Monday, October 18, 2010

Intelligent Design vs Evolutionism

Some Points of Contention Introduced, or Reproduced, by Wm Jas.
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With Responses, Not Solutions; By The Translucent Amoebae Consortium
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WmJas : If you're serious about defending ID, answering these three questions would
be a good start:

A. Why is complexity so closely associated with reproduction? Things that
reproduce (i.e., living things) are extraordinarily complex, and things that
don't reproduce are much, much simpler. The exception to that rule is
manmade machines, like computers. Evolution can't work without reproduction,
so it's impossible for evolution to directly create a non-reproducing
machine like a computer; only an intelligent designer can do that. So why
didn't the Designer create any non-reproducing machines? Is it just a
coincidence that the only things he created are the kinds of things
evolution is capable of producing?

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“Is it just a Coincidence that The Only Things The Intelligent Designer Created are The Kinds of Things [ that ] Evolution is Capable of Producing.”
This point axiomatically assumes that there is this thing; Called Evolution, that applies to SelfReplicating Carbon Based Molecules.
But the Real Problem is The Subjective Nature of “Complexity”.
It seems entirely reasonable to me, If there were some pointless desirability to filling a world with self replicating molecules, then they could be much simpler than the ones observed in life forms. A single polymer matrix that attracts free floating elementals & reproduces by either extending itself as a string, then periodically breaking apart at indiscriminate lengths, Or A slightly more complicated method of creating a mirrored siamese twin along it’s length, which would again, periodically break off and create another mirrored siamese twin, that would be a duplicate of the second’s parent string.
Then : It may well be that there are worlds where The Self Replicating Molecules are so much more complex than the ones on this world, that, if these SRM’s formed Sentient Beings, They would consider the Life on this world to be essentially equivalent with Crystal Formation. ( ? )
And : Might is be possible, On a very long lived world, for Crystal Formation to evolve by non-accumulative evolution, to create a sentience of some kind…???
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Also: i was just thinking; If there were, say; 2 or 3 or more competing Self Replicating Molecular Schemes at play in the early primordial sea...
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Then the one(s that operated on the simplest premise, and acted more quickly than the others to gobble up Carbon & Phosphorous Atoms, They would starve out the other, more complicated Schemes.
Indeed; The most complicated schemes, which would have been the precursors to what we now call life, would have been operating at a severe disadvantage to these simpler molecular strands which were simply concerned with making very long threads or amorphous clumpy things.
There is a great fear amoung NanoEngineers that there may someday be a very tiny robot created that will adapt to any environmentally accessible resource, and use it to make duplicates, or near duplicates of itself, thereby overrunning the entire world, eating everything in its path, converting everything above the mantle into a short lived grey goo that would be incapable of evolving into anything more interesting than the mechanical bacteria that created it.
That’s what should have happened to the early earth. It should have been quickly overridden with the first, and simplest self replicating molecular scheme that would have bound up all of the atoms necessary to perpetuate itself, leaving no time or opportunity for anything else to get its foot in the door.

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Wm Jas : B. If living things were created for a purpose -- what purpose?
A crocodile's eyes are for seeing and its tail is for swimming and its teeth
are for biting, but what is the crocodile for?

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This pertains to one of my own bête noires concerning evolutionists.
They seem to always hear ‘Jehovah’ when the term ‘Intelligent Designer’ is spoken.
When i say; “ Intelligent Designer ”; i am referring to a completely & utterly unknowable sentience for which no attributes may be given to it; except that it made some unspecified contribution to the mechanical processes that we call Life.
It would appear ( ??? ) that the universe is somehow designed to allow for the creation of orderly machinery that does all sorts of curious things. This; Alone, is quite amazing, But There are innumerable elements within The Machinery of Life that defy the presupposition that it came about accidentally, or without some undefined purpose in mind.
This Purpose, However, may be nothing more grandiose than our own feeble attempts to somehow rationalize or validate the liberal arts by suggesting that : Art exists for Art’s Sake.
The IDer may simply enjoy ( Whatever that means ) Daisies & Crocodiles as much as we do.
i don’t believe, for example; that Life has meaning.
i find it very annoying that most every Organized Religion believes in a Heaven or some sort, in which the good will be rewarded, and i am slightly more annoyed in their premise of hell, where the good that have stumbled, will burn forever, or some such.
While i believe in The Afterlife; My own interpretation of how it works is perhaps much worse than The Fundamentalist Christian that believes in Eternal Damnation! i believe that there is something ( ? ) that holds onto some scrap of personal identity, which may shed all the memories & emotional attachments after one’s biological death, and is then held in somekind of purgatory for a spell before being reattached to another living host.
This process has no purpose. There is no Reward or Punishment associated with it.
It is simply the way that the universe works.
And it will continue in this process for ever & ever, Never Evolving, Never showing any Improvement, or Evolutionary Advancement.
In this sense; It is very much like The Evolution that i understand, and that is; Life simply changes. The Multicellular Organisms that existed 600 Million years ago were just as complex as the ones today. It is completely erroneous to allow that mammals are somehow >Better< in any way, shape or form, from the worms or insects that existed Millions of years ago. The smudges that leap from body to body, by death & rebirth are perhaps, or perhaps not, changing in some sense, but they are not in any way getting smarter or -Gooder-. This belief structure makes the prediction that if we were able to jump forward in time, to see where human -evolution- or social development, takes us in 100 million or a billion years from now; The Sentient Beings will in many ways, suffer from the same moral & philosophical ailments that we endure today.

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Wm Jas : C. If living things are designed, why are so many of them designed so poorly? Why did the Designer make mistakes that no competent human engineer would make? Take humans for example. The retina is wired backwards, giving us a blind spot (the octopus has a very similar eye, but wired correctly, with no blind spot). The mouth is too small for all the teeth, which is why wisdom teeth are often problems. We eat, drink, and breathe with the same opening, making choking a problem. The system for giving birth is so badly designed that it used to kill a sizable percentage of women and is extremely painful. I could go on. How is it that a Designer who could design something as complicated and amazing as a human could make so many stupid mistakes?

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One Argument that some Flying Saucer Enthusiasts use to Debunk The Alleged Crash of An Interstellar Transport in The Vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico; Is that beings of such a higher technology would not, could not, have created A Craft that was capable of Crashing. The Ancient Sumerians may well have made the same argument for our commercial airliners. Another of my bête noires is that when the evolutionist hears ‘Jehovah’ whenever the expression ‘Intelligent Designer’ is spoken; They bring with it; All the crazy attributes of This Jehovah that they were taught in Sunday School. i have never believed that the existence of a gawd necessarily presumes that it would have to be infinitely good or just or scientifically perfect. The IDer is just a guy, or gal, or it. My ScreenSaver hypothesis; In which our reality is The ScreenSaver on The Desktop Computer of A Ξ.6 Controller, Includes the possibility that the owner of this computer may be an 11 year old that used off-the-shelf software, and plugged in a few dozen user choices to create our reality. If on some other level; The IDer is merely An Alien Race that predated our Solar System by a few Billion years, Then they may well be pushing their own understanding of carbon based, Self-Replicating Molecules to the limits of their understanding. - Or - Our World may have been, or is, An minor Experiment, that is woefully underfunded. - Or - It may be that you are again, Assuming that humans are the final product, while it may be that the Octopus is the final Product. Granted; We think that we’re smarter, but maybe The IDer’s have a different understanding of Intelligence, or, more reasonably; The Octopus is still at an intermediate stage of development.

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In All Seriousness, Where Seriousness applies,
If at all; i find it Shocking ( ! ) that you can’t see The Example of The Weaver Ant*;
That makes nests by Pulling Foliage Together & then using their own Pupa as GlueSticks to Bind them with a simple cross stitch; As a Definitive Smoking Gun that The Theory of Evolution falls short of providing a Complete & Unbroken Scenario of How Life on This Barren Moon came into existence.
Yet / Then / In Addition to That / You say that The Defenders of IDer must provide a Complete Explanation for those things. But the ( Supposition ) of ID does Explain Everything. It was Designed. Evolution should provide us with a rough outline of how Weaver Ants stumbled upon their Nest Making Method, It’s certainly not sufficient to merely say; It MUST have come about by Accidental Random Mutations in A String of Queen Ants; Because There is No Gawd, and Consequently; There are NO Other Alternative Explanations. The ID ( Supposition ) Doesn’t say anything about Gawds. STOP THINKING THAT!
Possible ( ? ) Forms for What The ID may be :
Aliens Ghost Like Sprites Elves ( Neither Aliens nor Sprites )
Ξ.6 Controllers ( Angels that are not Elves )
Robots from The Future Witches from The Hearts of Electrons The most reasonable ID is probably an Alien Civilization.
Granted; This presupposes that they have been involved in our development for, What we assume or believe ( ? ), to be a very, very long time. But if this Alien Civilization consists of Immortal Robots with Something that we would identify as FreeWill or Spiritual Autonomy, Then; So be it. Their 5_year plans, may be 5_Billion year plans.
Eternity is long time. 5_Billion years for an Immortal Robot may be a fingernail clipping in an ocean of tapioca puddling.
What really pushes me, ( pushed me ) over the edge for An ID ( Supposition ) is when i came to realize that the first worms that supposedly evolved 800 million, or so, years ago, didn’t do so by incrementally trying new things and putting together a better worm.
And these worms, by the way, were fully developed worms. It was thought by Evolutionists, not so very long ago, that EyeBalls evolved at least 6 different times, completely independently of one another. But with new DNA analysis, It appears that EyeBalls only evolved once. It turns out that there is a Gene that regulates EyeBall Development, and this gene is present in all the different kinds of animals that have EyeBalls, or Something that serves the purpose of EyeBalls, Like Compound Eyes.
Same Thing.
So . . . This would mean . . . That this first Worm that was the mother of Ants, Shellfish, Oysters, Octopuses & Featherless Parakeets, was fully Developed prior to The PreCambrian Explosion. It may not have had legs as we would now allow for fins to be legs, but it must have had something that stuck out at regular intervals, along with all the major internal organs that we ( Hamsters with loin clothes ) share with Spiders & Newts.
This first worm was just as sophisticated ( survival wise & with less hubris ) as the monkeys that organ grinders use today to pick up poorly tossed coins. And this worm came into existence, not by making subtle changes to itself over a few million years, making itself into a much better sponge in a community of sponges… But by Random Mutations to it’s DNA.
i would like for you ( The Evolutionist Community ) to come up with a Rough Outline of that Process. To give you a heads up, or clue, or hint, of how this may have worked, The biggest, recently discovered mechanism that may have helped this process along, is that bacteria may be able to steal DNA from one Organism and sell it, for the right price, to Another Nucleus in the same pond. This is almost the same the process as i imagined it when i was 7 or 8. That of a Worm slowly making itself better, adding new organs over time, and prodding along until it became fully operational.
But of course; This doesn’t really fit very well with the way that evolution is supposed to work, with each worm being fully operational along the entire spectrum of worms.
The problem with Irreducible Complexity. The Evolutionists & IDer’s as well, are always looking for a killer example of Irreducible Complexity. This is where some Tiny Feature of an Organism just could not have come about by Evolutionary Randomality. This is like the man that is told he is walking through a forest, but he’s doubtful of this and wishes that; If only i could find a tree, Then this would provide me with the proof I need to give me some assurance that I am indeed in a forest. All of Life is Irreducibly Complex. There are No Examples of An AntiThesis to This Idea. And by that; i mean; When an Evolutionist creates A New Kind of Life ( Not simply Copying The Molecular Blueprints that have already been provided ) with A New Set of Amino Acids or An Entirely New Approach to Self Replicating Molecules, and then allow this Most Primitive Seed of Alternative Life to Develop New Features or Attributes, without External Assistance; That will be a Very Strong Argument for Evolution. It really seems to me, that creating a Self Replicating Molecular shouldn’t be all that difficult, Unless of course; There was some ( Deeply Magickal ) Trick to it.

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* Formerly Referred to ( by me ) as Leaf Cutter Ants.
Leaf Cutter Ants are the ones that work as Farmers, Cultivating & Harvesting Fungi grown on leaves that they cut up for this purpose.

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3 of 10 Additional Observations.

One: One of the principle arguments for Evolution; Is that it very slowly crawled along, making tiny little changes to life forms over an incomprehensible length of time. Not so long ago; A Million was thought to be a big number. This was when the Brain was thought to have a few Million Neurons, And everybody thought that that would be plenty to make a mind work. Nowadays; An MP3 consists of several million bytes to record a 3 minute song. A Mere 560 Million Years ago, As recorded in The Burgess Shale Deposit in Canada, There was an Explosion of Life that drew a line in The History of The World, By Defining a Period Before this, As a World of Sponges; And The Period After, As The New World of MultiCelluar Animals of All Kinds. The Point that i find interesting; Is How Long would we Consider The Life-Span of any given Species? Humanimals were clearly apes about a million years ago, And HomoSapiens for, oh; say… A Quarter of A Million Years. And Smaller Animals might well be A Given Species for A Significantly Shorter Span of Time, But There were undoubtedly times when A Given Species didn’t significantly change for a longer period of time. So lets Conservatively say that Each Species is Reasonably Unique for About a Half A Million Years. That’s 1,120 Steps from Sponges to Human Beings. That seems awfully small to me. That a portrait of each of your ancestors; From a Sponge to You, On each page of Two Harry Potter Novels. And that’s ignoring The 250 Million Years, or 500 Steps that Mammalian Evolution came to a halt during the reign of The Dinosaurs. So that it’s closer to One Harry Potter Novel.

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Two: Before Human DNA was mapped out; Biologists believed vaguely that the number of significant instructions contained in our DNA would be in the Billions, And this was when a Billion was thought to be an incomprehensibly large number. Now it turns out that There are only <26,000> was < thought of as Junk DNA ) Actually do something very important, although no one has any idea how that might work.
- or -
B
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All these Exons are letters in an alphabet that fit together to make a much larger vocabulary of words that do all the real making of people.
The principle problem with - B - is; Where is the Dictionary that defines all these Words,
And Secondly; This would mean that any given Exon is used countless times, finding a useful purpose in dozens or hundreds or thousands of cellular mechanisms.
This would mean that if any one of these Exons experienced one of these mutations that are the bedrock of Evolution, It would change the functionality of all these different cells.
It is certainly hard to image any sort of mutation that would have an advantageous or benign effect on all those cells & their host organism if this is how it worked.
Even allowing that this is possible; It would mean that animals wouldn’t slowly change over time, But Catastrophically, as Stephen Gould expressed in his idea of Punctuated Equilibrium.
You would have, At every Transitional Stage; The Proverbial Chicken begin born from a Lizards Egg.

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Three:
It seems to me that for Evolution to work, it should always choose The Simplest Solution or Alternative, Rather than The Most Superfluous Version with UnNecessary Complexity.
Pragmatically; This would mean that if Two Self-Replicating Molecules or Organisms were in Competition, The Simpler, More Elegant Solution would gobble up The Available Resources before The More Complex Version could get out of Bed.
It may be argued that the more complex version would be better & faster & more efficient than The Simpler Variant, But The More Complex Model must have come from somewhere, and this was certainly from The Simpler Strain that existed prior to it, by a chronological measurement of - A Long Time -.
i am reluctant to say; Millions of years; Especially on a Molecular Level, New Versions may come about very quickly, But however long it took to come up with The New & Improved Version, The Older Model would have a well established foot hold.
This would mean that if A Self Replicating Molecule - -
which may or may-not, be spontaneously created under various circumstances
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Came into Being, It would very quickly Gorge Itself on All The Available Carbon, Hydrogen & Phosphorous molecules that were available to it, Leaving none for Competing Permutations.
In The Actual Primordial Sea; If such A Self Replicating Molecule were to have come into Existence, It should have turned The Entire Global Ocean into a Bowl of Jello in just a few thousand ( or less ) years. And once Established, Any force, such as Vulcanism, Lightning or Meteor Impacts that created a pocket of Free Molecules, They would be immediately ReAbsorbed by The Edges of The Existent Jello Mass.
No Higher form of Self-Replicating Molecular Activity would be given an Opportunity to Use Any of These Atoms to Try Different Designs.

1 comment:

wmjas said...

I'll respond to this properly when I have more time (free time is in very short supply for me these days), but let me say now: Thank you for finally learning to spell my name!