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Thread: Entropy and evolution controversy

  1. #201  
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    First of all, the Earth isn't a closed system. Secondly the order that emerges for a short period of time soon returns to disorder. Also:


    from talk origins:

    "Several scientists have proposed that evolution and the origin of life is driven by entropy (McShea 1998). Some see the information content of organisms subject to diversification according to the second law (Brooks and Wiley 1988), so organisms diversify to fill empty niches much as a gas expands to fill an empty container. Others propose that highly ordered complex systems emerge and evolve to dissipate energy (and increase overall entropy) more efficiently (Schneider and Kay 1994). "
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  2. #202  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    That's funny. Experimental biology has, thus far, failed to observe this beyond that which is possible from cumulative random events. It is not an observation or a fact, it is an assumption that observed evolutionary processes generate vast quantities of order. It represents a failed prediction.
    You are moving the goalpost. First you asked for observed evolution, now you want observed speciation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciat...ial_speciation
    (or HIV again. It evolved from another virus.)

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It is a poor and nearly irrelevant example of the effect of mutation and selection as it relates to the theory which states that selection acting on mutations is responsible for new body plans, ...
    What theory states that? There are no body plans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    That's funny. Experimental biology has, thus far, failed to observe this beyond that which is possible from cumulative random events. It is not an observation or a fact, it is an assumption that observed evolutionary processes generate vast quantities of order. It represents a failed prediction.
    You are moving the goalpost. First you asked for observed evolution, now you want observed speciation.
    This entire thread has been about generation of unique ordered systems beyond what random processes are capable of producing. Your diminished definition of evolutionary theory to mean any change regardless of how insignificant it is represents moving the goal post. If you have empirical evidence that these small changes accumulate to generate the kinds of examples I listed before, these precursors to the changes required for new form or function like a new protein binding site or a new regulatory control, etc., I would be surprised. I don't know of any.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It is a poor and nearly irrelevant example of the effect of mutation and selection as it relates to the theory which states that selection acting on mutations is responsible for new body plans, ...
    What theory states that? There are no body plans.
    Precisely. This thread is addressing the potential source for diversity of life. The theory that selection acting on genetic errors accounts for observed diversity. Your example is not relevant to this question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    First of all, the Earth isn't a closed system.
    Agreed. Can you offer an external source for molecular (as distinct from thermal) order? Thus far, no source has been identified.

    from talk origins:

    "Several scientists have proposed that evolution and the origin of life is driven by entropy (McShea 1998). Some see the information content of organisms subject to diversification according to the second law (Brooks and Wiley 1988), so organisms diversify to fill empty niches much as a gas expands to fill an empty container. Others propose that highly ordered complex systems emerge and evolve to dissipate energy (and increase overall entropy) more efficiently (Schneider and Kay 1994). "
    Can you identify any part of this description that is not speculation? I can't. It is pure metaphysics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    This entire thread has been about generation of unique ordered systems beyond what random processes are capable of producing. Your diminished definition of evolutionary theory to mean any change regardless of how insignificant it is represents moving the goal post. If you have empirical evidence that these small changes accumulate to generate the kinds of examples I listed before, these precursors to the changes required for new form or function like a new protein binding site or a new regulatory control, etc., I would be surprised. I don't know of any.
    Of course the changes accumulate. I don't understand what do you want. Example of what? Give me some examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It is a poor and nearly irrelevant example of the effect of mutation and selection as it relates to the theory which states that selection acting on mutations is responsible for new body plans, ...
    What theory states that? There are no body plans.
    Precisely. This thread is addressing the potential source for diversity of life. The theory that selection acting on genetic errors accounts for observed diversity. Your example is not relevant to this question.
    I gave you examles of species evolving and examples of speciation. They are very relevant to the question as these phenomena explain all diversity on earth.

    And about that body plans. There are no body plans in DNA. DNA just creates RNA and proteins, which results in trees, animals etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    First of all, the Earth isn't a closed system.
    Agreed. Can you offer an external source for molecular (as distinct from thermal) order? Thus far, no source has been identified.
    I can't. No one can. We can describe the nature of interactions between molecules but we don't claim to know everything. However, if you want to know more about molecular organization, speak to a chemist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Yes, purposeful design is extremely good at generating ordered systems. These evolutionary algorithms to which you infer are preloaded with massive amounts of information that allows the algorithm to succeed. It is this kind of ordered support that we observe is required to generate the kind of ordered systems we see in life.
    Is your concern that you don't believe that order can accumulate? Is it like a house of cards, where the first random jostling causes the entire house to fall instead of just knocking down a single card?

    Clearly, it is only robust forms of order that manage to overcome the destructive forces around them. If the random odds of a constructive event happening are slightly higher than the odds of a destructive one, and your system is large enough to wait for the odds to bear out, then little by little it is going to build on itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Has experimental biology ever observed a virus become something other than a virus? No.
    What would lead you to think that the absence of such an observation is somehow prejudicial to TOE?
    Nothing, it is irrelevant and that is the point isn't it? Virus mutation is an excellent example of mutation and selection pressures and that is about it. It is a poor and nearly irrelevant example of the effect of mutation and selection as it relates to the theory which states that selection acting on mutations is responsible for new body plans, functions, new proteins, new interconnected protein machines, new developmental and gene expression controls, new distributed control systems and signal transduction circuits and on and on. We have discussed numerous times what selection acting on genetic errors can and does do. This tread is about what it does not do and why it does not. It does not because, similar to the thermal entropy law of thermodynamics where one requires a source of higher order thermal energy to increase thermal energy, one must have a source of higher molecular order to build new molecular order. Isentropic processes including crystallization are reversible (though not thermally isentropic), have equal probabilities in both states and do not represent a variation to this rule.
    So, are you saying that the cure is more fragile than the disease, so random destructive forces would tend to disrupt the cure more easily?

    I can see why that would prevent it from seeming like a strong argument for increased orderliness in your perspective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Of course the changes accumulate. I don't understand what do you want. Example of what? Give me some examples.
    Yes they accumulate, but do they accumulate into something coherent? Most cell functions involve numerous well fitted protein components. One example would be a new set of protein tertiary structures and binding sites required to make a novel multicomponent protein function. I there is no empirical evidence that selection acting on mutations do generate the order required for these kinds of new functions.

    I gave you examles of species evolving and examples of speciation. They are very relevant to the question as these phenomena explain all diversity on earth.
    The world is full of examples of similar species and I don't deny that they exist. Unfortunately we don't have empirical evidence to show us how they came to be. The how is speculation, it is assumed.

    And about that body plans. There are no body plans in DNA. DNA just creates RNA and proteins, which results in trees, animals etc.
    Nonsense. DNA is the genetic code. It contains the instruction set for how to develop and construct the organism, component by component.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    We consider ourselves to design such things as watches. This arrogance can only be justified in a very limited sense.

    In actuality, watches have evolved! Albeit by a non-genetic mechanism.
    I mostly agree with this. A supercomputer is qualitatively the same as a curved and plucked stick used to scoop out ants or a bird's nest designed to avoid easy access by predators. [quote]
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    KALSTER,

    As one of the few contributors to this thread who are not obsessed with (usually misinformed) minutiae, and not of an anthropocentric bent, you will probably find the following link to a recently published work by Edward A. Wasserman and Mark S. Blumberg to be of Interest.

    http://www.americanscientist.org/iss...igning-minds/1

    At last we seem to be witnessing a turning of the tide with regard to views on such matters.

    Which reflects very aptly the Schopenhauer quote used by another contributor as his "signature":

    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

    "Unusual Perspectives" (electronic edition available for free download) handles the issue in exactly the same way within the wider context of a version of teleology which is fully compatible with, and complementary to, the accepted mechanistic descriptions of both biological and non-biological evolutionary processes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Of course the changes accumulate. I don't understand what do you want. Example of what? Give me some examples.
    Yes they accumulate, but do they accumulate into something coherent? Most cell functions involve numerous well fitted protein components. One example would be a new set of protein tertiary structures and binding sites required to make a novel multicomponent protein function. I there is no empirical evidence that selection acting on mutations do generate the order required for these kinds of new functions.
    Can incoherent technobabble emerge spontaneously?

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I gave you examles of species evolving and examples of speciation. They are very relevant to the question as these phenomena explain all diversity on earth.
    The world is full of examples of similar species and I don't deny that they exist. Unfortunately we don't have empirical evidence to show us how they came to be. The how is speculation, it is assumed.
    Again, this makes no sense at all. You don't deny they evolved, yet you still argue there is no evidence how they come to be? You agree they evolved, but disagree they evolved? WTF?

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Nonsense. DNA is the genetic code. It contains the instruction set for how to develop and construct the organism, component by component.
    No, not in the form you think. There are no blueprints, everything, your eyes, your arms, all organs, everything, is just a result of the right proteins synthetized at the right time. It's like a set of recipes, not blueprints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Can incoherent technobabble emerge spontaneously?
    I would think not. Are you stumped?

    Again, this makes no sense at all. You don't deny they evolved, yet you still argue there is no evidence how they come to be? You agree they evolved, but disagree they evolved? WTF?
    I agree change has occurred, but the process by which that change occurred is not verified. Mutation and selection has been tested repeatedly and thus far it has failed to demonstrate that it is capable of generating even the precursor steps required to account for the diversity we observe. It is a just so story. Experimental and molecular biology tells us that selection acting on genetic errors does not generated observed diversity and the principle of entropy informs us why it does not. To me it seems clear that other processes were involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Nonsense. DNA is the genetic code. It contains the instruction set for how to develop and construct the organism, component by component.
    No, not in the form you think. There are no blueprints, everything, your eyes, your arms, all organs, everything, is just a result of the right proteins synthetized at the right time. It's like a set of recipes, not blueprints.
    The code is not material. It is not the molecules or the structure. It has no meaning until transcribed and applied. It is no different than a blueprint or the digital software instructions or as you say a recipe. The recipe is not reducible to the paper and ink. The digital code contained in DNA or RNA is not reducible to the molecules. Where is my error?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    ... selection acting on genetic errors does not generate observed diversity
    I see the source of your problem right there in that quote: The year is now 2010, not 1947.

    I'd recommend that you read some of the stuff that's beginning to creep in to the mainstream biology from the theoretical and experimental frontiers. Ironically, it'd probably be right up your street since it can sometimes be very critical of the sorts of evolutionary arguments that you're likely to encounter in most places - even those put forth by many evolutionary biologists.

    Would selection acting on genetic errors make new transcription factors? Highly improbable would be my guess. All studies on transcription factor evolution that I have read are far more interesting. How much of the phenotype is determined by non-coding RNA expression? Probably a great deal of it, since upwards of 90% of the genome is transcribed. Why even go to the bother of mutatin' a novel protein by errors over multiple generations? They don't appear to evolve that way, do they?
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    Excellent zwirko, Of course you made similar points the last time you chimed in. Clearly you and I are somewhat closer aligned than others. Sadly, as you noted not too many biologists see it this way. Many still think much of the non-coding DNA is useless evolutionary junk. Even still, the examples you raise also lack a good description of the processes involved. Lot's of work still ahead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Can incoherent technobabble emerge spontaneously?
    I would think not. Are you stumped?
    OK. Were you trying to say that no new proteins can evolve? Or that proteins interacting with another protein cannot evolve? Neither is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Experimental and molecular biology tells us that selection acting on genetic errors does not generated observed diversity and the principle of entropy informs us why it does not.
    Are you sure you know what the word "entropy" means? And no, biology does not say that either.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    To me it seems clear that other processes were involved.
    You mean magic?

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Where is my error?
    Well, actually in every sentence you write...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Can incoherent technobabble emerge spontaneously?
    I would think not. Are you stumped?
    OK. Were you trying to say that no new proteins can evolve? Or that proteins interacting with another protein cannot evolve? Neither is true.
    No, I agree neither is true. I meant to say that observed processes act too slowly, for example, to generate new protein binding sites that would be required for new function in any reasonable geologic timeframe. It implies that other processes were involved.

    Are you sure you know what the word "entropy" means?
    Yes, it is a concept involving probability distribution of events based on processes that involve random actions including chemical reaction kinetics and heat transfer.
    Unless I am mistaken biology involves chemical reactions and chemical bonding.

    And no, biology does not say that either.
    I beg to differ.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    To me it seems clear that other processes were involved.
    You mean magic?
    No that would be very unlikely. Impossible as far as I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Where is my error?
    Well, actually in every sentence you write...
    Cute.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Yes, every one of them. Several involved pre-existing drug resisting strategies, the process by which they came into being is unknown. The rest all involved damage to pre-existing function defeating the ability of the drug to exploit the function as I said before.
    They involved modification of pre-existing mechanisms, including modification of mechanisms that were not, originally, drug-resistance mechanisms.

    The modifications made them more effective, not less. They were not damaged, but improved, for that function. The origin of the original mechanism, before modification, is irrelevant.

    Your contention that evolved drug resistance always involves damage to existing mechanisms is therefore false. Every time you repeat it, you are repeating something you have been shown to be false.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    These evolutionary algorithms to which you infer are preloaded with massive amounts of information that allows the algorithm to succeed.
    So is the situation they model - no big mystery there, eh?


    Actually the mystery is huge. The information loaded into evolutionary algorithms is encoded, requires interpretation, was intentionally put there by software designers, and is purposefully intended to unambiguously identify and reward advantage regardless of how of how small or large the actual difference is.
    Software models of complex physical situations are complex, difficult to construct, require much expertise. Your point?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Transcribed information is a excellent source of molecular order capable of duplicating pre-existing or generating pre-planned ordered system. Can you demonstrate for me where in natural selection, these characteristics exist? Can you support your claim?
    Not sure what you intended so say there. I wouldn't look for complex biological structure or function in "natural selection", and I'm not sure what you think "natural selection" is that it would be expected to contain such stuff.

    As far as Darwinian evolution producing great complexity and order from simpler and chaotic substrates over time, that is easy to demonstrate in relatively simple and general models. Or you could observe its results in the natural world, such as the orchids Darwin so carefully analyzed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Nonsense. DNA is the genetic code. It contains the instruction set for how to develop and construct the organism, component by component.
    No, not in the form you think. There are no blueprints, everything, your eyes, your arms, all organs, everything, is just a result of the right proteins synthetized at the right time. It's like a set of recipes, not blueprints.
    The code is not material. It is not the molecules or the structure. It has no meaning until transcribed and applied. It is no different than a blueprint or the digital software instructions or as you say a recipe. The recipe is not reducible to the paper and ink. The digital code contained in DNA or RNA is not reducible to the molecules. Where is my error?
    Think of houses that get selected against by storm conditions, or consumer dissatisfaction. Can you really draw a line between the house and its blueprint? Do architects continue making those blueprints, but the houses go unbuilt , or do the blue prints themselves change, because architects don't want to put their effort into drawing up a design nobody will build?

    I'm thinking that DNA itself is what has been evolving, not animals.

    There are a lot of fail safes that a new DNA structure has to get through in order to even become an animal. The first "should we build this?" check is to see if it leads to a viable fetus. If the fetus isn't viable, then the answer is a resounding "no!" Landing in the region below "normal" and above "unviable" is quite a feat of probability, since it's such a narrow region. I would think it would be easier to land above "normal" and below "godlike", since that region is so wide.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    I agree change has occurred, but the process by which that change occurred is not verified. Mutation and selection has been tested repeatedly and thus far it has failed to demonstrate that it is capable of generating even the precursor steps required to account for the diversity we observe. It is a just so story. Experimental and molecular biology tells us that selection acting on genetic errors does not generated observed diversity and the principle of entropy informs us why it does not. To me it seems clear that other processes were involved.
    If you make your demands for evidence large enough, you could even argue that the law of gravity (the general law of attraction) is unverified. No matter how many times it has been tested, there is always a non-zero chance that the next test will be unsuccessful. I could drop a rock from the top of my house tomorrow, and it could fall up instead of down.

    There's no way to prove it won't, except to run the test, again and again and again..... ad infinitum. After the infinity-eth run, all skeptics will finally have to agree that it really is a universal law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Nonsense. DNA is the genetic code. It contains the instruction set for how to develop and construct the organism, component by component.
    No, not in the form you think. There are no blueprints, everything, your eyes, your arms, all organs, everything, is just a result of the right proteins synthetized at the right time. It's like a set of recipes, not blueprints.
    The code is not material. It is not the molecules or the structure. It has no meaning until transcribed and applied. It is no different than a blueprint or the digital software instructions or as you say a recipe. The recipe is not reducible to the paper and ink. The digital code contained in DNA or RNA is not reducible to the molecules. Where is my error?
    Think of houses that get selected against by storm conditions, or consumer dissatisfaction. Can you really draw a line between the house and its blueprint? Do architects continue making those blueprints, but the houses go unbuilt , or do the blue prints themselves change, because architects don't want to put their effort into drawing up a design nobody will build?

    I'm thinking that DNA itself is what has been evolving, not animals.
    There is a clear line between the plans and the house. The house is material, the representation of the plan is material but the plan itself is not. The organism, and DNA (the representation of the organism plans), and the plan itself have all changed over time. The question is how.

    There are a lot of fail safes that a new DNA structure has to get through in order to even become an animal. The first "should we build this?" check is to see if it leads to a viable fetus. If the fetus isn't viable, then the answer is a resounding "no!" Landing in the region below "normal" and above "unviable" is quite a feat of probability, since it's such a narrow region. I would think it would be easier to land above "normal" and below "godlike", since that region is so wide.
    Your presumptions of where mutations land contradict observation from experimental and molecular biology and also from information theory and probability/entropy. These all consistently track observation that mutations generally damage function.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    I agree change has occurred, but the process by which that change occurred is not verified. Mutation and selection has been tested repeatedly and thus far it has failed to demonstrate that it is capable of generating even the precursor steps required to account for the diversity we observe. It is a just so story. Experimental and molecular biology tells us that selection acting on genetic errors does not generated observed diversity and the principle of entropy informs us why it does not. To me it seems clear that other processes were involved.
    If you make your demands for evidence large enough, you could even argue that the law of gravity (the general law of attraction) is unverified.
    My demands are well within the normal requirements of the scientific method. With gravity we empirically observe in current time the effects of gravity. With evolution we can and have determined the sub steps we should observe in current time, if the theory is correct. Then the experiments are set up to see if these sub steps occur. The experiments have thus far, delineated a clear barrier and shown that observed diversity (though it happened) is not happening by the theorized process in the timeframe observed by the fossil record. Once again the principles of entropy offers a clear explanation for why this is the case. As zwirko and I have said, there must be a different mechanism involved.

    No matter how many times it has been tested, there is always a non-zero chance that the next test will be unsuccessful. I could drop a rock from the top of my house tomorrow, and it could fall up instead of down.
    lol.

    There's no way to prove it won't, except to run the test, again and again and again..... ad infinitum. After the infinity-eth run, all skeptics will finally have to agree that it really is a universal law.
    This is a clear example of faith in spite of the evidence. Are you suggesting that we should have faith that genetic error and selection explains diversity of life in spite of the evidence? Are you admitting that the theory is not scientific but rather based on a metaphysical faith that it must be true in spite of the evidence?
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    It'd probably be for the best if we all stopped thinking about living systems using machine and blueprint metaphors. Life is a lot more complicated than that. As Carl Woese is fond of saying: "Organisms are resilient patterns in a turbulent flow patterns in an energy flow." The genome is not static like a blueprint it is dynamic and lies at the heart of vast information processing network. Neither is that flow of information in one direction, but information can feed back from the environment on to the genome. James Shapiro likens it to a Read-Write system with a multi-level architecture as opposed to a simple ROM system (blueprint).
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Your presumptions of where mutations land contradict observation from experimental and molecular biology and also from information theory and probability/entropy. These all consistently track observation that mutations generally damage function.
    Rewriting that into normal English, we note that the fact that mutations to DNA or RNA generally damage the function of any proteins produced, or even the function of the DNA/RNA itself, does not conflict with standard evolutionary theory.

    In fact, it has been proposed as a factor in an explanation for the evolutionary development of DNA itself - as a mutation resistant and repairable store of genetic information, less vulnerable to such damage than proteins themselves, it has obvious evolutionary advantages.
    Quote Originally Posted by zwirko
    It'd probably be for the best if we all stopped thinking about living systems using machine and blueprint metaphors
    The metaphor introduced by twitofwit was "recipe", explicitly distinguished from "blueprint" - cypress has been confounding them, for some reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    With evolution we can and have determined the sub steps we should observe in current time, if the theory is correct. Then the experiments are set up to see if these sub steps occur. The experiments have thus far, delineated a clear barrier and shown that observed diversity (though it happened) is not happening by the theorized process in the timeframe observed by the fossil record.
    That is false. The observations made so far have shown that genetic diversification occurs far faster, in the lab, than would be necessary to produce the fossil record or current diversity we observe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    It'd probably be for the best if we all stopped thinking about living systems using machine and blueprint metaphors. Life is a lot more complicated than that. As Carl Woese is fond of saying: "Organisms are resilient patterns in a turbulent flow — patterns in an energy flow." The genome is not static like a blueprint — it is dynamic and lies at the heart of vast information processing network. Neither is that flow of information in one direction, but information can feed back from the environment on to the genome. James Shapiro likens it to a Read-Write system with a multi-level architecture as opposed to a simple ROM system (blueprint).
    While the comments of Woese and Shapiro are somewhat fanciful, they do contain some underlying substance inasmuch as the localised dysentopic evolutionary process that is manifested as genetic and technological development exhibits a high degree of dynamic interaction.

    Not only is the clear directionality imparted by the properties of the chemical elements, but a considerable degree of feed-back and, indeed, "feed-forward" continually creates new niches for subsequent kinds of organisms.

    Many of these entities are more complex and further advance the overall dynamic evolutionary process.

    One of the more obvious examples is the bacterial generation of an oxygen containing atmosphere having the capability to support respiration in animals that were to emerge later by virtue of that change. This kind of phenomenon is very wide-spread, as is both direct and indirect genomic interchange between organsms.

    The metaphor of a blueprint to represent the function of DNA of course has its weaknesses. In "Unusual Perspectives" I use the expression "an instruction and assembly manual detailing how to run itself and to create copies of itself".
    This metaphor, while not succinct, conveys the function much more clearly than either "blueprint" or "recipe"

    I can see no problem with regarding the process as a machine. Unless your particular definition of a machine include a limit to its complexity.

    In fact , my own preferred view of the entire observed universe and the life processes that occur within it, is exactly described as such.
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    Whatever the virtues or shortcomings of the descriptions chosen, and certainly the ones offered most recently are better in many ways, we are left to ponder how it became to be this way. We know that at some point in the past there was no life and we know now that life is very complex and very diverse. The processes claimed to be involved between then and now must have the capability to accomplish the tasks assigned to them and to explain how they were accomplished in the context of known natural physical laws.

    Today's theories lack this capability at many levels. Entropy and information theory are two demonstrations of this lack of capability. The coherent and well coordinated biological processes of integrated components, regulated and controlled by a complex distributed control and information processing system that is sensitive to environmental influences for feedback seems to preclude the kinds of stepwise processes still popular today because numerous coordinated alterations are generally needed to maintain coherency. Experimental and molecular biology increasingly is confirming the limits of stepwise random errors even when directed by selection.

    Random processes plus selection can occasionally net new function, but only when the level of coordination is limited. Single or dual step enzyme alterations are the most common example of what random processes can and do accomplish. Beyond this, damage to existing function that prevents exploitation of a vulnerability seems to be the other example of adaptive processes that selection acting on random genetic errors seems capable of accomplishing. And that is about it.
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    Let me summarize what cypress just said:

    I don't fully understand the merits of the natural process argument, ergo goddidit.
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    You discredit yourself when you speak out of turn for someone else. It exposes you for what you are.

    Experimental work is delineating what known processes do accomplish, and we are finding that it is not very much. This is not ignorance, it is empirical fact. I do appreciate that you admit that science does not currently know of any natural processes that are capable of producing life and observed diversity.

    As for me claiming that therefore "goddidit". No, but scientific discovery does strongly indicate that some other processes, not yet understood or explained was involved. I have little doubt that this process will someday be understood and it won't be the one in vogue today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Experimental work is delineating what known processes do accomplish, and we are finding that it is not very much. This is not ignorance, it is empirical fact.
    Your determined ignorance and incomprehension of what research and experiment and theory have delineated does not create empirical facts out of midair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Experimental work is delineating what known processes do accomplish, and we are finding that it is not very much. This is not ignorance, it is empirical fact.
    Your determined ignorance and incomprehension of what research and experiment and theory have delineated does not create empirical facts out of midair.
    This is why it is important to admit errors when errors are made and to maintain credibility. On this score you have not faired well. Past notes have presented the information so your claim that I am wrong is on par with my claim. The interested reader can look at the information and determine which of us to believe.
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    The second law of thermodynamics states: "In an isolated system, the entropy never decreases"

    An isolated system has no exchange of heat or mass with the surroundings. An example is the universe, who has no exchange of nothing with its "surroundings" if there are surroundings.

    The atmosphere, the Earth itself is an open system, which means that enropy can decrease, IF their surrounding's entropy have an equal or higher increase.

    So, life could have formed spontaneosly, even if the phenomena decreases the entropy of the system (system = organism), as well as evolution.
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  28. #228  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Nonsense. DNA is the genetic code. It contains the instruction set for how to develop and construct the organism, component by component.
    No, not in the form you think. There are no blueprints, everything, your eyes, your arms, all organs, everything, is just a result of the right proteins synthetized at the right time. It's like a set of recipes, not blueprints.
    The code is not material. It is not the molecules or the structure. It has no meaning until transcribed and applied. It is no different than a blueprint or the digital software instructions or as you say a recipe. The recipe is not reducible to the paper and ink. The digital code contained in DNA or RNA is not reducible to the molecules. Where is my error?
    Think of houses that get selected against by storm conditions, or consumer dissatisfaction. Can you really draw a line between the house and its blueprint? Do architects continue making those blueprints, but the houses go unbuilt , or do the blue prints themselves change, because architects don't want to put their effort into drawing up a design nobody will build?

    I'm thinking that DNA itself is what has been evolving, not animals.
    There is a clear line between the plans and the house. The house is material, the representation of the plan is material but the plan itself is not. The organism, and DNA (the representation of the organism plans), and the plan itself have all changed over time. The question is how.
    How have blueprints for houses improved?

    People had to first observe badly built houses, then analyze the failed houses to see where they went wrong. Evolution's problem is that it has no purpose driven analysis, .... or does it?



    There are a lot of fail safes that a new DNA structure has to get through in order to even become an animal. The first "should we build this?" check is to see if it leads to a viable fetus. If the fetus isn't viable, then the answer is a resounding "no!" Landing in the region below "normal" and above "unviable" is quite a feat of probability, since it's such a narrow region. I would think it would be easier to land above "normal" and below "godlike", since that region is so wide.
    Your presumptions of where mutations land contradict observation from experimental and molecular biology and also from information theory and probability/entropy. These all consistently track observation that mutations generally damage function.
    I'm just trying to point out mitigating factors. There are certain things that narrow the field of possibilities before environmental selection even weighs in. The number of serious birth defects is still greater than the number of exceptional specimens for any species, but it's not as bad a ratio as it would be if un-viable fetuses weren't first being selected out.

    The level of selection even below that level is sexual selection (for most species). That's where purpose driven analysis begins. Among the intelligent species, females have a strong tendency to select males who are more successful than their peers. A lot of bad combinations are never attempted in the first place. You could say that humans "design" our own babies by choosing from a list of blueprints we see around us.



    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    I agree change has occurred, but the process by which that change occurred is not verified. Mutation and selection has been tested repeatedly and thus far it has failed to demonstrate that it is capable of generating even the precursor steps required to account for the diversity we observe. It is a just so story. Experimental and molecular biology tells us that selection acting on genetic errors does not generated observed diversity and the principle of entropy informs us why it does not. To me it seems clear that other processes were involved.
    If you make your demands for evidence large enough, you could even argue that the law of gravity (the general law of attraction) is unverified.
    My demands are well within the normal requirements of the scientific method. With gravity we empirically observe in current time the effects of gravity. With evolution we can and have determined the sub steps we should observe in current time, if the theory is correct. Then the experiments are set up to see if these sub steps occur. The experiments have thus far, delineated a clear barrier and shown that observed diversity (though it happened) is not happening by the theorized process in the timeframe observed by the fossil record. Once again the principles of entropy offers a clear explanation for why this is the case. As zwirko and I have said, there must be a different mechanism involved.
    The problem with applying the same method to any process driven by randomness as you would apply to a process driven by determinism is that you can't ever be totally sure of your results.





    No matter how many times it has been tested, there is always a non-zero chance that the next test will be unsuccessful. I could drop a rock from the top of my house tomorrow, and it could fall up instead of down.
    lol.

    There's no way to prove it won't, except to run the test, again and again and again..... ad infinitum. After the infinity-eth run, all skeptics will finally have to agree that it really is a universal law.
    This is a clear example of faith in spite of the evidence. Are you suggesting that we should have faith that genetic error and selection explains diversity of life in spite of the evidence? Are you admitting that the theory is not scientific but rather based on a metaphysical faith that it must be true in spite of the evidence?
    I'm saying that you're going to have to accept probabilistic arguments instead of arguments from certainty. Ie. "This explanation is more probable than its competitors" instead of "This explanation must be true."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fgil90
    The second law of thermodynamics states: "In an isolated system, the entropy never decreases"

    An isolated system has no exchange of heat or mass with the surroundings. An example is the universe, who has no exchange of nothing with its "surroundings" if there are surroundings.

    The atmosphere, the Earth itself is an open system, which means that enropy can decrease, IF their surrounding's entropy have an equal or higher increase.

    So, life could have formed spontaneosly, even if the phenomena decreases the entropy of the system (system = organism), as well as evolution.
    Your argument has been raised multiple times. The problem we are discussing is not the inability import molecular order (as you have argued) but rather the source of that order. As a point of fact, life does exist and has an amazing degree of molecular order and coherency, and therefore we can agree it was imported from somewhere. The order does not seem to exist on earth in the inanimate set of material and there is no indication that thermal order is capable of generating molecular order. The processes in vogue today do not have a mechanism for importing order and therefore I properly suggest that other more capable processes be considered.
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    Cypress, would you accept that complex molecules (ie proteins) can evolve increased levels of order over time as the coding sequence of their genes evolve? And if so, doesn't this offer a resolution to your concerns about the "source of this order"?
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    The order does not seem to exist on earth in the inanimate set of material and there is no indication that thermal order is capable of generating molecular order.
    This is of course required for your world view and it is not surprising that you see things this way.

    You have two chemicals in a puddle. The sun shines on it, heats it up enough and the chemicals combine. Was thermal energy not converted in molecular order? Solar energy provides the impetus for chemical reactions to occur that would not be possible or as easy to accomplish by other means because it is so readily available. The whole bloody biosphere is built around it (well, almost).
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    KALSTAR writes:
    You have two chemicals in a puddle. The sun shines on it, heats it up enough and the chemicals combine. Was thermal energy not converted in molecular order? Solar energy provides the impetus for chemical reactions to occur that would not be possible or as easy to accomplish by other means because it is so readily available. The whole bloody biosphere is built around it (well, almost).
    Precisely!

    In fact, in "Unusual Perspectives" I point out that the persistent ongoing dysentropic process that we call "life" can meaningfully be extended back to include stellar and supernoval synthesis of the elements above Hydrogen and Helium.

    Furthermore, chapter 8 (entitled "Money, Money, Money" - can anybody guess why?), attributes the underlying motivation for the process to be gravity rather than solar energy. The latter being merely an intermediary

    Whether gravity itself is driven by some even more fundamental phenomenon is beyond the reach of our observations and may well remain so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    Cypress, would you accept that complex molecules (ie proteins) can evolve increased levels of order over time as the coding sequence of their genes evolve? And if so, doesn't this offer a resolution to your concerns about the "source of this order"?
    I may not understand what you are suggesting because you don't identify the causal agent of change. If you are asking is it possible for some unidentified process to manipulate gene codons to effect substantial coherent alterations in proteins, I say yes. If you are asking is it possible for random processes to accomplish change beyond the expectations of a random walk, I say it is doubtful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The order does not seem to exist on earth in the inanimate set of material and there is no indication that thermal order is capable of generating molecular order.
    This is of course required for your world view and it is not surprising that you see things this way.
    Well, it is required for an alternate to abiogenesis. An alternate is required since there is no evidence for abiogenesis and without an alternative the hypothesis is not falsifiable.

    You have two chemicals in a puddle. The sun shines on it, heats it up enough and the chemicals combine. Was thermal energy not converted in molecular order? Solar energy provides the impetus for chemical reactions to occur that would not be possible or as easy to accomplish by other means because it is so readily available. The whole bloody biosphere is built around it (well, almost).
    This represents a misunderstanding of molecular order. Physical properties of the reactants deterministically dictate the products, few combinations are possible and all of the combinations that are possible do form thus molecular entropy is not reduced (molecular order is not increased) in this example. DNA configurations do not form this way. The order of codons are neutral and thus any combination is possible. Entropy is a measure of probability states and law has random processes driving configuration to that of the highest probability, that of uniform distribution.

    To assume that chemic reaction kinetics accounts for biological systems is a gross failure to understand our physical world.
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    Well, it is required for an alternate to abiogenesis. An alternate is required since there is no evidence for abiogenesis and without an alternative the hypothesis is not falsifiable.
    What? Are you seriously claiming that there is no evidence for abiogenesis? You could say there is no proof, but no evidence? And by the way, in what way is an alternative falsifiable? More specifically, in what way is the alternative you have already decided upon falsifiable?

    This represents a misunderstanding of molecular order. Physical properties of the reactants deterministically dictate the products, few combinations are possible and all of the combinations that are possible do form thus molecular entropy is not reduced (molecular order is not increased) in this example.
    Yeah right. What it demonstrates is that energy can increase order. You are making it out as if life is the only thing that opposes entropy locally. Are you making this claim? What magic force is the only thing that can oppose entropy then? Wait, don't tell me.

    DNA configurations do not form this way. The order of codons are neutral and thus any combination is possible. Entropy is a measure of probability states and law has random processes driving configuration to that of the highest probability, that of uniform distribution.
    And here you make the assumption that DNA cannot form under the right conditions and given enough time. You are contorting the situation yet again so that "an alternative" can be the only solution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What? Are you seriously claiming that there is no evidence for abiogenesis? You could say there is no proof, but no evidence?
    Nothing relevant, to the primary issues involving biological processes. Cell building blocks must be stable and therefore easily synthesized. The fact that many are is simply confirming their nature. It is not evidence that these components can self assemble into coherent functional patterns.

    And by the way, in what way is an alternative falsifiable? More specifically, in what way is the alternative you have already decided upon falsifiable?
    One alternative is that life was assembled and placed here by an agent. It is falsified if one can show that life self assembles. I accept that both are logically possible. I note that agents can and do assemble systems with components similar to biological subsystems. As I said before though, for now, self assembly is without empirical evidence. We have nothing to suggest self assembly does occur.

    Another alternative is adaptive processes (as opposed to selection of random errors) that are inherent to biological chemistry. This one has no empirical support at tis time either.

    This represents a misunderstanding of molecular order. Physical properties of the reactants deterministically dictate the products, few combinations are possible and all of the combinations that are possible do form thus molecular entropy is not reduced (molecular order is not increased) in this example.
    Yeah right. What it demonstrates is that energy can increase order.
    Only if you redefine order outside of the context of entropy.

    You are making it out as if life is the only thing that opposes entropy locally. Are you making this claim?
    Not at all. My issue is not with life, it is with the processes many claim are responsible for life and observed diversity. The challenge is to discover a process that accounts for the origin of life and diversity but does so in accordance with physical laws including entropy.

    What magic force is the only thing that can oppose entropy then? Wait, don't tell me.
    There are none, entropy seems to be invariant.

    DNA configurations do not form this way. The order of codons are neutral and thus any combination is possible. Entropy is a measure of probability states and law has random processes driving configuration to that of the highest probability, that of uniform distribution.
    And here you make the assumption that DNA cannot form under the right conditions and given enough time. You are contorting the situation yet again so that "an alternative" can be the only solution.
    No, I disagree. I am perfectly willing to stipulate DNA can form by random processes. Entropy does not preclude synthesis of Deoxyribonucleic acid. What it does preclude is the arrangement of a system of molecules (including the pattern of codons) into a coherent pattern that provides function and can self assemble without a source of order to drive it to such a rare configuration. To do so without external aid (a source of higher order) by random chemic processes would be tantamount to successfully constructing a perpetual motion machine.
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    Nothing relevant, to the primary issues involving biological processes. Cell building blocks must be stable and therefore easily synthesized. The fact that many are is simply confirming their nature. It is not evidence that these components can self assemble into coherent functional patterns.
    Thank Ra you are not a scientist. You have the classical creationist mindset where anything you can not observe directly is idle speculation and cannot be seen an legitimate scientific research. There are MANY hypothesis that are perfectly valid and are based on legitimate scientific principles. The fact that you are sweeping these all under the table as idle irrelevant speculation is very difficult not to see as deliberate and dishonest, cypress.

    One alternative is that life was assembled and placed here by an agent. It is falsified if one can show that life self assembles. I accept that both are logically possible.
    Oh come on! Where did this agent come from then if it did not itself evolve? You want scientists to actually create life from scratch in the lab before you'll accept it is being shown, don't you? How could this agent have come about then? This proposed agent is NOT a valid alternative, because it can not itself be proven. You might as well have said that life existed first and non-life is what is left over from all the dead ones. Or any other ridiculous non-alternative.

    As I said before though, for now, self assembly is without empirical evidence. We have nothing to suggest self assembly does occur.
    As noted before, this is a stunning display of shutting your eyes, covering your ears and singing: "lalalalalala" like an child.

    Only if you redefine order outside of the context of entropy.
    Your concept of order is broken. There are many self-assembling non-living systems known and proven to exist in many fields, yet none of these fit into your self-made definition. How convenient. You claim that you do not believe that life is the only process that counters the arrow of entropy locally. Would you care to name one and explain why it is different from the process of abiogenesis and evolution?

    There are none, entropy seems to be invariant.
    It is only invariant on a universal scale. It does NOT have to be in a localized spot, like a planet. The earth is not eternal, nor does it's entropy decrease continuously. It has a loosely fixed entropy quota dictated by the energy provided by the sun. Eventually though the earth will be destroyed and it will all disappear. No entropy laws are broken.

    No, I disagree. I am perfectly willing to stipulate DNA can form by random processes. Entropy does not preclude synthesis of Deoxyribonucleic acid. What it does preclude is the arrangement of a system of molecules (including the pattern of codons) into a coherent pattern that provides function and can self assemble without a source of order to drive it to such a rare configuration. To do so without external aid (a source of higher order) by random chemic processes would be tantamount to successfully constructing a perpetual motion machine.
    This is just nonsense. The codons' positions are not kept as they are by random processes, but by feedback from the environment. They can only stay there if nothing in the environment acted to destroy it. Your definition of function is also anthropomorphised. The ultimate "function" of any part of the system of life is to extend existence. Its very essence is evidence for its emergence from less complex systems. You refuse to see this, because you inject your subjective bias into everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Nothing relevant, to the primary issues involving biological processes. Cell building blocks must be stable and therefore easily synthesized. The fact that many are is simply confirming their nature. It is not evidence that these components can self assemble into coherent functional patterns.
    Thank Ra you are not a scientist. You have the classical creationist mindset where anything you can not observe directly is idle speculation and cannot be seen an legitimate scientific research. There are MANY hypothesis that are perfectly valid and are based on legitimate scientific principles. The fact that you are sweeping these all under the table as idle irrelevant speculation is very difficult not to see as deliberate and dishonest, cypress.
    I am a scientist. I try to be consistent. What criteria do you apply to hypotheses you don't agree with? I did not invent these rules for the scientific method requiring empirical testing. They must be applied to all hypotheses, even favored ones. I don't have a problem with speculation in science, but let's call a spade a spade. I did not say these speculations were invalid, but they are not confirmed and speculation is not evidence. Please tell me where I misspoke above.

    One alternative is that life was assembled and placed here by an agent. It is falsified if one can show that life self assembles. I accept that both are logically possible.
    Oh come on! Where did this agent come from then if it did not itself evolve?
    Science can't say anything about an agent's properties unless it is identified. It is an alternative hypothesis that is testable and falsifiable. I have described how this alternative is falsified.

    You want scientists to actually create life from scratch in the lab before you'll accept it is being shown, don't you?
    No, that would prove that life can be designed, and designers can and do import ordered systems. This would not help our current question very much.

    How could this agent have come about then? This proposed agent is NOT a valid alternative, because it can not itself be proven.
    I think you mean it cannot be falsified. But again it can by the same mechanism I described earlier. It is logically possible that an agent can be identified and located.

    You might as well have said that life existed first and non-life is what is left over from all the dead ones. Or any other ridiculous non-alternative.
    That is silly and it makes you sound daft.

    You should be careful, if your favored explanation has no alternative it is not falsifiable. If abiogenesis by random chemic processes is true by default as you have argued, then it is metaphysics and not science. It's no skin of my back if you a priori reject alternatives, but it is a bit two faced to accuse me having favorites when I am open to your favored alternative, but you are open to no alternative.

    As I said before though, for now, self assembly is without empirical evidence. We have nothing to suggest self assembly does occur.
    As noted before, this is a stunning display of shutting your eyes, covering your ears and singing: "lalalalalala" like an child.
    Except it is true. Do you read the literature on this topic or do you just accept the oversold stories? There is no example of naturally derived self assembling chemic systems. None.

    Only if you redefine order outside of the context of entropy.
    Your concept of order is broken. There are many self-assembling non-living systems known and proven to exist in many fields, yet none of these fit into your self-made definition. How convenient. You claim that you do not believe that life is the only process that counters the arrow of entropy locally. Would you care to name one and explain why it is different from the process of abiogenesis and evolution?
    Diffusion of carbon and chromium to make corrosion resistant and high strength steel. It is different because human designers provide a source of higher concentration (higher order) carbon and chromium and control the process .

    There are none, entropy seems to be invariant.
    It is only invariant on a universal scale. It does NOT have to be in a localized spot, like a planet. The earth is not eternal, nor does it's entropy decrease continuously. It has a loosely fixed entropy quota dictated by the energy provided by the sun. Eventually though the earth will be destroyed and it will all disappear. No entropy laws are broken.
    True but in an open system as you describe, there must be a source of higher order in order to drive the low order system to a lower and presumably unique probability state. This thread is attempting to discover the source of order in these postulated processes, because to date none has been offered.

    No, I disagree. I am perfectly willing to stipulate DNA can form by random processes. Entropy does not preclude synthesis of Deoxyribonucleic acid. What it does preclude is the arrangement of a system of molecules (including the pattern of codons) into a coherent pattern that provides function and can self assemble without a source of order to drive it to such a rare configuration. To do so without external aid (a source of higher order) by random chemic processes would be tantamount to successfully constructing a perpetual motion machine.
    This is just nonsense. The codons' positions are not kept as they are by random processes, but by feedback from the environment. They can only stay there if nothing in the environment acted to destroy it.
    I have no issue with the power of natural selection to allow for environmental adaptation within the range of configurations random chance can generate. I also do not have an issue with maintenance or stasis. The challenge is not to show how order is maintained. The issue what resources does it have at its disposal to effect change from simpler to more complex.

    Your definition of function is also anthropomorphised. The ultimate "function" of any part of the system of life is to extend existence. Its very essence is evidence for its emergence from less complex systems. You refuse to see this, because you inject your subjective bias into everything.
    I agree with your first sentence. You seem to have gone off the deep end when you claimed that a theoretical concept is evidence for reality. The concept can only be real if it actually has the ability and resources to accomplish the task. In other words you need all three. You have the concept down but the resources and ability are absent. The absence of these necessary components is what this thread is about.
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    I am a scientist.
    You could have fooled me.

    What criteria do you apply to hypotheses you don't agree with? I did not invent these rules for the scientific method requiring empirical testing. They must be applied to all hypotheses, even favored ones. I don't have a problem with speculation in science, but let's call a spade a spade. I did not say these speculations were invalid, but they are not confirmed and speculation is not evidence. Please tell me where I misspoke above.
    But there IS empirical testing going on. Pardon me supplying a Wiki article, but have a look at the wide range of hypothesis around and the ongoing research around them. There is a huge difference between simple speculation and a scientific hypothesis. Your continued characterization of sound scientific hypothesis as simple speculation does not make it so. The premises of these hypothesis are based on sound scientific principles and the evidence for them is found in what is known about living systems, accepted physics and chemistry and the results of experiments. A hypothesis is invalid if it disregards what is known scientifically to be true and has all sorts of special pleading issues connected with it to try and make it viable.

    Science can't say anything about an agent's properties unless it is identified. It is an alternative hypothesis that is testable and falsifiable. I have described how this alternative is falsified.
    Cypress, your alternative precludes it from forming at all. It must always have existed, etc. Your alternative already has a whole host of givens attached to it since it cuts out all physical possibilities.


    No, that would prove that life can be designed, and designers can and do import ordered systems. This would not help our current question very much.
    How can they falsify an eternal deity as the creator of life then?

    Except it is true. Do you read the literature on this topic or do you just accept the oversold stories? There is no example of naturally derived self assembling chemic systems. None.
    LINK. Do complex molecules not form on their own (like amino acids, etc)?

    Diffusion of carbon and chromium to make corrosion resistant and high strength steel. It is different because human designers provide a source of higher concentration (higher order) carbon and chromium and control the process .
    Are you claiming this cannot happen on its own under the right conditions? With this you are claiming that no self assembly can happen without intelligent interference.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  40. #240  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter G Kinnon

    Furthermore, chapter 8 (entitled "Money, Money, Money" - can anybody guess why?), attributes the underlying motivation for the process to be gravity rather than solar energy. The latter being merely an intermediary

    Whether gravity itself is driven by some even more fundamental phenomenon is beyond the reach of our observations and may well remain so.
    Gravity and heat together can cause a mix of chemicals to organize themselves by density, with the densest molecules settling toward the bottom and the least dense molecules settling at the top. That's how an oil refinery works.

    Would that form of self organization count as a decrease in entropy?


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    This represents a misunderstanding of molecular order. Physical properties of the reactants deterministically dictate the products, few combinations are possible and all of the combinations that are possible do form thus molecular entropy is not reduced (molecular order is not increased) in this example.
    Yeah right. What it demonstrates is that energy can increase order.
    Only if you redefine order outside of the context of entropy.
    Does life have to conform to such a narrow interpretation of entropy in order to exist?


    You are making it out as if life is the only thing that opposes entropy locally. Are you making this claim?
    Not at all. My issue is not with life, it is with the processes many claim are responsible for life and observed diversity. The challenge is to discover a process that accounts for the origin of life and diversity but does so in accordance with physical laws including entropy.
    Except we are allowed to break the laws of entropy if it can be shown that, on a local level, entropy is moving backwards.





    DNA configurations do not form this way. The order of codons are neutral and thus any combination is possible. Entropy is a measure of probability states and law has random processes driving configuration to that of the highest probability, that of uniform distribution.
    And here you make the assumption that DNA cannot form under the right conditions and given enough time. You are contorting the situation yet again so that "an alternative" can be the only solution.
    No, I disagree. I am perfectly willing to stipulate DNA can form by random processes. Entropy does not preclude synthesis of Deoxyribonucleic acid. What it does preclude is the arrangement of a system of molecules (including the pattern of codons) into a coherent pattern that provides function and can self assemble without a source of order to drive it to such a rare configuration. To do so without external aid (a source of higher order) by random chemic processes would be tantamount to successfully constructing a perpetual motion machine.
    And what happens if a large amount of this randomly formed DNA accumulates somewhere? Could all these DNA molecules bump around and randomly mix into something self replicating?

    The cause of the accumulation could be something like being able to float in fresh water which then carries it all to a certain sieve, like sand or or silt or something like that which filters out impurities as the water seeps underground. Or maybe the water carries it somewhere and then evaporates.

    Maybe the chemicals tend to be inert when cool, but tend to mix when they're hot. So on cold days, they're getting moved around, and on hot days...... you get the idea...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    A hypothesis is invalid if it disregards what is known scientifically to be true and has all sorts of special pleading issues connected with it to try and make it viable.
    I'm not sure they are hypotheses in the strict sense. A scientific conjecture is an idea, while an hypothesis is both testable and falsifiable. While they might not disregard what is known, they certainly are neither testable or falsifiable in there present formulation. In addition these conjectures about OOL currently don't address the problem of coherent molecular order.

    Science can't say anything about an agent's properties unless it is identified. It is an alternative hypothesis that is testable and falsifiable. I have described how this alternative is falsified.
    Cypress, your alternative precludes it from forming at all. It must always have existed, etc. Your alternative already has a whole host of givens attached to it since it cuts out all physical possibilities.
    I don't see it that way, perhaps you might list these givens that preclude physical possibilities and also describe how life is precluded from forming by an agent that was once physically present in this universe but is not one of Earth's life forms.


    No, that would prove that life can be designed, and designers can and do import ordered systems. This would not help our current question very much.
    How can they falsify an eternal deity as the creator of life then?
    By demonstrating that life can form by purely chemic processes without purposed intervention and deliberate set-up. A basic sub-step is to solve this issue with molecular entropy by identifying a natural process that does generate coherent non-repeating patterns of molecules that are functionally significant and neutral with respect to their ordering propensity so that large numbers of configurations are probable, most of which are not coherent.

    Except it is true. Do you read the literature on this topic or do you just accept the oversold stories? There is no example of naturally derived self assembling chemic systems. None.
    LINK. Do complex molecules not form on their own (like amino acids, etc)?
    My error, thanks for the correction. Should have said self replicating.

    Diffusion of carbon and chromium to make corrosion resistant and high strength steel. It is different because human designers provide a source of higher concentration (higher order) carbon and chromium and control the process .
    Are you claiming this cannot happen on its own under the right conditions? With this you are claiming that no self assembly can happen without intelligent interference.
    I am saying it does not happen, it has not happened, The fact that these thought experiments do not occur in natural settings confirm the law of entropy and the basis for it. It confirms that molecular order, like thermal order is constrained by physical processes to move directionally to the highest probability distribution unless an outside source of order is involved. This is the issue with the current conjectures of OOl and also the theory of selection acting on genetic errors to explain diversity of life. These processes lack an identified source of order to move the molecular configurations to more coherent forms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Gravity and heat together can cause a mix of chemicals to organize themselves by density, with the densest molecules settling toward the bottom and the least dense molecules settling at the top. That's how an oil refinery works.

    Would that form of self organization count as a decrease in entropy?
    Entropy is a formula based on probability distribution. In this example the end product distributions have the highest probability configuration given the designed apparatus. The distillation column of course is a source of imported order that serves to impart a fair degree of sorting that would otherwise not occur. These designed multistep contact towers do decrease molecular entropy of the chemical solution by importing a source of order in the process.

    Does life have to conform to such a narrow interpretation of entropy in order to exist?
    Life does exist and is diverse, but we don't know how these things occurred. Are you suggesting we redefine physical laws so that our favored explanations no longer have to contend with these physical constraints? The scientific process provides a mechanism to revise the conjectures and theories so that they do conform to physical realities. I suggest the ideas be revised.

    Except we are allowed to break the laws of entropy if it can be shown that, on a local level, entropy is moving backwards.
    That is not a violation, it is what I am asking for; an external source.

    And what happens if a large amount of this randomly formed DNA accumulates somewhere? Could all these DNA molecules bump around and randomly mix into something self replicating?

    The cause of the accumulation could be something like being able to float in fresh water which then carries it all to a certain sieve, like sand or or silt or something like that which filters out impurities as the water seeps underground. Or maybe the water carries it somewhere and then evaporates.

    Maybe the chemicals tend to be inert when cool, but tend to mix when they're hot. So on cold days, they're getting moved around, and on hot days...... you get the idea...
    Conjecture. Similar in a sense to the conjecture regarding perpetual motion machines. It is interesting really to start with a presupposition that random accident explains origin and diversity of life and then inventing these just so stories to maintain the prior commitment. What is wrong with exploring other processes that are more capable of explaining this without violating physical law? What is so important about this prior commitment?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I am saying it does not happen, it has not happened, The fact that these thought experiments do not occur in natural settings confirm the law of entropy and the basis for it. It confirms that molecular order, like thermal order is constrained by physical processes to move directionally to the highest probability distribution unless an outside source of order is involved.
    Darwinian evolution is impossible, on theoretical grounds, according to cypress. Molecular order never increases in any large locality, under any circumstances.

    Also: snowflakes derive their molecular order from pre-existing sources of order in the air, obviously of great complexity - possibly equipped with wands. Baked cakes derives their increased order from pre-existing sources of order in the Parsee man's magic stove. And so forth.
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    I should tell you honestly, I'm not entirely comfortable with the law of entropy the way you describe it, Cypress. Some systems move toward entropy faster than others. Very cold systems go slowly because there's little activity at all, but also very large systems appear to go slowly. The Sun, for example, isn't going to burn out for several billion years. It may be moving toward disorder, but it's moving very slowly.

    If an object on Earth accepts part of its energy from the Sun, and part from local forces, then it's hard to say how fast it should be falling apart.



    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Gravity and heat together can cause a mix of chemicals to organize themselves by density, with the densest molecules settling toward the bottom and the least dense molecules settling at the top. That's how an oil refinery works.

    Would that form of self organization count as a decrease in entropy?
    Entropy is a formula based on probability distribution. In this example the end product distributions have the highest probability configuration given the designed apparatus. The distillation column of course is a source of imported order that serves to impart a fair degree of sorting that would otherwise not occur. These designed multistep contact towers do decrease molecular entropy of the chemical solution by importing a source of order in the process.
    Maybe the question is how much steering does it take before microbial life can emerge, and emerge in a way where, once it has emerged, the probability of it moving backwards is smaller than the probability of it moving forward?

    You seem to suggest that it would take a lot, but I'm thinking maybe it would only take a little.


    Does life have to conform to such a narrow interpretation of entropy in order to exist?
    Life does exist and is diverse, but we don't know how these things occurred. Are you suggesting we redefine physical laws so that our favored explanations no longer have to contend with these physical constraints? The scientific process provides a mechanism to revise the conjectures and theories so that they do conform to physical realities. I suggest the ideas be revised.
    That is true so long as the narrowness of your definition is justified. As a general rule, broadening a definition is more easily justified than narrowing a definition. If you narrow it too much, you may fail to take into account the full range of phenomena that are capable of being present.

    I generally prefer simple definitions over complicated ones, because there's less wiggle room for pseudo science.


    Except we are allowed to break the laws of entropy if it can be shown that, on a local level, entropy is moving backwards.
    That is not a violation, it is what I am asking for; an external source.
    I thought we had an external source.

    The great bright orb in the sky keeps turning off and on in regular 24 hour intervals. Most of the surface of the planet is alternately heated, and then cooled, causing air particles to move in non-random directions in order to accommodate changing pressures. And of course, as I keep mentioning: water keeps evaporating, then moving, and then condensing somewhere else.

    Change keeps happening, but its predictable change, and that means it has some degree of order to it.



    And what happens if a large amount of this randomly formed DNA accumulates somewhere? Could all these DNA molecules bump around and randomly mix into something self replicating?

    The cause of the accumulation could be something like being able to float in fresh water which then carries it all to a certain sieve, like sand or or silt or something like that which filters out impurities as the water seeps underground. Or maybe the water carries it somewhere and then evaporates.

    Maybe the chemicals tend to be inert when cool, but tend to mix when they're hot. So on cold days, they're getting moved around, and on hot days...... you get the idea...
    Conjecture. Similar in a sense to the conjecture regarding perpetual motion machines. It is interesting really to start with a presupposition that random accident explains origin and diversity of life and then inventing these just so stories to maintain the prior commitment. What is wrong with exploring other processes that are more capable of explaining this without violating physical law? What is so important about this prior commitment?
    Conjecture is the seed of a good question. If we're going to determine anything with certainty, then we've first got to figure out what questions to ask.

    The question of whether a bunch of randomly generated DNA molecules could accumulate somewhere depends on whether DNA has special properties that make it more likely for a source of fresh water to carry them all to the same place, but not carry other objects to that place with the same likelihood.

    There is a degree of natural sorting of substances that we should expect to happen in fresh water. Some things float. Some things don't. Some things more easily break free from the water bed. Some take thousands of years of slow erosion in order to get carried away. When the water goes underground, some things get sifted out more easily by the dirt/sand/silt/..etc that the water is traveling through. Some chemicals also react with water differently than others. The constant in all of this is H2O. It's always going to be doing the same thing to the same chemical, but different things to different chemicals.



    I don't know if any of these effects would cause DNA to accumulate in one place or not, but if we were to answer that question I think it might illuminate the subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I should tell you honestly, I'm not entirely comfortable with the law of entropy the way you describe it, Cypress. Some systems move toward entropy faster than others. Very cold systems go slowly because there's little activity at all, but also very large systems appear to go slowly. The Sun, for example, isn't going to burn out for several billion years. It may be moving toward disorder, but it's moving very slowly.

    If an object on Earth accepts part of its energy from the Sun, and part from local forces, then it's hard to say how fast it should be falling apart.
    That seems fair. I did not intend to impose a particular rate of change, just the direction of the relevant system.


    Maybe the question is how much steering does it take before microbial life can emerge, and emerge in a way where, once it has emerged, the probability of it moving backwards is smaller than the probability of it moving forward?
    Perhaps so.

    You seem to suggest that it would take a lot, but I'm thinking maybe it would only take a little.
    OK, but given the number of permutation for even the simplest life forms it would take a fair study to determine who might be right.

    Life does exist and is diverse, but we don't know how these things occurred. Are you suggesting we redefine physical laws so that our favored explanations no longer have to contend with these physical constraints? The scientific process provides a mechanism to revise the conjectures and theories so that they do conform to physical realities. I suggest the ideas be revised.
    That is true so long as the narrowness of your definition is justified. As a general rule, broadening a definition is more easily justified than narrowing a definition. If you narrow it too much, you may fail to take into account the full range of phenomena that are capable of being present.

    I generally prefer simple definitions over complicated ones, because there's less wiggle room for pseudo science.
    Broad definitions lead to no end of conjecture and conjecture is clearly not in the realm of science.

    More later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    OK, but given the number of permutation for even the simplest life forms it would take a fair study to determine who might be right.
    The "number of permutations" of whatever you are talking about has almost nothing to do with evolution or the standard theory of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    That is not a violation, it is what I am asking for; an external source.
    I thought we had an external source.

    The great bright orb in the sky keeps turning off and on in regular 24 hour intervals. Most of the surface of the planet is alternately heated, and then cooled, causing air particles to move in non-random directions in order to accommodate changing pressures. And of course, as I keep mentioning: water keeps evaporating, then moving, and then condensing somewhere else.

    Change keeps happening, but its predictable change, and that means it has some degree of order to it.
    The sun is an excellent external source for thermal energy and entropy. However, experimentation and observation thus far has not turned up any evidence that thermal entropy can generate any significant molecular entropy. Your examples are insignificant compared to the task at hand because physical properties constrain the number of possible outcomes to evaporation of ionic solutions and condensation or freezing of pure liquids in non-condensible gasses. The probability states are near 1.0. On the other hand the probability state of coherent DNA or RNA sequences paired with the proper environment, components, and chemic configurations required for self replication is unimaginably rare. To site one as a possible solution to the other represents a gross misunderstanding of scale. A far far more rational solution is to find a process capable of generating order on this scale.


    Conjecture is the seed of a good question. If we're going to determine anything with certainty, then we've first got to figure out what questions to ask.

    The question of whether a bunch of randomly generated DNA molecules could accumulate somewhere depends on whether DNA has special properties that make it more likely for a source of fresh water to carry them all to the same place, but not carry other objects to that place with the same likelihood.
    Fair, the materialist is free to make conjectures about biochemicals on the same scale as the those who continue to look for leprechauns. Perhaps one day the conjecture may turn out to be correct. I just think there are more fruitful avenues to pursue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    However, experimentation and observation thus far has not turned up any evidence that thermal entropy can generate any significant molecular entropy.
    This is getting comical.

    We appear to have an assertion that you can't dissolve complicated molecules in hot water, or melt snowflakes with infrared radiation. That makes an elegant pairing with the former assertion that snowflakes required a source of molecular order more orderly than themselves to guide their formation, true, so there is a kind of logic to it.

    Is anyone compiling these things? What do you suppose is actually the mental image behind the term "molecular entropy" in these assertions?
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    Soryr Iceaura your ice crystal example was dispatched pages ago, there is no point attempting to explain it more than five times.

    Molecular diffusion into solids is a simple example of molecular entropy. It makes for a nice illustration.
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    I think one of the problems we're having when we talk about order is that we're always tempted to measure it against something.

    Suppose you shatter a vase, then gather up the shards, heat them, and form a new vase from the glass. There's a strong temptation to say that the new vase represents a tremendous amount of disorder compared to the old one. Certainly very little of the information contained in the old vase is still present in the new one. It has been lost, and irrecoverably so.

    But... they're both vases.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Molecular diffusion into solids is a simple example of molecular entropy. It makes for a nice illustration.
    I know I am going to regret this - but what are you talking about when you use the word "entropy", that diffusion of anything into anything "illustrates"? I mean as opposed to non-diffusion, molecules just banging around without diffusing at the moment. Does one have or show "entropy" and the other not?

    How far up the flagpole are these clown pants going to be flown?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think one of the problems we're having when we talk about order is that we're always tempted to measure it against something.
    Well, yes it is a relativistic measure.

    Suppose you shatter a vase, then gather up the shards, heat them, and form a new vase from the glass. There's a strong temptation to say that the new vase represents a tremendous amount of disorder compared to the old one.
    I don't see how that is so.

    Certainly very little of the information contained in the old vase is still present in the new one. It has been lost, and irrecoverably so.

    But... they're both vases.
    Lost and replaced with new.

    Here's the thing, every observed inanimate action in this universe thus far conforms to the law or principle of entropy. I believe biological systems conform to this law as I am sure you do as well. The problem comes in when we make conjectures about how life originated and how life diversified. The current conjecture when taken at face value does not conform to the law of entropy. I therefore conclude that the explanation is incorrect and different processes are involved. The fact that those who argue for the popular explanations refuse to acknowledge this issue is a clear demonstration that the idea is metaphysical belief, a non-falsifiable conjecture.

    The probability of generating the degree of molecular order observed in biological systems by random processes from unordered inanimate chemical subcomponents is so low it is indistinguishable from a miracle. As a point of fact, the QM uncertainty principle makes it impossible to distinguish one from the other, and furthermore demonstrates that despite uncertainty, there are some things that never happen, and yet those who hold to these conjectures stubbornly refuse to see what they are advocating. Furthermore the series of requisite events are not isolated but are correlated meaning that both spacial and temporal entanglement ensures that the correlate events will be driven by the strongest contributors. There seems to be no way around these issues so long as one insists on random chemic processes as the source of change.

    When are we going to give up on the hopelessly improbable and look for a more coherent explanation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The current conjecture when taken at face value does not conform to the law of entropy.
    Darwinian evolution - of anything - violates no principles of entropy whatsoever, "molecular" or otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The probability of generating the degree of molecular order observed in biological systems by random processes from unordered inanimate chemical subcomponents is so low it is indistinguishable from a miracle.
    The probability of generating such order by evolutionary processes on or near the surface of the planet Earth, however, is or was apparently pretty high. And that seems reasonable, given what we have observed and calculated of the remarkable ability of such processes to generate such complex order in the current circumstances.
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    iceaura's description woks if "Darwinian Evolution" is redefined to mean any and all processes that contributed to the origin and diversity of life on earth. But then it is no longer theory; it is tautology, it is metaphysics. Evolution is iceaura's religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    iceaura's description woks if "Darwinian Evolution" is redefined to mean any and all processes that contributed to the origin and diversity of life on earth.
    My description of what?

    The standard, ordinary Darwinian evolutionary process - as distinguished from the Lamarckian, for example, if a hint is necessary - violates none of the laws or principles of thermodynamics, and none of the laws or principles of information theory, and no other accepted scientific or theoretical principles.

    You have yet to explain or describe what it is you are talking about when you use terms like "molecular entropy", or actually "entropy" of any kind. It is not the ordinary physical quantity or entity referred to by thermodynamics or information theory texts (entropy does not have principles, in those realms), and its nature remains obscure here.
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    It's been explained, iceaura. I can't force you to understand. You seem impervious. For you it would not matter either way though because you have made up your mind that Darwinian Evolution is true whatever the actual process. All that is left for you is to allow it to be molded to fit whatever evidence comes forward regardless of what form the process takes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It's been explained, iceaura.
    No, it hasn't.

    You have always simply deflected and obfuscated, to the point that the behavior appears to be a calculated strategy rather than the ignorance and incomprehension it appeared to be at first.

    We see, for example, that you cannot answer even the simplest of direct questions - "description of what?" - without grounding out, and so you don't.

    You have no consistent meaning for your terms, such as "molecular entropy", and many of them are essentially meaningless in any context, such as "the law or principle of entropy".

    Or prove me wrong. What exactly is "the law or principle of entropy" you keep referring to?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It's been explained, iceaura.
    No, it hasn't.

    You have always simply deflected and obfuscated, to the point that the behavior appears to be a calculated strategy rather than the ignorance and incomprehension it appeared to be at first.

    We see, for example, that you cannot answer even the simplest of direct questions - "description of what?" - without grounding out, and so you don't.

    You have no consistent meaning for your terms, such as "molecular entropy", and many of them are essentially meaningless in any context, such as "the law or principle of entropy".

    Or prove me wrong. What exactly is "the law or principle of entropy" you keep referring to?
    Seconded. Precision and consistency of meaning please.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It's been explained, iceaura.
    No, it hasn't.

    You have always simply deflected and obfuscated, to the point that the behavior appears to be a calculated strategy rather than the ignorance and incomprehension it appeared to be at first.
    Agree that much of my strategy is deflection. It is a learned behavior as this site does not tolerate direct critique of particular beliefs that are treated as absolutes. the primary one being Neo-Darwinian Evolution. It creates a difficult situation because when in the past I have been direct, the threads get tossed aside and my posts get deleted. I am sorry this is the case, but this is not my choosing.

    Obfuscating is a debate term used by opponents to discredit the other. I always try to be clear. In this case, the problem with random processes as the change agent and the concept of entropy has been explained in detail. Your prejudice simply seems to prevent you from comprehending the conflict.

    We see, for example, that you cannot answer even the simplest of direct questions - "description of what?" - without grounding out, and so you don't.
    Iceaura you have rarely accepted any description I offered. Perhaps you are placing blame in the wrong spot.

    You have no consistent meaning for your terms, such as "molecular entropy", and many of them are essentially meaningless in any context, such as "the law or principle of entropy".
    Entropy is a well defined term .... Wiki even has it correct. Thermal entropy is a measure of thermal order, molecular entropy is a measure of molecular order. An easy to understand application of molecular entropy is in diffusion of carbon, CO2, chromium and other atoms and molecules into various metals. We have been through this numerous times.

    Or prove me wrong. What exactly is "the law or principle of entropy" you keep referring to?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_entropy
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Agree that much of my strategy is deflection. It is a learned behavior as this site does not tolerate direct critique of particular beliefs that are treated as absolutes. the primary one being Neo-Darwinian Evolution. It creates a difficult situation because when in the past I have been direct, the threads get tossed aside and my posts get deleted. I am sorry this is the case, but this is not my choosing.
    When did we delete your posts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Agree that much of my strategy is deflection. It is a learned behavior as this site does not tolerate direct critique of particular beliefs that are treated as absolutes. the primary one being Neo-Darwinian Evolution. It creates a difficult situation because when in the past I have been direct, the threads get tossed aside and my posts get deleted. I am sorry this is the case, but this is not my choosing.
    When did we delete your posts?
    Ask Skinwalker and Lynx-Fox about that. It has happened on several occasions. Biologista, I find you generally to be respectful, courteous, knowledgeable,and firm in your beliefs, all things I appreciate. You have become frustrated a time or two and moved the threads (tossed them aside) but you have never deleted my postings as far as I know. In any case I stand by my previous posting, it is difficult to be straight forward here, due to the environment that the policy creates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Agree that much of my strategy is deflection. It is a learned behavior as this site does not tolerate direct critique of particular beliefs that are treated as absolutes. the primary one being Neo-Darwinian Evolution. It creates a difficult situation because when in the past I have been direct, the threads get tossed aside and my posts get deleted. I am sorry this is the case, but this is not my choosing.
    When did we delete your posts?
    Ask Skinwalker and Lynx-Fox about that. It has happened on several occasions. Biologista, I find you generally to be respectful, courteous, knowledgeable,and firm in your beliefs, all things I appreciate. You have become frustrated a time or two and moved the threads (tossed them aside) but you have never deleted my postings as far as I know. In any case I stand by my previous posting, it is difficult to be straight forward here, due to the environment that the policy creates.
    I'd say the bigger barrier is your insistence on arguing constantly from ignorance. It certainly must be hard for you to come up with specifics when the basis of your whole argument relies on negative evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Agree that much of my strategy is deflection. It is a learned behavior as this site does not tolerate direct critique of particular beliefs that are treated as absolutes. the primary one being Neo-Darwinian Evolution. It creates a difficult situation because when in the past I have been direct, the threads get tossed aside and my posts get deleted. I am sorry this is the case, but this is not my choosing.
    When did we delete your posts?
    Ask Skinwalker and Lynx-Fox about that. It has happened on several occasions. Biologista, I find you generally to be respectful, courteous, knowledgeable,and firm in your beliefs, all things I appreciate. You have become frustrated a time or two and moved the threads (tossed them aside) but you have never deleted my postings as far as I know. In any case I stand by my previous posting, it is difficult to be straight forward here, due to the environment that the policy creates.
    I'd say the bigger barrier is your insistence on arguing constantly from ignorance. It certainly must be hard for you to come up with specifics when the basis of your whole argument relies on negative evidence.
    Yes, I agree it is more difficult to make a good argument with predominately negative arguments but for certain topics here it is far more fruitful since positive arguments against these topics generally are cast aside or deleted as I previously described. I think it is shameful really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Entropy is a well defined term .... Wiki even has it correct.
    That's how other people use it. In that usage, there is no such thing as "the principle of entropy".
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    An easy to understand application of molecular entropy is in diffusion of carbon, CO2, chromium and other atoms and molecules into various metals. We have been through this numerous times.
    There is no such thing as the "application" of entropy "in diffusion" , as Wikipedia defines the term. Again, you are going to have to explain what you are talking about, since you use familiar terms in unfamiliar and apparently meaningless ways.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Iceaura you have rarely accepted any description I offered.
    It was my alleged description that was the supposed subject of your comment, not yours. Don't change the subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    That is not a violation, it is what I am asking for; an external source.
    I thought we had an external source.

    The great bright orb in the sky keeps turning off and on in regular 24 hour intervals. Most of the surface of the planet is alternately heated, and then cooled, causing air particles to move in non-random directions in order to accommodate changing pressures. And of course, as I keep mentioning: water keeps evaporating, then moving, and then condensing somewhere else.

    Change keeps happening, but its predictable change, and that means it has some degree of order to it.
    The sun is an excellent external source for thermal energy and entropy. However, experimentation and observation thus far has not turned up any evidence that thermal entropy can generate any significant molecular entropy. Your examples are insignificant compared to the task at hand because physical properties constrain the number of possible outcomes to evaporation of ionic solutions and condensation or freezing of pure liquids in non-condensible gasses. The probability states are near 1.0. On the other hand the probability state of coherent DNA or RNA sequences paired with the proper environment, components, and chemic configurations required for self replication is unimaginably rare. To site one as a possible solution to the other represents a gross misunderstanding of scale. A far far more rational solution is to find a process capable of generating order on this scale.
    Suppose that the combined order of a very large system, like a whole river and its banks, all manages to converge in a single point, to make a single molecule. There's no reason to doubt that could happen, since nearly every drop of fresh water is passing through nearly every section of the river. If one section of that river has a feature that tends to gather a certain kind of highly complex molecule, then many examples of that highly complex molecule will begin to accumulate in one place.

    I'm just saying that some terrain features of our planet may serve to bring all of the order in the system together in one place, like the edge of the blade on a knife, or like when you use a magnifying glass to start a fire from Sunlight, so it's focused. It's not that there's a disproportionate amount of order in total, just that it's not randomly distributed.

    Instead of focusing so much on where the egg came from, maybe we should try to look for the chicken that laid it. We should see if the Earth could naturally produce a DNA factory.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress


    The probability of generating the degree of molecular order observed in biological systems by random processes from unordered inanimate chemical subcomponents is so low it is indistinguishable from a miracle. As a point of fact, the QM uncertainty principle makes it impossible to distinguish one from the other, and furthermore demonstrates that despite uncertainty, there are some things that never happen, and yet those who hold to these conjectures stubbornly refuse to see what they are advocating. Furthermore the series of requisite events are not isolated but are correlated meaning that both spacial and temporal entanglement ensures that the correlate events will be driven by the strongest contributors. There seems to be no way around these issues so long as one insists on random chemic processes as the source of change.

    When are we going to give up on the hopelessly improbable and look for a more coherent explanation?
    Just to be clear here: are you actually meaning to question both the diversification stage and the abiogenesis stage, or just the abiogenesis stage? The diversification stage is pretty hard for me to plausibly entertain a question against. We see it in action all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    Suppose that the combined order of a very large system, like a whole river and its banks, all manages to converge in a single point, to make a single molecule. There's no reason to doubt that could happen, since nearly every drop of fresh water is passing through nearly every section of the river. If one section of that river has a feature that tends to gather a certain kind of highly complex molecule, then many examples of that highly complex molecule will begin to accumulate in one place.

    I'm just saying that some terrain features of our planet may serve to bring all of the order in the system together in one place, like the edge of the blade on a knife, or like when you use a magnifying glass to start a fire from Sunlight, so it's focused. It's not that there's a disproportionate amount of order in total, just that it's not randomly distributed.

    Instead of focusing so much on where the egg came from, maybe we should try to look for the chicken that laid it. We should see if the Earth could naturally produce a DNA factory.
    I agree. The problem of obtaining life from non-life comes down to explaining the source of the information encoded in DNA and RNA. When one understands that this is a low entropy instruction set contained on a neutral carrier independent of any chemical affinities and is therefore exactly like a written language or software source code, then one can truly appreciate the magnitude of this issue. The challenge is to identify a process capable of generating meaningful instruction sets. Uniform experience thus far has only identified one source.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The probability of generating the degree of molecular order observed in biological systems by random processes from unordered inanimate chemical subcomponents is so low it is indistinguishable from a miracle. As a point of fact, the QM uncertainty principle makes it impossible to distinguish one from the other, and furthermore demonstrates that despite uncertainty, there are some things that never happen, and yet those who hold to these conjectures stubbornly refuse to see what they are advocating. Furthermore the series of requisite events are not isolated but are correlated meaning that both spacial and temporal entanglement ensures that the correlate events will be driven by the strongest contributors. There seems to be no way around these issues so long as one insists on random chemic processes as the source of change.

    When are we going to give up on the hopelessly improbable and look for a more coherent explanation?
    Just to be clear here: are you actually meaning to question both the diversification stage and the abiogenesis stage, or just the abiogenesis stage? The diversification stage is pretty hard for me to plausibly entertain a question against. We see it in action all the time.
    I don't question that diversification occurs, but I do question the proposed mechanism, though we see adaptation based on preexisting traits and we also see what artificial selection can do. We don't see random genetic errors and natural selection producing much in the way of novel form or function.

    So I am questioning both chemic and biological evolution by the mechanism commonly proposed.

    Here is the issue in a nutshell. Those who see random contingent processes as the source for change are effectively saying that physics explains all of chemistry and chemistry explains all of life. Thus chemistry explains human cognition and contingent action and thus everything humans have ever built. Therefore the physical laws of this universe, are responsible for and have generated the roads and cities and computers and communication networks and everything else that was and has and will be accomplished. Is this what you believe? Can you show that physical laws alone can generate the instructions to build anything?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I agree. The problem of obtaining life from non-life comes down to explaining the source of the information encoded in DNA and RNA.
    Only if you assume the origin of "life" necessarily coincided with the appearance of DNA and RNA. Why would you assume that?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The challenge is to identify a process capable of generating meaningful instruction sets.
    Darwinian evolution. Check it out some time - it's a profound insight, well worth the trouble of comprehending.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    We don't see random genetic errors and natural selection producing much in the way of novel form or function.
    We do. We see it in the lab, in the models, in the fossil record, and in the larger world.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Those who see random contingent processes as the source for change are effectively saying that physics explains all of chemistry and chemistry explains all of life
    No, they aren't. Substrates do not explain patterns.
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    Nope nothing in iceaura's post worth considering. None of the claims are testable or falsifiable. They are conjecture.
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    Here is the issue in a nutshell. Those who see random contingent processes as the source for change are effectively saying that physics explains all of chemistry and chemistry explains all of life. Thus chemistry explains human cognition and contingent action and thus everything humans have ever built. Therefore the physical laws of this universe, are responsible for and have generated the roads and cities and computers and communication networks and everything else that was and has and will be accomplished. Is this what you believe? Can you show that physical laws alone can generate the instructions to build anything?

    Dear cypress,

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you have a problem with reductionism? Like all approaches, reductionism has its benefits and its limitations. As I'm sure you are already aware, life can be investigated at various levels. One feature of life, is that of emergent properties. For example, the cell as a whole is endowed with certain properties not enjoyed by any of its constituent molecules alone: only by working in concert, do the constituent parts allow for the emergence of such properties at a higher level. (Hence the recent push in biological circles for a more holistic, 'systems' approach).

    Nobody is suggesting that the laws of Physics directly dictate the building of roads, or anything.

    Tridimity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tridimity
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Here is the issue in a nutshell. Those who see random contingent processes as the source for change are effectively saying that physics explains all of chemistry and chemistry explains all of life. Thus chemistry explains human cognition and contingent action and thus everything humans have ever built. Therefore the physical laws of this universe, are responsible for and have generated the roads and cities and computers and communication networks and everything else that was and has and will be accomplished. Is this what you believe? Can you show that physical laws alone can generate the instructions to build anything?
    Dear cypress,

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you have a problem with reductionism? Like all approaches, reductionism has its benefits and its limitations.
    No, those who accept a reductionist approach with random processes as the source of change (for example the change from non-life to life, and diversity of life) have a problem with the law of entropy.

    I think I would accept reductionism if it had explanatory power.

    As I'm sure you are already aware, life can be investigated at various levels.
    Yes and biological processes that are observable conform with the laws of chemistry and physics.

    One feature of life, is that of emergent properties. For example, the cell as a whole is endowed with certain properties not enjoyed by any of its constituent molecules alone: only by working in concert, do the constituent parts allow for the emergence of such properties at a higher level. (Hence the recent push in biological circles for a more holistic, 'systems' approach).
    Correct, thank you for that illustration, and the source of these emergent properties is the information and instruction sets contained by the DNA molecules. With information, emergent properties are possible since copies of established system provide the required order.

    Nobody is suggesting that the laws of Physics directly dictate the building of roads, or anything.
    Yes, actually they are, because they have not identified an alternate source of the order. They describe the source of change as random chemic errors and chemic processes. These processes are of course dictated by physical laws. Therefore errors and selection in their minds caused cognition and allowed for roads and computers and everything else we see. They are saying that physical laws account for both computers and the instruction sets in them. this thread demonstrates the fallacy in that metaphysical belief.
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  71. #271  
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    Yes and biological processes that are observable conform with the laws of chemistry and physics
    Yes, but unfortunately these lower level laws do not allow the prediction of higher level biological laws in most cases.

    The sum is more than the parts.

    Unless you have too much time at your hands and would like to explain the sexual behaviour of the bonobos to me based solely on particle physics.
    I would say; good luck with that!
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    You are saying that non-physical (spiritual) laws account for both computers and the instruction sets in them. :| This thread demonstrates the fallacy in clinging to personal interpretations of physical laws made to fit preexisting conclusions.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Yes and biological processes that are observable conform with the laws of chemistry and physics
    Yes, but unfortunately these lower level laws do not allow the prediction of higher level biological laws in most cases.

    The sum is more than the parts.

    Unless you have too much time at your hands and would like to explain the sexual behaviour of the bonobos to me based solely on particle physics.
    I would say; good luck with that!

    Good point. Behavior is also not reducible to material (chemistry and physics) nor are information and instruction sets. Reductionism has at least three major issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You are saying that non-physical (spiritual) laws account for both computers and the instruction sets in them. :|
    That's a strange leap. I am saying random processes (even with selection to guide them) are incapable of generating large amounts of order.

    I note also that Intelligence is capable of generating a great deal of order with exceedingly high numbers of alternative configurations.

    So I am saying that cognition and design accounts for computers and instruction sets, as uniform experience confirms that. Material causes apealing to random processes as the source of change cannot account for cognition but the source of this capability is unknown, so I don't know how one lands on "spiritual" laws.

    This thread demonstrates the fallacy in clinging to personal interpretations of physical laws made to fit preexisting conclusions.
    Indeed. The metaphysical belief that random chemic change without a source of a low entropy information accounts for life and diversity of life is bankrupt.
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  75. #275  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Yes and biological processes that are observable conform with the laws of chemistry and physics
    Yes, but unfortunately these lower level laws do not allow the prediction of higher level biological laws in most cases.

    The sum is more than the parts.

    Unless you have too much time at your hands and would like to explain the sexual behaviour of the bonobos to me based solely on particle physics.
    I would say; good luck with that!

    Good point. Behavior is also not reducible to material (chemistry and physics) nor are information and instruction sets. Reductionism has at least three major issues.
    reductionism is a philosophical dogma. It presumes a priori you can reduce all processes to a smaller level in a meaningful manner.

    To be honest, I piss on all reductionists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    No, those who accept a reductionist approach with random processes as the source of change (for example the change from non-life to life, and diversity of life) have a problem with the law of entropy.
    There is no such thing as "the law of entropy". There is no "principle of entropy" either, or any of those other things associated with the magic word "entropy" you have littered in this forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Yes, actually they are, because they have not identified an alternate source of the order
    They have identified several sources of increasing order in biological systems, the most fundamental being Darwinian evolution.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    They are saying that physical laws account for both computers and the instruction sets in them. this thread demonstrates the fallacy in that metaphysical belief.
    Your claim that "they" are saying such things is false.

    Substrates may or may not constrain, but do not dictate, patterns. Everyone pretty much understands that, in some verbal formulation ot another. You find it necessary to make false claims about other people's beliefs and assertions, because without them you have nothing but your silly misformulations of "the law of entropy" and uncomprehending misrepresentations of the processes of evolution.

    When you have to tell other people what their argument "really" is, in order to answer it, it's a sign that your answer is dubious - and when they correct you about their own arguments, you should pay attention.
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    Is it wise to blur the distinction between the entropy of information theory (ie Shannon) with the entropy of thermodynamics? Despite what many people say, these would appear to be fundamentally two different things. Or are they?
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    To be honest, I piss on all reductionists.
    Would you take a moment or two to itemise the principal components of your urine and some details about the physiology of urination, and fianlly the ballistic trajetory likely followd by your urine stream throughout the process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    To be honest, I piss on all reductionists.
    Would you take a moment or two to itemise the principal components of your urine and some details about the physiology of urination, and fianlly the ballistic trajetory likely followd by your urine stream throughout the process.
    i can't because that would be pseudo-reductionism.

    And you still wouldn't have explained why I pissed on reductionism in the first place, which is probably the most interesting part of the process of pissing on reductionism. See how reductionism fails on most levels even in a joke? The joke is a farce is a joke is a farce is a joke etc.
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  80. #280  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    I agree. The problem of obtaining life from non-life comes down to explaining the source of the information encoded in DNA and RNA. When one understands that this is a low entropy instruction set contained on a neutral carrier independent of any chemical affinities and is therefore exactly like a written language or software source code, then one can truly appreciate the magnitude of this issue. The challenge is to identify a process capable of generating meaningful instruction sets. Uniform experience thus far has only identified one source.
    DNA formation might be explainable if the DNA reacted with water in a way that was unique. The water systems would tend to deposit samples of it in the same places, causing accumulation.

    Unfortunately, I don't know enough about DNA or Amino Acids to comment further. I'm already speculating quite a lot at this point.


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You are saying that non-physical (spiritual) laws account for both computers and the instruction sets in them. :|
    That's a strange leap. I am saying random processes (even with selection to guide them) are incapable of generating large amounts of order.
    Ok, this mention of "random processes" is kind of problematic. A skilled Black Jack player can often make money in a casino by skillfully betting so that they consistently have favorable odds of winning over time.

    If you said that they were winning as a result of "random processes", you would be committing the same error as you are when you suggest that life evolved by "random processes". It's certainly true that there is an element of chance, but the dice are loaded. The environment naturally steers the results toward evolution's "goal".



    I note also that Intelligence is capable of generating a great deal of order with exceedingly high numbers of alternative configurations.
    So I am saying that cognition and design accounts for computers and instruction sets, as uniform experience confirms that. Material causes apealing to random processes as the source of change cannot account for cognition but the source of this capability is unknown, so I don't know how one lands on "spiritual" laws.
    Intelligence would be an example of one of the mechanisms I mentioned earlier. It's kind of a machine that generates order over time. However, I don't think it's the only kind of order generating machine that could possibly exist. There may be others as well.

    It might just be one example taken from a long list of many kinds of mechanisms that accomplish the same basic goal.



    This thread demonstrates the fallacy in clinging to personal interpretations of physical laws made to fit preexisting conclusions.
    Indeed. The metaphysical belief that random chemic change without a source of a low entropy information accounts for life and diversity of life is bankrupt.
    I think we already established a few sources of low entropy information. Environmental distilling of water, and uniformity (over time) of sunlight exposure, to name a couple of them.

    When a single object in the ecosystem interacts with a force as large as, say, the rotation of the Earth, it imparts very little information to that force, but receives quite a lot of information from it. You see how that can serve as a hedge against chaos?
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    This thread bores me. There is no controversy, so why have a 19 page debate?
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    because people liked to rock their head against the wall of denialism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You are saying that non-physical (spiritual) laws account for both computers and the instruction sets in them. :|
    That's a strange leap. I am saying random processes (even with selection to guide them) are incapable of generating large amounts of order.

    I note also that Intelligence is capable of generating a great deal of order with exceedingly high numbers of alternative configurations.
    What if they need those configurations in order to compete. It's kind of like cryptology. If nobody else could read or write, you wouldn't need complicated codes in order to keep your transmissions secret.

    The first life form didn't need any way to keep other lifeforms from stealing its hydrocarbons. It could just drop them on the ground around it, and pick them up later if it wanted to. Internal storage would have evolved later on to keep other from eating it all up.
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