Monday, December 14, 2009

"No! The Hammer!"

After a series of posts on, “What is the origin of the information that allows for life?” a series that rules out Chance, Predestination (chemical necessity) and RNA replication, an atheist said, “Is there nothing that will satisfy you?”

Picture this:
I’m on the driveway, lying under my car when the guy next door walks over to see what I’m doing. He asks if he can do anything to help and I say, “Ya, actually. Could you bring me the hammer from the workbench? It’s lying right beside the vise.” The guy comes back with a Screwdriver and I say, “No. A Screwdriver won’t do. I need the claw hammer that’s lying on the bench.” He comes back with a Saw and I say, “Kyle! A Saw won’t work for what I’m doing. I need the steel claw hammer that is on the workbench right beside the vise.” Kyle comes back with a rubber hammer and when I reject that as well, Kyle says, “Is there nothing that will satisfy you?”

I’m not just writing here because I’m retired and I don’t have anything else to do. Well, I don’t have anything else to do. Reading is pretty much what I’ve done all day every day for the last eight years. I love it. This stuff is important to me. I don’t just want an answer for the sake of having an answer. I want the RIGHT answer and if the right answer can be found then I’m willing to search for it. If there is a right answer, that means that other answers are going to be wrong. So far, based on fact, scientific fact, we can know that for the question “What is the origin of the information that allows for life?”
. Chance
. Predestination (chemical necessity) and
. RNA replication
are not the right answer. In this series I’ve shown you why that is.

I’ve shown, that when this series began, “multiple competing hypotheses” were present. However, little by little we are getting rid of ones that won’t work and I’m still looking for something that will work. Enough of that.

We know from science that cells are a storage site for information and that a particular kind of information is absolutely essential for those cells to function. As a result, it’s important to find out where that information came from. In fact, if you want to explain the origin of life, you need to know where the information in DNA came from, because without that information, there isn’t any life - period.

As Gorth has pointed out, not all information is the same. The information in DNA happens to be what is called, specified complexity.
Shannon, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”

The information in DNA is functionally specified. It didn’t just appear from some random, non directed process.

The information in DNA is there to do a job. It didn’t arise from some random, non directed process.


I’ve noticed that most if the atheists passing through at this time get confused in this area. It’s important to note that:
. Information Content is not just information-carrying capacity.
. Specified Information is not just Shannon information, and
. Specified complexity is not just complexity.
Meyers, “Signature in the Cell” 327

The origin of the functional information that is found in DNA is what is being sought.

Peter Lipton wrote, “Inference to the Best Explanation.” In it he describes what I’ve been calling Best Evidence. Best evidence, according to Lipton is one that points out or highlights a “causal difference.” A causal difference is an explanation that is measurably and quantifiably different than explanations that do not meet the criteria of answering the question being studied. a causal difference is an explanation that stands out because it explains what is being studied.
Lipton, 32-98

A forensic scientist is going to look for things, situations or a process that has the ability to produce the event or evidence that is being studied - in this case Specified Complexity.

A forensic scientist is looking for a causal difference that better explains the evidence than those things, situations or processes that don’t have that ability - in this case to produce Specified Complexity.

Here’s the thing! Scientists begin their search for answers of this type by FIRST looking to causes now in operation.
Lyell, “Principles of Geology 1:75-90

An Agent or Intelligent Mind capable of creating / making a conscious, deliberate, choice or direction to affect a certain outcome or objective, THAT is what is meant by Intelligent Design. Because of the metaphysical implications of what we know (and know absolutely and uniformly) regarding the origins of Intelligent Design in the world we observe, atheists have forced science to implement answers, virtually any answers when looking for a causal difference regardless of whether or not they are "Causally Adequate Explanations."

Ginx gives a perfect example of this in his second reply below. This is not a case of "Let's just fill in the blanks. Any answer will do." Just any answer will NOT do!
That desperation is what causes atheists to show their frustration when all of their favourite reasons are shown to not be workable. “Is there nothing that will satisfy you?”

Eliminating Chance, Predestination and RNA replication does not mean that Intelligent Design is the winner by default. It does means however that ID should not be discarded because of philosophical reasons or because your predetermined world-view doesn't allow for such an answer. Because we know of no other means of creating specified complexity other than by Intelligent Agents, ID, at the very least, should remain a possible contender as to the Cause of the evidence that we observe.

I’ll admit that I’m looking for the hammer (ID) because I believe that the hammer is the only tool that will do the job. One thing I know, however, and you know as well, a Screwdriver (Chance), a Saw (Predestination) and a Rubber Hammer (RNA replication) will not do the job at hand.

30 comments:

Ginx said...

You're not asking for a hammer, Mak, you're asking for a unicorn. And you're frustrated because the leprechauns assured you there was one.

Ginx said...

Since apparently I'm "down for the count" unless I post data and links you will never address (as printed from the above link):

1.Biochemistry is not chance. It inevitably produces complex products. Amino acids and other complex molecules are even known to form in space.

2.Nobody knows what the most primitive cells looked like. All the cells around today are the product of billions of years of evolution. The earliest self-replicator was likely very much simpler than anything alive today; self-replicating molecules need not be all that complex, and protein-building systems can also be simple.

3.This claim is an example of the argument from incredulity. Nobody denies that the origin of life is an extremely difficult problem. That it has not been solved, though, does not mean it is impossible. In fact, there has been much work in this area, leading to several possible origins for life on earth:

•Panspermia, which says life came from someplace other than earth. This theory, however, still does not answer how the first life arose.
•Proteinoid microspheres: This theory gives a plausible account of how some replicating structures, which might well be called alive, could have arisen. Its main difficulty is explaining how modern cells arose from the microspheres.
•Clay crystals: This says that the first replicators were crystals in clay. Though they do not have a metabolism or respond to the environment, these crystals carry information and reproduce. Again, there is no known mechanism for moving from clay to DNA.
•Emerging hypercycles: This proposes a gradual origin of the first life, roughly in the following stages: (1) a primordial soup of simple organic compounds. This seems to be almost inevitable; (2) nucleoproteins, somewhat like modern tRNA or peptide nucleic acid, and semicatalytic; (3) hypercycles, or pockets of primitive biochemical pathways that include some approximate self-replication; (4) cellular hypercycles, in which more complex hypercycles are enclosed in a primitive membrane; (5) first simple cell. Complexity theory suggests that the self-organization is not improbable. This view of abiogenesis is the current front-runner.
•The iron-sulfur world: It has been found that all the steps for the conversion of carbon monoxide into peptides can occur at high temperature and pressure, catalyzed by iron and nickel sulfides. Such conditions exist around submarine hydrothermal vents. Iron sulfide precipitates could have served as precursors of cell walls as well as catalysts. A peptide cycle, from peptides to amino acids and back, is a prerequisite to metabolism, and such a cycle could have arisen in the iron-sulfur world.
•Polymerization on sheltered organophilic surfaces: The first self-replicating molecules may have formed within tiny indentations of silica-rich surfaces so that the surrounding rock was its first cell wall.
•Something that no one has thought of yet.

End Quote

Sorry, it's not worth summarizing it for you myself.

Also, a little insulting that you think none of this is "my field." I took university level classes in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Immunology, and Pharmacology. There was no room in those classes to fit nonsensical theories of a God who blows life into dirt, anymore than there was room to fit stories of the world resting on a turtle's back in Geology, just to appease people who believe that. We covered that is a humanities class called Cosmology (which I aced, can't say the same for the legit sciences...).

I smile everytime you tell me God has no origin, and am reminded of how those who hold to the turtle theory answer the question: What is the turtle standing on?

It's turtles all the way down.

Makarios said...

No room for nonsensical theories?

Well, you found time for them somewhere :) Thanks for sharing some of them - I guess.

I'm not just looking for words or phrases that allows someone to say, "Hey! Maybe space aliens did it."

I'm looking for serious contenders that fits the evidence. So far, what we know FOR A FACT is that Intelligence is required for specified complexity. Not clay crystals, not a vent at the bottom of the ocean. C'mon, this is starting to get frustrating. If you can't understand the science, leave the comments to someone who does understand.

Gorth Satana said...

Makarios said:
If you can't understand the science, leave the comments to someone who does understand.

English is not my first language, is this what they call "irony"?

Makarios said...

What in these posts is inaccurate from a scientific perspective?

Hugo said...

What in these posts is inaccurate from a scientific perspective?

Who wants to start? ;)

No but seriously, thanks for taking the time to give more details, on the other comment thread, I did read your sentences one by one, but if you want me to do that, I will reply to the very first word I don't agree with, or do not understand... makes sense?

Ok, so you say:
I can go into much more detail as you want. It’s just that you’re missing some very important points and it’s those important points that I tried to highlight.

Here are just a few. Don't just skim these Hugo - ok. Read them till you actually understand what's being said.


OK!

. Natural selection begins ONLY after self-replication has taken place.

OK!

The information that allows for self-replication came first.

Information FOR self-replication? What is that suppose to mean? I am not aware of information that the cell uses to "know" how to replicate itself. Correct yourself or inform me please...

I will move to the next sentence anyway.

those placing their faith in RNA bypassing the need for DNA, in order to self-replicate do not and cannot explain the origin of the specified complexity in the alleged original RNA molecule NOR in its compliment

Read #2 from Ginx's comment.
You assume that you need these so called "specified complexity", but we have no idea what the first cells looked like, got to stop here...

Please, it's your turn, "Don't just skim these [Rod] - ok".

Chris Mackey said...

I've spent the last two or three days googling "Makarios" and "Big Bang".
I've learnt a few things.
No amount of pointing out the fallacies or factual errors will stop Makarios from cut and pasting the same arguments.

JD Curtis said...

Could we not argue complexity and instead argue Young Earth Creationism, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the Washington Redskins instead?

Chris Mackey said...

Relevant:
http://xkcd.com/675/

Ginx said...

If you can't understand the science, leave the comments to someone who does understand.

*sigh*

I learned the science you quote in my history classes.

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

================
1) Your god is a supernatural being; it is a spirit, with absolutely no evidence to support its existence, and a bigger problem of how it itself got created if it does indeed exist.

2) All supernatural beings are created by, and exist only in, human imaginations; there is no natural or supernatural process known to science which can create them or a place for them to exist.

3) Therefore your god was created by, and exists only in, human imaginations.
===============
1) Physical matter is not created by conscious minds; there is no conscious process known to science that creates physical matter.
2) Therefore the physical universe was not created by a conscious mind.
===============
1) LOL.
2) After hundreds of posts saying sciences points to creationism, you now admit you're only shoehorn creationism into science. Good to know.

Makarios said...

What in these posts is inaccurate from a scientific perspective?

Who wants to start? ;)

You start and we'll take it from there.

Makarios said...

No amount of pointing out the fallacies or factual errors will stop Makarios from cut and pasting the same arguments.

Like what?

Hugo said...

"You start and we'll take it from there."

You adress the joke but not the actual content of my comment? :P

Makarios said...

2. Nobody knows what the most primitive cells looked like," except it seems Ginx.

Makarios said...

Information FOR self-replication? What is that suppose to mean? I am not aware of information that the cell uses to "know" how to replicate itself."

Oh, man. Are you joking with me? If not, that is just sad. Please begin with the first post, "Nothing Did It" Thanks

Hugo said...

2. Nobody knows what the most primitive cells looked like," except it seems Ginx.

It was one of Ginx's point that we do not know what primitive cells looked like; I don't understand your answer.

Hugo said...


H:Information FOR self-replication? What is that suppose to mean? I am not aware of information that the cell uses to "know" how to replicate itself."

M:Oh, man. Are you joking with me? If not, that is just sad. Please begin with the first post, "Nothing Did It" Thanks


Actually I had read that post already, I remembered it quickly when I read the first lines for the second time, but I still went through it, to see if I had missed something. Nope, nothing new... the same problem with your argumentation remains. You assume that the first self-replicating cells needed some complex machinery to do so because that's how they do it now.

Makarios said...

"you address the joke . . ."

There was a joke?
==============

It was one of Ginx's point that we do not know what primitive cells looked like; I don't understand your answer."

Ginx then goes on to describe this primitive cell that no one can describe - except him
-------------

Hugo, perhaps you should just read through the series. I must be not understanding what you are trying to say because from here it sounds like you don't know what:
. Specified Complixity is
. What DNA is or does
. How and why a cell operates.

Chris Mackey said...

Holy bloody cow.

Makarios said...

Gorth: I'm still waiting.

What in these posts is inaccurate from a scientific perspective?

Gorth Satana said...

Gorth: I'm still waiting.

What do you want me to do? You've admitted you don't care about the accuracy of your quotes. You've admitted you can not change your mind. You've all but admitted that you've not following the evidence but are only looking for evidence of creationism. You ignore any criticism of your logical fallacies. You clearly don't understand a lot of the science.

The scientific inaccuracies and logical failures have been pointed out to you hundreds of times. And I mean "hundreds" literally. Not just on this blog, but on the dozens of blogs you've cut and paste your texts too.

If this was a face to face discussion most reasonable people would have already told you to femin duol ou. (of course, this isn't a face to face discussion).

I like to see you address Christ Follower's two arguments. Maybe that help with your identification of logical fallacies.

Ginx said...

Just from this post alone:

We know from science that cells are a storage site for information and that a particular kind of information is absolutely essential for those cells to function.

The information is not particular. In fact, there are changes and errors in the processing of that information, but the cell keeps functioning. Sometimes it helps... that is called evolution. We do not know what information is necessary for the first life because we do not know what the most simple life was. Life is also not even a necessary primary step, as replicating molecules of many other kinds are possible precursors, but since you don't believe in evolution I'm sure you'll just ignore the whole idea outright.

I’ve shown, that when this series began, “multiple competing hypotheses” were present. However, little by little we are getting rid of ones that won’t work and I’m still looking for something that will work.

It's like you're trying to work off a creationist pamphlet, and you most certainly have not shown any evidence to refute the laws of biochemistry, let alone acknowledge their existence. "Predestination" is your own term which you introduced, probably from the same propaganda as the RNA bullshit you tried to bog us down with. I could inundate you with mountains of scientific papers which are disproven, you just need to ignore the current research and focus on old stuff (which you revel in, did you stop buying books in the 80's?).

An Agent or Intelligent Mind capable of creating / making a conscious, deliberate, choice or direction to affect a certain outcome or objective, THAT is what is meant by Intelligent Design.

I'm literally fucking insulted that you think the reason I reject creationism is because I didn't have this tidbit of redundancy. Mak, you seriously should go to a doctor and check for adult-onset trisomy 21.

atheists have forced science

Atheists don't do anything regarding science. You are so god damn ignorant! You make me not even want to respond when you constantly make errors like equating two unlike things. Atheists are atheists, scientists are scientists. Do you seriously want to spend your last years on Earth purposesly misunderstanding people? Maybe I mistook you for a reasonable person.

Ginx gives a perfect example of this in his second reply below. This is not a case of "Let's just fill in the blanks. Any answer will do." Just any answer will NOT do!

I was directly quoting the website, which suggested scenarios being looked at, none of which you addressed. You flippantly made some comment about aliens.

You're a legendary debater in your own mind, Mak. I wish I could see it from your point of view, but that's just not enough room for my head to also fit up your ass.

Ginx said...

I figured it out Mak: you are doomed to read things like a religious person. Religious people don't even bother trying to read what the author is saying, they only read what they want to hear. It's why you are able to believe (parts of) the Bible, and it's why you can't understand science.

You're not reading critically to get new ideas, you're reading to reinforce old beliefs. When you read a scientific paper that has a mistake, the correct response is not, "Science is wrong!" The correct response is "that author is wrong," or even, "that statement is wrong." And it's not a mistake just because it fails to mention God.

Seriously, you cannot name one thing you want changed about abiogenetic theory, you just want them to put a cross in schools (or the symbolic equivalent). All of this pettiness for the cozy feeling in your heart that the lie you believed your whole life is still intact. Classy.

[Mak prepares to address two or three sentences of my comment/novella, completely ignoring the bulk of my post, thereby making all of this a waste of time, so that he may triumphantly post after me and claim victory with a tautological response.]

The Atheist Missionary said...

I love this site because I occasionally find a priceless quote from someone handing Mak his ass when he starts delving into areas he obviously only has a superficial knowledge of. Ginx is the winner of the month wtih the following:

I took university level classes in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Immunology, and Pharmacology. There was no room in those classes to fit nonsensical theories of a God who blows life into dirt, anymore than there was room to fit stories of the world resting on a turtle's back in Geology, just to appease people who believe that.

Discussion threads like this one give me cause for optimism that there is hope for a world which is still greatly mired in religious irrationality.

Makarios said...

"You clearly don't understand a lot of the science."

What, in this series is factually wrong about DNA, RNA, proteins, specified complexity, functional information?

Makarios said...

"I took university level classes in . . ."

Ya, he really handed me my ass - maybe space aliens, although there are some problems with that, or clay crystals or ocean vents. Priceless is right.
==============
“The information is not particular.”

Gorth? Are you going to let this slide?
=============
“We do not know what information is necessary”

Right, but we do know THAT information was necessary.
=====================
“Life is also not even a necessary primary step,”

Exactly, but specified formulated information is.
==========
“but since you don't believe in evolution I'm sure you'll just ignore the whole idea outright.”

My comment in the post “Predestined.” - “Atheists who have placed their faith in the chemical predestination of life are in fact saying that they believe in the VERY THING that would make the evolution of life impossible.” Where have I said that I don't believe in natural selection?
==================
“you most certainly have not shown any evidence to refute the laws of biochemistry,”

I wasn’t trying to. Why would I want to do that? It’s you who can’t grasp the reality here. That reality is “laws” of biochemistry would create a redundant message. “No information is generated by the occurrence of events for which there are no possible alternatives.”
Dretske, “Knowledge and the Flow of Information” 12

“Laws” be they of biochemistry or otherwise are describing uniformity NOT novelty. Formulated Information, by its very nature is describing novelty, the type of which we find in DNA.

“If forces of potential energy determined the arrangement of the bases, the code-like character of the molecule would be effaced by an overwhelming redundancy.”
Polanyi, “Life’s Irreducible Structure” 1309.

This is true regardless of who said it, a Christian or an atheist.
================
"Predestination" is your own term”

Predestination is just another, albeit contemporary term for "chemical necessity." You remember what that is, right?
================
"Atheists are atheists, scientists are scientists."

Ah, yes. Atheists, the only humans on earth free from internal bias. Thanks for the smile so early in the morning.
==============
"I wish I could see it from your point of view, but that's just not enough room for my head to also fit up your ass."

I have never - EVER - used LOL until now. That is really, really funny. You’re a good man Ginx. Thank you.
=======================
“The correct response is "that author is wrong," or even, "that statement is wrong."”

Yes, I know. I don’t have any problem with “science.” That’s why I was pointing out the errors regarding Chance, Chemical Necessity, and RNA replication. That’s all. Just those three hypothesis. Oh, and the computer simulations but I didn’t spend much time on that since they so obviously point out the need for Intelligent Design.
============
"[Mak prepares to address two or three sentences of my comment/novella . . ."

Oh come on. Don’t get all pouty on me. This is a beautiful day. How about this. “You’re a very intelligent man, Ginx.” See? It’s all good.
===============

Gorth Satana said...

Yes, I know. I don’t have any problem with “science.” That’s why I was pointing out the errors regarding Chance, Chemical Necessity, and RNA replication. That’s all. Just those three hypothesis.

Mackey is right, this link is relevant.
http://xkcd.com/675/
Hover over the picture for an addition comment.

Makarios said...

So tell me. Why is it that whatever I say, you seem convinced that it must be wrong?

You see, I'm thinking bigotry on your part. On the part of all of you actually.

You know - He's a Christian so what could he possibly know about anything that doesn't have to do with God.

Hugo said...

So tell me. Why is it that whatever I say, you seem convinced that it must be wrong?

You see, I'm thinking bigotry on your part. On the part of all of you actually.

You know - He's a Christian so what could he possibly know about anything that doesn't have to do with God.


The fact that you are a Christian is completely irrelevant. I judge the actual sentences that you write, the quotes you use, and the ideas you support. And I am sure others will reply something similar...

Plus, you're the one who actually keep on using the word Atheist when it has absolutely nothing to do with what you are discussing.

In other words, it is hilarious that you could just even think of the idea that no matter what you say people will disagree with you, simply because you are a Christian, it could not be farther from the truth.

What's up with the sudden persecution feeling anyway?