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Ok. So we are making strides to identify the nature of DNA. This demonstrates that DNA is consonate with the law of identity, that to be, is to be something specific, in this case DNA. If we could not identify how it is, we would not be able to use the other technologies we created to render what we observe in DNA via JPEG images and reproduce them with 100% fidelity.

DNA acts a certain way. This is consonate with the law of causality that underscores the fact that a thing acts in accordance with what it is. This, in conjunction with many other things allows us to abstract from our observations, draw conclusions, and discover what things are and how they act.

 

The only designed code that is obvious to me here, is the code of language, which is a tool we developed primarily to facilitate our ever growing needs in the realm of understanding. Couching  observations about DNA in anthropomorphic terminology can help in grasping what is not directly visible to the senses. Trying to replace ID as it applies metaphysically with I.D. does not.

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Alrighty, then.

>>In light of this, it makes perfect sense that a Dell computer could never have spontaneously been assembled in nature while a human being could have.

 

Non sequitur. In the production of a Dell computer, the human engineers and manufacturers also raise the entropy of the environment slightly (waste products due to the process of industrial production and manufacturing); ergo, you must also admit that a Dell computer could, in principle, have appeared by an unguided, non-intelligent, non-teleological process, such as a tornado in a junkyard. However, even you admit, in principle, that a Dell computer could have appeared by such means, are you also willing to admit that the instruction manual on how to operate the Dell computer could have come about in such a manner — you know, the tornado whips through an ink factor and paper factory, and just happens to create ink spots in the shape of letters, which just happen to align themselves into intelligible English words and sentences? And these ink spots actually "map to", or make reference to, the Dell computer, which was formed by some other tornado in some other junkyard? It's a bit far-fetched, no?

 Yes, for a tornado in a junkyard to spontaneously assemble a computer is possible and it's preposterously far-fetched.  But if one found a Dell computer in a junkyard, which explanation seems more likely:

"I guess that tornado must've taken these spare parts and stuck them together, just like that."

"The voice in my head did it.  He tells me so; that's why."

 

>>>In fact, if 2 were true (ignoring the anti-entropy of increasingly complex life) then wouldn't all life evolve downwards, away from fitness and towards any random thing?

 

Yes. It's called "genetic entropy" and there are books written about it. Living things are biologically less "fit" now than they were in the past. What's preserving them is human intelligence; i.e., human intelligent design, purposefulness, and goal-directedness.

I could only find one book about it, and it's actually the one and only result you find from googling "Genetic Entropy".  Is this your card?

http://advindicate.com/?p=917

Yeah?  Explain the existence of a single wild species of any type.  If humans are preventing the rest of the biosphere from going extinct (and obviously, assuming that the Earth was created 10,000 years ago.  What fossil record?) then ants, weeds, black widows and sperm whales; why aren't they dead yet?

Or do you actually think that everything, everywhere, is going to go extinct unless we control their reproduction?

 

>>>The history of animal and plant husbandry speaks for itself; evolution happens.

 

If you're talking about the fossil record, most of it shows stasis over long periods of time, punctuated by sudden appearances (geologically speaking) of new architectural body plans for new biological entities with no smooth, slow, incremental lineage of precursors. This is not what Darwin had in mind by his use of the term "evolution."

 

Overall, the fossil record does not comport with the story told by Darwinian evolution. Traditionally, evolutionists ducked the issue entirely by claiming that the fossil record must be "incomplete"; i.e., the smooth, incremental mutations between one species and another are there, but they are lost due to erosion, natural disasters, etc. This is the same as a forensic scientist claiming "There is evidence that Mr. X committed the crime, but we just don't know where it is." That excuse might be convincing for one unsolved crime, but for many of them? I don't think so. In any case, findings such as the Burgess Shale and the so-called Cambrian Explosion simply do not fit the Darwinian story of where diverse species came from.

Actually, no.  I was talking about husbandry; specifically human-directed, engineered evolution which nobody could possibly ignore.  You know; the thing that made dogs and corn?  But yeah, let's go with the fossil record.

The fossil record has gaps and it will ALWAYS (I don't care WHO says otherwise) have gaps in it.  Animals die, they rot and they can't always bury themselves in mud, first.  (and even if they did, we'd still have to find them millions of years later)

We lose people all the time and never figure out where the Hell they went.  You expect us to list off the Precambrian begats, one generation at a time, in full?

This isn't like "Mr. X committed the crime; we just don't have any evidence!"  It's more like:  "Mr. X told me he wanted to kill Mr. Y.  He asked me if he could borrow my knife and I said okay.  There's my knife, inside of Mr. Y."  And you're sitting here saying:  "But HOW could he have pierced Mr. Y's bulletproof vest?!"

 

>>> If it couldn't possibly give rise to humanity then, logically, we could expect everything to eventually devolve into single-celled organisms and, in the distant future, raw proteins.

 

Unless, of course, there is a constant sustaining force that maintains an overall state of low entropy between living things and their environment. A real "Maxwell's Demon."

 

The clincher is our increasing knowledge of informational storage molecules like DNA. DNA uses a 4-symbol chemical code to store information about amino acids and protein synthesis. Sorry, but codes — which are ARBITRARY mappings, or assignments, of one alphabet (or "domain") onto some other alphabet (or "co-domain") are linguistic conventions always done by minds with alternatives and choices, not by random processes or deterministic processes (i.e., "Let a dot, either in sound or in ink, stand for the English letter 'e'". That's an arbitrary mapping done by a mind we happen to know about, Samuel Morse. "Let the chemical triplet cytosine-guanine-adenine [CGA] stand for, or map to, the amino acid arginine." That's also an arbitrary mapping. There's no chemical necessity for CGA to map to arginine because the codon triplet, CGA, NEVER AT ANY TIME COMES INTO PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE AMINO ACID. It simply represents, "stands for," or "maps to" the amino acid when it is "understood" or "read" or "decoded" (whichever linguistic term you prefer) by the ribosome, in exactly the same way that the sound "d i t" or a small dot of ink maps to the letter "e" in Morse Code.

 

The Genetic Code is obviously a designed code.

 

Additionally, recent research published in the journal "Nature" by the ENCODE research group shows that over 80% of DNA has function and is transcribed, even though only a small percentage of DNA maps onto amino acids. The ENCODE group claims that they expect 100% of the DNA molecule to be functional, though most of the function has to do with things other than coding for amino acids and protein synthesis. This means that one key support of the Darwinian story — "junk DNA" — has been disproven and needs to be thrown out.

 

Finally, a company called Agilent has successfully used the nucleotide sequences in strands of DNA to map onto things other than amino acids; e.g., to map onto binary codes in computers, which, in turn, map onto pixels. Agilent has recently used DNA to store pixel information for JPEG images, and using ordinary DNA sequencing technology, decoded the DNA strands to reproduce the JPEG images with 100% fidelity.

 

"DNA Storage" is expensive now but will come down in price as the technology improves. Apparently, 1/3rd of a teaspoon of DNA (1 gram) can easily store 1 petabyte (1,000 terabytes) of data. DNA, therefore, is obviously a molecular-sized version of a Dell-computer hard-drive. If the latter is conceded to have been designed by intelligence, then so must the former.

Please clarify this final bit, for me.

 

Are you trying to assert that human beings should devolve to extinction right now, but our DNA is a language which is being dictated to in real-time by "a real Maxwell's Demon"?

I'm not touching that one with a 39.5' pole.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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"'Let the chemical triplet cytosine-guanine-adenine [CGA] stand for, or map to, the amino acid arginine.' That's also an arbitrary mapping. There's no chemical necessity for CGA to map to arginine because the codon triplet, CGA, NEVER AT ANY TIME COMES INTO PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE AMINO ACID."

When synthesizing proteins, RNA does most of the work; RNA comes into contact with the amino acids.

For the purpose of cell division, DNA creates more RNA to create more protein.  If CGA weren't CGA then it couldn't synthesize arginine; see every single genetic disorder which exists.

If DNA was completely arbitrary then you could alter anyone's DNA at will, without any effects whatsoever.

See Down Syndrome and every form of virus that exists, as well as the entire field of genetic engineering.  Better yet, try researching something before you decide to tell the world about it.

 

" This means that one key support of the Darwinian story — "junk DNA" — has been disproven and needs to be thrown out."

That's simply a lie.  I don't know if you thought it up, yourself, or if you're just repeating what you heard from a friend of a friend, but it's profoundly false.

If you've ever gotten a cold before then I promise you have junk DNA, under your own skin, at this very moment.

 

"The Genetic Code is obviously a designed code."

Does the mold in your home ever resemble the Virgin Mary?  Do the numbers nine and eleven hold some intrinsic power over mankind?

If you spend enough time looking for a pattern then you'll find one, whether you're listening to Mozart or static.

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@Harrison:

 

>>>When synthesizing proteins, RNA does most of the work; RNA comes into contact with the amino acids.

 

Not quite, and not in the way you imagine.

 

The RNA that receives the transcribed coded information from DNA is called Messenger RNA (mRNA). It wiggles its way through the nuclear membrane and into the cell cytoplasm where it enters one part of the ribosome. In that part of the ribosome, it meets up with another kinds of RNA called Transfer RNA (tRNA). The rendezvous between mRNA and tRNA is not chemical in nature, but linguistic: a particular triplet codon along the mRNA strand binds with its linguistic complement — a triplet anti-codon. That particular snippet of tRNA has a unique enzyme associated with it that binds with MACHINE FIT (i.e., based on shape) the "correct" amino acid. "Correct" means: the amino acid that was represented IN CODE by means of a nucleotide triplet in the original information storage molecule, DNA.

 

So once more: DNA does not physically touch or interact with the amino acids; and the mRNA and tRNA molecules simply carry out slavishly the commands encoded in DNA.

 

To say that RNA "does most of the work" of protein synthesis is as philosophically naive and as evasive as claiming that its really the chemistry of ink and its bonding properties to paper that "does most of the work" of novel-synthesis…when, in fact, the ink simply slavishly does on paper what it is commanded to do by the linguistic code pre-existing in the writer's mind.

 

 

>>>If CGA weren't CGA then it couldn't synthesize arginine; see every single genetic disorder which exists.

 

And if "d i t" didn't mean "e", and if "d a h" didn't mean "t", and "d i t - d a h" didn't mean "a", you wouldn't be able to communicate messages correctly that used the English letters "e", "t", and "a." Try it. Or if you don't believe me, look up a table of Morse Code, and then I'll send you a message in which the code symbols for "e", "t", and "a" were something known to me but unspecified to you. 

 

>>>If DNA was completely arbitrary then you could alter anyone's DNA at will, without any effects whatsoever.

 

Non sequitur. Morse Code is completely arbitrary, but if I alter the assignment of the symbols to the English alphabet, it would obviously have the effect of making it impossible for a receiver to decode the message. Obviously, for a code to function as a communication vehicle, both the sender and the receiver must agree **in advance** of any messages being sent as to what the symbols will mean. This is necessarily true for any code system. And this is just as true for the genetic code: at some point in the past, the DNA molecule and the ribosome "agreed" as to what the code would mean in terms of amino acid assignment (as well as lots of other things). Obviously, you cannot change just the sender of the code (i.e., the DNA triplets) without making the message unintelligible to the receiver (the ribosome, which physically builds the protein chain, and then snips it off when it receives the "stop" code). However, it is possible to alter the genetic code and make it intelligible as long as we replace the ribosome (the receiver/decoder) with some other device that receives and decodes the DNA triplets. As I posted earlier, this is already being done in "DNA Storage", which has used the genetic code to represent pixel images, as well as text. Agilent, the company that first did this, encoded the complete sonnets of Shakespeare and then correctly decoded them, from nucleotide triplets to binary, then from binary to text, using ordinary DNA sequencing equipment; the kind of technology that is routinely used to trace genealogy, perform parental testing, forensic testing, etc.

 

So you're quite wrong that the genetic cannot be changed. What cannot (yet) be changed is the ribosome's "understanding" of the genetic code — that seems to have been agreed on by the ribosome and the DNA molecule long ago before any codes were sent between the two…indeed, as mentioned above, such agreement would be logically necessary in order for a code to be successfully sent from a sender to a receiver.

 

>>If you've ever gotten a cold before then I promise you have junk DNA, under your own skin, at this very moment.

 

Getting sick from a virus has zero to do with the old, outmoded scenario of "junk DNA."  Sorry, but the entire scenario of junk DNA is out the window now, especially after the published results of the ENCODE group in the journal "Nature."

 

I'm not surprised you've never heard of it, though the information is easy to find. I'm also unsurprised you don't accept that DNA is real code, isomorphically identical to man-made codes such as Morse Code and ASCII. Like most Objectivists stuck in the philosophy of naive materialism, your thinking on this issue is at least 60 years behind the times: the code-structure of DNA was elucidated by Watson and Crick (based on hints from George Gamow, the physicist) in 1953, and Objectivists still don't get it. From what I can tell, this is simply pure denial on their part.

 

Anyway, I'll stay with the times and continue to think of "junk DNA" as a myth (a myth convenient for Darwinian theory), as per the latest scientific research, and you can continue living in the pre-1953 world in which DNA was thought of as simply a "really complicated chemical", with lots of "useless junk accumulated over long periods of time from trial and error that happened not to have been selected for any fitness advantage."

 

>>Does the mold in your home ever resemble the Virgin Mary?

 

Your question reveals your lack of knowledge:  a CODE is not the same thing as a PATTERN. Mold may or may not resemble a person, but it certainly does not CODE for anything. A code is a MAPPING between two discrete alphabetic sets: a domain and a co-domain. Mold is not a discrete alphabetic set, and the image of the Virgin Mary is not a discrete alphabetic set.  In Morse Code, the domain would be the dots and the dashes; the co-domain would be the letters of the English alphabet; the code is the RELATION of the former to the latter. ASCII code is not a pattern; i.e., the number "65" does not resemble the letter "A". ASCII code is a mapping between numbers and letters; the code is the RELATION between the two. The genetic code is not a pattern — codons don't pictorially resemble amino acids — it's a mapping between a set of triplets (64 possible ones) on DNA and a set of amino acids (20 necessary ones) in the cell cytoplasm.

 

Probably the reason you don't get it is that, like most Objectivists, you're a philosophical naive-materialist, so you have trouble grasping the Aristotelian Category of "Relation." A "relation" is not, itself, material, even if it exists between two (or more) material entities. A code is not a material thing; it is a relation between things. 

 

In the case of Morse Code, the code is the non-material relation between an alphabetic symbol such as "—" and another alphabetic symbol such as "T". The "—" doesn't look like "T", nor does it physically touch or interact with it. If we represent "—" in sound (i.e., "BEEEEP") it doesn't sound like the letter "T". Yes, the "BEEEEP" must physically interact with air, which, in turn, must physically interact with the membrane in the ear of the receiver, which in turn must become an electro-chemical impulse and go to the brain, which in turn does whatever it does and converts into something the non-material mind experiences as sound. But so what? At no point along those physical interactions is anything changed from the original non-material relation between "—" and "—T". Only the FORM changed, not the MEANING.  The specific name of the relation is "Means"; in other words, "—" Means "T".  The meaning-relation between "—" and "T" did not evolve Darwinistically by means of some stochastic process which was then selected for some sort of survival advantage; it did not evolve in some deterministically predestined manner.  The relation came about by arbitrary, but PURPOSEFUL, intent on the part of an intelligent designer whose name we happen to know: Samuel Morse. However: it is irrelevant to the structure of this code — and our knowledge that it is a code — that we happen to know who created the code-relation between the two alphabets. Even if we had NO knowledge of who created the code, it wouldn't change the fact in the slightest that the two alphabets are related to each other by a relation called "means"; i.e., "such and such a symbol in the 1st alphabetic set MEANS such a such a symbol in the second alphabetic set."

 

And needless to say, even if we had no knowledge of who created the code-relation (or when, or why), it would not change the fact that a code relation in general entails intelligence, purposefulness, and some sort of advance agreement with a projected receiver of the code as to what the code-relation is; i.e., both the sender and the receiver have to know in advance of any coded messages being transmitted as to what the meaning is of each coded symbol; i.e. how each coded symbol is supposed to be decoded.

 

What applies to Morse Code, applies precisely to the genetic code: the relation between "CCG" and "Alanine" is one of meaning: "CCG" Means "Alanine". "Cytosine-Cytosine-Guanine" doesn't resemble Alanine (the way your mold resembles the Virgin Mary); nor do these two elements touch or physically interact in any more significant manner than do the symbols "—" and "T".

 

By the way, another name for this kind of meaning-relation is "linguistic/conventional".

 

The triplet code along DNA is really the chemical equivalent of a language, encoded with 4 morphemes (the chemical equivalent of primary sounds, or phonics), capable of forming 64 different chemical letter-symbols (the 64 possible codons). These 64 letter-symbols are used by the cell to spell out the names of 20 essential amino acids, which are then assembled by the ribosome into words, i.e., proteins. Just as words, when spoken or written, have "blanks" (spaces or brief moments of silence) before and after them in order to make each word discrete, so each protein-word is begun by a "START HERE" code, and snipped off by a "STOP HERE" code — all of it — the chemical words and the chemical blanks on each side of the word — originally stored by DNA.

 

However, as I wrote above: if you're happy living mentally in the biochemical world of pre-1953, so be it. Give my regards to Elvis.

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Ok. So we are making strides to identify the nature of DNA. This demonstrates that DNA is consonate with the law of identity, that to be, is to be something specific, in this case DNA. If we could not identify how it is, we would not be able to use the other technologies we created to render what we observe in DNA via JPEG images and reproduce them with 100% fidelity.

DNA acts a certain way. This is consonate with the law of causality that underscores the fact that a thing acts in accordance with what it is. This, in conjunction with many other things allows us to abstract from our observations, draw conclusions, and discover what things are and how they act.

 

The only designed code that is obvious to me here, is the code of language, which is a tool we developed primarily to facilitate our ever growing needs in the realm of understanding. Couching  observations about DNA in anthropomorphic terminology can help in grasping what is not directly visible to the senses. Trying to replace ID as it applies metaphysically with I.D. does not.

 

>>>This is consonate with the law of causality that underscores the fact that a thing acts in accordance with what it is.

 

And it turns out that the identity of DNA is that it is a chemical hard-drive, storing genetic information by means of a quaternary (4-symbol) code, and functioning by means of an operating system.

 

>>>The only designed code that is obvious to me here, is the code of language

 

That's a very interesting statement, since most Darwinists would claim that language arose the same way biological entities did: by random means, selected by "Natural Selection" for some sort of fitness advantage. Darwinists would disagree with you that language is a designed system.

 

I agree with you that language arose — i.e., was created — by intent and design, but certainly not by human intent and design. So-called "caveman language" of grunts, groans, ugggs, and pointing at objects, is an utter myth. I do agree, of course, that once language appeared, humans "made it their own", so to speak, and change it, expand it, contract it, etc., by means of intent and design. However, the appearance of language came about at the same time as the appearance of humans, and both have the same source.

 

>>>Couching  observations about DNA in anthropomorphic terminology

 

Like Harrison, you're living mentally in the pre-1953 world of biochemistry. No serious researcher today doubts that the genetic code is isomorphic — i.e., identical in form — to any code we already know about: Morse Code, ASCII code, binary code, computer programs, etc. "Identical in form" means that the code-nature of DNA is taken literally, not metaphorically. DNA is not "sort of like a code". It is literally, in every respect, an actual code.

 

Sorry if that's hard for philosophical materialists, Darwinists, atheists, and Objectivists to swallow, but . . . it's true.

 

And in my personal philosophy, it's more important to acknowledge truth than it is to comply with Objectivism.

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@Harrison:

So once more: DNA does not physically touch or interact with the amino acids; and the mRNA and tRNA molecules simply carry out slavishly the commands encoded in DNA.

To say that RNA "does most of the work" of protein synthesis is as philosophically naive and as evasive as claiming that its really the chemistry of ink and its bonding properties to paper that "does most of the work" of novel-synthesis…when, in fact, the ink simply slavishly does on paper what it is commanded to do by the linguistic code pre-existing in the writer's mind.

It's a figure of speech.

 

@Harrison:

>>>If DNA was completely arbitrary then you could alter anyone's DNA at will, without any effects whatsoever.

 

You're quite wrong that the genetic cannot be changed. What cannot (yet) be changed is the ribosome's "understanding" of the genetic code — that seems to have been agreed on by the ribosome and the DNA molecule long ago before any codes were sent between the two…indeed, as mentioned above, such agreement would be logically necessary in order for a code to be successfully sent from a sender to a receiver.

So you acknowledge that DNA serves a specific chemical function, which is vital for all biological organisms to live.  You're just upset that I took "arbitrary" to mean "arbitrary" instead of "intentionally designed by someone".

DNA functions the way it does because of the laws of physics.  If you want to fundamentally change that, you're talking about changing the laws of physics; in which case you're discussing something totally and completely outside of this universe.

 

Which actually brings us back to the anthropic principle.

Existence exists.  The world is real and so is everything we see and know of.  To discuss the reasons FOR the universe is to discuss a time before time and a space beyond space which is pointless, futile and irritating.  The entire discussion (why does this universe exist, instead of a different one?) is meaningless.

@Harrison:

>>If you've ever gotten a cold before then I promise you have junk DNA, under your own skin, at this very moment.

 

Getting sick from a virus has zero to do with the old, outmoded scenario of "junk DNA."  Sorry, but the entire scenario of junk DNA is out the window now, especially after the published results of the ENCODE group in the journal "Nature."

Anyway, I'll stay with the times and continue to think of "junk DNA" as a myth (a myth convenient for Darwinian theory), as per the latest scientific research, and you can continue living in the pre-1953 world in which DNA was thought of as simply a "really complicated chemical", with lots of "useless junk accumulated over long periods of time from trial and error that happened not to have been selected for any fitness advantage."

I'm sorry, but getting sick from a virus actually has everything in the world to do with junk DNA.  Viruses work by injecting their own DNA into their host cell's nucleus and forcing it to manufacture duplicates of them.  This usually kills the cell, but not always, and when they don't the viral DNA stays there forever.  (and is inherited by each daughter-cell, every time the parent divides)

Endogenous retroviruses are huge patches of our DNA which are broken, nonfunctional viruses from millions of years ago.  Hence the connection between catching a cold and junk DNA, my ultra-futuristic friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endogenous_retrovirus

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/cgi/mesh/2011/MB_cgi?mode=&term=Endogenous+Retroviruses

This is only one form of junk DNA, but here you have it.  If you've caught the common cold before, anytime in your life, then you DO have junk DNA inside of you, right now.

And this for your ENCODE:

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/02/20/gbe.evt028.short?rss=1

 

@Harrison:

>>Does the mold in your home ever resemble the Virgin Mary?

 

Your question reveals your lack of knowledge:  a CODE is not the same thing as a PATTERN. Mold may or may not resemble a person, but it certainly does not CODE for anything. A code is a MAPPING between two discrete alphabetic sets: a domain and a co-domain. Mold is not a discrete alphabetic set, and the image of the Virgin Mary is not a discrete alphabetic set.

Your response is revealing.

I was saying that if you try hard enough and for long enough, you could find a pattern to anything.  You turn around and insist that a CODE has nothing whatsoever to do with a PATTERN.

And incidentally, you never did respond to Genetic Entropy.  Did I find the "books" singular you referred to?

 

@Harrison:

Probably the reason you don't get it is that, like most Objectivists, you're a philosophical naive-materialist, so you have trouble grasping the Aristotelian Category of "Relation." A "relation" is not, itself, material, even if it exists between two (or more) material entities. A code is not a material thing; it is a relation between things. 

So DNA is a code and codes aren't physical objects.  Ergo DNA isn't a physical object which obeys the laws of physics, but rather some supernatural, phantom molecule; possibly where the soul resides.  Yes or no?

The reason I don't get it is that, like most Objectivists, I don't consider "physical" and "real" to be two separate categories.  But maybe I could come to understand, someday, I don't know; Pisces will be in the house of Mars tomorrow and my DNA's tingling.

 

And needless to say, even if we had no knowledge of who created the code-relation (or when, or why), it would not change the fact that a code relation in general entails intelligence, purposefulness, and some sort of advance agreement with a projected receiver of the code as to what the code-relation is; i.e., both the sender and the receiver have to know in advance of any coded messages being transmitted as to what the meaning is of each coded symbol; i.e. how each coded symbol is supposed to be decoded.

What applies to Morse Code, applies precisely to the genetic code: the relation between "CCG" and "Alanine" is one of meaning: "CCG" Means "Alanine". "Cytosine-Cytosine-Guanine" doesn't resemble Alanine (the way your mold resembles the Virgin Mary); nor do these two elements touch or physically interact in any more significant manner than do the symbols "—" and "T".

Your argument is based on the premise that DNA doesn't have to be DNA; it could've been mRNA, tRNA or Spaghetti-o's, if your mysterious architect had wanted.  As above, you're ultimately questioning the reason for the entire universe in which case you've floated beyond reality.

CCG does resemble Alanine, chemically.  If it didn't then there would be no possible way for it to create Alanine, which is why you're so positive that it couldn't possibly "just be chemistry"; it's an excuse to believe in magick.

You've agreed that changing someone's DNA will change their physical body, and yet you're so adamant that it's an arbitrary relation without cause or reason for it.  If so then genetic engineering would be tantamount to black magick. . . How do you feel about genetically-modified people?

 

And by the way, if Genetic Entropy were an actual phenomenon, it would take the form of junk DNA.  And if junk DNA doesn't exist then neither does mutation or, ultimately, evolution of any kind.

Your argument consists of finding an error in the theory of evolution, any error that you possibly can, and demanding that we scientifically acknowledge that only God could ever possibly account for it.  It's not new and it's an affront to anyone who actually wants to understand the world.

 

 

 

You aint nothin' but a hound dog, crying all the time.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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@Harrison:

 

 

>>>So you acknowledge that DNA serves a specific chemical function, which is vital for all biological organisms to live.  

 

No, it serves a specific linguistic function based on code. I've already explained this in several different ways. If you won't grasp the difference between "chemistry" and "code" then you're simply in denial.

 

 

>>>DNA functions the way it does because of the laws of physics. 

 

That would be true of Morse Code, too. Nevertheless the formal, structural, non-material relation between "—" and "T" is not based on physics, but on an arbitrary linguistic convention: "Let '—' mean 'T'". That the "—" gets transcribed into various physical media, such as sound, or air, or long knots on a piece of string, before arriving to a receiver is true but irrelevant: it wasn't vibrating air molecules or long knots tied in a piece of string that created the original mapping of the symbol "—" onto the symbol "T". An intelligence did that.

 

The same obviously applies to the formal, structural, non-material relation between "GCA" and "Alanine." Just as there's no physically necessary material relation between "—" and "T", there's no physically necessary material relation between "GCA" and "Alanine." The designer of the code said "Let the triplet 'GCA' mean 'Alanine'". The various material media between the DNA triplet and the amino acid bear the same relation to one another as the various material media do between the sender of a "—" and the receiver who writes down "T" on a piece of paper: the material media allow the communication to occur, but they do not determine the meaning-relation of the symbols to one another. The meaning-relation occurred long before that, in someone's (or something's) intellect.

 

>>>f you want to fundamentally change that, you're talking about changing the laws of physics;

 

Not at all. It's easy to change Morse Code: just map the various dots and dashes to different letters of the English alphabet. The physics governing the material media between the sender and the receiver will still work the same way as they always did; but the receiver of this altered code will decode your messages as gobbledygook . . . unless, of course, you conspire with him in advance of sending any coded messages, and tell him what the altered code is.

 

It's easy to alter DNA. Agilent already did this by encoding pixel information about JPEG images. A ribosome wouldn't know what to make of this altered code, but a common DNA sequencer — found in many crime labs — would have no problem with it. In fact, that's what Agilent used to decode the DNA information back into pixels so they could reconstitute the JPEGs.

 

You're confused about the difference between "physics" (and "chemistry") and "codes."

 

Ultimately, that means you're confused about the difference between "physical processes" and "linguistic ones."

 

I've already gone to great length to explain the difference to you. If you refuse to grasp it, it means you're simply in denial.

 

 

>>>To discuss the reasons FOR the universe is to discuss a time before time and a space beyond space which is pointless, futile and irritating. 

 

Futile and irritating to you and other Objectivists. Not so to actual scientists, philosophers, and, indeed, most of mankind for many centuries. The main reason Objectivists find it "futile and irritating" is that the phrase "I just don't know" is precluded as a valid kind of answer to questions. Tough.

 

If you're on an aircraft at 36,000 feet and a precocious child asks you, "Why is the pressure in the cabin greater than the pressure outside of the cabin?" An Objectivist, apparently, would reply, "Because if it weren't, you wouldn't be here to ask the question in the first place! That's a silly, futile question! That the cabin pressure is greater inside than outside is a CONDITION OF YOUR EXISTENCE AS A LIVING BEING ON THIS AIRCRAFT! So it's simply invalid to ask 'Why' about something that is a condition of your existence!"

 

Clearly, the child is not asking "What was the motivation of those who constructed the aircraft to make the cabin pressure greater inside than outside at high altitudes?" He was asking, "Since cabin pressure would not, on its own, increase at high altitudes just to keep me alive, by what technical means was it accomplished, i.e., HOW was it accomplished? Cabin pressure, left by itself, could be ANYTHING, depending on altitude; yet DESPITE altitude, it always maintains just that pressure which sustains human life. HOW did that come about?"

 

Get the difference?

 

And the answer is: the intelligent designers known as "engineers" did X and then they did Y and then they did Z — none of which would have happened on their own because, in the absence of intelligent-designing engineers, we never see X, Y, and Z happening on their own in enclosed spaces like aircraft cabins when lofted to high altitudes.

 

Same with the physical constants of the universe, and phenomena such as stellar nuclear resonance of carbon. That's why Fred Hoyle — himself an atheist — asserted that the universe shows every sign of having been "monkeyed with" by a "super-intellect." He was simply going where the data led him, rather than doing what you are doing: drawing a conclusion based on what a prior-held philosophy or belief system mandates is the "official" or "correct" KIND of answer.

 

Were Hoyle an Objectivist rather than a great creative astrophysicist, he would have approached the mystery of why there is carbon in the universe and where it could have come from by simply saying, "That's a futile, irritating question. Obviously, if there were NO carbon in the universe, we wouldn't be here to ask futile, irritating questions. Since the existence of carbon is a condition of our existence, we cannot question why carbon is here in the first place or by what means it got here. It's here. Carbon exists. Existence exists. That's Objectivist science!"

 

And, of course, had he taken that Objectivist approach, he never would have discovered nuclear resonance, and our knowledge of the universe would be that much poorer.

 

By the way, your attitude actually reflects a sad lack of intellectual curiosity about the universe, which I have found to be common amongst Objectivists. That probably explains why so few Objectivists go into theoretical science as a career; yes, they love the fruits of science — technology, gadgets, inventions, motors — but theory, blackboards, and chalk remind them too painfully of Robert Stadler of the State Science Institution whom Rand lambasted. They all want to be like Galt — the "man who was at home on the Earth" and built motors.

 

>>>I was saying that if you try hard enough and for long enough, you could find a pattern to anything.  You turn around and insist that a CODE has nothing whatsoever to do with a PATTERN.

 

That's correct. Obviously, you don't grasp the difference between mapping two sets of symbols to each other by an arbitrary linguistic convention — a code — and the ancient Greek rhetorical idea of "mimesis" — a pattern representation, or likeness, of something. This might be a character flaw on your part but it's more likely just intellectual weakness.

 

I assume you grasp the difference between old-fashioned, traditional, film-emulsion photography, and modern digital photography?

 

If you take a picture (let's say, black & white for simplicity) of someone with a film camera, using traditional emulsion film, light bouncing off the subject enters the taking lens and reacts with the silver halide crystals randomly dispersed in the gelatin of the emulsion. The image-making process is identical to what happens when fine silver utensils or teapots are exposed to light: they begin to turn black. It's called "tarnishing". That's how traditional emulsion photography worked: the silver halide crystals in the emulsion "tarnish" on a microscopic level when exposed to light. This microscopic tarnish — not yet visible to the eye — is called a "latent image."  The lab processing speeds up this process, and augments it so that it's visible. But even before processing, the microscopic tarnished silver halides formed a PATTERN in the likeness of the human subject. Right? Right!

 

Now take a picture of the same person with a modern digital camera. No film. No emulsion. No silver halides requiring tarnishing. Light enters the taking-lens, strikes an array of light-sensitive sensors, which converts its output to binary code — a string of zeroes and ones. 

 

Question: does that string of zeroes and ones look like, or resemble (mimetically) the subject? No. Of course not. It's simply a string of zeroes and ones. The string doesn't look like the person; it doesn't form a mimetic pattern that "looks like" anything. It's a CODE not a mimetic, representational PATTERN. Get the difference? No? Too bad.

 

The string of zeroes and ones must be further mapped onto some other system of code that assigns those numbers, in a predesignated way, to building pixels, the code specifying position, brightness, etc. Obviously, for digital color photography, there must be additional code to specify color, purity, etc. But the point is, the software code that receives the coded information from the sensors doesn't itself form a "pattern" that represents, or resembles, or looks like the original subject. It's a code SEQUENCE not a mimetic PATTERN.

 

Sorry, but this is foundational stuff. If you really don't get the difference between "code sequence" and "representational pattern" then you're not only hopeless, but you probably have no ability in the field of epistemology either. Because, guess what? The word "CHAIR" does not, itself look like or mimetically resemble the physical object. It's a series of morphemes, or a series of letters, whose meaning is assigned, or mapped, to the physical object. When an English-speaking person hears or sees that sequence of morphemes or letters "CHAIR", he can decode it and point to the physical object, "Oh, you mean that thing!"

 

You mean, you actually believe that the code sequence "C-H-A-I-R" is a pattern that resembles, mimetically represents, or looks like the actual physical object that it means, in the same sense that your mold formed a pattern that resembled and mimetically represented the Virgin Mary?

 

Pitiful.

 

It's no wonder you don't grasp modern biochemistry. You can't even grasp the idea of the word "CHAIR."

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Given your need to specifically isolate philosophical materialists, Darwinists, atheists, and Objectivists in one of your earlier posts - why select this forum to use as a soapbox to espouse these views and then pepper them with personal ad hominems? Does that tactic come from Dale Carnages "How to Win Friends and Influence People"?

 

If you are interested in a taste of why intelligent design isn't worth being considered very intelligent, Keith Lockitch offered a presentation entitled "Creationism in Camouflage: The “Intelligent Design” Deception" that should be free to observe (no obligation to believe it, in fact, it should not be believed unless it is understood, and furthermore understood to be correct), if you so choose.

 

My mind is my ultimate arbiter of what I am to accept as truth. What can go a long way toward inoculating oneself against nonsense, is honing the ability to recognize it as such when it is encountered.

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You mean, you actually believe that the code sequence "C-H-A-I-R" is a pattern that resembles, mimetically represents, or looks like the actual physical object that it means, in the same sense that your mold formed a pattern that resembled and mimetically represented the Virgin Mary?

 

Pitiful.

 

It's no wonder you don't grasp modern biochemistry. You can't even grasp the idea of the word "CHAIR."

Shall we take this as an example of an effective way to carry out intellectual discourse?

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Keith Lockitch wrote:

 

>>>For decades creationists have sought to replace evolution with the book of Genesis. 

 

Wrong. Some Biblical literalists do that. Many creationists and IDers (some who are atheists, by the way) want to replace the myths of Darwinism and the myths of chemical abiogenesis with a hypothesis that places the CODE nature of living organisms front and center. "Codes" and "information" come first; life follows from that. Since codes and information are always products of intelligence, it follows that living things (which are based on coded information) must have started out as products of a designing intelligence. None of this has a thing to do with the book of Genesis. That it happens to be consistent with the book of Genesis is as irrelevant as the fact that Big Bang Theory of cosmogenesis is consistent with the book of Genesis. I don't hear Lockitch averring that the majority of astrophysicists are irrational, mystical, Biblical literalists.

 

>>>But defenders of evolution have consistently prevailed in the schools and the courts of law. 

 

That should indicate right away that the Darwinian approach is highly flawed and refuses to compete in the free market of ideas. That it needs the force of the State, via law courts, to compel people to teach and learn one particular hypothesis — without even being impartial enough to require that the flaws in the hypothesis be presented to students as well — should indicate to any fair-minded person that the issue has been politicized, because it involves teaching students an officially sanctioned worldview, as opposed to teaching them science and to think critically.

 

>>>This struggle for intellectual survival has led to the evolution of a new “species” of creationist, better adapted to its inhospitable environment.

 

A similar thing can be said about chemical evolutionists: they are a new breed of the old, mystical, pre-Pasteur believers in the hocus-pocus of "spontaneous generation": i.e., observe some dead chemicals (in the form of a dead animal carcass), and soon living flies will spontaneously emerge from it — obviously, the flies must have been created by the dead carcass. Pasteur, of course, debunked that for all time. But the new believers in abiogenesis and chemical evolution say, "There's nothing logically wrong with that scenario. The only thing the old pre-Pasteur mystics got wrong was that the flies won't appear soon; they'll appear much later — billions of years later. But it will still have been the dead chemicals from the dead carcass that created them. It's the same thing as 'spontaneous generation' but great slowed down."

 

When it comes to the unscientific silliness of abiogenesis and theories of chemical evolution and biological predestination from dead chemicals, there's nothing new under the sun.

 

I prefer to be scientific by following Pasteur's Law of Biogenesis: "Living things only come from other living things." Chemical evolutionists claim otherwise? Let them prove it.

 

>> The new creationism goes by the name “intelligent design” and poses a greater danger than old-style creationism. In this talk Dr. Lockitch will examine the intelligent design movement focusing on its similarities and differences with standard creationism. By hiding its religious essence behind a cloak of pseudo-science, the movement seeks to make itself more palatable to intellectuals and the general public. And because today’s academics—including the most passionate and vocal defenders of evolution—have failed to offer rational answers to intelligent design’s most fundamental arguments, the doors of our colleges and schools are ominously open to primitive mysticism masquerading as science.

 

Yawn. Lockitch is simply on an anti-religion crusade (like most Objectivists). He hasn't broached (or disproven) anything about ideas that are central to the ID hypothesis: quaternary codes; specified information on protein synthesis represented by nucleotide sequences that are "free", i.e., chemically indeterminate, so as to be able to appear in any order; he's ignorant of the work of James Shapiro of the University of Chicago who is NOT part of the ID community and not a theist, yet speaks often about the unexpected merger in the 20th century between biology and computer science: the cell is a sophisticated mechanism governed by an operating system isomorphic to ones written by humans; it has "stop codes", "go codes"; and — most unexpectedly for the Darwinian paradigm — it can alter itself genetically to maximize its survival, while NOT being a mere passive "thing" subject to random hits from cosmic rays, chemicals, or other environmental mutagens. The cell can reach into a pre-existing "portfolio" of genetic alterations that allow it to maximize some aspect of its existence. IT changes ITSELF. It is not simply a passive plaything at the mercy of an outside-occurring "random mutation" fortuitously selected by a mysterious outside "natural selection."

 

The reason most Objectivists don't and won't learn anything about modern biochemistry is that it interferes with one of their major propaganda campaigns of being militantly against religion.  For reasons best known to them, they seem to be very concerned about any "taint" of religion or religious viewpoints, even if it has nothing to do with the particular matters at hand.

 

I prefer the positions of non-ID scientists like physicist Sean Carroll of CalTech, biologist and Darwinist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago, and P. Z. Myers of the University of Minnesota. They're all atheists, but they all agree that IF NECESSARY, science can legitimately include supernatural (so-called "lawless") explanations in its hypotheses.

 

Sean Carroll:

 

"…if the examples of purported supernatural activity were sufficiently rare and poorly documented (as they are in the real world), the scientists would provisionally conclude that there was insufficient reason to abandon the laws of nature. What we think of as lawful, “natural” explanations are certainly simpler — they involve fewer metaphysical categories, and better-behaved ones at that — and correspondingly preferred, all things being equal, to supernatural ones.

 

But that doesn’t mean that the evidence could never, in principle, be sufficient to overcome this preference. Theory choice in science is typically a matter of competing comprehensive pictures, not dealing with phenomena on a case-by-case basis. There is a presumption in favor of simple explanation; but there is also a presumption in favor of fitting the data. In the real world, there is data favoring the claim that Jesus rose from the dead: it takes the form of the written descriptions in the New Testament. Most scientists judge that this data is simply unreliable or mistaken, because it’s easier to imagine that non-eyewitness-testimony in two-thousand-year-old documents is inaccurate that to imagine that there was a dramatic violation of the laws of physics and biology. But if this kind of thing happened all the time, the situation would be dramatically different; the burden on the “unreliable data” explanation would become harder and harder to bear, until the preference would be in favor of a theory where people really did rise from the dead.

 

There is a perfectly good question of whether science could ever conclude that the best explanation was one that involved fundamentally lawless behavior. The data in favor of such a conclusion would have to be extremely compelling, for the reasons previously stated, but I don’t see why it couldn’t happen. Science is very pragmatic, as the origin of quantum mechanics vividly demonstrates. Over the course of a couple of decades, physicists (as a community) were willing to give up on extremely cherished ideas of the clockwork predictability inherent in the Newtonian universe, and agree on the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics. That’s what fit the data. Similarly, if the best explanation scientists could come up with for some set of observations necessarily involved a lawless supernatural component, that’s what they would do."

 

[from a blog article at Discover Magazine, 1 November 2010]

 

Jerry Coyne:

 

"At least I (and probably Sean) could envision theoretical cases where we’d see behavior as sporadic and lawless – and provisionally indicative of a god. Others would not.

 

I’ve previously described the kind of evidence that I’d provisionally accept for a divine being, including messages written in our DNA or in a pattern of stars, the reappearance of Jesus on earth in a way that is well documented and convincing to scientists, along with the ability of this returned Jesus to do things like heal amputees. Alternatively, maybe only the prayers of Catholics get answered, and the prayers of Muslims, Jews, and other Christians, don’t."

 

[from Coyne's website, "Why Evolution Is True", 2 November 2010]

 

By the way, it turns out that there might very well be a mathematical message inscribed in DNA that cannot be accounted for by chance. I'll post more on that later.

 

P. Z. Myers:

 

"By the way, I do agree with Coyne on one thing: I also reject [Michael] Shermer’s a priori commitment to methodological naturalism. If a source outside the bounds of what modern science considers the limits of natural phenomena is having an observable effect, we should take its existence into account. If Catholic prayers actually affected medical outcomes, we shouldn’t reject it out of hand because of the possibility of a supernatural source. But it’s still not evidence for a god, unless you’re going to commit to defining god as a force that responds to remote invocation via standard Catholic ritual chants by increasing healing…"

 

Regarding mathematical codes embedded in human DNA, see:

 

http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/could-an-alien-message-be-embedded-in-our-genetic-code-130401.htm

 

Is An Alien Message Embedded In Our Genetic Code?

Discovery News

 

"Could our genes have an intelligently designed “manufacturer’s stamp” inside them, written eons ago elsewhere in our galaxy? Such a “designer label” would be an indelible stamp of a master extraterrestrial civilization that preceded us by many millions or billions of years. As their ultimate legacy, they recast the Milky Way in their own biological image.

 

Vladimir I. shCherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan, and Maxim A. Makukov of the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute, hypothesize that an intelligent signal embedded in our genetic code would be a mathematical and semantic message that cannot be accounted for by Darwinian evolution. They call it “biological SETI.” 

 

What’s more, they argue that the scheme has much greater longevity and chance of detecting E.T. than a transient extraterrestrial radio transmission.

 

...they assert: “Once fixed, the code might stay unchanged over cosmological timescales; in fact, it is the most durable construct known. Therefore it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature. Once the genome is appropriately rewritten the new code with a signature will stay frozen in the cell and its progeny, which might then be delivered through space and time.”

 

To pass the designer label test, any patterns in the genetic code must be highly statistically significant and possess intelligent-like features that are inconsistent with any natural know process, say the authors.

 

They go on to argue that their detailed analysis that the human genome (map here) displays a thorough precision-type orderliness in the mapping between DNA’s nucleotides and amino acids. “Simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of symbolic language.”

 

They say this includes the use of decimal notation, logical transformations, and the use of the abstract symbol of zero. “Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing,” they assert."

 

See their article at:

 

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1303/1303.6739.pdf

 

Especially interesting is the statement in the above PDF article:

 

"The key point in terms of changeability of the genetic code is that there is no direct chemical interaction between mRNA codons and amino acids at any stage. They interact via molecules of tRNA and aaRS [an enzyme] both of which might be modified so that a codon is reassigned to another amino acid."

 

Whatever one makes of the statements by Carroll, Coyne, and Myers, and the article by the two Kazakhs linked above, it's pretty obvious that Keith Lockitch and other Objectivists have a lot of brushing up to do on the issues of Darwinism, abiogenesis, and ID. They might start by first putting aside their agenda-driven campaign against religion.

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>>>My mind is my ultimate arbiter of what I am to accept as truth.

 

But your mental arbitration is only as good as the data you give it, right? If you give it data that are already biased in one particular direction, your mental arbitrations regarding truth must be similarly biased.

 

That you only appear to turn to Ayn Rand and sites compliant with Objectivism (like ARI) tells me that your mind, while no doubt the ultimate arbiter of what you will accept as true, is far from an impartial arbiter.

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You are correct. I am not an impartial arbitrator. I am quite partial to the validity of what I accept as true. Thus my mental arbitration is only as good as the data I give it. I insist on the data being biased in one particular direction, that is the data must be valid. What identifies that status is the application of logic through the process of non-contradictory identification.

 

Your assumptions about where I turn for information are presumptuous at best,

 

It is interesting to note that you consider the pursuit of an objective understanding about existence an "agenda-driven" campaign against religion. Religion died some time ago. The theological doctors which have it on life-support are hoping for a miracle, hoping that it can be revived from its deteriorating vegetative state.

 

With the exception of certain elements of Islam which can serve to remind us of the relationship between faith and force, most of the rest of religion plods forward much like the tradition of cutting the ends of the ham off so as to fit in the the small pot.

 

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>>>You are correct. I am not an impartial arbitrator. I am quite partial to the validity of what I accept as true.

 

In other words, rather than arbitrating the OUTCOME of what is true or not true — the purpose of using your mind as an arbiter — you boast that you already KNOW IN ADVANCE what is true data and what is untrue data!

 

Fantastic!  There's no point in going through the process of arbitration in that case. The outcome can never be a surprise to you, since it's already given when you accept the data. 

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Red said:

"I prefer the positions of non-ID scientists like physicist Sean Carroll of CalTech, biologist and Darwinist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago, and P. Z. Myers of the University of Minnesota. They're all atheists, but they all agree that IF NECESSARY, science can legitimately include supernatural (so-called "lawless") explanations in its hypotheses."

Explicit irrationalism. The invalid concept of supernature is a violation of identity and among the most rediculous consequences of not understanding the axioms as well as not reducing ones concepts for validity. Like the attribution of "perfect" to epistemology the mystic here wants to declare "The word supernatural is here therefore it must be a valid concept. look I can spell it, s u p e r n a t u r a l, see, just like the equations for a "perfect circle" means I can reject correspondence criteria.".....

Red, heres a "concept" for you, square-circle, we can spell it perfectly just that way. So your right Oist epistemology is flawed. I can spell it so it, must be a instance of a valid concept!!!!

Edited by Plasmatic
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>>>You are correct. I am not an impartial arbitrator. I am quite partial to the validity of what I accept as true.

 

In other words, rather than arbitrating the OUTCOME of what is true or not true — the purpose of using your mind as an arbiter — you boast that you already KNOW IN ADVANCE what is true data and what is untrue data!

 

Fantastic!  There's no point in going through the process of arbitration in that case. The outcome can never be a surprise to you, since it's already given when you accept the data.

There is a process for determining what is worthy of being decreed as true. The purpose of using one's mind as an arbiter is to ensure that process is adhered to.

Your presumption that this is a boast that one can know in advance what is true data and what is untrue data is another unwarranted assumption on your behalf.

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Supernatural isn't necessarily an invalid concept just as unnatural doesn't necessarily refers to things that do not exist. What lawlessness has to do with any concept of the supernatural is beyond me.

 

I agree. And I agree that the term "lawless" is inapt. While I can't speak for professors Carroll and Coyne, I venture to guess that they meant (at least in part) phenomena that cannot be plausibly explained by reference to chance (whose laws are statistical) or strict mechanical causality (whose laws are deterministic). That rather leaves design as one (perhaps the only) remaining option as a causal explanation. Judging by human works of design — poetry, novels, paintings, architecture, symphonies, mathematics, code-systems, legal systems, political systems, economic systems, religious systems, philosophical systems, games, etc. — the laws of design comprise things called "rules" and "conventions."

 

Thus, to a mind that could only comprehend statistics and mechanical determinism, something like a baseball game — which is driven by arbitrarily chosen rules and conventions — must appear "lawless." It wouldn't appear random and chaotic; there is obviously a repetitive orderliness to the phenomena that occur during a baseball game — but the orderliness also bears no necessary relation to the physics of projectiles. You cannot mathematically derive the rule, or convention, of the double-play, by applying Newton's laws of motion to projectiles, because those laws hold true under many variations, and therefore don't lead NECESSARILY to that ONE result.

 

It's a bit like Morse Code: you'll never understand the cause of why "—" means "T" by studying the physics of sound or the chemistry of ink, because physics and chemistry both hold true whether "—" means "T", or whether it means "U" or "P" or "?" or "%" or anything else. Thus, the relation between "—" and "T" is simply a convention or a rule. What we can say about rules and conventions is that they are typical products of teleology, i.e., minds engaged in goal-directed activities.

 

And, of course, what applies to Morse Code applies to other codes, too. Such as the genetic code.

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Red said:

"I prefer the positions of non-ID scientists like physicist Sean Carroll of CalTech, biologist and Darwinist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago, and P. Z. Myers of the University of Minnesota. They're all atheists, but they all agree that IF NECESSARY, science can legitimately include supernatural (so-called "lawless") explanations in its hypotheses."

Explicit irrationalism. The invalid concept of supernature is a violation of identity and among the most rediculous consequences of not understanding the axioms as well as not reducing ones concepts for validity. Like the attribution of "perfect" to epistemology the mystic here wants to declare "The word supernatural is here therefore it must be a valid concept. look I can spell it, s u p e r n a t u r a l, see, just like the equations for a "perfect circle" means I can reject correspondence criteria.".....

Red, heres a "concept" for you, square-circle, we can spell it perfectly just that way. So your right Oist epistemology is flawed. I can spell it so it, must be a instance of a valid concept!!!!

 

>>>Like the attribution of "perfect" to epistemology the mystic here wants to declare "The word supernatural is here therefore it must be a valid concept. look I can spell it, s u p e r n a t u r a l, see, just like the equations for a "perfect circle" means I can reject correspondence criteria.".....

 

Um, the concept "perfect circle" corresponds to the equation "x^2 + y^2 = 1". The correspondence doesn't have to be between the concept and some actual material object such as a pencil mark.

 

See? At root, Objectivists are mere naive materialists — a nice, safe, old-fashioned, 19th-century, Victorian worldview. The only difference — so far as I can tell — is in the issue of sexuality. Objectivists today now openly sanction homosexuality, bi-sexuality, and polymorphous perverse sexuality: polyamory, polygamy, polyandry, incest ("I personally find it disgusting, but as long as it's mutually voluntary, there's nothing morally wrong with it"), and perhaps bestiality ("The only thing that might be immoral about it is that there's no way to ascertain if the animal is voluntarily consenting"). Etc. These are paraphrases of actual statements by Objectivists on other Objectivist-oriented sites.

 

Despite her own faults during her own lifetime, I don't think Miss Rand would be happy with the state of things in Objectivism today.

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Um, the concept "perfect circle" corresponds to the equation "x^2 + y^2 = 1". The correspondence doesn't have to be between the concept and some actual material object such as a pencil mark.

 

But If one attributes a ontological claim to a concept of method where there is no no mind-independent referent then it is reification.

 

Its true that there is correspondence between the mind and its contents in instances of concepts of consciousness. Square-circle is a content of consciousness that represents an attempt to integrate incommensurate characteristics. This makes it an invalid concept. In all such instances, the incommensurate characteristics are themselves integrations of sense data. Having corners and round surfaces are real metaphysical attributes.  

 

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.See? At root, Objectivists are mere naive materialists — a nice, safe, old-fashioned, 19th-century, Victorian worldview.

Why are you posting here, then? It's one thing to discuss and disagree, but it's totally different to just talk about how stupid you think Objectivism is.

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Why are you posting here, then? It's one thing to discuss and disagree, but it's totally different to just talk about how stupid you think Objectivism is.

>>>... it's totally different to just talk about how stupid you think Objectivism is.

 

I never said naive materialism was stupid.  It's wrong, but not stupid.

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But If one attributes a ontological claim to a concept of method where there is no no mind-independent referent then it is reification.

 

Its true that there is correspondence between the mind and its contents in instances of concepts of consciousness. Square-circle is a content of consciousness that represents an attempt to integrate incommensurate characteristics. This makes it an invalid concept. In all such instances, the incommensurate characteristics are themselves integrations of sense data. Having corners and round surfaces are real metaphysical attributes.  

 

>>>If one attributes a ontological claim to a concept of method where there is no no mind-independent referent then it is reification.

 

You love quoting Objectivist Scripture!

 

Who said anything here was a "concept of method"? And I never said that the analytic-geometry definition of a circle — x^2 + y^2 = 1 — existed only in the mind. I simply denied that it corresponded to a material thing perceived by the senses, such as a pencil mark (which would not be a circle but some variant of a misshapen oval). It corresponds to a non-material thing grasped by the intellect.

 

The nomenclature and symbols of mathematics are arbitrarily invented by man. Mathematical truths are not. They are discovered, just as continents are discovered. I got that from reading mathematicians themselves, not Objectivists asserting things about mathematics.

 

 

>>>Having corners and round surfaces are real metaphysical attributes

 

No they're not. Corners and round surfaces are simply objects of perception, and like all objects of perception, REQUIRE perception to be fully manifested. The touch / nerve-impulse / brain-interpretation /mind-experience is PART of the "thing" that is being interpreted as "corner" or "round surface."

 

To a neutrino, there are no such things as "corners" or "round surfaces" because everything is simply an amorphous cloud that it easily passes through. So which experiences the "real" metaphysical reality: you? or the neutrino? Says who? Based on what standard? And why should we accept THAT standard rather than some other standard?

 

As I said before: Objectivism is simply a mid-20th century restatement of 19th-century Victorian naive materialism. It has much in common with the naive materialist views of someone like H.G. Wells.

 

By the way, I like H.G. Wells (as a science fiction writer), and I generally admire the bourgeois decencies of the Victorian era. Socially, we would do well today with a little more Victorianism and a little less hedonism. However, the Victorian era's philosophical worldview certainly stood in the way of new scientific ideas, such as relativity, quantum mechanics, and today, "design" as a real attribute of certain things in the universe: living organisms and universal constants, to name two.

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>>>... it's totally different to just talk about how stupid you think Objectivism is.

 

I never said naive materialism was stupid.  It's wrong, but not stupid.

You don't need to be so hostile to others then. "Get the difference? No? Too bad." That's an example of hostile. Not good for a civil discussion. Not to suggest no one else is guilty of that, but pushing it further doesn't help. Also, I'm not sure where or how you got naive materialism out of Objectivism unless you didn't look into it all that carefully. Perhaps you're right that some posters here are naive materialists, but there isn't some "test" to take to qualify to post here. I actually disagree with Plasmatic on a lot, so it's not like one poster represents everyone.

 

As far as design is concerned, or code, I'm not sure what your point is. Code doesn't necessarily imply a purposeful developer. If you're suggesting instead that there is more order to reality than many people say, then I see no problem with that. I agree and know that DNA isn't "like" a code; it is a code. I really have no reason to presume codes are evidence of design. All that tells me is that codes work great. Information theory as a subfield of math with explanations of complex interactions between just anything, can say a lot about why and how a code could develop without something else interfering. I guess you could say ancient aliens designed Earth's life, but to me, it is considerably more *plausible* to think DNA as a code developed on its own based on how certain chemical interactions occur anyway.  If all you're saying is that life develops intelligently (i.e., changes itself as you said before), instead of just chaotically and randomly, but without an official "creator" (God, aliens, an ancient breed of hyperintelligent lizards, etc), then I agree with you. The main thing I'm curious about is what your point is, boiled down to one or two sentences, as best you can.

I guess what I'm asking is, tell me who made the code, or what you theorize. Otherwise, I'll just take it that you concede a specific creator with consciousness did not create the codes you are speaking of. Internal mechanisms of a self-contained system could plausibly develop a code without conscious intervention, external or internal.

 

"And, of course, had he taken that Objectivist approach"

The approach you suggested as Objectivist is just throwing out all possible scientific thought with some arbitrary assertion of one's own omniscience. Totally bad science. If there are possibilities to think that carbon is not a pre-condition of existence, it should be investigated. You may be right that some Objectivists develop a hive-mind mentality, but that isn't an argument about whether Objectivism is wrong about something.

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Red said:

 

You love quoting Objectivist Scripture!

 

 Let me help you with the obvious. First, I didnt quote anything and thats why you you didn't see any quotation marks. Second, you are at a forum dedicated to Oism. Thats capitol O. I am an Objectivist. I agree with Objectivism because I am persuaded by its content. When I quote Oist literature It is because I agree with it.  You should read the forum rules concerning this topic.

 

Who said anything here was a "concept of method"? And I never said that the analytic-geometry definition of a circle — x^2 + y^2 = 1 — existed only in the mind. I simply denied that it corresponded to a material thing perceived by the senses, such as a pencil mark (which would not be a circle but some variant of a misshapen oval). It corresponds to a non-material thing grasped by the intellect.

 

 

Yes, I know you advocate a form of Platonism. But "non-material" is mystical nonsense and so is any variant of the Forms. However the mental nature of invalid concepts is a reality.

 

 

The nomenclature and symbols of mathematics are arbitrarily invented by man. Mathematical truths are not. They are discovered, just as continents are discovered. I got that from reading mathematicians themselves, not Objectivists asserting things about mathematics.

 

 

Of course, you reject the foundational nature of philosophy.

 

No they're not. Corners and round surfaces are simply objects of perception, and like all objects of perception, REQUIRE perception to be fully manifested. The touch / nerve-impulse / brain-interpretation /mind-experience is PART of the "thing" that is being interpreted as "corner" or "round surface."

 

Complete nonsense. A complete disintegration of subject and object. Its becoming clear that your here simply to spread non Oist ideas. 


 

Edited by Plasmatic
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