenu and his ghost gang, the problem becomes, who made them?

Maybe your argument should be that the designer designed evolutionary mechanisms, then your “theory” will hold water.

I don’t have a problem with that. Much more consistent with the data than ID or creationism. IMO, makes a deity look more omniscient rather than some guy who kludges things up and then poofs a lot of miracles to fix them.

From the letter in the Daily Herald:

Intelligent design doesn’t depend on any biblical-type account of creation, attempt to identify the intelligent cause responsible for design, or describe the sequence of events by which the intelligence acted.

And why not?? Wouldn’t any other scientific program be interested in those things?

Hi Raging Bee,

Raging Bee said,

William: you’ve told us what you DON’T believe; but you haven’t told us what you DO believe, or what, in all your beliefs, makes you an “ID theorist.”

I guess I should have said “As an ID’er I do believe that there is an intelligent designing force (ID) that produced both the universe and the biological substructures in question – and that I find the scientific evidence for ID in both cases (biological and cosmological) to be compelling (at this time).

I wondered wtf “ICON-RIDS” was…

http://icon-rids.blogspot.com/

worse than UD.

no wait, that’s not possible.

as bad as.

just so you all know, you’re debating a complete idiot.

even conservapedia notes:

ICON-RIDS From Conservapedia Jump to: navigation, search

ICON-RIDS is an acronym for the International Coalition of Non-Religious ID Scientists & Scholars. It was founded by William Brookfield with the intent of stopping the classification of Intelligent Design as a religious enterprise so that it can be classified as science.

sorry, will, but to be classified as science, it actually has to, you know, DO science.

” So pick your option: 1. ID is tautologically false 2. ID is scientifically infertile 3. ID is religious. None of the three logical choices are very appealing really.”

- nor are they mutually exclusive - I chose 4. all of the above

Wouldn’t ID have to actually say something before it could be tautological anything? :p

Henry

…and that I find the scientific evidence for ID in both cases (biological and cosmological) to be compelling (at this time).

Okay, so what IS that evidence? And where are the peer-reviewed publications and other work proving ID and disproving evolution?

Wait, let’s go back a few steps…what, exactly, is the testable hypothesis that constitutes what you call “ID theory?”

I guess I should have said “As an ID’er I do believe that there is an intelligent designing force (ID) that produced both the universe and the biological substructures in question – and that I find the scientific evidence for ID in both cases (biological and cosmological) to be compelling (at this time).

Can you explain to us how ID defines Design and how you believe it has made its case in a compelling manner?

With regard to theoretical bioinformatics…

The-what-now?

…I am arguing that we can legitimately posit Kolomogorov complexity as having two different forms as differentiated by source and function.

I was gonna correct you and point out that Kolmogorov complexity is clearly defined and it has nothing to say about function. But then I noted that you’re talking about Kolomogorov complexity, which I’ve never heard of.

…#1. Non-specific Non-informational (m)K-complexity and #2. Specified Informational (i)K-complexity.

Awesome. Can you give rigorous definitions of these and how they apply to biological systems?

Of course I have numerous ID based theories. I also have a philosophy of science-building and civilization-building that includes treating all people with respect at all times. With this in mind I did not appreciate Bill O’reilly refering to certain people disrespectfully as “pin heads.”

I, like you, am a flaming liberal who espouses that progressive idea. However in my case it’s trumped by another philosophy once espoused by a holy man, namely that you can know a tree by its fruit.

Also, I notice that you slyly deflect the simple request for a theory of ID and offer instead an “ID based theory”, which must refer to some concept that I’m having trouble extracting from the phrase.

And looking at the thing you described with it doesn’t help me parse it, because what you offered isn’t a theory of any sort whatsoever – “ID based” or otherwise – but rather a hopeful monster that you wish you could use to prove somebody did something (or whatever the theory of ID would say if there were a theory of ID).

With regard to theoretical bioinformatics I am arguing that we can legitimately posit Kolomogorov complexity as having two different forms, as differentiated by source and function.

I’m guessing that Kolmogorov [sic] complexity is something that you don’t know diddly about, since it doesn’t and cannot say anything about the source of what it measures.

#1. Non-specific Non-informational (m)K-complexity and #2. Specified Informational (i)K-complexity. Random mutation, random gene duplication, random genetic drift, random lateral gene transferences and “natural selection” that destroys (randomizes) the unfit, all produce (m)K-complexity but not informational (i)K-complexity. The production of informational K-complexity (information with all redundancy removed) requires intelligent design. Informational (i)K-complexity always serves as a component of a larger informational system. The size of such information systems produce what is know as “combinatorial explosion” and prohibits the construction of any to these systems “by chance.” Moreover, any claim that (m)K-complexity is “order” or “information” is a case of what is known as “the gamblers fallacy.”

OK, so you’ve taken Dembski’s vacuous notion of CSI and thrown in a big misspelled word. There’s still no theory in there.

Further discussions of (m)K-complexity and (i)K-complexity can be found at my blog and at ISCID

If I see you post something that suggests I’d find something there beyond more hand waving, I might be bothered to look.

Meanwhile you might want to read the logs of talk.origins, where we’ve wasted a couple of years of our lives trying to educate another True Believer about what you actually can and can’t do with Kolmogorov complexity.

(No, I don’t claim to be an expert on the topic. But I know enough about it that I’m not going to be fooled by someone who doesn’t know the first thing about it. You’ll have to pick another big hard-to-spell word and hope no one here knows anything about it; that’s the stuff ID theories are made of.)

William, you earlier claimed to treat everyone with respect. However, I perceive that you are not treating the readers of PT with intellectual honesty, and therefore you are not treating us with respect. IOW, your posts seem design to obfuscate rather than enlighten.

William Brookfield, ICON-RIDS Wrote:

… Given say, the case of the peppered moth. According to the traditional story, the industrial revolution soot-ed (darkened) the landscape and subsequently bumped and shifted the survivable niche for peppered moths.

What do you mean, “bumped”? There is an awful lot more to it than that, and sicne it was a gradual process rather than a sudden one, how can the word “bumped” in any way be appropriate?

The result was that lighter moths were being decimated(randomized).

They were not being randomised, they were being eaten by birds more often than their darker relatives. This is a distinctly non-random process.

You seem to be missing one of the central points of NS, too. Every species known produces more offspring in a generation than the available resources are able to sustain. For peppered moths, this means that, every year, regardless of tree-trunk colour, thousands or millions of moths will die. NS is a process by which the survivors are selected, based n their inherant, heritable traits.

The darkening of the tree trunks did not mean that more moths died than in preceding decades - it meant that the lighter coloured moths were selectively preyed upon.

luckily, the species included a darker variation that could indeed survive in the new environment.

You attribute this to luck, rather than design? But I thought you were an adherent of ID? Oh, maybe you are conceding that NS has been amply demonstrated to occur.

Were this not the case the species could have been destroyed(randomized).

Again, this would not have been random. A species that is unable to survive will go extinct.

The new environment was a blow from which the species was (in this case) able to recover.

No, it wasn’t. It didn’t happen overnight, it took 2 or 3 decades. Within this time, the moth population gradually adapted.

The “blow” or “bump” could however, have been harder. The earth could have been hit with an asteroid, in which case the peppered moth species would need a variant that was not darker but perhaps instead asbestos-like and fireproof.

With respect, sir, you are talking bollocks.

An asteroid impact will cause global cooling. This is well-documented.

The buffeting that species take from a changing environment is not an evolutionary positive but is instead a dangerous devolutionary negative.

Your positive and negative terminology is entirely superfluous. We’re talking about biological entities here, not electricity. IOW, stuff happens. Deal with it.

While natural selective destruction can indeed ruthlessly “specify” a survivable or optimum variant from a pre-existing probabilistic genetic “library,”

No, not just “can”, it always does. It is not always the most significant mechanism of evolution. But, hey, you’ve read about modern evolutionary theory (MET), haven’t you, so you already know that, right?

it is no position, given its function, to produce new species nor their attendant variational options (new genetic libraries).

Oh, maybe you haven’t actually got the slightest clue what you’re talking about after all.

NS acts on existing variation.

RM is one of several mechanisms by which variation arises.

“Filtration” is not the same as “origination.”

You’re right. They’re spelt differently. Now, what does this have to do with NS?

“Origination” requires the development of new specifications not the mere filtration of old specifications (old genetic libraries).

But a species doesn’t have a manual. There is no single specification. Each species is a collection of many individuals, all of which differ from one another.

Given that any particular species contains much inherent variation, where does your concept of specification have any relevance at all?

Additionally, small changes in the sequence or timing of the expression of the genes involved in embryonic patterning can lead to large changes in morphology. Where does that leave your “specification”?

But a species doesn’t have a manual. There is no single specification. Each species is a collection of many individuals, all of which differ from one another.

Nigel, always a pleasure. I would like to add something to your observation that it is the whole populations collected genome that express the selected traits.

We could direct Brookfield to Dawkins description of information as regards biology. Besides clearly describing the issues Brookfield has so much trouble with (based on Shannon information, of course!) he ends with an observation on the genome as a learning mechanism:

… But it still remains true that natural selection is a narrowing down from an initially wider field of possibilities, including mostly unsuccessful ones, to a narrower field of successful ones. This is analogous to the definition of information with which we began: information is what enables the narrowing down from prior uncertainty (the initial range of possibilities) to later certainty (the “successful” choice among the prior probabilities). According to this analogy, natural selection is by definition a process whereby information is fed into the gene pool of the next generation.

If natural selection feeds information into gene pools, what is the information about? It is about how to survive. Strictly it is about how to survive and reproduce, in the conditions that prevailed when previous generations were alive.

To the extent that present day conditions are different from ancestral conditions, the ancestral genetic advice will be wrong. In extreme cases, the species may then go extinct.

To the extent that conditions for the present generation are not too different from conditions for past generations, the information fed into present-day genomes from past generations is helpful information.

Information from the ancestral past can be seen as a manual for surviving in the present: a family bible of ancestral “advice” on how to survive today. We need only a little poetic licence to say that the information fed into modern genomes by natural selection is actually information about ancient environments in which ancestors survived. …

To quote from Unweaving the Rainbow: “And isn’t it an arresting thought? We are digital archives of the African Pliocene, even of Devonian seas; walking repositories of wisdom out of the old days. You could spend a lifetime reading in this ancient library and die unsated by the wonder of it.” [Bold added.]

To prevent any misunderstandings I note that you and he refers to “manual” in a different context. You do it as regards Brookfield’s naive suggestion that (individuals) genes specifies fixed and unique traits, not contingent on the environment. Dawkins does it as regards an “how-to” manual of past successes (and no description of failures) with a limited shelf life.

I also note that there are many information (and complexity and entropy) measures, and it is known that no one can capture all characteristics of structures. So expect “information” to have another definition and use for another purpose.

I should also add that IIRC Schroeder, author of the ev program, has measured the crucial difference in a genome’s Shannon information that selection makes when it is added to a background of variation. So Dawkins model isn’t only testable, but has passed an important test.

I should also add that IIRC Schroeder, author of the ev program,…

I think you mean Schneider, not Schroeder.

Glen Davidson said: Well they’re just fighting for free speech, you know. Taxpayer-subsidized religious free speech. It’s the least we could do for a concept which has never been able to compete in the marketplace of ideas. How can a concept like ID be free when it’s completely unable to defend itself against empirically-based concepts?

I mean be fair, do you want it to die scientifically just because it has no evidence in favor of it? The First Amendment guarantees interference of religion in government, and thus subsidies for religious ideas in the scientific sphere, doesn’t it?

I think they’re going back to an older notion of “freedom”: If you are in control, then you are free (the aristocrats were proud to be free, as their serfs were in bondage), and who cares about the loss of freedom to others that entails?

As if there was any real difference between science and religion. Everything is religious; it is only a question of what religion. ID is about the true religion of Jesus the Son of God; while evolutionism is the religion of the false prophets Buddha, Mohammad, O’Hair, and Darwin! Christians want a world where Christians are free, and that must be a world where sin is punished swiftly and severely. There must be no freedom for the apostles of sin, for Jesus and Satan can never share the same territory!

I thought there were many Muslims who support ID. In fact, Islamic creation is based upon the Judeo-Christian one. Raeliens are IDists too, but they believe it was done by extraterrestrials.

Richard: I thought there were many Muslims who support ID. In fact, Islamic creation is based upon the Judeo-Christian one.

I wouldn’t say “based upon,” as “stolen from” is far more appropriate, given Harun Yaya’s propensity for plagiarism.

Yay! I think this is the first time somebody’s responded to me! I’m a newbie to this blog.

Thank you all for your comments,

Hello Torbjörn thanks for the Dawkin’s Quotes,

Clearly I have different take on “Natural Selection” than Richard Dawkins.

For example, as I see it dogs presently exist in a symbiotic relationship with humans. Numerous breeds that would not survive in the wild are presently sustained with regular nutritious meals, dog biscuits, comfortable housing, regular veterinary care etc. – all provided by humans. If humans were to disappear from the world “Natural Selection’ would once again destroy all of the suboptimal breeds, reducing dogs to a core ancestral wolf type that can survive in the wild (without humans). With the natural selective destruction of say, the “poodle” comes the destruction of all the DNA coding (the information) contained in the poodle and the destruction of its reproductive (information carrying ) capacity. In this manner natural selection acts to reduce the information carrying capacity of the dog species as a whole. If the DNA information that codes for poodles is to be carried forward at all, it must now squeeze through the only remaining “dog channel” still open, the ancestral wolf.

As I see it “information” refers to the realization of a specific event(s) within a background set of live possibilities – not dead dogs. The destruction of information carriers (such as poodles) does not increase information as I see it but merely narrows the channel capacity. The bottom line is that the (natural selective) destruction of channel capacity is not the same thing as the production of new information – in which channel capacity is necessarily maintained.

The “genetic library” that I talk about is the set of gradualistically accessible variations available to any given species. Perhaps many here believe that this library is infinite (we are all but variation of the original reproducing organism?)and that new information is not needed. The question for me is, how to add genuinely new information to the existing library or how to add a new species with its new attendant library of variations.

Poodle information. Sheesh.

Dude, I’m just a layman, but it doesn’t take long to learn about gene duplication and evo-devo.

As the Human Ton’s puppet-hand says, “Read a book!”

Yep, natural selection will by itself reduce the amount of genetic variety in a species. Genetic drift also does this.

BUT - selection and drift are not the only things operating.

Which goes back to what fnxtr just said: read something besides propaganda.

Henry

By ‘learn about’, I mean the basic concepts, of course. The library is continuously expanding. You may need an extra hemisphere to contain it all. “Hello, Dr. Suzuki?…”

William Brookfield, ICON-RIDS Wrote:

For example, as I see it dogs presently exist in a symbiotic relationship with humans.

I think that’s stretching the definition of “symbiotic”.

Numerous breeds that would not survive in the wild

(1) all “breeds” of dog are artificial. They were created through artificial selection. And look how much variation has accumulated in the mere 10,000 years (or whatever, but it is not a long time) since dogs were domesticated.

(2) You claim they would not survive “in the wild”, but do you have any evidence to support this assertion?

… If humans were to disappear from the world “Natural Selection’ would once again destroy all of the suboptimal breeds,

True, but how is this different from the definition of NS that Dawkins uses?

reducing dogs to a core ancestral wolf type that can survive in the wild (without humans).

You cannot know this. It is probable that the present variety of dog breeds would decrease in number, but what is most likely is that what today are “dogs” would eventually form a number of new species, all of which are as closely related to one another as today’s dogs are to modern wolves.

However, while this may be the likely scenario, it is not by any means the only possible one.

With the natural selective destruction of say, the “poodle” comes the destruction of all the DNA coding (the information) contained in the poodle and the destruction of its reproductive (information carrying ) capacity.

Yet the poodle is still the same species as all the other dogs. The information is not lost, it will simply not be expressed, since just about all of it exists in other breeds of dog.

It is only through inbreeding (i.e. artificial selection) that different breeds show their pecular characteristics.

This is one of the core arguments in TOOS, which you obviously either did not read or have not understood. Darwin dealt more with pigeons than with dogs, but the points are clear.

In this manner natural selection acts to reduce the information carrying capacity of the dog species as a whole.

Except for the fact that it doesn’t.

A mogrel will show very few of the pecular characteristics of its parents, but will still have half the DNA of each, trasmitted either uncorrupted or with a few additional mutations (in your parlance, additional information).

If the DNA information that codes for poodles is to be carried forward at all, it must now squeeze through the only remaining “dog channel” still open, the ancestral wolf.

No. Poodles could be bred from any existing dog breed. It would take many generations, but it could be done.

Go and learn something about genetics.

As I see it “information” refers to the realization of a specific event(s) within a background set of live possibilities – not dead dogs.

Fortunately for the rest of us, we don’t have to work with it the way you see it. You are just talking nonsense, betraying a severe ignorance of both evolutionary theory and animal husbandry.

Keeping a pure breed requires active intervention. You can’t just breed poodles and expect them to stay that way. They will vary intrinsically, and they will cross with other breeds.

The destruction of information carriers (such as poodles) does not increase information as I see it but merely narrows the channel capacity.

But even if all poodles were destroyed, the information still exists in the genomes of other dogs.

The bottom line is that the (natural selective) destruction of channel capacity is not the same thing as the production of new information – in which channel capacity is necessarily maintained.

In what way is “channel capacity” relevant to biological evolution?

Besides, as others have pointed out, NS does not create new information, that is mainly done by mutation. It is the combination that results in adaptation.

The “genetic library” that I talk about is the set of gradualistically accessible variations available to any given species.

And as long as there are dogs, “Poodle” will be an accessible variation. Your library of dog genes still exists within all other dogs.

Perhaps many here believe that this library is infinite (we are all but variation of the original reproducing organism?)and that new information is not needed. The question for me is, how to add genuinely new information to the existing library or how to add a new species with its new attendant library of variations.

But this is trivial, not a problem.

Modern evolutionary theory (MET) has a set of mechanisms for doing just that.

Have you actually ever read a college-level biology text? Or how about any of the many, many wonderful popular-science books that explain, in layman’s terms, how evolution operates?

I think you mean Schneider, not Schroeder.

D’oh! Thanks, GuyeFaux!

William Brookfield:

If humans were to disappear from the world “Natural Selection’ would once again destroy all of the suboptimal breeds, reducing dogs to a core ancestral wolf type that can survive in the wild (without humans).

In Dawkins model it is the change of environment that has devalued the information. It is true too, since the breeds could go extinct without evolution having time to save them by adaptation.

By discussing “destruction” and “infinite libraries” it is easy to see that you didn’t study Dawkins model, as it describes environmental contingency and learning for the same situations. But if you are really interested in how information ties into evolution you must study its relation to information theory as Dawkins did.

The destruction of information carriers (such as poodles) does not increase information as I see it but merely narrows the channel capacity.

How do you define channel capacity? You must, if you are going to discuss Shannon information.

Dawkins identifies the channel as through selection, from the environment to the populations genome.

I think you are discussing replication within the population. But faithful replication doesn’t contribute information.

Nigel D:

NS does not create new information, that is mainly done by mutation.

Except that Dawkins shows fairly conclusively that this isn’t necessarily so:

Mutation is not an increase in true information content, rather the reverse, for mutation, in the Shannon analogy, contributes to increasing the prior uncertainty. But now we come to natural selection, which reduces the “prior uncertainty” and therefore, in Shannon’s sense, contributes information to the gene pool.

This however depends on how you measure information as I have discussed earlier and as Dawkins makes clear (“in the Shannon analogy”). In other measures you might see it differently. After all, mutations create new possibilities for traits.

Torbjorn, you are right. I got lulled into using the woolly definition of information. I was not using it in its technical, unambiguous sense.

Nigel, I hope it was clear that your definition could work as well. (But I agree that it is woollier at this time.) There isn’t one unique measure of information or its related measures of entropy and complexity.

Specifically for information is that it is a relative measure, and contingent on measurement definition. By using another model it is quite possible that mutations can be seen as responsible for information.

Actually, I bet they are. Increased variation or the occasional new unselected trait may mean increase in algorithmic information (Kolmogorov complexity) instead, if measured as a less compressible description of the genome or phenome.

But then you don’t have a channel model, in which it is easier to understand where the information comes from, what “sends” it. I think that is why Dawkins chose it.

(But I agree that it is woollier at this time.)

That sounds like what the ID pushers would want, since they keep trying to pull the wool over their followers’ eyes. :)

Henry

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 23, 2007 11:21 AM.

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