A New Theory of Evolution

I invite you to consider…

What if evolution were true, but it wasn’t quite like Darwin said?charles_darwin_vegan_soldier_c

What if there were a new evolutionary model that could explain why fossils show almost no change for millions of years…. then suddenly the Cambrian Explosion: Thousands of new species emerge intact, virtually overnight.

What if this new theory pointed the way to new innovations in artificial intelligence and adaptive computer programs?

What if “Evolution vs. Design” wasn’t an either/or proposition – but both+and?

What if, instead of arguing endlessly about fossils, we could precisely track evolutionary history with the precision of 1’s and 0’s?

What if science and faith were no longer at war?

All these things are not only possible, but a present reality.

I know that’s a pretty bold statement. But by now you’re probably used to that from me. Once again I invite you to relax, hear what I have to say, and consider the information that is presented. See if this makes sense for you.

I really do have a new theory of evolution.

Not only that, in future installments I will use this new theory of evolution to make predictions about what we will discover in the next 3-20 years.

And: after today, you may never think about this question the same way again.

Darwin predicted that the fossil record would show a gradual and steady progression from simple to complex forms of life. It’s now well known that what we see instead is long periods of stability interrupted by sudden leaps forward.

Stephen Jay Gould called this “punctuated equilibrium.” He was at a loss to explain exactly how this worked at the time. But today we have many clues pointing to the answer.

Darwin said that evolution is driven by random variation combined with natural selection.

Today I invite you to consider:

Darwin was half right.

And Darwin was half wrong.

Darwin was definitely right about natural selection.

To be fair, being right about that is no Nobel Prize winning accomplishment. The weaklings die and the strong survive. I think our cave man ancestors were familiar with that one.

(Rog hits Grog over the head with a rock and kills him, then they both get eaten by a hungry tiger. Survival of the fittest… nothing profound about that.)

Seriously, natural selection does not have any kind of creative power at all. All it does is kill of the runts.

The secret to evolution, then, has to be in the “random variation” part.

Darwin, in his time, believed that random variation in heredity produced all manner of species. He said: most of the time it’s harmful, but occasionally it’s helpful and from these variations come all kinds of beautiful forms that appear to be designed.

What is meant by “random variation”?

Thousands of biology books say it’s accidental copying errors in DNA.

They say, essentially, that it’s corrupted data that occasionally turns out to be beneficial instead of harmful.

This is where Darwin and the biology books were wrong.

As a communication engineer I know – with 100.000000000% certainty – that this is impossible.

Nowhere in the vast field of engineering is there any such thing as “the percentage of the time that corrupted data is helpful instead of harmful.”

It’s ALWAYS harmful. Always. Copying errors and data transmission errors never help the signal. They only hurt it.

Now please do not misunderstand me:

I AM *NOT* SAYING EVOLUTION DID NOT OR DOES NOT HAPPEN.

Nope…. I’m suggesting: Evolution just happens a different way than Darwin said. Way different than you were told.

I’ll get to the details of that in a minute. First I need to explain why randomness only destroys information.

Evolution Through the Lens of Information Theory: Random Mutations and Noise
More Videos Here

If we start with the sentence

“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”

And randomly mutate the letters, we get sentences that look like this:

The 6uHck brown fox jukped over the lazyHdog
Tze quick bro0n foL juXped over the lazy doF
Tae quick browY fox jumped oGer tgePlazy dog
The iuick brown fox jumped lver the lazy dog
The quiikQbKowSwfox .umped oveh the lazy dog

You can apply all the natural selection to this in the world and you’ll never accomplish anything besides destroying a perfectly good sentence. You can go to www.RandomMutation.com and try for yourself.

Why doesn’t this work?

Because it’s impossible to evolve a sentence one letter at a time – even if you deliberately TRY.

Technically, this is because random mutation is noise and noise *always* destroys a signal. Claude Shannon called it information entropy. Entropy is not reversible. Noise never improves a signal. It only mucks it up.


The only way for this to work is:
Evolution has to follow the rules of language.

So…. successful evolution for this short sentence would look something like this:

The fast brown fox jumped over the slothful dog.
The dark brown fox jumped over the light brown dog.
The big brown fox leaped over the lazy dog.
The quick black fox sped past the sleeping dog.
The hot blonde fox sauntered past the sunbathing man.

In English, successful evolution requires precise substitution of verbs and nouns and following the rules of speech.

DNA is no different. DNA has its own language. In fact thousands of linguists have made huge contributions to the Human Genome project by helping to decode the layers of the genetic code. Dozens of linguistic books describe the eerie similarity between DNA and human language.

NEW THEORY OF EVOLUTION:

There is a mutation algorithm that makes intelligent substitutions when species need to adapt to their environment.

It works very much like the sentences I just showed you. DNA actually re-arranges itself like a computer program that rewrites itself on the fly.

Now here’s the kicker:

This is not new. It’s actually more than 60 years old!

A New Theory of Evolution: Cellular Genetic Engineering

Some errors: Shapiro’s work was with bacteria, not protozoa. Splicing a single protein under starvation stress increased the mutation rates at least 100,000-fold. Dr. Shapiro was not able to determine how many incorrect evolution mutation attempts were made vs. successful mutations.

The 100,000 breaks come in ciliated protozoa as demonstrated by David Prescott, Laura Landweber, Martin Gorovsky and many others. These edits are highly non-random and RNA-guided, but in this case, there was no change in adaptations. These genome acrobatics go on at each episode of starvation and sexual reproduction. They convert the germline nucleus into a restructured simplified somatic nucleus.
More Videos Here

It’s only new to those who are hearing it for the first time.

It’s not just a wild hypothesis, either. It was discovered by geneticist Dr. Barbara McClintock in 1944.

The Barbara McClintock U.S. Postage stamp includes a diagram that shows how genes are intelligently transposed by the Mutation Algorithm in DNA

Dr. Barbara McClintock’s U.S. Postage stamp includes a diagram that shows how genes are intelligently transposed by the Mutation Algorithm in DNA

She was decades ahead of her time and she received the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1983. Her picture is now on a U.S. Postage Stamp and she’s one of the greatest scientists in the history of biology.

But even now, people ask me, “Why didn’t they ever teach this to me in biology class?”

Maybe Barbara McClintock could answer that question.

Her discoveries were so radical, so contrary to Darwin, that for most of her career she kept this to herself. She she described the reception of her research as “puzzlement, even hostility. ” Based on the reactions of other scientists to her work, McClintock felt she risked alienating the scientific mainstream, and from 1953 stopped publishing accounts of her research.

Why don’t they teach this in most biology classes now?

I’ll just say, it’s not because her findings haven’t been verified.

And it’s also not because the “random mutation” model works. You may or may not have noticed, but it actually doesn’t work at all. I’ve been publicly debating this online for 5 years and I have yet to have one person send me a link or refer to a book that says, “Here is the actual experiment that proves random mutations drive evolution.”

There is no such paper or book, so far as I know. The random mutation theory, sadly, is an urban legend.

INTERESTING FACTOID: This same process of intelligent evolution is how your immune system learns to fight off germs it’s never seen before: It systematically tries different combinations and once it’s ‘cracked the code’ on the invading disease, it passes those changes onto daughter cells. Your own immune system is a miniature model for evolutionary biology.

Dr. James A. Shapiro of the University of Chicago is one of the leading researchers in this field. Let me share with you about what he’s discovered about protozoa.

What I’m about to pass along is profound, almost miraculous. I want you to read and re-read this a few times before you go on:

A cell under stress will splice its own DNA into over 100,000 pieces. Then a program senses hundreds of variables in its environment and then re-arranges those pieces to produce a new, better, evolved cell.

Again I ask you to re-read that short paragraph and really consider the significance of it. A protozoa re-programs its own DNA and evolves. Intelligently.

What if your computer were able to do… that???

Imagine……

Did you ever use a computer from the 1980’s? Remember Microsoft MS-DOS? Remember turning on your computer and seeing

courtesy winhistory.de

courtesy winhistory.de

Now imagine for a moment that DOS 1.0 was never modified by any Microsoft programmers. Imagine that after 1981 the boys in Redmond, Washington never touched DOS again.

Instead, by analyzing the programs it ran, by sensing changes in hardware, DOS “grew” new parts, all by itself. Imagine that it added icons and a mouse, automatically, and after a process of evolution, Windows emerged.

Imagine that after a time, Windows developed Internet Explorer – all by itself – just by adapting to the changing environment of the computer. By re-writing and re-arranging its own lines of code.

Imagine that it then developed networking features. Imagine that, sensing that it needed an email client, evolved Outlook Express. One day the Outlook icon was suddenly there on your desktop. You clicked on it and as you began to use it, it added and subtracted features to suit you.

Imagine that, sensing that it needed virus protection, that it adaptively developed defenses for those viruses.

Sometimes the viruses would take out some computers, but the computers that survived were even more resistant.

Imagine that the viruses also self-adapted and continued to try to worm their way in, in a never-ending competition of dueling codes.

Imagine that ALL of this adaptation happened over a period of years without a single software engineer ever touching it. Imagine this happening automatically just because it got installed on billions of computers.

Oh, I almost forgot: imagine that the very latest version of Windows could still fit on a single 750 megabyte CD-ROM.

If DOS 1.0 evolved into the Windows of today without any engineer touching it, would you say:

-That accidental file copying errors, culled by natural selection, were responsible for these evolutionary changes?

(When have you ever seen a software program or computer virus that accidentally evolved new features through a accidental copying errors?)

OR would you say…

-That the original engineer who wrote DOS 1.0 was so incredibly skilled that he actually devised a program that could self-adapt? That it could upgrade itself without downloading another friggin’ Service Pack?

Also…

If you met the engineer who wrote this, wouldn’t you want to ask him how he pulled off this amazing feat? Would you want his autograph?

Wouldn’t you want to ask him a ton of questions…

How did he lay it all out at the very beginning? What were the design priorities? How does the program sense changes in its environment? How does the program perform its computations? Does the program keep a database of unsuccessful mutations so it can avoid trying them again?

Well my friend, so far as we can tell, that’s exactly what DNA has done over the last 3.5 billion years. Instead of degrading and crashing like computer programs and hard drives, it has efficiently adapted and evolved from a single cell to occupy every ecological niche imaginable.

From the frozen ice sheets of the Antarctic to the punishing heat of the Sahara. From the ants under your kitchen sink to glorious singing birds in the Amazon rain forest.

This did not happen through accidental random mutation.

If life evolved from a single cell, this happened through an ingenious algorithm that engineers its own beneficial mutations.

This is an engineering feat of the most amazing proportions imaginable.

Consider this….

If evolution is true, then God is an even more ingenious programmer than the old-school creationists ever imagined Him to be.

This new theory has HUGE implications for the future discoveries of biology. It re-frames the entire evolution debate as a software engineering problem! We have all kinds of tools that can help.

In the next installment I’ll put my balls on the line and describe a half dozen predictions that this New Theory of Evolution makes. Predictions that will be either confirmed or overturned in the next 3-20 years.

Stay tuned.

Perry Marshall

Read more about this fascinating New Theory of Evolution:

Newsweek Magazine: “Was Darwin Wrong About Evolution?”

“Darwin: Brilliantly Half Right, Tragically Half Wrong”

“A 3rd Way” – James Shapiro’s alternative to “Creation vs. Evolution”

Technical Paper (college level, peer reviewed, clearly written, highly recommended): Shapiro’s “A 21st Century View of Evolution”

418 Responses

  1. rondean09 says:

    Greetings Perry

    You have a wonderful and very active site here . I have subscribed
    to your groups , for years . Few if any , individuals ( not groups of ) show
    your dedication and commitment , to unraveling the mysteries of our
    history .

    On a modern planet , that we share as our home , and the Life that we
    pass on to our grandchildren , well thought out , and respectful
    discussions , should be a key towards , resolving our differences and
    indifference’s .

    We are here . So we began somewhere . From our Stone Age , to now
    our Space Age , our species , seeks to understand , about what happened
    long long before we were born .

    As an every day sorta workin guy ( workin to feed and protect my family )
    my families future seems entwined with , the actions and reactions , of
    other peoples views about our history .

    As that there are now about six point eight billion people , who need
    feed , clothed , and nurtured , may we grow forwards into our Space Age
    by looking back through human civilisations history . Thousands of years
    on every corner of this planet , that cultures have thrived , then demised ,
    and newer cultures arose , and worked to build forwards .

    Simpler growing towards more complex . Throughout our modern universe
    everywhere , Creation is expanding , and growing towards more complex .

    Our modern views about time , and billions of years , may be as
    challenging to feel , as continental drift , where Mt Everest , is the result ,
    of the Indian subcontinent colliding with the Asian plate .

    After billions of generations of our ancestors , struggling for survival , to
    pass down a good or better Life for their offspring , our generation , has
    the duty to make wonderful and active decisions , that take responsibility
    for the future that we create , by our actions , and reactions .

    Gods work , is everywhere around us , and now we are the dominant
    species . Do we wait for God to clean up the mess that we create ?

    Or does our consciousness , and understanding evolve , as one species
    on one planet , with one history , and one future .

    Love Thy Neighbor , cause warring with them , both sides end up
    homeless ..

    In the early days , we threw rocks , then spears , then bows and arrows ,
    then catapults . Now there are Nuclear Missiles pointed at us .

    Every innocent living thing , that are every day workin sorta living things ,
    workin to feed and protect their family , are affected by the everyday
    decisions , that the adults of our generation make .

    May we discuss this , learn from others , and show our Creator proud .

    For Peace and Prosperity , sincerely Ron .

  2. rondean09 says:

    Greetings Perry .

    You have a wonderful site , with a great number of varying opinions .

    People gather together , to discuss , and debate , seek new information

    and learn , to grow forwards , and become a better person out of that .

    As that I am just an everyday workin sorta guy ( driller/mechanic (farm

    kid , growing in an extremely complex society ) ) , I truly respect your

    straight talk , and from the mind and heart expressions .

    I am an outdoors , at home with Nature sorta person , who deeply is

    in love and respect , with this planet/home that I am born onto .

    My Creator , must be , cause I am here ! I can study and try to learn

    about my Origins , my history , and my heritage , but who’s learning

    or idea’s or opinions , should I look to ?

    As that there are now about six point eight billion people , who share

    this home , WHY is it , that we disagree , about how we view ,

    our history ?

    My family lives here too . As a part of Nature , my girl , is a Mammal

    and a Vertebrate , an I love my girl and all of our family .

    Kinship . . . without mathematics , or test tube type science , gives a

    fella the reason , to get up and work each day . The rocks and soil

    that we stand on , are a TIME MACHINE of Geological history ,

    if we choose to learn to read down through the layers .

    Our Mother Earth , and the Expanding Universe , shared by all of Gods

    Creation , become more open for US to see , with the modern

    inventions , of the microscope and the telescope . The Hubble ,

    continental drift , space probes sending back messages from the

    edge of our solar system . This is what the Space Age now

    offers to US , six point eight billion homo sapien sapeins .

    As just ONE , of my Creators billions of years , of . . . . illions of

    living things . who have shared ( and competed for , the Gift of Life ,

    and worked to earn their place , on the growing Tree of Life ) and

    eaten other biological things , ( plants gather nutrients from the rocks

    and soil , and energy from the Sun ) to pass on a good or better

    world to their offspring , Generation after surviving generation .

    Was the Primordial Soup , a Miracle , a breeding place , of luxuriant yet

    competitively hostile , simplest living things ? The rocks of this

    Earth , show that history . Then follow forwards , layer building

    atop of layer . Some eroding , to deposit their material with spots

    thickening quickly . Continents drifting , mountain ranges pushing

    up and completely eroding away .

    If this is our history , Physically , then may dialogue and discussion ,

    resolve the Emotional intensities , about our species Origins ,

    end the War on Terror ,and UNITE all of our species , to work

    towards fixing the mess that us adults are leaving for the kids .

    Sounds like Peace on Earth . Work together , to continue , a Space

    Age survival , for the kids , and every other innocent living thing .

    As adults , we can choose to do this .

  3. Per says:

    Dear Perry,
    I was very glad to find your site and to be able to listen to your arguments. I am an egnieer who 18 years ago set out to prove to my wife that the millions of years spoken of as having passed from the appearance of life on earth was founded on good science and cannot be refuted. LIttle did I realize that this quest for proof would set me on a life changing trip.
    As I read through the numerous comments on your blog, I was starting to ask myself: “is there really any point in trying to convince other people with scientific arguments?” What I have found during the past 18 years is, that faith is necessary in believing in either evolution or creation. However, what disappointed me as a scientist is, that the believers in evolution have already ruled out any result that would point to a creator. To me it is the same as asking someone to explain the origin of my computer that I am using, but denying the use of man. I am sure we would find some “almost credible” explainations on how the computer created itself – but in this case we know they would all be wrong because we have the answer.
    I was particlarly glad to find your definition of a new theory of evolution, because I came to the same conclusion in my search for the facts and truth about our origin. You may already have read the book by John Sanford, a co-inventor of the genetic gun, who has come to the conclusion that we are created. He has written a book “The genetic entropy & the mystery of the genome” where he in a popular format puts togeather his own research results with that of other scientists. The results clearly show: “The selection only works to cut off the failures – and we are all devolving and not evolving”. I.e. we were once “perfect” and are slowly getting more and more “imperfect” His analogy of a rusting car I find very good. The car starts to rust as soon as it is finished but we will not discover any deficiency until the damages are so big they have an effect on the function. In this context it amuses me to hear how scientist believing in evolution talk about genetic errors. In a world that is supposed to have come about by random mutations and selection – how can we talk about something that is right or wrong. Yes, by comparing with another individual and its genome, we can conclude that there is a difference and this difference leads to malfunctions – but could this not be a slow transition to a more evolved creature with more elaborate features if we have come about by an evolutionary process?
    Finally, the Bible says “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrew 11:6). I have come to the conclusion I rather believe in the Biblical account of our origin than on an evolutionary model, which can easily be proven wrong. I have still not heard one explation of how we got here through an evolutionary process that can be accepted on its scientific facts and not by faith.
    Please explain the origin of the week.
    There was a passage on the men’s nipples and you said rightfully so “Eve needed them”. The Bible says that woman was created from man, whereas it form a human point of view would be easier to believe that first there was the woman who could give birth – no, the Bible says – first man was created. The nipples support this statement. The Bible further says: “Eve was created from Adam’s rib” – also this statement is supported by what we know today. The lower ribs grow out again if removed and doctors use this to replace bones to restore e.g. a skull after serious fractures. – In the book of Romans Chapter 1, verse 16 onwards, Paul makes it clear that we are capable of recognizing that we are created. Some will not admit this, but as someone has put it: It is not their science that prevents them from believing in God, it is their sins. Sincerely /Per

  4. humatahir says:

    My arguments:1. He is unbelievably arrogant if he thinks that evolution was obviousat the time Darwin proposed it (or is even now). It EXPLAINED so muchthat was till then unexplained and for the first time proposed analternative to creationism. He is intentionally belittling Darwin’sevolution (Rog and Grog) so that he can put his own theory in itsplace. I have never heard evolution described in such absurdlysimplistic terms. “Survival of the fittest” does not mean survival ofthe strongest. Does the latter explain the evolution of the eye forexample? Will his theory EXPLAIN anything about it other than say thatgod “directed” evolution? That is definitely a new one from their sidethough. There are many evolutionary scenarios in which predator andprey (his runts) can co-exist. You will understand this better whenyou read TGD. 2. He is comparing two incomparable concepts and trying to prove thatone of them is wrong because the other is right. This is a”non-sequitur”. The purpose of communication is to transmit information WHILEMAINTAINING FIDELITY, which is NOT the purpose of evolution. Evolutionis an ungoverned, random process. Random mutations can equally resultin a species not fit to survive as they can in a species betterequipped to do so. Characteristics of species are not text in amessage that random variations will “corrupt”. There is no”corruption” involved here only change into something “different”,which may or may not increase a species’ survivability. If anything,evolution does follow the rules of language. Mutations do notcorrespond to mutated letters in a sentence but to words – whetheradded, subtracted or modified. The survivability of this mutation isdecided by how much “sense” the “sentence” makes IN THE CONTEXT OF ITSENVIRONMENT, i.e. the “sense” of the “sentence” will not be Englishlanguage sense but will be decided by the environment in which it isplaced, in which the rules for this ARE present but to be individuallydetermined. 3. Saying that nobody has yet been able to refute him is nonsense. Whotried? What did they say? Did they actually logically prove he waswrong or is it just because he thinks his theory is right that hethinks that no one has been able to come up with a rebuttal? 4. In his other article he said that all messages must come from amind. Agreed. How did DNA become the same as an English languagemessage? Just because it contains “information” does not mean that itcan be compared to an English message. There are somethings that arevery obviously man-made and to use them for comparison is wrong. DNAis similar to messages in that they are both means for thetransmission of “information” but that is the extent of the similaritybetween them. 5. He fails to answer the most important question of all, which is notwhether it was evolution or design, but does God exist and if he doesthen who created him since he should be the most “irreducibly complex”being of them all. If an infinite regress must end somewhere, it doesnot have to end in a conscious being, because like I said, theexistence of something does not necessarily imply that it was createdby a mind. 6. Existence coming out of nothingness is preposterous. If god existedbefore the Universe then existence still existed since god is also anexistent, is he not? If he isn’t then there is nothing more to say andif he is then he did not “create existence” and is also part of it andbound by its laws AND existence has existed at least as long as he hasso he was not there “before existence”. The Big Bang “creating” theUniverse out of non-existence is nonsense. I will send you an articleabout this. If it happened at all, the most it could have been wouldhave been an explosion of PRE-EXISTING matter.

  5. Christopher says:

    Perry,
    Thank you for your reply. I am impressed with your site because you don’t delete people’s comments who disagree with you and only post those that support your position. There’s nothing more exhilarating than a spirited debate (as long as people don’t get nasty and resort to name-calling and insults). You also deserve credit for not denying evolution outright, as many fundamentalists do. The Creation Museum is great for a laugh, but since children are being brain-washed by it and turned off of science, it is also very sad. It’s unpatriotic, as a matter of fact, because over the course of the last 100 years scientific discovery is one of the things that has made our country great.
    I’m sorry to say that you grossly misrepresent biology and evolution specifically. Natural selection doesn’t just “kill the runts”. To understand evolution, you have to understand that it works on populations and not individuals. It helps to know some statistics. I know your example of the cavemen and the tiger was meant facetiously, but it misrepresents the process because it focuses on individuals. Individuals are vessels for genes; these genes are expressed through the individuals in a population, and no individual of a species is exactly like the last one in sexually reproducing populations (unless they’re identical twins). Natural selection acts on the population as a whole by culling combinations of genes, which “don’t cut the mustard”, in the form of the individuals who carry these combinations of genes. Therefore, individual genes continue to exist as the population reproduces, but the genes’ combinations in individuals shift in their make-up, and as these combinations become more adept at survival through their expression in certain individuals in a given environment, these individuals out-reproduce the others. As the environment changes, so does the population. It is a constant honing process.
    When a gene mutates, this adds an extra bit of variability to the mix. Most mutations result in “unfit” individuals, but some come along, which sweep through the population, drastically changing it. One, which is evident in some human populations in the last 5000 years, is the mutation causing some of us to retain our ability to digest lactose (milk sugar) from childhood. Milk sugar is made of glucose and galactose, and therefore represents a huge source of calories for those populations able to exploit it. When times are tough, this could be the difference between survival and death. Before the people of the Eurasian steppes began accompanying and, in some cases, eventually domesticating large herds of milk-producing grazing animals, there was no reason for us to retain this ability, because the only milk you got was from your mother. That kind of change may not seem like much, but you must understand that on a geologic time scale, 5000 years is a blink of an eye. You need millions of years to see more drastic changes in populations, like the well-documented changes from hippo-like animals to whales, for example.
    By the way, the Cambrian explosion occurred “virtually overnight” in the geologic record. Virtually overnight, in this context is ten to forty million years. There are many factors involved with why this might have occurred. One of the many is that fossils weren’t formed as readily before many of these multicellular creatures appear in the fossil record. The Earth was in an Ice Age beforehand, which may have greatly reduced overall biodiversity until after things warmed up. Another reason is that HOX genes, which control all animals’ body plans, including ours, were evolving at the time. Also, life before the Cambrian explosion was primarily microscopic and wouldn’t have produced many “macrofossils”. To say that anything happens “suddenly” in the fossil record is relative. The Earth formed 4,550 million years ago or 4.5 billion years ago. The Cambrian explosion (an event at least 10 million years long) occurred approximately 500 million years ago.
    You should read the common misconceptions and criticism sections of the punctuated equilibrium article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium. It doesn’t disprove Darwin’s theory but discusses ways in which some changes in populations seem to level out and then change drastically, but this change is drastic on a geologic time scale; it’s not something we’d “notice”, if we were watching a population of ibex saunter across the plains, for example.
    You write: “What if evolution were true, but it wasn’t quite like Darwin said?” Most scientists would agree with this question/statement. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Darwin was half wrong, though. To be fair, since he didn’t know about genetics, his guesses about heredity were somewhat misinformed. It might also be sort of fair to say he was half right (although I wouldn’t), only because he didn’t know how the characteristics of individuals were stored and replicated in the bodies of the individuals – once again genetics was a field awaiting discovery. However, most of his observations have been proved to be very astute. Once genetics finally did come along and paleontology, geology, etc. were further developed, they served to support his theory very well.
    However, you misrepresent DNA by using language as an analogy. One of the mechanisms by which evolution has been proven (many times over) to work is by of genetic mutation. If your analogy does not support this, then your analogy was poorly chosen. I have to give you credit for getting your random mutation generator at the top of a Google search for “random mutation”. Very clever.
    In fact, you bring up one example of why DNA is too complex to be represented by the alphabet: Barbara McClintock’s work. Her work and the work of many other scientists like Stephen J. Gould are perfect examples of how evolutionary biology is honed as more knowledge comes to the fore. Evolutionary theory is far from “sacred”, which is another way that it is often misrepresented by anti-evolutionists. Darwin, of course, didn’t know everything, because he couldn’t have back in the mid 19th century. There’s no conspiracy out there among biology teachers. That’s the most laughable part of the whole argument by anti-evolutionists. Almost every biology book I’ve used (I taught at the high school level before going back to grad school) discusses how genes can move by “crossing over” and by “genetic recombination”, what the roles of the telomeres and centromeres are, etc. This is what McClintock’s work showed us. You’re spinning this the wrong way, so that once again your readers are presented with a misrepresentation of the facts. And since most of the readers who visit your site are looking for ammo to fight against what they perceive as an attack on religion by science, they take you at your word. I hate putting in hyperlinks, but otherwise this comment would go on longer than it has: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_McClintock.
    You are right about the fact that genes are studied by students of information technology, because in some ways they resemble a computer program. Remember, however, that an analogy is only effective as long as serves as a model for reality. Analogy-stretching is dishonest, because no analogy exactly expresses the process it is being used to model, otherwise it wouldn’t be an analogy – it’d be the real thing.
    Yours in the quest for truth,
    Christopher

    • Christopher,

      I’m glad you enjoy the site, it is good when people debate facts rationally.

      I’m well aware of population genetics and yes I’m familiar with the whole argument about natural selection etc etc as you have presented here. You act as though you think I don’t know any of this – and frankly you sound as though you’ve only skimmed my website and not really understood the facts I’m presenting. A lot of what you’re saying, I basically agree with.

      Yes, discussion of crossover and transposition is slowly leaking into the mainstream. Nonetheless mainstream evolution books still parrot the Random Mutation dogma. The following is from Jerry Coyne’s book “Why Evolution is True” (c)2009. (Oh, and by the way this is a really excellent book from the standpoint of making a strong argument for common descent).

      Coyne says:

      “On the basis of many laboratory experiments, scientists have concluded that mutations occur randomly. The term “random” here has a specific meaning that is often understood, even by biologists. What this means is that mutations occur regardless of whether they would be useful to the individual. Mutations are simply errors in DNA replication. Most of them are harmful or neutral, but a few can turn out to be useful. The useful ones are the raw material for evolution. But there is no known biological way to jack up the probability that a mutation will meet the current adaptive needs of the organism.”

      This is just simply false. Frankly he should know better – there is no reason for him not to be aware of McClintock’s work etc etc. Some of the best research in that field is done at Coyne’s university, the U. of Chicago. If his book were up to date it would say something more like this:

      “On the basis of many laboratory experiments, scientists have concluded that evolutionary mutations do not occur randomly. In fact, DNA has elaborate mechanisms that prevent errors in DNA replication. Redundancy in the genetic code ensures that many small mutations are neutralized instead of harmful. But in general, copying errors are almost always harmful and have never been proven beneficial to DNA in any laboratory experiment.

      “On the other hand, DNA has a marvelous function called Natural Genetic Engineering. It kicks in when an organism is under stress. Mutations only happen when necessary. DNA intentionally mutates by re-arranging genes and chromosomes. A predictive algorithm chooses mutations that are likely to meet the current adaptive needs of the organism. These evolutionary mechanisms are called Natural Genetic Engineering, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics and genome doubling.”

      DNA is literally and not figuratively a code. And my comparison between language and DNA is not just a fanciful analogy. See “Linguistics of DNA” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/3040594/The-Linguistics-of-DNA-Words-Sentences-Grammar-Phonetics-and-Semantics

      The fact is, DNA is an extremely precise instruction set for assembling nanomachines and as such it is just as demanding and sensitive to errors as English or any computer language like C or Java or PHP. The paper I cited explains that DNA has 10 out of 13 linguistic characteristics of human language. In linguistics books, references to DNA are common.

      The mutations you refer to that drive evolutionary progress are engineered, they are NOT NOT NOT random. This is NEVER the case in software programming – ever – and it’s never the case in DNA. Coyne, Dawkins and hundreds of others continue to regurgitate 75 year old dogmas that have been overwhelmingly demonstrated to be false. The academic community should not tolerate this any longer. And neither should you. It’s patently false.

      There are two things which I think you’re failing to appreciate:

      1) The mutations that drive evolution are not random. They are orderly and highly structured. The only thing that random mutation does is produce aging, birth defects and death. That’s it. Random mutations and DNA copying errors never improve anything.

      2) The power of natural selection is greatly overstated by Darwin and all his followers. It has NO creative ability whatsoever. Doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about individuals or populations, natural selection kills. Lack of fitness is death. Population genetics or not, that’s it. End of story. All the creative input has to come from the mutation process. Which as I exhaustively document on this website, is systematic and highly engineered, not random. Refer to (1).

      3) The above two points are 2/3rds of basic Darwinian theory. The last third is Common Descent. Which Darwin was entirely correct about.

      So really Darwin was about 1/3 right. He should be given credit for that. (Though he was far from the first person to come up with the idea of common descent. So he really deserves credit for being a popularizer as much as for being a scientist.)

      In the 21st century, efforts to defend Darwin amount to trying to inflate a corpse. Darwin is the only scientist who needs a team of devout followers to defend him. All the other great scientists are holding up perfectly well on their own. The fossil record is not what Darwin predicted; evolution is not gradual, it’s episodic; 80% of the phyla that exist came into existence in 2% of the evolutionary time scale; in quite a few cases there are no intermediate fossils. Ohno’s 2R hypothesis indicates that invertebrates became vertebrates in ONE generation through genome doubling.

      And then jawless vertebrates became jawed vertebrates later in ONE generation through another genome doubling.

      This can only be a function of LANGUAGE and PROGRAMMING that is so sophisticated, it is probably hundreds of years ahead of human engineering. The only way to understand it and appreciate its sophistication is to presume design. Once we acknowledge that, a quantum leap in software technology will unfold.

  6. vkghai says:

    Hi Perry
    I am pursuing a study of comparison of Monism which is theme of Indian spiritual system vis-a-vis quantum physics and non-local reality. I was astonished that what scientists discovered in 20th century in the field of quantum physics and non-local reality is nothing but restatement of Indian Advaitism (monism) thoughts (developed thousands of years ago) in scientific parlance. More important point is that the energy and matter are epiphenomenon of cosmic consciousness. In Indian spiritual parlance, cosmic consciousness is just a form of God.
    Now the question comes about evolution of organism. I fully agree with you that DNA gets modified with changing environment but that is not the end of the story. Two important questions arise here:
    1. The bio-chemical laws are not sufficient to give exact direction for achieving the requisite outcome after interaction with changes in surrounding environment. If we consider DNA as higher level epiphenomenon of consciousness, then question gets answered.
    2. The DNA structure is highly sophisticated which can not be created just by mixing C, H, O, N etc through evolution path. The alternative is, it may be created by intelligent design, if it is so, I feel that initial creation of DNA is possible only by cosmic consciousness under certain conditions not

  7. cirogalli says:

    Your argument is fallacious for many reasons. Language and codes are the result of nature. So is our own, and and so is the organization of DNA. Plus we are the ones that evolved cognitive processes to recognize patterns in nature. So, those patters we find, are merely the product of of a cognition that evolved to be more efficient at finding patterns, but again, those patterns we find are the product of our cognition. So by saying that there’s pattern in DNA organization is letting your intuitions fool you.
    Furthermore, the randomly mutating ad is a bad analogy. You should equal the mutations to the mutations in the DNA, and on that basis represent the corresponding phenotype, which we never saw. Similar mutations happen in the DNA, but those mutations take shape into different features in the phenotype, and not in the DNA itself.
    Plus, there’s nothing really random. Randomness only expresses the human cognitive limitations to know certain aspects of nature. But every even has a cause, and every cause produces an effect. Those mutations are not technically random, it’s just our limited cognition doesn’t allow us to be present and to know exactly how they happen.
    And one more point: even if DNA had been designed, it could have never, never ever been designed by the killing/suffering/pain machine that the Christian God is. The DNA creator would been more like a scientific mind. You still didn’t tell where it follows from intelligent design that the Christian God was the doer of such design, or let alone any god at all. Intelligent design doesn’t necessarily implies Christian God or any gods at all for that matter. It might imply intelligence, a mind, but it doesn’t follow that that mind must have the Christian God’s features at all or that it is infinite in any sense, or that it is around us now, or it’s worth or in need of worship.

    • Please provide proof that languages and codes are the result of nature. Show me a code that’s not designed and I’ll write you a check for $10,000. The spec is at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/solve

      If there’s nothing really random then why do all the Richard Dawkins books et al say evolution is driven by “random mutations”? And if it’s not random then… what’s the systematic process? Without a systematic process it’s not science. In the article above I outline a systematic process. Did you read it?

      If you would like a coherent explanation for why I advocate the Christian God as the creator see http://evo2.org/audio/newevidence.htm

  8. cirogalli says:

    Hello Perry,

    you said:
    Please provide proof that languages and codes are the result of nature. Show me a code that’s not designed and I’ll write you a check for $10,000.

    Ciro:
    But actually the burden of proof is you to prove DNA has a designer, otherwise we should cut out the designer through Occam’s razor for considering your designer an unnecessary presumption here.
    But if you need to know, no code has had ever other designer than the purposeless forces of natural selection, including our language. We didn’t design our own language if that’s what you’re implying. It took shape by natural selection because some terms were more efficient at hijacking our cognitive architecture and at intuitively be understood than others. My evidence for language being the result of nature is that everything is. If you understand natural selection, you should be able to apply the same principles to the evolution of language without difficulty.
    But in any case, nothing is designed, because there are no such things as minds. Minds are mere illusions that push us into the misinterpretation of our teleological intuitions and make us apply teleological understanding to all we see, including codes and languages. But remember, the burden of proof is on you as long as you want to unnecessarily bring a designer into the equation. Natural selection works perfectly well as it is.
    Here I should be asking you: show me the evidence for the existence of a mind.

    you said:
    If there’s nothing really random then why do all the Richard Dawkins books et al say evolution is driven by “random mutations”? And if it’s not random then… what’s the systematic process? Without a systematic process it’s not science. In the article above I outline a systematic process. Did you read it?

    Ciro:
    I don’t think I have read the article but I assure you I will.
    Nevertheless, Richard Dawkins uses the term “random” in the same sense I use it, and in the same sense any other scientist uses it. To remind us that there’s an aspect of nature in which there are causes and effects we can’t calculate, control or observe due to our own limited nature. Read it from Dawkins’ own words from his Climbing Mount Improbable:
    “Emphasizing that mutation can be random is our way. of calling attention to the crucial fact that, by contrast, selection is sublimely and quintessentially non-random. It is ironic that this emphasis on the contrast between mutation and the non-randomness of selection has led people to think that the whole theory is a theory of chance. Even mutations are, as a matter of fact, non-random in various senses…”

    By the way, did you understand why your analogy of the mutating ad is fallacious? You missed the direct correlation that exists in a phenotype just as DNA does. Mutations occur in genes, but the consequences of those mutations are expressed in the organism’s phenotype. Wanna see the phenotypes of your adds competing with each other, and maybe we can talk. All I saw was the equivalent to mutations in the code, not in the phenotype. Nice try though.

    regards,
    CiRO.

    • Ciro,

      I never asserted that I could plop God down in front of you as though God were the subject of a science experiment. Rather I frame the question as: “Do we have reason to believe that there is likely to be a designer or do we have reason to believe that no designer is necessary to explain what we see?” I observed that all codes we know the origin of are designed. All scientific knowledge gives 100% support to my explanation and 0% support to yours.

      If you and Dawkins are right then you should have evidence to support your claims. Where is it?

      You asserted, without providing a single piece of evidence, or citing any science experiment, that codes are the result of natural selection.

      Natural selection requires self replication. Self replication requires code. Therefore natural selection requires code first.

      Therefore the original code cannot be a result of natural selection, because the reverse is actually true. Natural Selection cannot select something that doesn’t exist.

      Show me a code that’s not designed, Ciro. Until you can do so science supports my position not yours.

      If you do not believe that you yourself have a mind then will be nothing I can do to convince you otherwise. I give up on that right now. (But I must say, I do find it interesting that your purpose in writing the above paragraph is to tell me there is no such thing as purpose.)

      Mutations being expressed in the phenotype is 100% isomorphic with “binary mutations” in at http://www.randommutation.com where the 1’s and 0’s are being mutated and what you see on the screen is the translated expression of that mutation. From an information theory standpoint it is no different.

      In 5 years of debating this online I have yet to be presented with a single scientific paper that demonstrates that random mutations produce helpful new features to the phenotype. Always asserted, never proven.

      • cirogalli says:

        Hi Perry,

        Definitely no designer is necessary to explain what we see. Even if I designer was necessary to explain what we see, we would still have to produce empirical evidence that proves the existence of the designer, and no just some pseudo-philosophical a-priori arguments. As Dawkins says the existence or non-existence of a designer cannot be determined by mere “dialectical prestidigitation”. Either we produce empirical evidence and we behave scientifically, apply Occam’s razor and discard God as the unnecessary presumption.
        The explanation of a designer doesn’t lead us anywhere scientifically speaking. You’re simply undergoing the fallacy known as the “argument from personal incredulity”: “I don’t know how X came about naturally, therefore X came about supernaturally. End of story”. Like Michael Shermer says, the Creation account is a self-defeating position. If you don’t understand how DNA might have come about naturally, maybe you’re not smart enough, and you’re haven’t done enough research. But why don’t you try to figure it out, instead of giving it up? If you’re willing to bring about a designer, then explain to us how the designer did it exactly.

        The evidence about the non-random randomness is observable. Radiation destroys some genes and not others, because some links between genes are weaker than others, and because a radioactive particle for reason that might appear random but might as well be determined, happened to be there and not somewhere else. It’s easier to call “random” something we don’t count on all the tools to calculate.That doesn’t mean there’s actually something random out there. It’s a label. But in science we understand each other when we use it.
        “Mutations are also more likely to occur in some genes than in others. There are ‘hot spots’ on chromosomes where mutation rates are markedly higher than the average. This is another kind of non-randomness. Mutations can be reversed (‘back mutations’). For most genes, mutation in either direction is equally probable. For some, mutation in one direction is more frequent than back mutation in the reverse direction. This gives rise to so-called ‘mutation
        pressure’ — a tendency to evolve in a particular direction regardless of selection. This is yet another sense in which mutation can be described as non-random.”
        Dawkins, Richard (1996)”Climbing Mount Improbable”,[p.80]

        Science is about understanding the natural world, by observing it empirically, finding patterns that repeat themselves in a way that we can make predictions about them. Science studies what we call the natural world, science studies nature. Therefore all that we observe come about is a product of nature, it’s a product of laws that rule the universe, including what we call “codes” and “languages”. Firstly, codes and languages are terms that mean nothing without conscious processes that can perceive them and interpret them, so codes and languages are nothing objectively speaking. So DNA as well as human language are nothing in the absence of some form of cognition. It was with emergence of cognition and our propensity to recognize patterns what made us make sense of things like DNA. Our cognition makes us code it a way that makes it easier for us to think about it. Those neuroanatomical structures less efficient at finding patterns in natured died devoured by a predator. As Michael Shermer says, we’re patter seeking animal. We are evolutionarily preprogrammed to find patterns in nature or die out. Our recognition of a code in DNA doesn’t imply that DNA is objectively organized as a code. Objective codes don’t exist, it’s an oxymoron. That DNA looks designed, doesn’t mean it’s designed. It’s just a trap of our pattern seeking recognition.
        Natural selection got its name for a reason, for what it implies and means. The selection is natural, and therefore it doesn’t involve any purposes or goals. It’s unguided. What you’re doing is adding a supernatural element to the formula and thus converting it into “supernatural selection”, something that goes against the very nature of “natural selection”. You’re not an evolutionist, and therefore you’re not a scientist.
        The default in science is that nature is without intentional purpose, unless there’s good evidence to think otherwise. So, evidence shouldn’t be produced to prove that things happen naturally and without purpose, cause that’s basically the main tenet of science. It’s not the other way around.You’re claiming that nature looks designed, therefore it’s been designed that evidence has to be produced to prove that it wasn’t designed. You’re heading the wrong way. In science, the default is: nature has no purpose. A designer is an extra unnecessary presumption, and as such requires evidence. So, please, stop asking for evidence that prove that codes come about naturally and not supernaturally. That’s not the way the burden of proof works.

        Natural selection doesn’t require codes cause there’s nothing like a code from an objective perspective. Even if there codes, just see the way clay replicates without having any form of codes. It’s molecules of minerals and crystals (or whatever, I’m not a chemist) attaching to themselves by the pull of their ions, accumulating “random” error, until one of the preserved errors make the whole set of molecules become unsustainable that it “cracks” and replicates.
        “The role of clay and other mineral crystals in the theory is to act as the original ‘low-tech’ replicators, the ones that were eventually replaced by high-tech DNA. They form spontaneously in the waters of our planet without the elaborate
        ‘machinery’ that DNA needs; and they develop flaws spontaneously, some of which can be replicated in subsequent layers of crystal. If fragments of suitably flawed crystal later broke away, we could imagine them acting as ‘seeds’ for new crystals, each one ‘inheriting’ its ‘parent’s’ pattern of flaws.”
        Dawkins, Richard (1991)”THE BLIND WATCHMAKER” [p.153]

        I don’t think we can observe “helpful new features to the phenotype” with our bare eyes and in a couple generations. Because we cannot know what’s truly “helpful” until we see the phenotype compete with other phenotypes out there. But you can clearly see that the phenotype that endures and lives the longest and leaves more offspring is definitely the fittest. Mutation make the phenotype vary.Those variations make phenotypes obviously different from each other. After that is natural selection’s job to determine which gene combination is the fittest. I don’t see a way in which we can observe a better phenotype, other than by observing the results of natural selection. That should suffice as for evidence.
        Natural selection is also a logical algorithm that can’t possibly give another result. If we have replication, variation, mutation, competition, therefore we have as the only possible outcome: evolution through natural selection.
        You needn’t go to far to find the evidence you demand. Compete with your brothers or sisters at different games.There has to be a winner, maybe a different winner at every game. But someone most probably stand out as the victor in most of the games.There you have your “helpful new features”.
        The problem with getting evidence for the positive phenotype on the basis of mutation is that we cannot immediately determine what constitutes exactly a “helpful feature”. And that’s not our job to determine either. The evidence is shown to us by the result natural selection. Therefore I presume that actually your absurd request won’t lead you anywhere, other than making people think that you have never really understood the essence of natural selection to begin with.

        regards,
        Ciro.

        • Ciro,

          You’ve asserted that:

          -Even though there is no scientific evidence for a naturally occurring code, and even though science produces 100% inference to design, your worldview obligates you to reject the evidence you do have. Apparently…. just because you’re an atheist.

          -You’ve denied that randomness exists, even after your heroes have concluded that the operating force behind evolution is random mutation.

          -You haven’t scientifically defined a mechanism that causes mutations to be non-random. (However if you read the articles on evolution on my website you will find some. They’re quite interesting actually.)

          -You’ve said that codes and languages do not objectively exist. Obviously you have not studied communication theory.

          -You’ve rejected the most fundamental definition in biology, which is that the pattern of base pairs in DNA is a code.

          -Everything you don’t understand is swept under a rug called “natural selection” without having actually explained any evolutionary step in terms of a detailed systematic scientifically testable process.

          -You’ve asked me to “please, stop asking for evidence that prove that codes come about naturally and not supernaturally” – as though being an atheist somehow excuses you from having to defend your own opinions with scientific evidence

          -You’ve described some vague process of crystals turning into self-replicating molecules. When has this ever been observed and replicated in any lab anywhere in the world???

          -You’ve stated I don’t think we can observe “helpful new features to the phenotype” with our bare eyes and in a couple generations when in fact evolution with helpful new features to the phenotype HAVE been observed in the lab, for example bacteria developing the ability to metabolize Citrate, by accelerating their own mutation rates and using transposition and genetic reorganization to evolve. See http://www.pnas.org/content/105/23/7899

          -You say “You’re not an evolutionist, and therefore you’re not a scientist.”

          Thank you for your statement of atheist fundamentalist dogma. Are you aware that every single thing you have said here without exception is a prime example of “dialectical prestidigitation”?

          First of all evolutionist is not the definition of scientist. In fact there are quite a few aspects of evolutionary theory itself that cannot even be tested in the lab and therefore are not scientific theories but historical theories.

          Secondly I DO believe in evolution and if you were actually reading the contents my website instead of quoting Dawkins as though he were some sort of demigod you would be aware of that. I told you to read the article on my website after your previous post and you said you would. And you didn’t. Shame on you.

          Please do your homework, Ciro. I’ve done mine. If you have scientific evidence to present, present it. Otherwise please go elsewhere and stop wasting my time.

          Perry Marshall

  9. cirogalli says:

    hello Perry,

    you:
    “…science produces 100% inference to design…”

    me:
    Apparent design is not design.

    you:
    “You’ve denied that randomness exists, even after your heroes have concluded that the operating force behind evolution is random mutation.”

    me:
    In science “random” doesn’t mean random. In science it means, not worth or unable to calculate. If we were able to know the location, direction, speed, acceleration of every radioactive particle and the weakness and strength of every genetic link in the genome, we might actually predict the mutations accurately.

    you:
    “Everything you don’t understand is swept under a rug called “natural selection” without having actually explained any evolutionary step in terms of a detailed systematic scientifically testable process.”

    me:
    I don’t need to explain or provide evidence about what’s already of scientific consensus. How much longer are we gonna be running in circles? I’m moving on.

    you:
    “You’ve asked me to “please, stop asking for evidence that prove that codes come about naturally and not supernaturally” – as though being an atheist somehow excuses you from having to defend your own opinions with scientific evidence”

    me:
    Again. Science studies nature. Natural causes and effects are the default. The burden of proof falls entirely on positions like yours, that intend to include “unnecessary presumptions” into something that works well without them.

    you:
    “You’ve described some vague process of crystals turning into self-replicating molecules. When has this ever been observed and replicated in any lab anywhere in the world???”

    me:
    “Carefully take the lid off the beaker, drop one tiny piece of ‘hypo’ crystal
    onto the surface of the solution, and watch amazed at what happens. Your
    crystal grows visibly: it breaks up from time to time and the pieces also
    grow . . . Soon your beaker is crowded with crystals, some several
    centimeters long. Then after a few minutes it all stops. The magic solution
    has lost its power – although if you want another performance just re-heat
    and re-cool the beaker . . . to be supersaturated means to have more
    dissolved than there ought to be . . . the cold supersaturated solution almost
    literally did not know what to do. It had to be ‘told’ by adding a piece of
    crystal that already had its units (billions and billions of them) packed
    together in the way that is characteristic for ‘hypo’ crystals. The solution
    had to be seeded.”
    [Cairns-Smith’s Seven Clues to the Origin of Life.]

    “You watch amazed at what happens. Your two crystals grow visibly: they break up from time to time and the pieces also grow. Flat crystals give rise to a population of flat crystals. Chunky crystals give rise to a population of chunky crystals. If there is any tendency for one type of crystal to grow and split more
    quickly than the other, we shall have a simple kind of natural selection.”
    [Dawkins, Richard, “The Blind Watchmaker”(p.151)]

    you:
    “…in fact evolution with helpful new features to the phenotype HAVE been observed in the lab, for example bacteria developing the ability to metabolize Citrate, by accelerating their own mutation rates and using transposition and genetic reorganization to evolve.”

    me:
    Can you see how the more we understand genetic replicating mechanisms it all turns to be less and less random? Randomness is all about our ignorance or inability to know. I’m sure that mechanisms such as transposition, recombination, cross-over, were once thought to be random. Molecules evolved to replicate more efficiently and with better result. But still most recombination and replication mechanisms such as transposition are basically detrimental.

    you:
    “You say “You’re not an evolutionist, and therefore you’re not a scientist.””

    me:
    I take it back.

    you:
    “First of all evolutionist is not the definition of scientist.”

    me:
    I agree.

    you:
    “…if you were actually reading the contents my website …”

    me:
    I will.

    you:
    “instead of quoting Dawkins as though he were some sort of demigod”

    me:
    I don’t consider anybody a demigod or infallible. But quoting scientists is good when what we’re discussing is precisely science. Remember: quoting scientists is good.

    you:
    “I told you to read the article on my website…”

    me:
    I’ll be posting my comments on one of your articles real soon.

    regards,
    Ciro Galli.

    • Crystal growth is not self replication. I am very well aware of what crystals do and how they work. What you just described is ENTIRELY different from self replication of a machine based on a code as defined by Von Neumann in the 1960’s. One has nothing to do with the other. Any biologist who conflates these two things as an explanation for the origin of life should be stripped of his credentials. These experiments do not in any way shape or form explain the origin of the genetic code.

      You said:

      Can you see how the more we understand genetic replicating mechanisms it all turns to be less and less random?

      Which is precisely my point. All of these things are algorithmic. All algorithms we know the origin of, without exception, are designed. If you disagree, show me one exception.

      And yes, you are right, randomness is a word people use when they don’t understand something. Which is why Dawkins and others use it. Because they deny that evolution is purposeful and their atheistic bias hinders the discovery of the real process of evolution. They produce theories like “JUNK DNA” which are now discredited.

      The mutation process is extremely purposeful and most emphatically non-random. See See James A. Shapiro, “A 21st Century View of Evolution”: http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro.2005.Gene.pdf

      Ciro, show me an example of an experiment that produced a code that was not designed. Just one.

      • cirogalli says:

        Perry,

        Replication is about results, not about means. Either something replicates or it doesn’t. And something replicates when it makes copies of it self, being there a code involved or not. Just check the definition of self-replication:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replication
        Biologists do consider crystal replication self-replication, because regardless of the means, the results is several crystal molecules with the same features (including shape and copy errors) as those present in the parent crystal molecule. And that’s basically all we care. The Clay Theory of Abiogenesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_theory#Clay_theory) might not be widely accepted when it comes to the emergence of DNA, but it’s of scientific consensus that clay crystals do replicate:
        “Clays form naturally from silicates in solution. Clay crystals, as other crystals, preserve their external formal arrangement as they grow, snap and grow further. Masses of clay crystals of a particular external form may happen to affect their environment in ways which affect their chances of further replication”

        Nobody will be able to show you any code or algorithm arisen naturally, because all you have to do is dismiss the evidence as inconceivable.
        If, according to you, codes have to be designed to deserve the label “code”, then there’s nothing anybody can actually do to prove you there are codes that are non-designed. To me, RNA, DNA and our very language are examples of undesigned codes. But once we use the label “code” to refer to something, it seems to unavoidable guide you to the idea that it was designed, by definition. Your argument suffers from the “argument from personal incredulity”. Apparently, you cannot personally conceive a undesigned code, cause the very idea goes against the definition of “code” you have decided to embrace.You know full-well that the burden of proof is not on science to prove you the existence of an undesigned code, because to science, everything in nature is undesigned by default, unless the existence of designers can be proved:

        “The person making the extraordinary claim has the burden of proving to the experts and to the community at large that his or her idea has more validity than the currently accepted idea.”

        We cannot infer a designer from mere “apparent design”, since we know our cognition suffers from bias to infer design from everything it encounters.

        You also have to understand that, even though all of the codes so far observed were designed (which is untrue), that doesn’t prove that RNA and DNA were designed too. You cannot infer the “designed” quality from all the codes, just because all the codes you know of so far were somehow designed.
        My comfort is that no real scientist will ever listen to your arguments, because the only thing you do is ask for evidence for the existence of undesigned codes in nature, and the general scientific consensus nowadays is that nothing in nature is designed other than by the purposeless forces of natural selection.
        What you’re asking for cannot be done (not that anybody owes you an answer.) You’re demanding a non-designed code, so basically you’re asking for a non-designed “design”. So, nice self-contradictory little trick you’ve put up here.

        • Ciro,

          I am beginning to doubt that you actually read these articles before presenting your arguments about them. Did you read the Wiki article you cited? It says:

          “A detailed conceptual proposal for a physical non-biological self-replicating system was first put forward by mathematician John von Neumann in lectures delivered in 1948 and 1949, when he proposed a kinematic self-reproducing automaton model as a thought experiment.[11][12] Von Neumann’s concept of a physical self-replicating machine was dealt with only abstractly, with the hypothetical machine using a “sea” or stockroom of spare parts as its source of raw materials. The machine had a program stored on a memory tape that directed it to retrieve parts from this “sea” using a manipulator, assemble them into a duplicate of itself, and then copy the contents of its memory tape into the empty duplicate’s.”

          This is the formal definition I am using. I indicated this in a previous post.

          Crystals contain no codes and no memory tape. No one should confuse crystals with self replication. Crystals are not event mentioned in the Wiki article.

          If you read Claude Shannon’s paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” and my specification for a naturally occurring code at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/solve you will understand that a communication system has an objectively verifiable definition. If naturally occurring codes exist then it will be easy to demonstrate their existence.

          Ciro, I understand that after coming to believe that Dawkins and friends have all the answers; and having been convinced that everyone who sees design in biology is an uneducated superstitious religious moron; it’s discouraging to find that the atheist worldview has no explanation for so much as the origin or nature of information.

          If you further investigate this field, and *read* books and papers, you will find there are MANY scientists with impeccable credentials who may or may not accept evolution in general, and who reject various aspects of Darwinism. I refer you to “Why Darwin was Wrong” by Fodor; “The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry” by Mazur; “Evolution Under the Microscope” by Swift.” None of these books are even slightly religious, by the way. Darwinism is in trouble and one of the principle reasons is, it contradicts everything we know about communication theory. Communication theory indicates that there has to be an algorithmic mechanism behind evolution.

          When you have scientific evidence to present, you’re welcome to present it. But if all you’re going to do is post links to articles you haven’t even read, then I ask that you go elsewhere. Seriously. If you continue to post meandering philosophical accusations that are devoid of any scientific evidence, I will delete them.

          • cirogalli says:

            Perry,

            Of course I always read the articles I quote. I’m sorry I haven’t given you that impression, but I haven’t found anywhere in that wiki articles, anything like the citation you quoted, and that’s because you took it from the definition of “self-replicating machine”, and not “self-replication”. This is the link I gave you:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replication

            What the article does say is something like this:

            «Early research by John von Neumann established that one common form of a replicator has several parts.»

            But of course, «a common form of a replicator» doesn’t comprise them all. Von Neumann’s referring to a very specific form of «physical non-biological self-replicating system», not to all the replicating systems there are. His particular machine might have to «copy the contents of its memory tape into the empty duplicate’s.» But that doesn’t imply that all replication requires the copy of codes.

            The article I presented does mention crystals:
            «…a genome-only system is probably better characterized as something like a crystal.»

            Besides, if you wanna be precise, crystals do have codes that are composed by the disposition of monomers on the basis of the atomic forces, binding and subsequent fragmentation. After all, that’s the «information» that crystals transfer to their offspring when they self-replicate: the tiling of their monomers plus copy errors. You can call that «information», but information that happened to be on the basis of anatomical forces that causes those monomers to form what they form, and not something else.
            But then again, in order to consider crystal polymers a code, you must embrace a very arbitrary definition of «code».

            I don’t believe that Dawkins has all the answers, and neither does he. You haven’t realized so far that you’re the one pretending to know more than science claims to know. You’re the one give one extra and unnecessary extraordinary step.You’re the one intending to bring the «unnecessary presumption» into the equation. Not Dawkins and friends.
            Plus, Dawkins never said anything like «everyone who sees design in biology is an uneducated superstitious religious moron.» He does claim that having some teleological predispositions is the direct result of evolutionary forces on the human biology. It’s OK to think that some things in nature look designed, cause they do. That plus our innate tendency to over-read causality and design, causes that people like you come along presenting fallacious arguments to prove that your own personal intuitions are true:

            “Designoid objects look designed, so much so that some people —probably, alas, most people — think that they are designed. These people are wrong. But they are right in their conviction that designoid objects cannot be the result of chance. Designoid objects are not accidental. They have in fact been shaped by a magnificently non-random process which creates an almost perfect illusion of design.”
            Dawkins, Richard (1996)”CLIMBING MOUNT IMPROBABLE”(pp.6–7)

            Yes, the atheist world view has fewer explanations for the origin of nature, and that’s because we don’t like making up our explanations. To a believer, any explanation that can be reconciled with their own superstition and ignorance and can fit that gap, will be considered a good explanation.

            Those «scientists with impeccable credentials» who may or may not accept evolution in general, who reject aspects of Darwinism are totally welcome to present their hypotheses, views, conclusion, etc. as long as they want. They might be right in the end. But there’s something called «scientific consensus» that has to do with the majority of the scientific community holding (or not) the the truth value of certain theories. That’s the way science evolves and corrects itself. It has happened in the past that the scientific consensus has been wrong, and the minority was right about a particular issue, but good theories end up but gaining ground and acceptance in the end, and false theories end up being swept away by the tides of good science. So, when it comes to these people’s hypotheses and your own, only time can tell. Your position doesn’t seem to be anywhere near to the general scientific consensus nowadays, but you’re welcome to keep presenting your views as long as you do real science, and as long as you’re intellectually honestly after the truth and not after your own personal biased superstitions.

            You seem to keep deliberately disregarding the core of my argument. I sustain that your argument doesn’t suffer from lack of evidence from anybody else’s part, but it suffers from an acute case of conceptual misunderstanding. You have only offered the theory of communication’s definition of «code», pretending that all codes there are must have been designed, just because in this context codes are deliberately produced. You keep presenting people with pictures like these:

            http://evo2.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/comm_system.jpg

            …establishing by default that: if there is a code somewhere, therefore it was intended by a «sender». By doing so, you’re eliminating all possibilities for anybody to present you with evidence for a undesigned code, because the sole idea will never satisfy your definition of «code». Since such evidence would be inconsistent with the definition of code you decided to embrace, it wouldn’t be a code by definition.

            I can describe your reasoning as follows:

            (1) according to your definition: all codes are produced by a sender/encoder.
            (2) DNA is a code.
            (c) therefore, DNA was produce by a sender/encoder.

            If you insist on clinging on to the the theory of communication’s definition of «code», there’s nothing no one can do to satisfy your demand for evidence that proves that some codes can come about naturally. You’re simply begging the question here. You can find the conclusion of your argument in the first premise of your syllogism. Good luck with that.

            regards,
            Ciro Galli.

            • Ciro,

              The process of DNA translation and transcription is exactly identical (isomorphic) with Shannon’s model and likewise Von Neumann’s model (Yockey, 2005).

              You press “A” on your keyboard, it is transcribed to 1000001 by the keyboard, decoded by the computer and a series of dots form an “A” on your screen.

              “GGG” is transcribed into Glycine in Messenger RNA and is translated by the Ribosomes into proteins.

              From a communication theory point of view those two processes are exactly identical.

              This is the definition of self replication per Neumann and is also conceptually compatible with a Turing machine. This is the only definition of self replication I am willing to accept.

              This has nothing whatsoever to do with crystallization.

              Nobody has ever seen a crystal evolve into a code, let alone DNA.

              Don’t tell me about “if you want to be precise.” Ciro, if you want to be precise read “Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life” by Hubert Yockey (Cambridge University Press, 2005) or Claude Shannon’s paper. And don’t tell me I’m the guy with the arbitrary definition of code. You are. Yours is so imprecise you can drive a truck through it.

              All views on the origin of life introduce an unnecessary presumption into the equation. I heard Dawkins on the radio in 2005 and he said life was “A happy chemical accident.” So much for systematic scientific theories. He’s appealing to LUCK. I can’t think of anything more antiscientific than that. Oh, and then on the Expelled movie he muses that “created by aliens” might be a reasonable explanation. Which of course is a design explanation. Which just pushes the design back further to the point of being impossible to investigate. Or you could accept his “crystal growth” theory.

              Well frankly he has no idea. He’s just absolutely certain that there is no God.

              Wow. So I want to know…. how does he know that?

              Neither Dawkins nor anyone else has never produced any experiment which

              (1) shows that materialistic processes can produce life

              or

              (2) shown that random mutations can produce anything worthy of being selected by natural selection.

              There is no scientific consensus on the origin of life.

              And there is no scientific proof that any functional form of evolution can ever happen without an algorithm.

              The “pictures like these” you refer to are shown in Yockey’s book – see http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/dnanotcode.htm for reproductions of these. I did not make this up. This is modern communication theory applied to biology.

              I suggest you study these fields before you continue to make anti-scientific statements about codes and communication theory.

              • cirogalli says:

                Here’s my humble list on the many ways your arguments are wrong. I might actually write a book about your fallacies (not that I wanted to waste my time like this).

                (1) “Scientific Language Does Not Make a Science. Dressing up a belief system in the trappings of science by using scientific language and jargon means nothing without evidence, experimental testing, and corroboration.”

                Anyone can realize your argument is a theological argument for the Christian God disguised in scientific jargon. Every single line of your argument was maliciously disposed in a way that all seems to point in the direction of the god your believe in, in an attempt to rationalize your belief. There is no real intellectually honest interest for the truth in your arguments, just the common intention to offer rational justification for the existence of the god you want to convince yourself of.
                You should have called your site: TheChristianGod’sFingerprints.

                (2) Even if there was intelligence in nature, that wouldn’t imply a god. Just intelligence. It doesn’t follow from “intelligence” that it has to come from a god, that this being would be a unit or a group or beings, that it would be infinite in any senses, or that it would be still around us now, etc. Inferring the Christian God from the illusion of intelligence you seem suffer, is pushing it too far.
                When I mentioned this non-sequitur to you last time, you directed me to one of the speeches in mp3, and I had to go through almost 2 hours of pure boring poppycock to hear that the justification for the Christian God was something like God being a personal god, bla, bla, bla…
                Get it straight: even if there was a sign of intelligence, this intelligence wouldn’t be anything like the Christian God, I’m glad to say. The DNA code shows real intelligence. DNA doesn’t seem to be the work of a sadistic, homophobic, intolerant, blood thirsty, vindictive bully.

                (3) Many times in history humans have found themselves in a position in which they couldn’t find a natural explanation so they invoked a god or gods. This is just another instance. Your arguments are committing the argument from personal incredulity: you can’t understand how DNA came about naturally, therefore it came about supernaturally. End of story.
                Experience has shown us that the gods are always replaced by real science in the end, and this won’t be no exception.

                (4) What if DNA was the first and only naturally occurring code? Be a scientist and don’t force a whimsical definition onto something that probably doesn’t deserve it. Words should be our servants, not our masters. The existence of a definition doesn’t necessarily imply the direct correspondence with something in the real world.

                (5) You cannot infer the first element (encoder), from the latter 2 elements (channel, decoder) of the definition of “code” you decided to embrace. Mostly because you took the definition from the theory of communication, that deals with communication among people only: from minds to minds.
                When we talk about DNA we cannot presume a mind. The field that deals with genetic code is actually biocommunication, which also deals with how the genome editing occurs naturally depending on the results of the combinations of genes, occurring on the basis of atomic binding and fragmentations.

                (6) A mind is a natural occurring phenomenon, and all minds have an evolutionary history. So minds are “natural phenomena”. Even if it codes proceeded from minds, then they would be naturally caused, since minds are natural by definition. Now, have you ever observed the emergence of a mind without an evolutionary history? To be fair with your proposal: show me the evidence of a mind occurring other than naturally.

                (7) Any code, whose designer hasn’t been proved, should be considered a natural occurring code. Your arguments is version 2.0 of other ID arguments I’ve seen before, like this one for example the typical: “there’s no paint without a painter, and there’s no building without a builder, etc” argument.
                Yes, this low your science has scooped.

                (8) The only way we could prove God’s existence is through empirical evidence. It’s never gonna happen through full inductions. Other less important things we can infer, but we’re talking about the supreme designer and creator of the universe here, and an induction is an a-priori argument, which is just a from of “dialectical prestidigitation”. Prove gravity through induction, not the designer of the universe. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. A pseudo-inductive reasoning is nothing like “extraordinary”.

                regards,
                Ciro Galli.

                • 1. I have used all of my scientific terms according to their correct definitions and context. If you disagree you are welcome to point out where I strayed from this.

                  2. All inference is that the information in biology comes from intelligence. That leaves us with 5 possibilities:

                  a) Humans designed DNA
                  b) Aliens designed DNA
                  c) DNA occurred randomly and spontaneously
                  d) There must be some undiscovered law of physics that creates information
                  e) DNA was Designed by a Superintelligence, i.e. God.

                  Take your pick.

                  3. This is actually the only good argument you present. Yes, many things formerly attributed to God have been later seen to be the result of scientific laws. Newton’s math of orbiting planets being updated by Laplace, for example, so Newton’s theory that God pushed the planets back in place became obsolete. I do take that very seriously. (It has not only philosophical problems but theological problems as well.) Which is why I hypothesize the origin of life as ONE singularity event and do not buy creationism as a whole series of singularity events. I’m even opening to the information in DNA coming to us via the big bang.

                  But this still gives you no ability to explain singularity events themselves like the big bang or why we have laws of physics in the first place. Science is no closer to replacing God in the largest, ultimate sense than it was 1000 years ago. In fact the list of unanswered questions only grows every year and I see the trend continuing in that direction.

                  4. See #2

                  5. If you had read Claude Shannon’s paper you would know that communication theory involves mechanical devices like computers more often than it involves people talking to each other. You have a pattern of not reading the assigned material.

                  6. You’re deriving your conclusion from your premise. You have defined everything as being natural without proving this. You do not know where minds ultimately come from, because you’ve never made one. What we do know is that all machines that process symbolic information are designed.

                  7. You seem to be forgetting that this is not Infidels or Richard Dawkins.net or whatever your favorite atheist website is. In the world at large, atheism is not granted some kind of free lunch, as though all of us are supposed to just automatically assume there is no God.

                  If Atheism is to be taken seriously, it must compete in the marketplace of ideas without being granted a free pass. If you think it’s capable of cutting the mustard, then come forward with a scientific argument.

                  Not a single argument you have made here is scientific – ALL of your arguments are a priori. (Did you notice that?)

                  None of my arguments are a priori. All use induction and inference and known facts. Again if you disagree then point out where I have deviated from this.

                  8. Induction is just as valid for big questions as it is for small ones. Any philosopher will tell you induction is the only form of reasoning we get with the Big Questions.

                  Pure matter and energy has NEVER produced a code, so far as we know. Human intelligence produces fairly sophisticated codes. DNA is truly extraordinary – it is a self-writing, self-adapting, self-repairing code. Thus DNA is extraordinary evidence.

                  • cirogalli says:

                    Perry,

                    1.You do use the terms according to their definition, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing science. A scientist does experiments and arrives to a conclusion on the basis of the results. You chose your conclusion beforehand, because (I presume) you were indoctrinated into your “conclusion” and now you’re using your intelligence to justify the belief you want to hold on to. Which leads us to the other fallacy: “Ideological immunity. we tend to build up “immunity” against new ideas that do not corroborate our previously held viewpoint.”
                    Real science tries and does indeed escapes that fallacy, because evidence has to be empirical, objective and reproducible, and when that happens, personal preferences don’t matter anymore. Intelligent people like you, are better at justifying the ideas you decide to subscribe to. But, let’s see how your ideas survive (or not) scientific scrutiny.

                    2.If you make a list of possibilities, you’re limiting the reach of science and you’re committing more fallacies including false dilemma (the tendency
                    to dichotomize the world so that if you discredit one position, the observer
                    is forced to accept the other) and argument from ignorance (where someone
                    argues that if you cannot disprove a claim it must be true).
                    You have to admit that that list might not be exhaustive, and that there might be points you’re not considering, because either you’re not intellectually prepared to conceive them or because you don’t have enough knowledge, or for some other reasons I cannot conceive myself.
                    Ruling out 4 points out of that list, doesn’t grant the truth value to the last remaining point. Every point holds the same amount of responsibility to prove its own truth value, or else, all of them should be ruled out in the same manner.

                    5. I’ve read enough about Shannon’s theory of communication, to know that he meant his theory to be applied to the communication among minds, and to study the effects of such communication, where the existence or not of those minds is not at stake. Everywhere I read I find statements like this one being part of the definition of Theory of Communication, and Shannon’s model along with it:

                    “We might say that communication consists of transmitting information from one person to another. In fact, many scholars of communication take this as a working definition, and use Lasswell’s maxim, “who says what to whom in what channel with what effect,”

                    You’re presuming the existence of a mind, from apparent design, in order to be able to apply Shannon’s model on it. That’s not the way science does it. You don’t apply a model, because you observe 2 elements of it (in this cases: the channel and the decoder) so you feel entitled to infer the first one (encoder).
                    If you happen to observe the 3 elements altogether, then you’re entitled to apply the model to the observed instance, because the instance matches the model. But you cannot whimsically force Shannon’s model onto an incomplete instance of the phenomenon the model is trying to explain (in this case DNA).
                    You’re missing the “encoder”. The encoder cannot be inferred through man-made models. Either it’s empirically observed or we have no reasons to think there was ever one.

                    6. What is “natural” to you? What is “naturally occurring”? Let’s define terms well first. Is there even anything naturally occurring to you? or you have already made up your mind that everything is intelligently designed? We won’t go anywhere from here if we don’t share the same definition of “nature” and “natural”.
                    I speak for myself and for real science when I say that “natural” is everything out there that’s ruled by universal laws of physics, including quantum physics. So, to science, everything that becomes its object of study is by definition natural phenomena.
                    If you want to mess with evolutionary neuroscience be it, but I’m pretty sure the evolutionary history of the human mind is really well understood by now. I’ve read a fistful of books on the matter, and all neuroscientists nowadays agree on the fact that minds are epiphenomena occurring on the basis of the evolution of the interaction among different parts of the mid-brain with areas of the neo-cortex, and, that the mind can be mapped in the brain and reduced to different modules of the brain performing different tasks, which associated create the illusion that the cognitive processes offer.
                    The point is, if science studies it, it’s “natural” by definition. Mind are considered by scientific consensus a natural phenomenon. I don’t have to provide you with evidence about something that’s of natural consensus, right? Don’t be lazy and google it yourself.

                    7. Atheism “is not granted some kind of free lunch”. Atheism is simply the direct and causal result of real science, intellectual honesty and passion and respect for the truth, on the basis of the evidence we count on nowadays. We don’t whimsically embrace a belief in everything that hasn’t been disproved. It doesn’t work like that, so we all agree, on the other hand, to believe in everything that has been proven. If we don’t count on evidence to prove the existence of unicorns, then we don’t believe in unicorns. Period. Gods and unicorns get the same treatment.
                    And a-unicornist ideas don’t have to compete in the “marketplace of ideas”, because the default of science is: nothing exists until it’s been proven to exist. And –fortunately– not the other way around. Otherwise we would have to be embracing every single belief about every single crazy mythological creature until we found evidence to disprove them. For obvious reasons, it wouldn’t work like this.

                    8. According to you nature could never produce a code, because from the very moment that we can prove it’s a code, then, according to you we’re entitled to invoke a designer. Don’t you see the circularity of your argument? You’re telling me that if something is a “code”, it’s been therefore designed. How can anybody’s evidence escape that circularity?

                    regards,
                    Ciro Galli.

                    • 1. I am taking straightforward induction to its most logical conclusions.

                      2. If you want to argue for a different conclusion then present scientific evidence.

                      5. The translation and transcription of DNA is isomorphic with Shannon (Yockey, 2005). If you read Yockey (and literally 100 other papers that apply the same isomorphism) you see that never is a mind presumed in advance in order to make this comparison. Inference of a mind only comes when we inquire as to the origin of the genetic code. Again you have not read the relevant literature so you are making a futile argument. Read Yockey. There is no path more futile in this argument than trying to assert that DNA is not a code.

                      6. I define natural as “demonstrably emerging from the laws of physics and chemistry without the assistance of an intelligent agent.” No one has ever demonstrated that living things are natural by this definition. The fact that living things contain communication systems and non living things do not represents a vast chasm between life and non-life. There is no support from any empirical science that the genetic code is naturally occurring.

                      7. Atheism whimsically embraces beliefs such as: Random copying errors in DNA increase the functionality of living things; clay and crystals produce self-reproducing nanomachines; happy chemical accidents produce life; the first cells emerged from accidental combinations of compounds floating around in the primordial soup; that given enough time and the vastness of the universe, “anything is possible” by random chance.

                      Not a single one of these things has ever been modeled, let alone proven, observed, or demonstrated. All of these things are atheist virgin birth stories.

                      Every worldview invokes a miracle somewhere. Theists admit this. Atheists deny it. Ciro, if you disagree then please respond to any one of the above examples with empirical evidence. So far in this entire conversation you have yet to present a single piece of empirical evidence to support your positions.

                      Isn’t it ironic that atheists believe in an entire array of theories that quite obviously SHOULD be demonstrable… but which have never been demonstrated?

                      Just pick one of my questions above and bring the evidence that supports your claims. Go to all your favorite discussion boards and ask for help from the other members. Write letters to Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett and Hitchens and Harris and get them to assist you. Have them help you verify that your own beliefs are empirical and not just unicorn stories.

                      According to its own stated standards of proof and lack of the same, Atheism is the most irrational belief system in the marketplace of ideas. Again I understand that it deeply offends you to hear me say this. It makes you angry. Well I should hope so. I submit to you that you have been sold a bill of goods that has no empirical support whatsoever and you should be mad. You should be totally hacked off. Because the emperor has no clothes.

                      There is no shame in following the evidence where it leads. I’m inviting you to do exactly that.

                      8. Please explain to me, using clear precise language and sequential logic, what is circular about the following syllogism:
                      1. The pattern in DNA is a code.
                      2. All codes we know the origin of are designed.
                      3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA is designed and 0% inference that it is not.

                      P.S.: You’re punching and I’m punching right back hard. I commend you for doing this in a public forum and having the courage to use your real name. Most of your atheist colleagues anonymously hide behind screen names and won’t put their balls on the line. You’re doing so and it’s an honorable thing. Peace.

                  • cirogalli says:

                    Perry,

                    So if you’re claiming that minds were designed, could you please explain to all of us who designed the designer’s mind and so on ad infinitum?
                    You keep claiming that science has to provide you with evidence that proves minds coming about naturally, but by doing so you’re disregarding the very nature of science. The physical world is the very object of study of science. I will say this as many times as it’s necessary until you get it straight: the default in science is that every thing occurs naturally, except when the opposite is proven. So you won’t see any real scientist even attempting to prove whether something occurs naturally. That’s over understood. The opposite would we an extraordinary claim.
                    Here’s a definition of nature that you’ll find more often than the arbitrary one you chose:
                    “Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. “Nature” refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the cosmic.”
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural

                    you:
                    No one has ever demonstrated that living things are natural by this definition.

                    me:
                    When we study the natural sciences we’re studying precisely living things in many cases. Biology is precisely one of the disciplines contained in the natural sciences along with: astronomy, chemistry, earth science and physics.
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_science

                    In fact it’s the existence of an artificial living organism that would require evidence. The question scientists nowadays are facing is not whether DNA emerged naturally or not. The question is HOW it did it, naturally. And this question will have an answer in the end.

                    you:
                    Atheism whimsically embraces beliefs such as…

                    me:
                    Atheism doesn’t necessarily any other beliefs by definition. They might believe or not believe other things, but that’s not because of someone’s atheism:
                    “To view atheism as a way of life, whether beneficial or harmful, is false and misleading. Just as the failure to believe in magic elves does not entail a code of living or a set of principles, so the failure to believe in a god does not imply any specific philosophical system. From the mere fact that a person is an atheist, one cannot infer that this person subscribes to any particular positive
                    beliefs.”
                    George H. Smith (1976) “Atheism:The Case Against God” [p.17]

                    you:
                    …Random copying errors in DNA increase the functionality of living things; clay and crystals produce self-reproducing nano machines; happy chemical accidents produce life; the first cells emerged from accidental combinations of compounds floating around in the primordial soup; that given enough time and the vastness of the universe, “anything is possible” by random chance.

                    me:
                    7.1. As I told you, no real scientist use the word “random” to mean that randomness is something real. They’re just expressing scientific inability to know certain variables in order to predict an event. If we were omniscient we wouldn’t have any needs to use the word “random” at all.
                    7.2. No one believes that “copying errors in DNA increase the functionality of living things”. What mutations do is produce variation. But that variation has to be put to the test in the environment, where natural selection will do its part: those variations that live long enough to reproduce, will be considered the fitter, and it’s those very variations and will be transmitted and at the same time varied to produce more variation. You’re clearly attacking a straw man here.
                    7.3. Clay crystals do self-replicate, according to the definition of self-replication. That’s undeniable. Whether life comes or not from clay crystal self-replication, that’s a different story.
                    7.4. “[H]appy chemical accidents produce life”. What’s wrong with poetization and analogies in order to make laypeople understand science? You do it all the time I see. That’s basically not a scientific claim aimed at scientists, since to science there isn’t anything technically “alive” anyway. Just molecules that have evolutionarily acquired several qualities, like self-replication, metabolism, adaptation, response to stimuli, life in colonies (eg. bodies). “Life” is just one of those labels that don’t have a direct correspondent in the real world.
                    Basically all you have stated above is a list of misconceptions. Science doesn’t have empirical evidence for your straw men. Sorry.

                    you:
                    According to its own stated standards of proof and lack of the same, Atheism is the most irrational belief system in the marketplace of ideas. Again I understand that it deeply offends you to hear me say this. It makes you angry.

                    me:
                    That doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s a opinion and you’re certainly entitled to yours, and I’ll protect with my life your right to express them. Nevertheless I’m way too scientific-minded to involve emotions with beliefs or potential beliefs. Things are or aren’t. Atheism is either irrational or it isn’t. The truth is for sure independent of our beliefs or emotions.
                    Nevertheless atheism means the absence of belief in a god or gods, what says nothing about the rationality or the irrationality through which one has reached such a belief or lack thereof.

                    you:
                    Please explain to me, using clear precise language and sequential logic, what is circular about the following syllogism:
                    1. The pattern in DNA is a code.
                    2. All codes we know the origin of are designed.
                    3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA is designed and 0% inference that it is not.

                    8.1. DNA might be considered a code, but has nothing to do with its pattern, but because of the fact that the information contained can be transcribed and translated into certain organization of proteinic polymers. Grass and trees can form patterns, but that doesn’t make them codes. We might actually translate every single pattern at will, regular or irregular. We might always find a way to translate the snow on the TV screen in a way that made sense to us. It’s a matter of time.

                    8.2. “All codes we know the origin of are designed”, and that’s why they deserve to fall into the category “code” and DNA doesn’t. In order for us to know the origin those codes’ designers, we had to empirically observe the designer/encoder in every single particular case. We could have never know of the existence of the designer of a code by mere induction, cause we know there are things in science that show the amazing illusion of being designed, but aren’t. Aware of the fact that nature often trick us, we cautiously proceed, but not falling for apparent design anymore.

                    8.3. Design in DNA will never be inferred by real science, I assure you. Either we sit the designer in front of us, or we should treat the issue as if there has never been a designer. Let’s treat DNA as we treated every single other code we know of.

                    8.4. By the way, the circularity lies in the fact that you’ve already determined that every single code is designed according to you definition of “code”. One just needs to show you code for you to jump and claim: “designed!!!”.
                    — How can you prove this “code” has been designed?
                    — well, because it’s a “code”, of course.

                    Stop using the Communication Theory definition of “code” because it’s misleading. In Communication theory neither the encoder nor the channel nor the decoder are presumed, but they are established beforehand, and if they are all present, the systems adopts the label: “code”. The theory wasn’t devised for inferring encoders from incomplete systems.
                    Use genetics definition of “code” instead, where codes are for what can be transcribed and translated from them and into what, and not for where they come from. That would be more intellectually honest.

                    regards,
                    Ciro Galli.

                    • God is uncaused. Philosophy rejects an infinite regression of causes which is consistent with the theistic understanding of God.

                      Yes, the default in science is that everything occurs naturally, except when the opposite is proven (or inferred). Science 100% infers an external intelligence as the source of information in biology because there is know known naturalistic law that creates codes.

                      You appear to believe that because science can only quantify natural causes that it can quantify everything. It can’t.

                      Q: Is your atheism just “non-belief in god or gods” with no need for justification? Or should I expect you as an atheist to be able to rationally defend your beliefs?

                      7.1 ran·dom
                      adj.
                      1. Having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective: random movements. See Synonyms at chance.
                      2. Mathematics & Statistics Of or relating to a type of circumstance or event that is described by a probability distribution.
                      3. Of or relating to an event in which all outcomes are equally likely, as in the testing of a blood sample for the presence of a substance.
                      Idiom:
                      at random
                      Without a governing design, method, or purpose; unsystematically: chose a card at random from the deck.

                      Randomness as I use it is with respect to the system in question, i.e. the evolving organism. If DNA copying errors are caused by outside events or accidental mistakes then there is nothing systematic within the organism that is directing those mutations. Implying that there is no governing design, method or purpose to the changes in DNA.

                      You already seem to be aware that this is an anti-scientific position to take, and you are right. Which leads me to my next point:

                      7.2: Yes, random copying errors is in fact the position that is taken by the materialists:

                      “Cumulative selection is the key to all our modern explanations of life. It strings a series of acceptably lucky events (random mutations) together in a nonrandom sequence so that, at the end of the sequence, the finished product carries the illusion of being very very lucky indeed.”

                      -Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1976

                      “Mutations are Random. The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation.”
                      -University of California-Berkeley “Evolution 101” web page, March 2010, Evolution.Berkeley.edu

                      “On the basis of many laboratory experiments, scientists have concluded that mutations occur randomly. The term “random” here has a specific meaning that is often understood, even by biologists. What this means is that mutations occur regardless of whether they would be useful to the individual. Mutations are simply errors in DNA replication. Most of them are harmful or neutral, but a few can turn out to be useful. The useful ones are the raw material for evolution. But there is no known biological way to jack up the probability that a mutation will meet the current adaptive needs of the organism.”

                      -Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True, 2009

                      I wish I were attacking a straw man but amazingly I am not. Coyne, Dawkins and Berkeley, they are Big Dogs, not third rate players. These are supposedly some of the leading scientists and institutions, telling us that evolution occurs as a result of accidental data glitches. I’m reminded of the verse in Romans 1 that says “In professing to become wise they became fools.”

                      You already know how foolish the random mutation assertion is. I’m glad for you. When you assume that there’s an algorithmic process behind evolution, evolution becomes a powerful scientific tool that we can use in every day technology, rather than an item of historical and philosophical curiosity.

                      7.3 Self replication is when a machine ingests building materials and builds a copy of itself from those materials using a plan written in digital code (after Von Neumann).

                      Crystals do not do this. Material outside the crystal lines up and makes another identical crystal. This is replication. But it is not SELF replication.

                      Ciro, Is it really necessary to conflate such entirely different processes in order to remain an atheist?

                      7.4. Dawkins was not joking, he was entirely serious when he said “Life is a happy chemical accident.” He meant to be taken seriously.

                      8.1. The definition of DNA as code is universal in all biological literature, starting with Watson and Crick in 1953. Look it up in any biology book. Again, you consistently argue without having read the relevant literature. Remember, everything you say will be preserved on the Internet forever. I suggest you do your homework before posting.

                      8.2. You still haven’t read Yockey. Apprise yourself of the literature.

                      8.3 Design in DNA is already inferred by real science. That’s why you have to reject the idea that communication theory applies to DNA. Do this: Do a google search on

                      “claude shannon” “genetic code”

                      http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&q=“claude+shannon”+”genetic+code”

                      1570 results come up. The first ones are: National Cancer Institute, MIT and Nature Magazine. Then my own Cosmicfingerprints.com, then American Scientist, then Cambridge and the Max Planck institute. Then a little further down there are links from Johns Hopkins and Stanford. I’m in pretty good company, I think.

                      You really think Communication Theory has nothing to do with DNA?

                      If communication theory isn’t for inferring encoders from complete systems then what’s the field of cryptography used for?

                      8.4 Show me ONE code that’s not designed and then you’ll be in a position to say my reasoning is circular.

                      At the very beginning of Shannon’s paper he defines what is meant by “information source”:

                      1. An information source which produces a message or sequence of messages to be communicated to the receiving terminal. The message may be of various types: (a) A sequence of letters as in a telegraph or teletype system; (b) A single function of time f(t) as in radio or telephony; (c) A function of time and other variables as in black and white television – here the message may be thought of as a function f(x, y, t) of two space coordinates and time, the light intensity at point (x, y) and time t on a pickup tube plate; (d) Two or more functions of time, say f(t), g(t), h(t) – this is the case in “three dimensional” sound transmission or if the system is intended to service several individual channels in multiplex; (e) Several functions of several variables – in color television the message consists of three functions f(x, y, t), g(x, y, t), h(x, y, t) defined in a three-dimensional continuum – we may also think of these three functions as components of a vector field defined in the region – similarly, several black and white television sources would produce “messages” consisting of a number of functions of three variables; (f) Various combinations also occur, for example in television with an associated audio channel.

                      He continues: “This case has applications not only in communication theory, but also in the theory of computing rnachines, the design of telephone exchanges and other fields.”

                      Communication theory applies to all machines and mechanisms that process codes and information.

                      I hate to sound accusatory, but I suspect the ONLY reason you object to the application of a major branch of science, communication theory, to DNA, is that it creates a conflict with the doctrines of atheism. Which only shows that atheism rejects any information from science which contradicts its own dogmas.

  10. DMRSekhar says:

    Dear Perry Marshall,
    [1] Have you tried to publish you new theory of evolution in any peer reviewed journal of scientific importance? [please be patient as I know that a peer reviewed journal may publish trash:
    http://transciencetransaction.wetpaint.com/page/Genetics+of+caste ]

    [2] Will you please spare time and see this link?

    http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/User_talk:DMR_Sekhar

    Thanks,
    DMR Sekhar.

    • Most if not all of the elements I refer to in my “new theory of evolution” are well documented in the literature. Look up:

      Horizontal gene transfer, transposition, epigenetics, genome doubling and symbiogenesis are all well documented in peer reviewed literature.

  11. VCool123 says:

    Hey guys, sorry for interrupting your serious debates, but have any of you heard of “Noetic Sciences”? It has really huge implications and will probably satisfy both priest and atheist. Google it up, you might find something VERY interesting…..

  12. Bob Vanderzee says:

    Perry
    You make your arguments in such exquisite detail I find it impossible to find intelligent rebuttals. Those that do try to rebut often resort to misinformation, misrepresentation of your arguments, insults, or personal attacks, which of course is the sure sign they have lost the argument.
    In view of yours and other objective arguments, do you think that at age 79 I have any chance of seeing your ideas regarding ID and other anti-Darwin evolution theories taught in any of our schools? Are you making any progress getting ID considered as just one possible alternative to Darwinism in any of our teaching institutions?

    • Bob, thanks for your kind remarks. Yes, the atheists do make a poor showing here.

      I think there are 2 reasons why you don’t see ID in schools:

      1) Extreme hostility from the far left regarding the religious implications
      2) The most prevalent ID arguments are all very logical and everything, but they don’t put forth a systematic theory of evolution. (However I do on this site as I think you know). So no matter how strong those arguments are, the scientific community won’t accept a series of creation miracles to explain life. Common descent is way too appealing.

      I think you at least have to solve (2) before ID will gain any serious traction in academia. I am attempting to do that here.

      I’m a little ambivalent about trying to teach ID. Public schools do a mediocre job of most everything including the teaching of evolution. They’ll do a mediocre job of teaching ID too. So I don’t really care one way or the other. In most schools it doesn’t get more than a day or two. And frankly the usual theory of evolution does not teach you one single practical useful skill of any kinds so it’s irrelevant.

      The biggest objection I have to schools teaching only evolution and not teaching ID is there’s an implicit assumption that kids cannot think for themselves. Which I think is a pile of elitist BS.

      The other implicit assumption is that Darwinism can’t compete on a level playing field. Which is true. One time a columnist on Infidels wrote a big long article about how they should teach ID in schools because it would be obvious to everyone how stupid it is. Then he got into a debate with me and I cleaned his clock. He’s not writing those articles anymore.

      Oh, I guess I do have one other qualm about teaching ID in schools: Some people will teach Young Earth Creationism in schools if they’re allowed to, and that sure doesn’t appeal to me any more than Darwinism.

      What I would like to see is the debate being held in full on college campuses. I know students are interested because any time a couple of noted scientists go to any college campus and debate this topic the auditorium is at least half full. It’s hot and it gets people to think when done properly.

  13. Hary says:

    Perry I just want to share,

    If we all try to see a fossil and try to make a “evolution-theory of Universe” because a limitation of our knowledge, please not to call him/her a scientist . Or we will be called as a stupid – sorry – follower. And we try to deny God existence.

    Fossil made by a system that set by the owner of this universe – God – to let people see, read, watch, think and obey the God as human.

    IF you reader as a human once we seen the fossil, please read all of the Book received by David, received by Moses, received by Isa -Jesus, received by Muhammad .

    Watch around the World and the Universe as an evidence of God’s Creation.

    please be open minded, to include myself to find the truth.

    please refer the link :
    http://www.harunyahya.com/books/darwinism/atlas_creation/atlas_creation_02.php

    May God bless all of us, give the best way to the truth.

    Hary

  14. wedge says:

    oh I just want to say a few things. I just cannot accept anything random in this universe. There has to be something that keeps the world go round. I’m not a very intelligent person and obviously no scientist either. I’m not familiar with anything any famous person had ever written, scientific papers, publications, whatever. All I know about this life come from a very simple logic that come from a very humble mind. MIne. Yes I’m a humble person. I won’t ever figure out which ever come first. Egg, Chicken. Big Bang, Big Crunch. But something made all that happen. The universe didn’t just blow out of nothingness and it certainly didn’t just blow into meaninglessness (or whatever). There is a purpose to everything. And that includes creation. Yes I am a man of faith. Not a blind one. Otherwise I wouldn’t waste a second of my time reading what Perry Marshall had written..

  15. levgilman says:

    Here is my responce to Perry Marshall:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/374158391/LevGilman_to_PerriMarshall.wri.html

    I put it as file link because of color labelling, mainly for citations (otherwise I should send it just as plain comment).

  16. VCool123 says:

    Fellow Readers(And Perry, if you’re reading),

    Referring to your earlier debates with Ciro, actually I do know about one part of your explanation that you require. You say that life could not have possibly originated from the primordial soup. But, you should have referred to the Miller-Urey before putting forth your points. If you haven’t read about it yet, let me give you the info in brief. The scientists used a setup replicating the primordial soup and then passed bolts of electricity to simulate lightning under closely observed and isolated conditions. After operating for 1 week, the results showed 22 types of fully formed amino acids that are used to make proteins in living cells, with glycine as the most abundant. Sugars, lipids, and some of the building blocks for nucleic acids were also formed. Now this is as close as science can get to proving chemical evolution.

    Awaiting your comments,

    VC

    • The Miller-Urey experiment did not in any way shape or form solve the origin of information problem. They showed that some of the chemicals necessary for life can occur naturally. Fine, no problem with that. But it does not even begin to address the question of codes and information. It doesn’t make so much as a dent in the evolution question because evolution requires code before it is even possible.

      • Eocene says:

        Sometimes Perry I wonder how you can keep a straight face and I admire your selfcontrol for not really letting them have it sometimes, especially when their posts are intentionally of a spit in your face nature.

        In another forum (anonymous) I had one guy try and turn the tables on me and say that I should show an example of an empirical scientific experiment that would prove a point of creation. He said it goes both ways. My response was that in reality, it really isn’t necessary because I can point to every single evolutionism experiment (Abiogenesis, RNA World Hypothesis, etc etc etc) and ALWAYS without fail they can ONLY prove what the Athesist aims to refute. It takes some type of intelligence to manipulate the elements to arrive at any possitive conclusions.

        Needless to say the usual fallback follows. Filth, vulgarity, insults, etc. Hence from the cutter up is most assuredly their worldview.

        • Sometimes it is hard to keep a straight face. That is in fact the #1 key to success in this debate. People are intensely emotional about this stuff and they have a very hard time maintaining their objectivity. You yourself have seen what happens when you back people into a corner – they turn into animals.

          There are exceptions. Sometimes people really are willing to take on the facts and examine them. Would that there were more like that.

      • VCool123 says:

        Perry,

        You’re missing the point here. What I want to say is that the experiment didn’t solve the problem, but it did show that the basic materials required for synthesis of DNA can be synthesized from the simplest of natural occurrences (In this case, lightning). Also, lightning doesn’t require a code to exist. But it does exist independently and is responsible for synthesizing the basic building blocks of DNA, which is the “powerhouse of information” everyone wants to get their hands on. If you don’t have the basic computer hardware, how will you store information in it, let alone running it? Or would you next try to suggest that some “intelligence” put the available raw materials together to make up DNA?

        Further, have you heard about the oscillatory universe theory or the cyclic model, both previously investigated by Einstein?
        Now, if we suppose that the theories stand true, then frankly, I don’t see the role of God anywhere in the formation or destruction of the universe.

        Awaiting your comments,

        VC

        • You need both hardware and software.

          Yes, you have to have the hardware first. But that is less than half the problem. Just because you have hardware doesn’t get you any software. Yes, I am saying that code literally had to be “written.” That is the only explanation that fits known scientific data.

          A cyclic universe requires us to ignore entropy. It had to start somewhere and eventually you have to arrive at an uncaused cause.

    • Per says:

      Dear VC
      You bring up an experiment that has been turned down by the evolutionst themselves. Apart from the many insurmountable problems of creating proteins from the type of amino acids formed in this experiment and the problem of information, there are a chain of other problems like the atmosphere that is supposed to have been existing was not resembling the gases used in the experiment.

      Chemical evolution is the spontaneous production of the molecular components of cells that had to be produced prior to evolution of the first cell:
      1) Abiotic synthesis of organic monomers
      2) Abiotic synthesis of organic polymers
      3) Self assembly of protobionts
      4) Evolution of a genetic system

      Six reasons that Miller’s experiment does not prove chemical evolution:
      1) Oparin’s reducing conditions were postulated because they are conditions allowing reduced organic molecule production, not because of compelling evidence these conditions ever existed on earth. (Oxygen has been found in the bedrock suggesting oxygen has always been present. If there was water – there was oxygen due to the sun’s influence))

      2) Reduced organic products were not the result of random chance, but of a device that had been carefully designed and constructed. (If the products were left in the environment they were created, the environment would have destroyed them – the scientist had to “rescue” them from the solution)

      3)Products were not enriched in the chemicals that make up organisms. This is a particular problem when it comes to stereoisomers.

      4)No organisms were actually made.

      5) Even if organisms were made in this way, this would not prove it to be how things actually happened, it only shows it to be one possible way.

      6) Accumulation of organic monomers is only the first step in chemical evolution.

      Consider also that numerous experiments have been carried out with all the necessary builiding blocks of life present. Frogs have been put in a mixer (here are all necessary components for life) But there is no successful experiment even with this extraordinary starting point.

      A final thought that has come to mind when reading the arguments put forth by Ciro:
      Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
      Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he think himself wise in his own conceit.”

      Per

      • VCool123 says:

        Dear Perry,

        First of all- Chill dudes !!!
        Some guys at this website really know how to make simple discussion topics heated and controversial !

        Second of all- Try to keep an open mind at all times. You never know when you’re staring at truth without realizing so.

        Third- Appreciate your quotes and proverbs, Per. Frankly, I didn’t know that the theory had so many problems, I hardly knew much about the experiment, just referred a little to Wiki. 😉

        Fourth- I HIGHLY disapprove of religious examples to quote today’s world, or religious predictions about today or tomorrow’s world. Evey religion that exists today has its own knowledge to share. But that doesn’t prove one religion’s supremacy OR advancement OR maturity over any other. I for one, am an Indian, and a Hindu by religion. But I never quote our sacred texts, simply because I don’t think we should belittle them by using them, for one’s satisfaction, to an intellectual debate involving topics that revolve around God’s existence. To quote them is to risk playing with one’s own or another’s religion to one’s benefit. I’m saying this because I’ve seen a lot of people doing so, quoting The Gita, the Kuran, etc. Religion has to be understood first to the deepest of cores, only then does one gain the right to propagate it. I respect all religions and am saying so to protect them and their integrity.

        Fifth- You’re also probably getting me wrong here. I never said that I’m in full support of the theory, I quoted it to make my point, that is, we don’t have a concrete theory on evolution that has been scientifically proven and has been universally accepted. No one has.

        What I suggest here is the Unification of the most widely accepted theories into one that can explain the works, satisfy all doubts and remain accurate at all times and for all instances. Someone at this website quoted Lourdes’ miracles, you support an “intelligence”, whatever it may be etc. etc. But these are mere fragments. There are also a lot of abnormalities in all of these theories, referring to the “Nipple” problem and inherent defects in composition of DNA and its stored information. It’s like trying to put a puzzle together, one piece at a time. The results might be better, at least better than one person trying to disprove the others’ theory using one’s own/preferred.

        Awaiting your comments,

        VC

  17. cirogalli says:

    Perry,

    «God is uncaused. Philosophy rejects an infinite regression of causes which is consistent with the theistic understanding of God».

    I have many problems with this sole line:
    (1) You can’t define anything without providing appropriate evidence for its existence. Well, of course you can define your God the way you please, but that doesn’t make Him real. You can claim that your God is «uncaused» but that’s only from the whimsical definition someone capriciously decided to embrace about their personal god. There’s no apparent reason why I should take that characteristic seriously. You don’t define something and then you apply it depending how compatible it is with the particular case. First we observe something, and then we define it according to the list of features observed. The same method should be applied to the gods and other mythological creatures.

    (2) The universe might as well have been the first «uncaused cause». If you believe in a beginning, you must admit that the possibilities are that, the first cause either (a) had a mind, or (b) didn’t have a mind. But I’m afraid there isn’t enough empirical evidence to support any of the two.

    (3) Some philosophers and mathematicians (eg. Bertrand Russell, Immanuel Kant) did support the idea that the universe is the only necessary event, and that the rest of events are contingent.

    (4) Even if the universe had a first uncaused cause, we gotta admit we know nothing about it. You might call it «God» if you like, but that doesn’t mean this first cause is what we know as the Christian God. There’s nothing about a first cause that implies that it must have had a mind or been infinite in any senses. It might as well have been a natural first uncaused cause. Calling it God doesn’t change anything about it, and it even might be misleading.
    “Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God: omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.”
    Dawkins, Richard (2006) “The God Delusion” [pp.77—78]

    «You appear to believe that because science can only quantify natural causes that it can quantify everything. It can’t.»

    We’re not interested in what science cannot quantify, because we’re not interested in anything outside the natural world if it doesn’t come in contact with our reality at any point. If it does, it’s measurable. If it doesn’t, it isn’t even part of our reality and even thinking about it is a waste of time and energy:
    “[E]verybody tells us that the essence of God is incomprehensible to man. At the same time, they do not hesitate to assign attributes to this incomprehensible god and assure us that man cannot dispense with the knowledge of this god, so impossible to conceive of. The most important thing for man is that which is the most impossible for him to comprehend. If God is incomprehensible to man, it would seem rational never to think of him at all. But religion concludes that man is criminal if he ceases for a moment to revere Him.
    [R]eligion is the art of occupying limited minds with that which it is impossible to conceive or to comprehend.”
    — Baron d’Holbach.

    «Is your atheism just “non-belief in god or gods” with no need for justification? Or should I expect you as an atheist to be able to rationally defend your beliefs?»

    What beliefs? What part from the «absence of belief» don’t you understand? And why is it that so often theistic people have no idea what the burden of proof is about? The burden of proof falls entirely on the person making the claim. I’m not claiming there’s not god or gods. I’m not making a positive claim here, you are. Atheists, except for a bunch called «explicit atheists», don’t claim there’s no god. They simply lack the evidence that would account for the existence of a god or gods and therefore they don’t embrace any belief of the like.
    If I claimed to keep anti-gravity boots in my tools shed, it wouldn’t be your intellectual responsibility to prove my boots are not real. It would be my intellectual responsibility to prove they are real, because it’s me making the positive claim for the existence of something.

    «ran-dom…»

    If you want to read science and understand it, I’m afraid that you’ll have to adopt their codes and read between the lines. You have to know that words like: random, theory, life, etc. don’t mean as defined in laypeople’s dictionaries.
    In one of my previous posts I quoted to you before what Dawkins et al. actually mean by «random», which is nothing like you mean by the same word. I’ll do it again if necessary:
    “It is ironic that this emphasis on the contrast between mutation and the
    non-randomness of selection has led people to think that the whole theory is a theory of chance. Even mutations are, as a matter of fact, non-random in various senses…
    …[M]utations have well-understood physical causes, and to this extent they are non-random.
    … the great majority of mutations, however caused, are random with respect to quality, and that means they are usually bad because there are more ways of getting worse than of getting better.”
    Dawkins, Richard (1996)”Climbing Mount Improbable”[pp.80—81]

    If you wanna understand Dawkins et al. I’m afraid you’ll have to adopt the same meaning of the words they adopt or you’ll be understanding something else other than what they actually mean. And you would be, in fact, attacking a straw man, just like in this case.
    There’s definitely a lack of a better word from what happens during a random event, to such an extent that science has already adopted this term to define a process that’s nothing like literally «random». Most of our words were born from the misinterpretations of the spectacle of our intuitions, and «random» is not an exception.There was a time when «randomness» was considered a reality. Now the term «random» refers to something else what has to do with human inability to have into considerations all the variables that cause an effect, and therefore I prefer referring to the effect as «random». Roll your bowling ball to a group of bowling pins, and see how some are struck down and some aren’t. The result might look like a random even by an outsider that ignores the laws of physics, but I assure you that Lt.Commander Data from Star Trek might have predicted the result from the instant subsequent to the release of the bowling ball by the player. In an episode of Star Trek, Data, in deed, balances a pair dice to roll the number he wanted. Dice rolling might look random to a human being, but it wouldn’t be random to someone who can take into account all the variables (initial position, initial direction, initial speed, acceleration, other forces, presence of obstacles, etc.) of the event:
    “[R]olling of a fair six-sided die in neutral conditions may be said to produce random results, because one cannot compute, before a roll, what number will show up. However, the probability of rolling any one of the six rollable numbers can be calculated, assuming that each is equally likely.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random

    You quoted this by Jerry Coyne:
    «…What this means is that mutations occur regardless of whether they would be useful to the individual…»

    That’s another definition I’m willing to accept, even though it’s applied to a very specific context and therefore is relatively incomplete. Because it doesn’t define randomness for what it is, but for what it might be considered to be in the biological context of «random mutation».
    The random mutation assertion is foolish only if we apply your definition of «random» and not the scientific definition of «random».

    «…algorithmic process behind evolution…»

    There’s not an algorithm behind evolution. There must be a way to consider an algorithm behind genetic replication, transcription, translation, combination, transposition and other proteinic chemical behaviors, but then again, these chemical behaviors are purely dependent on the chemical constitution of those compounds. We understand full well that proteins behave the way they do because of the chemicals they’re made of. So ribosomes and other catalysts do what they do –and not something else– because of their chemical composition and constitution. So, yes, we see algorithms in nature everywhere we see: brain cell disposition and behavior, fractal structures and growth, golden spirals,etc. But I don’t believe those very same algorithms, that are so recurrent in nature, were always what they are, and I also presume they have their own evolutionary history. At least in the sense that the organisms adopted them in a form of calibration because doing so is fitter than doing it otherwise. In the same sense spider-webs have been extensively studied and observed to have an evolutionary algorithm that helps spiders economize resources and increase predation success. There are many ways to knit a spider-web as there are many ways to combine genetic material. What we see today are pretty useful algorithms to knit spider-webs and recombine genetic material, because they benefited their actors up to the extent that their phenotypical structures endured long enough as for to pass the same genetic content on to their progeny, along with those beneficial algorithms. Algorithms do evolve.
    Transposition might be one of the factors that contribute to evolution through natural selection, and there might be an algorithm behind its mechanics, but this algorithm is nothing like intelligent. And it’s actually harmful most of the time:
    «Transposons are mutagens. They can damage the genome of their host cell in different ways…
    …Additionally, many transposons contain promoters which drive transcription of their own transposase. These promoters can cause aberrant expression of linked genes, causing disease or mutant phenotypes.»
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transposons#Transposons_causing_diseases

    «Life is a happy chemical accident.»

    I don’t know about it. I never heard Dawkins saying it, I don’t know when, where or why he said it, and I’d also like to know the context. But I’m pretty sure that if a scientist says something like this, doesn’t address it to other scientists but to people who might find scientific jargon a little bit confusing or incomprehensible. Nevertheless we still might want to consider that life might have been an «accident». How probable or improbable we cannot know because we still ignore the mechanisms behind abiogenesis on Earth. There’s a consensus on that one of the first chemical qualities that some combination of molecules might have acquired first on their way to «life» are either (1) replication or (2) metabolism. Maybe those 2 at the same time:
    http://www.bgu.ac.il/~pross/PDF-3%20%28OLEB1%29.pdf

    «…You still haven’t read Yockey. Apprise yourself of the literature.»

    I will if you send me a free copy, or direct me to any relevant paper online on the matter.

    «An information source which produces a message or sequence of messages to be communicated to the receiving terminal…»

    Can’t you see how Shannon’s never presupposing/presuming the sources? He’s talking about systems of which every part is established beforehand. He does mention all the building parts of his communication systems, before even communication itself taking place. Can’t you see how specific he is when dealing with his own theory? He’s referring to a very narrow and specific range of means by which communication can take place. When does he ever say something like: if you observe of the existence of a channel and of the decoder, then you’re intellectually entitled to infer the existence of the the encoder?
    Even if he did say something of the like, he’s clearly talking about the communication among minds with or without the assistance of machinery, and the consequences the «received information» has on the receiver/decoder.

    «…is that it creates a conflict with the doctrines of atheism…»

    (1)The reason why I object to the application of communication theory to DNA is because communication theory was never devised to be applied on to DNA in the first place, therefore they’re incompatible in principle. They might both deal with similar words, but they deal with conflicting definitions of the same words, because they were devised to deal with different problems. Applying the definitions of communication theory to DNA is intellectually dishonest and dirty linguistic trickery.
    (2) Atheism doesn’t have a doctrine. I told you in my last post that the absence of the belief in the existence of a god or gods doesn’t necessarily imply any other set of principles or philosophical systems.
    (3) I would have no inconveniences whatsoever in accepting intelligence in nature in the face of good evidence. Considering intelligence in nature wouldn’t go against atheism at all, because atheism involves the absence of belief in a god or gods. Intelligence in nature doesn’t necessarily imply anything god-like. It would only imply intelligence, not divine intelligence or omniscience or omnipotence. I’m intellectually open to consider intelligence in nature, but the evidence for such an extraordinary claim would have to be as extraordinary as the claim itself. And it all has nothing to do with theism or atheism. It would all be a scientific claim. There’s an abyss from intelligence to the concept of gods from a theistic perspective. One thing is to claim intelligence in nature, another completely different is to claim that the source of that intelligence requires our worship, reverence, respect, that it sent its son to save us, can violate the laws of physics at will, is the creator of souls, afterlife, Hell, Heaven, sins, etc.
    Intelligent design might –through the appropriate scientific hypothesis– get to be considered a scientific possibility. The problem is no one has ever come up with a functional falsifiable testable hypothesis for intelligent design so far.
    So again, intelligent design doesn’t go against any atheistic «doctrine» because (1) there isn’t such thing as an «atheistic doctrine», (the only thing incompatible with atheism is the belief in gods) and (2) intelligent design doesn’t imply divinity in any senses, just intelligence.
    The only thing I’m claiming is, if the day comes when we’re justified to believe in Intelligent Design it won’t be through a-priori inductive reasonings, but through the formulation of falsifiable hypotheses arrived to through empirical observations, tested, verified and predicted through full disclosure. The claim is far too extraordinary to be treated with the intellectual disrespect and disregard that induction involves.

    regards,
    Ciro Galli.

    • 1. I have defined God as uncaused and this is completely logical. There’s no rule that says you have to like it.

      2. The universe itself began in a single point 13.7 billion years ago. Time as we know it ceases to exist outside of that point. The cause logically had to be outside of space and time. The universe is inside of space and time. Therefore the universe is not its own cause.

      4. We can logically deduce the properties of the cause of the universe (and the fact that the cause of the universe is outside of the universe itself) from Godel’s incompleteness theorem. See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/incompleteness

      Science provides 100% inference that what is outside the universe introduced information to the universe in the form of DNA. I have 100% inference from science to support my belief in God. Atheism has 0% inference to any other explanation. Therefore belief in God is logical and warranted by known science.

      I did not say God was incomprehensible to man. Neither did a lot of other people. Don’t say “everybody” because it’s a straw man argument. God in His totality is incomprehensible. But there are truths about God that man can very well comprehend.

      You as an atheist have all kinds of beliefs, which you have espoused here: That the universe is its own cause, that naturalistic forces explain the origin of life, etc. You have asserted that nothing transcendent has ever contacted our reality at any point. You have no proof that these things are true. Should I expect you to defend these beliefs or not? You definitely made the assertions.

      Either atheism is simply “non belief” and that’s the end of it, or you have to step up to the plate and assert a rational worldview with empirical support of your assertions. But you can’t have it both ways.

      You did not read my last reply to you. Randomness is always in relation to the system in question. If mutations are caused by external forces that the cell has no control of and which are not subject to any specific pattern, then the mutations are random with respect to the cell. Static on your radio is random with respect to the signal on the radio station. This is the kind of randomness that Coyne and Dawkins are talking about and that kind of randomness always destroys a signal.

      All algorithms we know the origin of are designed. Until you have actually read Shapiro etc all as I asked you to I refuse to argue with you about the algorithmic nature of evolution – transpositions, epigenetics, horizontal gene transfer, genome doubling.

      DNA has encoder, code and decoder at the same time. Read Yockey. I have referred you to many of Yockey’s writings on my website. Find them; do a Google search; buy the book. Read the relevant material and then we can discuss it.

      Stop misquoting Shannon. I can’t discuss literature which you have not read. Your refusal to read is telling.

      Atheism most definitely has doctrines. You’re espousing them here. That there is nothing transcendent outside the universe which affects our reality. That naturalism explains everything. That there is no design in the universe. You’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth. You either espouse a philosophical system or you don’t. You’ve gone far past ever being able to say you don’t. So own up to it and formulate a rational apologetic for your atheist beliefs.

      If you believe that ID has no testable falsifiable verifiable hypothesis then you have not read the articles right here on this site. Again your refusal to read is telling.

      • cirogalli says:

        Perry,

        “I have defined God as uncaused and this is completely logical. There’s no rule that says you have to like it.”

        It’s not about liking it or not. It’s just saying that there was a first uncaused cause and call it “God” and define it the same way you define the Christian God is the product of a very personal whim. Even if there was a first “uncaused cause”, and you wanted to baptize it “God” that doesn’t bring it into existence and doesn’t make it be the way you define it. The only think we might agree on about the first uncaused cause, is that it was “uncaused”. As for the rest of the qualities, that’s more like wishful thinking than real science. Again, we don’t define things beforehand in science. We observe things to happen and then we define them according to the observations. It doesn’t matter how logically we define things, that’s not the right scientific procedure. The definition of unicorns sounds very logical to me, that doesn’t make unicorns real.

        “…The universe is inside of space and time. Therefore the universe is not its own cause.”

        I never said the universe is its own cause. I said that the first cause doesn’t necessarily have to have a “mind”. It not only might as well have been a “natural cause” without a mind, but that’s also the position we must adopt if we want to remain loyal to our science, since presuming a mind would be adding an unnecessary presumption.

        “Science provides 100% inference that what is outside the universe introduced information to the universe in the form of DNA. I have 100% inference from science to support my belief in God. Atheism has 0% inference to any other explanation. Therefore belief in God is logical and warranted by known science.”

        From what you have you can only infer 100% that things show an amazing appearance to have been designed. You cannot infer that they WERE in fact designed. Thanks to science we know full well why things look designed. The inference is unnecessary now because we have real knowledge.

        And in the best of cases you couldn’t infer God. You might maybe infer intelligence. But again, that intelligence might be nothing like your personal god. I think I said this in every single of my posts, and I’m gonna keep repeating it until you learn something about critical thinking: intelligence doesn’t imply that that intelligence gathers the qualities of the Christian God. It doesn’t follow from “intelligence” that it has to be infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent, is still around, requires our worship, listens to prayers, etc. Intelligence is only intelligence, and doesn’t even imply that that intelligence is the first uncaused cause. Even if we could infer intelligence from DNA, it doesn’t follow from there that the same intelligence produced the beginning of the universe. That’s a non-sequitur.

        ”…That the universe is its own cause, that naturalistic forces explain the origin of life, etc…”

        An implicit atheist like myself doesn’t claim there’s no God. I just lack enough empirical evidence to arrive to the conclusion of whether there’s a god or gods or not, therefore I don’t embrace the beliefs in a god or gods. Just like someone who doesn’t have enough evidence to believe whether there are or not unicorns, doesn’t believe in unicorns. Since mine is not a positive claim, I don’t have to provide evidence. Yours is a positive claim. Mine isn’t.

        If you believe in the existence of a god and you believe that that god can interact somehow with your reality, then that very same god is also part of the “natural world” and can be measured and studied. If He cannot be observed and measured is because He doesn’t come into contact with our reality at all, and therefore He’s not part of our reality and we shouldn’t devote a second of our attention to Him because that would be a waste of time, and hence my last quote.

        And once again, get it straight: “nature” is the default of all sciences. “supernatural” is the extraordinary claim. Nature is the object of study of science and therefore everything that exists and can be empirically observed, measured and studied is “natural” by definition. No one has to demonstrate that things happen naturally. That’s the default, the starting point of science. If X comes in touch with our reality it’s natural and can be measured. If X doesn’t come in touch with our reality it cannot be measured, and therefore it doesn’t exist, since it’s not part of our reality, therefore we shouldn’t give a hoot.
        Even if there was a god we still would like to know what are the forces and powers He used to do what He does. It wouldn’t just be a “goddidit!”. It would all still require further research and scrutiny.

        Truth be told: if the God you claim to exist, in fact exists it’s a pretty useless belief considering how elusive He is. We would still have to be coming up with answers of how He did things. So whether there’s a god or gods or not, is not itself such an important issue to science. If there’s a god or gods great! if not, well then.
        It’s just that, trying to explain the content of a religion rationally misses the very central point of religion which is simply “believe” even when the evidence is conflicting. Mostly when the evidence is conflicting.

        “Static on your radio is random with respect to the signal on the radio station. This is the kind of randomness that Coyne and Dawkins are talking about and that kind of randomness always destroys a signal.”

        Signals don’t correspond to a phenotype, and there lies the most evident flaw of your hypothesis. Mutated genetic material can lead to better phenotypes. Now, “mutated” signals are always worse, I agree. But there’s no corresponding phenotype for the mutated signal you propose. Your analogy would be like mutating somebody’s phenotype, since the mutated signal is basically the net result of the algorithm. It doesn’t make much sense, and that’s why I claim that the Communication Theory is inapplicable to genetics.
        Your signal corresponds to the genotype or to a phenotype? It’s not very clear. If you intend to apply mutation/static to a radio station signal I presume that in your analogy, the signal corresponds to a certain genotype. But your signal cannot represent both the genotype and the phenotype.
        If you apply mutation to genetic material, the phenotype shows variation that in some cases makes the organism fitter, because some genes control the size, length, shape, number, structure, chemical composition, etc. of a part of the phenotype. And some of those mutations in occasions might result in more efficient traits.

        “All algorithms we know the origin of are designed. Until you have actually read Shapiro etc all as I asked you to I refuse to argue with you about the algorithmic nature of evolution – transpositions, epigenetics, horizontal gene transfer, genome doubling.”

        Depends on the case. Human algorithms were indeed designed. Algorithms in nature evolved. Nesting, potting, spiderweb knitting, burrowing, damming and countless of others algorithms that make those animal behaviors possible have clearly evolved from less fit and simpler algorithms, which at the same time evolved from non-algorithms. Algorithms that control genetic replication, combination, transposition and the rest also evolved. Evolution from RNA to DNA is the clearest example on how algorithms evolve.

        “Stop misquoting Shannon. I can’t discuss literature which you have not read. Your refusal to read is telling.”

        Either punctually refer me to what you want me to read or leave me alone. I have my own reading and writing to do, which is already pretty extensive. Besides I have read enough Shannon to know his theory is inapplicable to the case you propose. If I read more Shannon I would be missing my own point.

        “Atheism most definitely has doctrines. You’re espousing them here. That there is nothing transcendent outside the universe which affects our reality.”

        Well, it figures, doesn’t it? That doesn’t make much sense, and that’s why rational people wouldn’t ever believe in something that is both “outside the universe” and at the same time “affects our reality”. Read above. “outside the universe” doesn’t make much sense, unless it was part of another universe. And if something affects our reality then it’s gotta be part of it by definition, duh!

        “That naturalism explains everything. That there is no design in the universe.”

        Those are positive claims. You would rarely make me hear making positive claims. Either quote me or abstain from paraphrasing me because you’re misquoting me.
        I never said “naturalism” explains everything. I might have said something like: “only if it can be demonstrated is part of nature” or “if it’s natural then it can be demonstrated.”
        And I certainly never said “there’s no design in the universe”. I only sustain we lack enough evidence to support this position. A position that is basically unnecessary, because science has a pretty well understanding how everything might have happened without the necessity of intelligence. The problem is for some reason to you “intelligence” directly implies the “Christian God”, and there’s where I have a problem, because you’re presuming a lot of extraordinary qualities that cannot possibly be inferred from mere intelligence, if there was such a thing. You’re even ascribing (1) the beginning the universe and (2) the design of DNA to the same entity, apparently. How does it follow that what causes (1) also caused (2)? That requires a huge leap of faith on your part than I’m not willing to take.

        regards,
        Ciro Galli.

        • I’m glad that we agree that there is an uncaused cause outside of the universe. Now we’re getting somewhere.

          We also have inference that the cause of the universe itself was intelligent, because of the fine tuning of the universe. See
          http://evo2.org/big-bang-precisely-planned/

          Yes, living things have an amazing appearance of being designed. But we can infer further than that. We can reliably say that all algorithms and codes we know the origin of come from conscious intentional minds.

          If you disagree, then show me one documented instance of a naturally occurring code or algorithm.

          The logic that I have established thus far gets us to a deistic God.

          The reason that I go further to invoke the Christian God is that Genesis 1 matches modern cosmology and the fossil record tit for tat. see http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/genesis1/

          You are right, assuming that the intelligence that caused DNA is the same as the intelligence that caused the universe is not an inherent conclusion. However to assume one intelligence is more parsimonious than to assume two.

          Your equating of assertions of unicorns with assertions of God is a category error and straw man argument.

          God cannot be measured because God is not physical. However God can be studied. The branch of knowledge that studies God is known as theology. It is the most written about subject of all human endeavors.

          You appear to believe that because you don’t think God is a part of your reality, God isn’t part of anyone else’s. Isn’t that a little solipsistic?

          God allegedly eludes Ciro Galli therefore God doesn’t exist.

          Do you believe that’s a logical statement? Do you really believe that the 2nd premise follows from the first?

          Do you really believe that you KNOW that no one has ever had a prayer answered? Even the ones who tell the most amazing and strange stories? Do you really believe that every single one of the hundreds of millions of people who have had visions of spirits or angels or exorcisms were all crazy? That all of the people who have been healed of various diseases were deluded?

          How is it that you know God does not come into contact with reality at all?

          It’s not like these things haven’t been reported and extensively documented. Perfectly sane intelligent people have testified to spiritual experiences in every single language and culture known to man.

          If you choose to disbelieve all of them, that’s your decision. But don’t tell me there’s not evidence.

          And don’t tell me your worldview doesn’t encompass a whole list of positive assertions, doctrines and beliefs.

          I have referred you to what I want you to read multiple times. Read the articles on this site. Read my previous posts, it’s all there.

          Signals correspond directly to phenotype. The signal is the specific order of base pairs. Base pairs form codons which are transcribed into amino acids which are translated into proteins. Any change in the signal produces a corresponding change in the phenotype. This is the whole basis of evolutionary theory – that changes in DNA cause changes in phenotype.

          There is no evidence in the literature that random changes to base pairs produce significant improvements to the phenotype. Beneficial changes are always algorithmic.


          “science has a pretty well understanding how everything might have happened without the necessity of intelligence.”

          That is a positive claim. So back it up. Show me a naturally occurring code. All you need is one.

          • VCool123 says:

            Perry and Ciro,

            Sorry to “butt in”, but I’d like to say something.

            Perry said in his previous statements that God cannot be measured, but He can be studied through theology. According to Wikipedia-“Theology is the study of a god or, more generally, the study of religious faith, practice, and experience, or of spirituality”. Theology is unscientific for me. Why? I’ll give you my reasons-

            As we know, God hasn’t interacted with us (By us, I mean the general public, putting “miracle men” out of the argument). Hence, we and the others use religious texts and practice faith.

            1. Now, practicing faith means that we acknowledge the presence of God and accept him to be. But what we’re trying to do here is proving, or disproving His existence. So, practicing faith loses it’s credibility.

            2. Religious texts are used as a reference for spirituality and God’s miracles.
            Now, my point here is- if man didn’t exist before or during God’s existence, how can he document God’s miracles and doings?

            Perry, you extensively refer to Genesis 1 and its modern understanding. First of all, I’d like to know if the modern meanings of the text on the right was your work or some other reference, on your page. You refer to “The Beginning” as the Big Bang, while the theory itself is still under scientific scrutiny. Matter-Antimatter arguments regarding the Big Bang have yet not been solved, which basically means that we cannot consider it to be the correct beginning of the universe until all the laws of physics governing the beginning of universe and those related to the theory are known, studied and verified. This is another point that puts Genesis on unstable credibility, unless there is another meaning to it.

            As for the miracles and answered prayers, we can leave them to be defined as paranormal or supernatural for now, because they are out of scientific explanation and reasoning, hence unnatural. What we discuss here, is the basis of natural world, not exceptions.

            Awaiting comments,

            VC

          • cirogalli says:

            Perry,

            «…all algorithms and codes we know the origin of come from conscious intentional minds.»

            errrr, nope! Actually only man-made algorithms come from minds, which represents basically a fistful compared to the endless source of algorithms nature can provide us with. All the forms of algorithms I mentioned in my last post, their derivates and more were demonstrated to have evolved. I’m not a scholar, but basically every single paper and thesis on evolution you can find on the net is the evidence you’re demanding. Without going too far in Climbing Mount Improbable there’s an extensive source of evidence, research through empirical observation, computer simulation and more, on evolution of algorithms that control wasp potting, spider webbing, eye evolution, wing emergence and evolution, to mention a few. Check that out for yourself. Precisely on spider webbing there is a countless number of computer simulations on a diversity of algorithms for the design and building of different formats of webs in order to test their efficiency in practice. And those architectures reached through computer experimentation turned out to match the design of those found in nature, when it comes to the number and dispositions of guy ropes and other features, with the lowest use of resources and highest predatory efficacy.
            And computer simulations on algorithm evolution weren’t only used on spiderwebs, but on basically the evolution of every single artifact and trait. Hamilton’s rule is another example of evolving algorithms…
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton%27s_rule#Hamilton.27s_rule
            …the evolution of superstitious behavior…
            http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~kfoster/FosterKokko2008%20Proc%20B%20superstition.pdf
            …is a well documented example of evolution of algorithms.

            «The logic that I have established thus far gets us to a deistic God.»

            The logic that you have established might at its best infer intelligence in nature, not “divine” intelligence. I’ve surfed this site back and forth and I know every single of your arguments by heart in every existing format including text, audio and video, I keep getting them in my mailbox, and I haven’t witnessed a single argument free of some form of fallacies. You mention the argument, I’ll show you the fallacy. Not that I haven’t shown you a bunch already. A clear one is the one I don’t get fed up with telling you. How can I make it more clear?

            The line right below is a non sequitur:
            intelligence in nature => God.

            «However to assume one intelligence is more parsimonious that to assume two.»

            Assuming is never parsimonious. Want to know of something more parsimonious?: zero intelligences. Occam’s razor. Be a scientist, if that’s not too much to ask.

            «God cannot be measured because God is not physical.»

            There’s no evidence to back up such a thing as something «not physical». To science something «not physical» is indistinguishable from something «non-existent». The only way something can come in contact with our reality at all, is if it’s physical. If there’s something not physical, why even bother with it?

            «The branch of knowledge that studies God is known as theology.»

            Wrong. Theology is a branch of the Creative Arts, because theology is about talking about one’s dreams and hallucinations. The branch that studies the “belief” in god, gods and other mythological creatures is called the Cognitive Sciences of Religions.

            «You appear to believe that because you don’t think God is part of your reality, God isn’t part of anyone else’s. Isn’t that a little solipsistic?»

            God is either part of an objective reality where He can be measured through some procedure or mechanism or He isn’t part of reality at all. Have you heard the quote that says something like: a crazy belief held by a single person is known mental disorder, but a crazy belief shared by many people is known as religion. Sure God is part of many people’s realities, or at least, an idea of what they consider their God to be. Guess what, God was once also part of my own reality. I can still talk to God in my mind if I wanted to. The human mind is marvelous!
            Let me now quote myself from a previous email of mine to someone else:
            “If you think of the inference systems and evolutionary adaptations our brain is packed with, you’ll notice that building an imperfect model of whatever deity or imaginary friends simply comes naturally. Notice that you and me, can hold mental conversation with any person, real or imaginary, that we wanted to. That is thanks to mechanisms such as theory of mind, decoupled cognition and absent agent cognition, among others, studied now by the cognitive science of religion and psychology of religion. All these mechanisms are crucial when it comes to social interactions with members of our group, and the on the success of those interactions depends our level of survival fitness, as social animals we are, and that’s why they were favored, and therefore shaped by natural selection… … All of these mechanisms working together, plus the attribution of the results to the favorite geographical deity is what makes religion possible. So, just like you, I own my imperfect model of God in my mind, and I might hold a conversation with this model, and I could even perceive His presence if I wanted to, and I could even direct my emotions towards Him! It’s simply incredible what our brain can do. I can also hold mental conversations with Santa Clause, Barak Obama and Scooby Doo at any time of my choice. And I could make myself perceive their presence and attribute them emotions, and reinforce those emotions everyday through self-suggestion, like you probably do by going to church, praying or reading the Bible. As a child I actually felt real love for all of my imaginary friends. So, maybe you perceive God, what led you to be convinced He’s actually there. From there to make your emotions fire in relation to those religious representations, is just one step.”
            — Galli, Ciro (2009).

            «God allegedly eludes Ciro Galli therefore God doesn’t exist.»

            Again, I never positively claimed [your] God doesn’t exist, but this is not about me. [Your] God eludes objective empirical observation, which is what matters. God doesn’t precisely elude me. Thanks to my Theory of Mind and Absent Agent Cognition I can talk to [your] God and to any gods of my choice in my mind. I can actually hold a mental conversation with the cartoon character of your choice, as long as I have a pretty well formed model of it on my mind. Read above.

            «How is that you know God does not come into with reality at all?»

            I don’t know that. I’m using your definition of God, which includes the quality «not physical», which in turns means «not coming into contact with our reality» which is -by the way- a physical reality, aka, the real world. According to how you define your God, He doesn’t come into contact with our reality. But no one really cares about that, because again, in science we don’t define things prior to the observation of them. First we observe the phenomenon, and then we name it and describe it. As far as science is concerned He might as well exist or not. If He exists and is part of our reality, He’ll be observed and measured eventually. Until then, there’s no rational reason to believe in Him, and neither are there any reasons to lose sleep over it. In the meantime, as Pat Condell says, if God exists I want to hear it from God himself. I don’t want to hear it from anybody else. In case you’re still wondering, yes, that includes you.

            And all the so-called «evidence» you mention on visions of spirits, angels, exorcisms, etc., is simply cannon fodder for the cognitive sciences of religion, including psychology of religion, sociology of religion, anthropology of religion, etc. It’s not evidence FOR the existence of spirits, angels and gods. They are natural phenomena pretty much well understood, and other simply awaiting for natural explanation that will arrive in time.

            «That is a positive claim. So back it up. Show me a naturally occurring code. All you need is one.»

            Finally you quoted me instead of paraphrasing what you would like me to have said, for a change. Check out what I said again: “science has a pretty well understanding how everything MIGHT HAVE happened without the necessity of intelligence.” The Miller–Urey experiment is an example of how life MIGHT HAVE emerged on Earth naturally. But abiogenesis on Earth has actually many well respected educated guesses and hypotheses that don’t involve external intelligent design. Check them out:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis#Current_models

            But then again, it doesn’t matter if all those models are wrong. I want you to get this once and for all. Even if all of these models were false, that wouldn’t make and Intelligent Design model true. That’s the false dichotomy and personal incredulity. Intelligent Design doesn’t become true by default. ID would still have to be demonstrated, just like the rest of the models, and just like the rest of models, ID should be demonstrated through empirical reproduceable predictable evidence. It’s never going to be inferred from other incompatible man-made models. All of this, in the case that ID becomes an accepted falsifiable hypothesis, something that hasn’t happened so far, and there are really little chances it ever happens in the future.

            regards,
            Ciro Galli.

            • You’ve just told me that genetic algorithms found in biology such as Hamilton’s Rule are naturally occurring.

              You do not know the origin of life so that’s a circular argument.

              Show me a code that’s not designed. One that doesn’t come from DNA. All you need is one. The links you provided don’t included any. All you need to do to falsify my theory is to provide one. Please come forward with your evidence.

              You said: “To science something «not physical» is indistinguishable from something «non-existent».”

              Are the laws of logic physical?

              Do they exist?

              Should we bother with them?

              • Ciro Galli says:

                Perry,

                I hope you’re aware, at least, of the fact that abiogenesis and evolution are two different phenomena that have different fields of study. I know you love love ascribing human ignorance to your God, but that’s not the way things work in science.
                I also noticed that you love grouping things together, as if all the so far observed algorithms belonged in the same basket. Two more things to say: (1) stop putting phenomena in the basket and ascribe them the same phenomenon, no matter how badly you want everything to be cause by your God. That is the God of the Gaps argument. This also goes for the algorithms observed: you can’t just put them together as if they were compatible and say: since all have been intelligently designed, all algorithms are. Every single algorithm has to be observed, studied and scrutinized individually as a single phenomenon that requires customized research. You cannot put them together and infer from them as if they were a whole. They’re not. (2) Again and again: everything in science is “natural occurring” by default. No one has to provide evidence to prove something is “natural occurring”. The “supernaturally” or “intelligently designed” position is the extraordinary one, is the one bearing the burden of proof, and is the one in need of demonstration and evidence. You’re placing the burden of proof on the wrong side.

                And, nobody can show you a non-designed code. I’ve told you this before. You’ve already determined that something by being a “code” is designed by your definition definition, and that’s because you you’re whimsically obsessed with applying an inapplicable theory (Communication Theory) onto genetics. You refuse to be a scientist and keep considering everything “apparently designed” actually designed. If you want to indulge yourself to this sort of fallacies, be my guest, but you won’t be taken seriously.
                There are -at least- 4 things needed to be done with your argument:
                (1) start being scientific and considering phenomena “natural” until the opposite is proven.
                (2) stop inferring things from independent incompatible phenomena (every single algorithm is unique and independent, and not part of a whole, and if they’re considered “intelligently designed”, is because in every single particular case the “intelligent designer” was empirically demonstrated, not inferred. Apply the same treatment to DNA).
                (3) stop grouping phenomena together and ascribe them to the same cause, and…
                (4) stop forcing inapplicable theories into your own, just because it’s convenient.

                regards,
                CiRO.
                ps. you might also want to add an „edit” or „delete” button around here.

                • Ciro,

                  Read Hubert Yockey’s book “Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life” (Cambridge University Press, 2005) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0521802938?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwperryc-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0521802938

                  When you’re done with chapters 1 and 5, come back and tell me why communication theory doesn’t apply to biology.

                  I think your refusal to read every single one of the links I’ve provided on this topic says all that needs to be said.

                  al·go·rithm
                     /ˈælgəˌrɪðəm/ Show Spelled[al-guh-rith-uhm] –noun
                  a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor.

                  All algorithms require a code. All codes we know the origin of are designed. A naturally occurring algorithm is even less likely than a naturally occurring code.

                  You appear to believe that it’s unnecessary for anyone to prove that a code can be naturally occurring. As though the atheist just gets a free pass and is allowed to assume that his belief system is the truth by default. Have I understood you correctly?

                  There’s a term for that kind of position. It’s called “Blind faith.” Synonyms: dogma, doctrine, pronouncement.

                  You as an atheist are welcome to have blind faith in the presuppositions of atheism. Meanwhile I have 100% scientific inference to a designer. My faith is based on experience and evidence. Yours is based on personal preference. That is your decision.

                  • Ciro Galli says:

                    <>

                    I’m not going to buy a book. I told you I have a high stack of books left to be read, and I also have lots of writing to do. If you want to send me the book, I’ll add it up at the end of the already long queue, but it’ll have to wait. But of course you’re not gonna be buying book to everybody who challenges your views, and I understand, so you also, please, understand.

                    I don’t how I wasn’t clear enough on how the Communication Theory doesn’t apply to biology. I might be wrong, but this is, in simple, almost idiotic terms what I think happened:
                    Shannon observed a very recurrent phenomenon, in which 3 elements were always present: encoder, channel and decoder, respectively, and devised a theory in order to understand this phenomenon better, and he called it: the Communication Theory. Now, if any of us observe these 3 elements forming a system in a similar fashion Shannon described in his theory, we’re entitled to call it: [a] Communication [system]. But, we cannot afford to forget that this is just a model to make it easier for us puny stupid human beings to understand what’s going on when these 3 elements interact with each other, and how the decoder is affected by the “intended” message of the encoder produces, plus the noise in the channel and all its combinations. Implicitly, that’s what I think Shannon intended when coming up with his theory. I’m pretty, pretty sure his theory was never intended (even if it was intended for that, it might probably just be misleading) to make inferences. It’s not about: oh! well. If we have at least 2 of these elements, we might as well infer the 3rd and still call it a system. No way!, unforgivable poppycock. Shannon’s intention was to come up with a model that corresponded with this phenomenon every time it was observed, that is, every time those 3 elements were all present at the same time, and interacting in an analogous fashion Shannon was referring to in his theory. Conclusion: either we observe the whole system, and then, and only then we’re entitled to apply the Communication Theory to it, or we don’t. If one of the elements of the system is missing, we cannot infer it, there’s no system, Shannon theory won’t be of any help in such a case. Since this theory was not devised to infer absent system elements, from the present ones. I couldn’t make it more clear than that.

                    <>

                    So you got it so wrong. It’s not about “refusing”. It’s about “being unable to”. I never refuse to read something. There’s no knowledge that is not power. But what I do assure you is I’ve read and still do (once in while when I get them in my inbox) almost every single argument in your website, including their versions in audio and video. I told you, name the argument, I’ll list you the fallacies.

                    <>

                    Sorry. It’s not about probabilities. I usually never get into conversations about probabilities, because to some people to say that something has infinitesimal low probabilities to occur equals to zero probabilities to occur. So, for probabilities I always use Murphy’s Law: every phenomenon has the same probabilities to occur as it has of not to occur: 50%-50%. Either it happens or it doesn’t happen. The rest is unnecessary chit-chat. So you whimsically set the low probabilities of this universe to be “fine-tuned”, who cares? That’s not evidence of an Intelligent Designer. It’s just evidence that it happened this way. That’s the way we should look at some things: either they happened or didn’t happened. If they happened, then: how did they happen should be the question? No matter how improbable the universe was to be fine-tuned if it is, we couldn’t even ask ourselves that question if it was otherwise.

                    Plus, there’s something else I don’t understand about your argument, something I think I mentioned before, which though even might lead us deep into philosophical discourse, I think is the key of this issue. Somehow you keep invoking an intelligent designer, aka, a mind, because DNA has all the characteristics of having been designed, as the code it represents. The problem here is that is not clear what we mean by things like “intelligent” or “mind” and it’s important to define those terms. For the simple reason that, “minds” and “intelligences” have always shown an evolutionary history, in other words, they’ve been proven to have evolved to be what they are today. So minds and intelligences have evolved from non-minds and non-intelligences. Of course I can already hear you object that: “it has never been proven that minds and intelligences have arisen “naturally””. But since we agree that everything arises naturally until it’s proven otherwise, we must also assume that minds arise naturally and they also have an evolutionary history, which is precisely what science holds nowadays. And is the opposite position that would require to be demonstrated. If minds and intelligences are really “naturally occurring”, aren’t so codes and algorithms? If that’s the case, not only that there are SOME naturally occurring codes and algorithms, but also, that, every single code and algorithm there is and there’ll ever exist, will be by definition “naturally occurring”.
                    Every single neuroscientist I have read of sustains that minds are the product of chemical reactions in brains, that have evolved to have a mind, because having a mind makes a self-propelled organism fitter than one without a mind. If codes are designed by minds, and minds are naturally occurring, therefore every single code is naturally occurring.
                    Give me just one example of a mind or an intelligence without an evolutionary history, and I’ll leave you alone. You need only one. Science has 100% inference that minds arise naturally, and 0% evidence that they came about otherwise.

                    <>

                    No. Science believes in things it can prove the existence of. It’s not that it disbelieves things if it can disprove them. Can you see the difference? Imagine science having to believe in the existence of every single mythological creature until it finally finds evidence to disprove every single one of them. They would still have to be presenting evidence to disprove every single crazy claim it comes its way. It wouldn’t make sense. That’s why we came up with the scientific method and logical thinking.
                    The string of words:”The Christian God exists until He can be disproved” is not different from “Monkeys in the core of Jupiter exist until their existence can be disproved”.
                    We don’t believe in things we cannot disprove. Rather, we believe things we can –in fact– demonstrate the existence of.

                    <>

                    You might be confusing (1) the positive claim that X doesn’t exist, with (2) the absence of belief that X exists. You don’t need “blind faith” to lack the belief in monkeys in the core of Jupiter. You just need the lack of evidence that backs up such a phenomenon.

                    regards,
                    Ciro Galli.

                    • You refuse to buy a book. You refuse to read a dozen papers I’ve referred you to. You assert that communication theory doesn’t apply to biology, and – you’re wrong. You can muse about what you think about Shannon all you want but I’m done arguing with you about this.

                      If you refuse to have discussions about probabilities then you are an opponent of the application of math to science which is an anti-intellectual stance. If you want to believe every probability is 50-50 then go ahead and believe that. If you want to believe that one chance in 10^100 is “sufficiently probable” because you refuse to compute the number then that is your emotional decision. But it’s not logic and it’s not science.

                      Computer programs are subject to random mutation and natural selection but they NEVER evolve by themselves, unless they’re designed to. All evolutionary processes that we are able to study are algorithmic not random. All algorithms we know the origin of are designed. So even evolution requires a mind.

                      Thus, based on everything we actually know about codes, DNA is designed and not the product of random chance.

                      You can choose to ignore everything we know about math, statistics, computer science, algorithms and codes, if ignoring that knowledge allows you to remain an atheist. That is an emotional decision based on personal preferences rather than reason and logic.

                  • Ciro Galli says:

                    Perry,

                    I think you should watch this video:

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1rHS3R0llU

                    Apparently, to you, anything that involves “algorithms” must have been intelligently designed. This video shows you in less than 5 minutes how through computer simulation and random mutation, incredible virtual creatures can emerge, and become fitter ot less fit in relation to their environment. A must-watch.

                    regards,
                    Ciro Galli.

                    • Ciro, I am fully familiar with genetic algorithms. They’re algorithms that design algorithms. The computer they run on is designed, the software they’re installed on is designed, and the parameters set before the program runs are designed. Everything about it is proof of design. And yes I’m aware that a computer can be programmed to search through random space to find novel approaches to problems.

                      Funny how nobody can seem to generate a code or an algorithm without…. designing one.

  18. Eocene says:

    I’m not sure where to post this, but this section seems as good as any. Here is an extremely recent scientific admission as to the idiocy of randomness (which is nothing more than a religiosity) and the correct observation that a more directed engineering approach is undertaken in DNA.

    It’s an article from TheScientist.com date Jauary 13th 2010.

    “Are Mutations Truly Random?” , by Jeff Akst

    http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56267/

    • levgilman says:

      The kind of randomness described in the article is commonly known and is not of the kind that Darwinism rejects. You are breaking through a door that is open but doesn’t lead into the room that you (or, at least, Perry) wanted.

  19. GM says:

    I never heard the concept of a God taught in any technical class.
    I think I discovered another element you have left out of your hypothsis…the bit counter.
    Aiplanes use 400 cycle generator for communication because the signal is clean and less likely to get distorted.
    Computer words of o’s 1’s have but one meaning and process thoughs words in the gigahertz range, depending on the processor.
    Taking a binary number and assigning the property of God is lunacy.
    Just stick to the science, pure. God is not tangible but spirit. The man made God is in the religious’ hip pocket. Read Jude in the Bible and you’ll see how many false God’s there are. God says WOE!

  20. nlissova says:

    I agree there is God. Not so long ago, people tough in fact that the earth is flat, until proofed its round. So keep up the good work, eventually i’m sure everyone will believe that there is God.
    Just as water can become ice, as well as air, probably human live also transforms in a way.
    The words: Believe and Hope in human language exist and mean that we do not know Everything, but still we need to have hope and believe.
    Yet if you took upon yourself the big task to search for Proof hope you find the support of many people, as i think it takes professionals in many fields as well as enthusiasts and volunteers like me.

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