Skip to comments.Morphing Flight: Beyond Irreducible Complexity
Posted on 06/06/2013 5:47:54 AM PDT by kimtom
Researchers and observers have long recognized that birds and various other flying creatures change the positioning of their body structures in flight in order to perform specific maneuvers or adjust their aerodynamic profile to accommodate changing flight conditions. This adaptive orientation of body shape has been dubbed morphing in the popular literature. The words morph and morphing are actually digressive forms of the word metamorphosis, which derives from the Greek meta (to change) and morfe (form). This is an apt description of the ability that birds possess to change the form or geometry of their bodies for increased maneuverability, as well as for stable flight in a wide variety of ambient conditions.. ...This capability has always been respected and often mimicked by aircraft engineers to the extent that it has been technologically possible to do so. Furthermore, bird observations have often inspired technological advancement in aircraft ......
(Excerpt) Read more at apologeticspress.org ...
After having stumbled on various articles proclaiming fossils show "evolution of flight", I decided to interject the engineering/ design of such a feat.
We’ve got bald eagles here in Southern Michigan these days even here in the most heavily populated strip along the I-94 corridor. I watched one snag a dead fish off the water this morning.
The application of algorithmic complexity theory to evolutionary genetics (and I mean that in the narrow, uncontroversial sense of the study of the change in allele frequency over time, not the controversial materialist sense that the neo-Darwinist theory explaining the change of allele frequency over time provides a complete explanation for biological diversity and all properties of living organisms) is a good idea, but you have to get algorithmic complexity theory right to apply it.
Personally I hold the view that neo-Darwinism implies intelligent design (look up the definition of intelligent agent used in modern AI work, and consider the properties the neo-Darwinian synthesis attributes to the biosphere as a whole to see why).
The key to birds ability to morph is the feather, which don’t do well, as a covering, at high speed. :-)
Imagine the scandal of popular culture not giving proper recognition to ‘Kolmogorov’s
algorithmic complexity theory’ and naming its conventions accordingly!
The folks who get complexity theory wrong when applying it to evolutionary biology are supposedly engaged in science — or at least philosophy of science — not promulgating popular culture, and yes, they are appealing to notions properly formalized by Kolmogorov.
Are you saying you cannot question a theory?? or adapt it to your own???
scientist do this often.
Is criticizing a theory unacceptable?/ That is what theory is about...to be tested.
Please cite your sources for claiming Behe or any other advocate of Intelligent Design were applying "complexity theory" to "evolutionary biology" rather than coining a descriptive term for a pedestrian concept.
Do you have a better term for Behe's signature concept outlined in "Darwin's Black Box?"
Feathers exemplify the wonders of intelligent engineering, and indicate incredible design. Feathers are a unique integument [natural outer covering] that belongs only to birds, and are described by Richard Prum as the most complex epidermal appendages found in animals (1999, p. 291). Consider the feathers state-of-the-art design. Each feather has a shaft that runs along the center. The fluffy strands that extend from the shaft are called vanes. Each vane is composed of even smaller thread-like strands, called barbs. These various barbs allow the feather to achieve lift. But the structure is even more streamlined. On either side of the barb are microscopic barbules. One side has barbules comprised of ridges, whereas the other side is composed of hooks. The hooked barbules thus attach to the ridges of the adjacent barbules, forming a sort of natural Velcro®. Actually, the feather has a better design than Velcro, because the ridges allow the barbs to slide, keeping the surface intact, and yet allowing it the flexibility required for flight. Thus, it can be said that birds of a feather flock together, and feathers of a bird lock together.
Prum, Richard O. (1999) Development and Evolutionary Origin of Feathers, Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular, Developmental, Evolution), 285:291-306.
Disallowing of criticism of a theory should be a red flag that the theory is a justification for a belief system - to edify underlying assumptions that have no basis otherwise.
Look, I'm sympathetic to ID, but it needs to be done right. The ID folk are right to consider biology as a system to which complexity theory can be applied -- this is something the neo-Darwinists, and especially the polemical materialists overlook, that the DNA/RNA/protein system is a massive computational system to which algorithmic complexity theory applies. But a scientific theory of intelligent design begins with a general scientific theory of intelligence, not intelligence as, itself, a "black box".
A critique of neo-Darwinism based on naive notions of randomness, which is at the base all ID as expounded by Behe et al. has offered, is not to the point. We know on the basis of work on genetic algorithms that a designed system whose internal workings are based on the Darwinian paradigm can, through a partially stochastic process, produce novel complex subsystems. What's more most "random" mutation is not flipping a base-pair here or there, but moving an "repurposing" larger bits of genetic code that were already "field-tested".
In the end, the whole "crevo" debate is quite frankly stupid. It is based on two false assumptions shared by literalist six-day creationists, rabid atheistic materialists, and everyone else who wants to argue that creation and evolution are incompatible:
I commend to everyone's attention Alexander Kalomiros's The Six Dawns for a very satisfying resolution of the false contradiction between the Biblical account of creation and the modern scientific account. Of course, one has to be willing to read Genesis the way the Fathers of the Church read it, rather than under the assumption that it "is literally true", which seems as near as I can make out to mean "communicates truth when read as if it were written by and for post-'Enlightenment' rationalists."
Wow, God’s wisdom strikes again.
This was such a learned and eloquently stated thesis that my brain exploded.
Luckily, I caught it on camera.
The Age of the Universe
Until you get this part right, nothing you have to say can be taken as anything but partisan, no matter how erudite.
[[I really wish critics of neo-Darwinism would stop getting complexity theory wrong: irreducibly complex, a technical term form Kolmogorov’s algorithmic complexity theory, turns out to mean absolutely random — a structure is irreducibly complex exactly when its description cannot be given using less data than completely setting out the structure element-by-element — and this turns out to be equivalent to random. (Any non-random sequence can be specified by an algorithm of finite length, while a random sequence might as well be just read out in its entirety, as it remains infinite even after any conceivable form of data compression.) The application of algorithmic complexity theory to evolutionary genetics (and I mean that in the narrow, uncontroversial sense of the study of the change in allele frequency over time, not the controversial materialist sense that the neo-Darwinist theory explaining the change of allele frequency over time provides a complete explanation for biological diversity and all properties of living organisms) is a good idea, but you have to get algorithmic complexity theory right to apply it. Personally I hold the view that neo-Darwinism implies intelligent design (look up the definition of intelligent agent used in modern AI work, and consider the properties the neo-Darwinian synthesis attributes to the biosphere as a whole to see why).]]
That’s just a fancy way of saying “Nuh Uh- God isn’t needed for irreducible complexity to occure- Nature, if given enough time and enough impoosible leeway, could overcome insurmountable odds, beath impoissible odds, and end up in the state it is foudn today in each species-
[[irreducibly complex, a technical term form Kolmogorov’s algorithmic complexity theory, turns out to mean absolutely random]]
Except that, as we know, soemthign that complex that relies on a random assembly, and relies on ALL the irreducibly complex parts beign inpalce before assembly (which by the way is contrary to natural selection law), is mathematically impossible to aachieve- (of course darwinists and neodarwinists reject mathematical impossibilites and wave their hand at hte fact that trillions of mathematically impossible events owuld have had to occure i nthe evoltuioonary process i nroder for thwe vast variety of life and irreducible complexites to be evolved that we see today)
He’s tryign to link Irreducible complextiy with complexity- the two are not the same- a system can be compelx without being irreducibly complex- but an inrreducibly complex system needs all it’s irreducible parts inpalce and ready to assemble (which again is contrary to natural selection law) before it can thrive once assembled- without ALL the irreducibly compelx parts inplace, the system will fail- hence why htey call it irreducibly complex- for to reduce one component of the whoel woudl be to cause it’s demise-
Basically the neodarwniist eleives that nature, through random processes, is capable of creatign intelligently designed irreducibly complex structures/life-
but as we saw with Dawkins silly explanation for how blood clotting ‘coudl have arisen naturally through random processes’ we saw that his explanation was anythign but random, that it was intellgiently cotnrolled set of circumstances, and it was supernaturally manipulated i norder to coem up with his ‘naturally occuring’ process
In that, I would argue Isaiah 46:10, which says in part, "I make known the end from the beginning... (Notice it doesn't say, "I make known the beginning at the end)." The ability to do the former being totally incomprehensible, and truly supernatural to such lower life forms as mere humans.
to say this in a government high school would get you fired.
[[No, criticizing a theory on the basis of a priori probability estimates, which is what ID folk, do is not science: a priori probability estimates are neither falsifiable nor verifiable.]]
Which is antoher fancy way of stating “Mathematicval odds against evoltuion are devestating, so We’ll just ignore them and ridicule thsoe who attempt to use them as beign unscientific- but hte problem is that it wasn’t the ‘ID Folks’ who did the improbability odds i nthe first place, it was the world’s leading scientists in several symposiums/conferences throughout hte years-
Demski’s mathematics clearly show that anyhting over 10 to the 1050’tth power is mathematically impossible, A single cell evolvign from chemicals is calculated at odds of 10 to the 4,478,296th power- thsi is scientifically devestating to the idea of evoltuion, and so of course the only recourse left is to ridicule methematics as ‘not beign ‘REAL science’ and ridiculing htose who point ot such such scientific evidence as being ‘unscientific’
Even when hteir own scientists coem out with devestatigfn evidence against the hypothesis of macroevolution, they dismiss it- You can’t argue with folsk liek that
I am glad you are not taking MY words apart.....
Basically I think he’s tryign to say that ‘complexity is a reality in the universe, but it coudl have happened naturally, with a nudge here and htere by an intelligent designer- Basically complexity theory is wordy diatribe describign theistic evolution fro m what I can gather-
not sure hwat you mean by that? Did I take soemone’s words apart?
did he not ridicule ID scientists as beign unscientific? The probability estimates he was dismissing are the mathematical probability estimates laid out by leadign mathematical scientists and professors and he’s telling us we shouldn’t do that because ‘it’s not science’- that is a purjorative remark- espcecially when it was secular scientists that came up with the probability estimates showing that it is impossible- It grinds against the hypothesis of macroevolution, and therefore we’re cosntantly eign told it’s ‘not real science’ and that ID scientists and advocates aren’t ‘real scientists’ and ReaderDavid did just that in his statements-
Actually, I get this from many theistic and typical evolutionist.
They DON”T own the facts, They are NOT smarter than I (though they may be expertise in their fields) and I can see the evidence for myself.
We are all Bias.....but which side would you rather be on, the other side of eternity?
post 22 and 19.
check your key strokes :)
[[check your key strokes :)]]
No time for that- too busy, too little time unfortunately, my mistakes are far too many to go through- I do apologize for the horrendous spelling sowem fo which is due to condition, while the rest is due to sloppiness
“[[check your key strokes :)]]
No time for that- too busy, too little time unfortunately, my mistakes are far too many to go through- I do apologize for the horrendous spelling sowem fo which is due to condition, while the rest is due to sloppiness
Well, it is what you SAY that counts anyhow... :)
[[We are all Bias.....but which side would you rather be on, the other side of eternity? ]]
I’m on the only side that is supoported by the facts- creation- Eternity is fasr too long to gamble on some godless hypothesis which contradicts it’s own laws of nature-
[[I am glad you are not taking MY words apart.....]]
I guess I do have a habit of puttign someone’s words into different contexts- But basically, the complexity theory is nothign but an attempt to rule God out of the equation (or to delegate Him to an inconsequential role) regardign creation and irreducible complexity-
I wasn’t familair with Kolmogorov so whgat little reasearch I’ve doen it appears that his theory is quite a bit different than Sahannon’s law- or shannon entropy- Both are a means of measuring infomration,
William Demski seems to have refuted the idea that complexitiy doesn’t need an itnelligent designer in his ‘specified complexity’ theory in his No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence
I’m not sure, I’m gonnah ave otl ook into this more later tonight- but the argtument of kolomonov and folskl iek Shallit seem to be that there is in ‘icnrease in information’ when a cell splits-
To simplify, Wells said “duplicating a gene doesn’t increase information content any more than photocopying a paper increases its information content.”
Shallit seems to say that htere is an increase in information because now you have two sheets of paper (even though they have the very same ifnromation content) because it takes more commands to describe the photocopied information (Not sure how he coems up with htis idea)
the following appears to be key to discounting kolmonov compelxity and oen I’ll hjave to think more abotu tonight
“A useful measure of biological information must account for the function of the information, and Kolmogorov information does not necessarily take function into account”
Forgot to includei t in last post for the quote I posted
ah, which is the goal.
So, evolutionist need intelligence (design) to counter God, so the come up with equations (math-intelligent) to explain the complexity in design(?)
Philosophical arguments, which scientist do use, cannot be won is the ID debate. But their hope is in Math, like genome was to Biology.
In this case God is in the details......... ;0
have to look at it tonight...”
the paper illustration is a good one, you can increase info, but really it is only duplicating, not creating new......
The statistically determined total improbability of evolution certainly has nothing to do with Kolmogorov.
Impossible is a real world state.
[[you can increase info, but really it is only duplicating, not creating new......]]
ThaT’S what I got too from just a quick cursory look at it
[[So, evolutionist need intelligence (design) to counter God, so the come up with equations (math-intelligent) to explain the complexity in design(?)]]
Yes, but they either ascribe the intelligence to nature, or to God just ‘helping hte process of macroevolution over the more difficult humps’ (in other words, it’s no longer macroevolution, but God superceeding natural laws- but only on a limitted basis because apparently He was too lackign in power to actually create everythign fully formed, and apaprently He liekd watchign things suffer and die when they kept tryign to becoem ‘more complete’ with every new mutation
[[Philosophical arguments, which scientist do use, cannot be won is the ID debate.]]
Exactly- the whoel process of Macroevolution is based on philisophical beleifs, but when an ID scientist itnerjects belief, well then, ‘they aint bein scientificable’
[[but really it is only duplicating, not creating new......]]
Which was the flaw in the kolomogrov model of complexity- it simpyl didn’t mimic biological life- it’s fien when you use it for somethign in which new information isn’t added to the equation, however, however, evoltuion absolutely requires the aquisition of new “Non species specific information’ (my term)- the only way for one species to evolve into another is via the gainign of information NOT specific to that species, and hte only way for htis to happen is via lateral gene transference (whcih can and does happen, but only between one species KIND- bacterai are able to laterally transfere their genes- A Spider moneky and a spider are not able to do so)
from the Article I linked to in previous post [[In rough terms, Shannon information or Kolmogorov information measure complexity, but not specification.]]
Reader David i nthis thread seemed to be extrapolating kolmogorov complexity out to include irreducible complexity. I don’t know if Reader David conciders mere duplications to be a mechanism for ‘creating’ ‘irreducibly complex structures’ in nature or not? It’s pretty clear though that it isn’t- No NEW FUNCTION alien to the particular species or cell has been created by mere duplication-
From the Article [[Specified complexity is a much better measure of biological complexity than Shannon complexity or Kolmogorov complexity because it recognizes the highly specified nature of biological complexity.
This is a point that Shallit must resist recognizing because it’s much harder to generate specified complexity via Darwinian processes than mere Shannon complexity or Kolmogorov complexity]]
The bottom line so far appears to be ‘Both Shannon theory information and kolgoromov comoplexity are irrelevent when discussion irreducible complexity as it pertains to the biological process
Below you will find a question posed by Mike Egnor (who was cited at hte ned of the article previously linked to) which asks a simpel question on a science blog of all places, and he gets no answers- He asked “How much new specified information can random variation and natural selection generate?”
At the end he states “I searched for an actual measurement of the amount of new information that a Darwinian process can generate, and I got an article on ‘cattle faeces’. I love little ironies.”
Thanks for the ping!
according to William Demski- Math Genius, he claims “Probabilities by themselves, however, are not information measures. Although probabilities properly distinguish possibilities according to the information they contain, nonetheless probabilities remain an inconvenient way of measuring information.”
All quotes will be fro mthe following link: http://users.fred.net/tds//anti/william.dembski/wd_idtheory.htm
He then goes on to explain why in terms that cause a mini-stroke in my brain
Basically he coems ot hte same conclusio nas the previous articles I linked to concluded- that duplicates, while beign ‘more’ information, are NOT NEW Specified Complexity Information- they are mere duplications
“For an example in the same spirit consider that there is no more information in two copies of Shakespeare’s Hamlet than in a single copy.”
“The obvious difference between the two scenarios is of course that in the first the information follows no pattern whereas in the second it does. Now the information that tends to interest us as rational inquirers generally, and scientists in particular, is not the actualization of arbitrary possibilities which correspond to no patterns, but rather the actualization of circumscribed possibilities which do correspond to patterns.”
kolmogorov and apparently reader david beleive that mere duplication of random configurations of informaiton are enoguh to qualify for the title of Irreducibly Complex Information- however, a string of randomly assembled letters has nothign about it htta is irreducibly complex, it could lose any letter and still be nothign more than an incoherent conglomeration of random letters whereas if a guided set of letters were to lose it’s key irreducibly complex parts, it woudl cease being a viable word or sentence (much lkie most of my posts)
In demski’s example that follows, you’ll note that one event doesn’t contain the information that an observe needs in roder to derive a conclusion other than ‘It hits the wall randomly’ whiel the secodn scenario has the information necessary for an observer to make an intelligent observation abotu hte skills of the archer
“To see this, consider a third scenario in which an archer shoots at a wall. As before, we suppose the archer stands 50 meters from a large blank wall with bow and arrow in hand, the wall being so large that the archer cannot help but hit it. And as in the first scenario, the archer shoots at the wall while it is still blank. But this time suppose that after having shot the arrow, and finding the arrow stuck in the wall, the archer paints a target around the arrow so that the arrow sticks squarely in the bull’s-eye. Let us suppose further that the precise place where the arrow lands in this scenario is identical with where it landed in the first two scenarios. Since any place where the arrow might land is highly improbable, in this as in the other scenarios highly complex information has been actualized. What’s more, since the information corresponds to a pattern, we can even say that in this third scenario highly complex patterned information has been actualized. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to say that highly complex specified information has been actualized. Of the three scenarios, only the information in the second scenario is specified. In that scenario, by first painting the target and then shooting the arrow, the pattern is given independently of the information. On the other hand, in this, the third scenario, by first shooting the arrow and then painting the target around it, the pattern is merely read off the information.”
Kolmogorov seems to be applyign hte third scenario- painting the bullseye aroudn the landing point (or the assembly of letters) and making a hindsight comclusion that the archer ‘must have meant to hit that exact spot and hterefore the ‘after the fact added information’ amounts to irreduciblyu complex information (but the fact is that this added info could be removed and the arrow woudl still have been in that same spot whether it was itnentioned or not)- Kolmorogov is readign a pattern by adding information that wasn’t htere to begin with it seems - Fabricatign information after the fact adds nothign to our knowledge abotu what the archer intended- Demski nails it with hte following statement
“The fact that the target in the third scenario constitutes a pattern makes no difference since the pattern is constructed entirely in response to where the arrow lands. Only when the pattern is given independently of the arrow’s flight does a hypothesis other than chance come into play.”
Basically Kolgoromov saw where the arrow landed, painted a bullseye aroudn it, and claimed “See- that is naturally occurign naturally designed irreducible complexity”
I’m not exactly sure, but it seems the kolomogorv is saying that a species becoems iurreducibly compelx after you remove every non essential part and leave just thosep arts absoltuely necessary forl ife- goign any further woudl result in death (like removing the heart, or brain, or lungs etc) A species can live without ears, nose, eyes, limbs etc etc etc and thsoe parts are not necessary forl ife, therefore they can be removed and are not vital to the overal ‘irreducible compelxity’ of the species- It then seems to me that kologoromov’s conlcusion is that since it’s already made and living, and it (the specimen) can be reduced to it’s simpelst irreducibly compelx parts, then nature ‘must have doen it’- must have produced the irreducibly compelx parts (He’s essentiually paintign a bullseye aroudn where hte arrow landed, and concluding that naturem ust have been responsible for producign hte irreducible complexity it seems)
From what I understand of hte issue, it wouild be akin to findign a computer (havign never seen one or known about one, or even thinkign that man could be capable of desinging such an instrument) and then disecting it. discoverign htat many parts can be removed and it still will function, discoverign htat removing certain parts will cause it’s ‘demise’ and then coming to hte conclusion that nature must have been the deswigner of the irreducibly complex parts (as well s the non essential parts), and determining without any cvause to think so, that there is no evidnece that man was able to design it (even though man’s fignerprints are found in all manner of designs throughout hte world)
This scenario involves approachign hte issue with an aa priori conclusion (paintign the bullseye around the arrow after it has landed)
I hope You’ll step in and clarify where I misunderstand- The following is to help me too as I’m thuinking about this (Thanks to aq Youtube Video here which simplified the kolmogorov complexity here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyB13PD-UME )-
Python wqorks liek so:
>> “AB*10” =Description= which is a ompressed shrot description which results in the following string
Longer Random Description with same amount of letters as first string:
Since the description woudl be logner than the string, the shortest way to write the string in the python program is to simpyl write it out without a description) It is concidered ‘Irreducibly Complex” at this point
Reader Dave- if you’tre still readign htis- Can you tell me, why Id is misrepresentign Irreducible complexity? You’ve shown us that a String of information can be compressed to the shortest description possible, but you haven’t shown us how nature could produce all the information necessary nor all the parts of of an irreducible system, assemble them quyickly enough so that the system doesn’t just wither away and die while awaitign asswembly- The whole concept of ID’s irreducible complexity states that soemthign like the ‘outboard motor’ in ecoli has parts that are irreducible- and if missing htose parts, the species woudl perish
ID’s Irreducible complexity premise is that any complex organism coudl not possibly survive while awaiting the next crucial irreducibly complex part to be ‘created’ by the long slow process of macro-evolution.
I’m not exactly sure hwat your beef with ID is? Are you insinuating htat, as I said in previous posts, that Nature is capable of ‘creating’ irreducible complexity? You didn’t give an example of how it could, how nature could ‘create’ new information, you just kinda berated ID, showed some algorithmic complexity, and left it at that-
[[Personally I hold the view that neo-Darwinism implies intelligent design (look up the definition of intelligent agent used in modern AI work]]
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be implying that nature is capable of beign hte ‘intelligent designer’ based on soem algorithmic programs CREATED BY INTELLIGENT DESIGNERS (Not yelling, just stressign hte key words here)- These algorithims have been shown to be anytrhign but random generators, and have been shown to need some strict a priori planning and construction to arrive at soemthign that LOOKS LIKE randomness- Unless I’m mistaken, there’s no program in the present which is fully random which produces irreducibly complex structures? The only programs I’m aware of ARTIFICIALLY seleect which ‘mutations’ to keep in order to arrive at a preselected goal (ie: once the ‘right mutation’ is selected, the program ensures it remains safe whiel it awaits the next ‘right mutation’) And sicne we know NATURAL SELECTION doesn’t select anything and hang otno anythign that is NOT benificial or useful, the program doesn’t actually represent what happens i n the real world
You said [[In the end, the whole “crevo” debate is quite frankly stupid. It is based on two false assumptions shared by literalist six-day creationists,]]
Well since you insinuate the opinions of Literalist Creationists is stupid, one coudl say your biblical deconstructionist opinion is stupid because it ignores God’s word which tells us that death came AFTER the fall of man- It ignores that God Hismelf said this (Soem even goign so far as to claim God’s word is merely the thoughts and words of men as passed down to htem in stories) You claim there is an ‘enlightened way’ to read God’s word, and I’;m assumign htat ‘enlightened way’ means the way which holds hands with evoltuionary beleifs (and which is also an accusation to htose who ‘aren’t enlightened’ that they are ignorant
anyway- looking forward to your reply if you’re still here i nthe thread- Mainly I’d liek you to explain how ID’s use of Iredicible complexity somehow does discredit to kolmogorov’s definition of irreducible complexity, and whether or not nature is capable of producign NEW NON SPECIES SPECIFIC information (which woudl be absolteuly necessary to move a species beyond it’s own KIND)
[[and Cott, you are a blessing!]]
Well, I’m not too sure about that- I sometimes type faster than my brain can formulate or comprehend soemthing- and often misinterpret, (I think I missed the mark on this kolmogorov complexity thing [first I’ve heard of it really]- mainly becasue I think I misiunderstood what Reader David was ifnerring)- but I do try to understand and noodle thigns over and heopfully coem up with at least some partial explanation- I’ve been reading writings on kolmogorov compelxity for days now and the wording used to discuss the concept are real brain busters- hard for a tired mind to grasp at times- (Deski, when he breaks out of civilian speak and into geniuos speak, is quite hard to follow- especially not knowing math and terminology liek he does)
woops, in my secodn string (the ‘NON RANDOM one) in previous post, one of the “AB’s” needs to be removed for it to be the same length strign as first non random string- first strign had 20 letters, secodn random string had 22- it was suppsoed to be 20 letters just liek hte first non random string-
ah poo- no it wasn’t- the third random string was the same as the first non random string- Gettign tired I guess- I should have just used two strings one random, one non random for simplicity sake
My beef with the versions proposed of ID is that it doesn't produce a falsifiable theory. This is also a beef I have with many versions of Darwinism (both neo- and classical), including all the universally explanatory versions that occur in atheistic polemics. Sir Karl Popper was correct both in his dismissal of Darwinism as a "metaphysical research program" rather than a scientific theory, and in his subtly worded "recantation" of that position: that it could be reformulated as a falsifiable theory [in specific instances]. I feel the same way about ID being a metaphysical research program, and very much wish that its advocates could reformulate it as a falsifiable theory in specific instances, since as I pointed out, I am sympathetic to ID -- such a reformulation needs to begin with a scientific theory of intelligence. There is one on offer in the work of Marcus Hutter (who works on AI and for all I know doesn't care a whit about the "crevo" debate) on maximal intelligent agents, but applying it leads to my position that neo-Darwinism implies intelligent design: it is fairly easy to argue that the biosphere itself, as conceived by the neo-Darwinian synthesis, fits the Hutterian definition of an intelligent agent.
The problem that genetic programming reveals with critiques of Darwinism is that the critiques try to show that the mechanism -- stochastic variation and selection -- can't produce novel complex functional structures (novel in the sense of having functionality no precursor structure had). You are right to note that this is done by showing that in a cleverly designed environment a Darwinian mechanism of stochastic variation and selection produces novel functional structures meeting some criterion (the criterion in nature is producing more approximate copies over a long period of time, or as the Scriptures put it in the case of plants "bring forth seed according to their kinds" -- the criterion in genetic programming might be picking winners on the stock market). Thus, at the level of philosophical debate, genetic algorithms actually support the existence of a intelligent creator, since the only place we know a Darwinian mechanism produces novel complex results is in a cleverly designed context, and provide no aid or comfort at all to atheist polemicists however much they might fancy it does, except in as much as it overthrows any attempt to argue the contrary position on the basis of specific features needing to be directly designed (which is what ID folk seem to want to argue).
The point of my critique of the debate was not that either position in the debate is per se stupid, but that the contradictions between theistic creation and neo-Darwinism both sides harp on are based on false assumptions. (Much though I might wish the Scriptures said "He who says in his heart there is no God is a fool," they don't say that, they say "The fool says in his heart there is no God," so I won't even attribute stupidity to the atheist polemicists, even though they are wrong.)
If one wants to believe on the basis of reading the Scriptures -- ignoring the views of the Fathers of the Church that "It matters not whether you say 'day' or 'aeon' the thought is the same" (St. Basil the Great); that the first two chapters of Genesis are "doctrine in the guise of a narrative" (St. Gregory of Nyssa); or that they cannot be literally true (Blessed Augustine of Hippo); ignoring the fact the Hebrew word Englished as "day" is ambiguous in denotation; ignoring the fact that rabbinic commentators hold that only the first sentence of Genesis actually describes creation -- that the universe is a prepared system about six thousand years old, that the preparation of the system took 144 hours, and that retrodiction by the laws of physics further back than that produces an illusory history, there is nothing stupid per se about that as a philosophical position. It is not, however, a scientific position, as it is not falsifiable: no conceivable experiment or observation could show that the universe is not a prepared system, or show that any details of an account of its preparation are false.
As the main point of this thread is ID, as to your other point on the origin of death, I will not go on at length, but refer you again to Kalomiros's The Six Dawns, who does a much better job of dealing with the matter than I (hardly surprising, he being the best Greek Orthodox lay theologian in recent years).
And no, asserting that something is not science is not pejorative (at least not unless you believe as turn of the 21st century atheist materialists do that science is the only valid means of uncovering truth) but descriptive. I am a hard-core Popperian in my view of science, and regard any unfalsifiable assertion as non-scientific. This is not to say there are not many, many truths which are not scientific.
I make my living as a mathematician, and the theorems of mathematics are not science: they cannot be falsified by any conceivable observation or experiment because fundamentally they are all tautologies. (What is wonderful about mathematics is that there are really non-obvious tautologies that when uncovered can end up being useful, though we mathematicians don't do mathematics because it's useful, but just the fun of finding them). Actually, relevant to this thread, I encourage everyone to read Eugene Wigner's essay "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences" -- the fact that there is an uncanny correspondence between what mathematicians discover just chasing the beauty of abstraction and what is needed to describe the material world cannot be explained by the Darwinian paradigm (that is the point of (the atheist?!) Thomas Nagel's recently issued Mind and Cosmos, which I have not read, but which revives in more, and thus actually valid form, C.S. Lewis's critique of materialistic Darwinism) and points to the kinship between the human mind and the Ground-of-Being, which the Scriptures phrased, "Come let Us make Man in our image and likeness."
The knowledge of God attained through prayer by hesychasts is not science, but is more important knowledge than any science wins us about the material world.
I could go on with other non-scientific truths, but you get the idea.
Thanks for this interesting post.
(I had to look up “hesychasm.” Thanks for expanding my vocabulary!)
The phrase “revives in more” should have been “revives in more careful form”
Mea culpa: My thought gets ahead of my fingers at times and I’m a terrible proofreader.