Saturday, December 30, 2006

My "encouragement" mail to FSM

So, I finally decided to send the infamous FSM some mail; here it is:

Excellent satire of the criticisms of religion and Intelligent Design … unless you guys actually think the creation of the FSM and its subsequent religion is a valid critique of religion and Intelligent Design in the form of satire or actual truth for that matter. In that case, try studying and understanding your “opponents” first before attacking. Or maybe this “religion” of the FSM is just a good case of showing that people will believe almost anything (assuming that your church members ACTUALLY believe the FSM to be true). Yet, I very highly doubt that people are QUITE that stupid. Given enough time, they should be eliminated by natural selection anyway.

However, both ways I do enjoy and appreciate the artistic work and creativity you have put into the FSM and its subsequent church. It, as well as the hate mail you receive, is truly hilarious.

It’s a good thing that artistic method isn’t restrained by the scientific method. The religion of the FSM is evidence that art is not restrained by logic.

As an aside, since art is allowed to be taught in school in the form of an art class, the religion of the FSM should be allowed in school as well. Drop me a line if you need help creating a case (I wish I were a lawyer).

Similarly, religion or philosophy would also be considered art if it did not attempt to validly explain the existence of good and evil, reason, and other enigmas of the “human condition.” Art attempts to depict; religion, science, and philosophy attempt to explain in a valid manner.

Nevertheless, I can see how the religion of the FSM could attempt to explore the very concept of validity and its relation to truth. However, in this case, it should also attempt to be more valid itself and satirically examine or disprove science as well in order to be more encompassing and relative in addressing validity, in my humble opinion.

Or the creation of FSM and its religion may be just a load of quasi-artistic BS, in accordance with all gods written in history who were included within and were a part of the universe and describable as natural objects. re: ra (sun-god), poseidon (god of the sea), fsm (flying chunk of spaghetti and meatballs) “may his appendages be honored”

Regardless of the psychology or validity behind the FSM, thank you for the humor, and good luck in continuing to intelligently or not so intelligently (whichever the case may be) evolve the FSM and its religion.

May your God given or unguided evolutionary given ability for creativity and the FSM’s noodly appendage guide you in your never ending search for that natural-selection-created concept of Truth.

I leave with you these three quotes:

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

–C. S. Lewis

“If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents - the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts - i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy - are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk-jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.”

–C. S. Lewis

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”

–Albert Einstein

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Why disprove anti-materialism?

This is in reference to a post on Telic Thoughts.

I start off my comments as follows:

I think that the biggest question here is: Why should one bag of chemicals give two holy snorts about what another group of bags of chemicals “believes,” especially when both bags’ beliefs are determined by a complex array of natural laws that accidentally popped into existence?
Seriously, why “disprove” theism or anti-materialism? If all of our thoughts are products of a vast cascade of determined natural laws sifted through natural selection, then the atheist is no more responsible for his thoughts of atheism than the theist is for his thoughts of theism. In other words, don’t be so hard on Dawkins … it’s not his fault that he thinks the way he does. Nor is it my “fault” for writing this. An obviously "bad" twist in natural selection and natural laws is to blame.

Furthermore, if all that is needed is a little bit of re-programming, to “properly balance” a bag of chemicals, which bag gets to decide what the balance is and who gets re-programmed and why even bother? We are all equal bags of chemicals with equal rights, correct?

I am then responded to as follows:

Your skepticism seems to be based on the idea that what one "bag of chemicals" believes is no more or less valid than what any other "bag of chemicals" believes. After all, both bags' beliefs are simply the result of the playing out of natural law.

But look at a computer. Wire it up correctly, and it can do your taxes for you or predict the next lunar eclipse. Wire it up incorrectly, and you get garbage out of it. Both processes are simply the unfolding of natural law, but one yields correct results while the other yields nonsense.

To this I reply:

Yes, and notice that it is the programmers understanding of natural laws rather than the computer itself who determines “correct” or “incorrect” programming. If theism/anti-materialism and atheism/materialism are both programmed into different “bags of chemicals” via the same natural processes, who is to determine “correct” apart from “incorrect” programming, apart from those natural processes themselves. I understand that natural usefulness of said programs can be determined simply by how useful these thoughts of atheism or theism play out in regard to survivability and reproduction. But, as to correct and incorrect, WHY even judge one bag of chemicals’ programming verses another bag of chemicals’ programming, according to right and wrong as opposed to merely usefulness? Or is that what Dawkins is doing … promoting the usefulness of atheism over theism in reference to natural selection, survivability, and reproductive benefit ?

So, my two questions seem to be unanswered. The first is a “why” question: Seriously, why “disprove” theism or anti-materialism? If all of our thoughts are products of a vast cascade of determined natural laws sifted through natural selection, then the atheist is no more responsible for his thoughts of or arguments for atheism than the theist is for his thoughts of or arguments for theism.

Secondly, if it turns out that atheism is more useful or less harmful than theism, then surely we can mandate reprogramming of theists, or no? But this brings forward my second question: Furthermore, if all that is needed is a little bit of re-programming, to “properly balance” a bag of chemicals, which bag gets to decide what the balance is and who gets re-programmed and why even bother? We are all equal bags of chemicals with equal rights, correct?

Any other thoughts?

Monday, December 18, 2006

SETI, archaeology and relevance to ID

Here’s the interesting continuing discussion that I am having with Skeptico at his blog, found under the title: “SETI, archeology and other sciences.”

My quotes that are being responded to are in blue.

"Skeptico's reponses are in centred block quotes"

My responses follow (not centred).

My apologies for not having read through your original post fully. I think I was only originally responding to other comments and wanted some important clarifications which still, upon reading your post fully, have not been provided.

Re: As stated already, the information regarding information is in the most recent post on my blog. It would take a bit of room to copy it all here. If you would like, you can take a bit of time to read through it and then even respond to it over here on your blog or on my own if you so choose.

"All those arguments are refuted on this website and on this blog."

I don’t mean to slam the website or the blog, but maybe my research abilities are not as honed as yours. I have searched all over talk origins website and a bit on pharyngula and I can not find ANY refutations of the arguments posted on my blog. If you could please guide me to an article or two that provide refutations of my specific arguments.

In order to not bog down this blog, my full response can be found on my blog.

Re: I just wanted to see the scientific criteria for defining and separating "artificial" from "natural," in order for it to be useful scientifically. ie: is there a rigorous scientific filter to separate "natural" from "artificial."

"I discussed this in the post – some signals are not seen in nature. AFAIK there is no overall definition that can be universally applied."

So there is no specific scientific method or law that is used to universally separate artificial from natural? So the demarcation of the two is not scientific, regardless of its existence? Yes I did read your original post and I have responded accordingly below. SETI’s research is founded on only arbitrary assumptions. If they received actual information, as scientifically defined, within a signal would they know that they were dealing with intelligence on only an arbitrary basis? (Refer to my first two posts on my blog) Could the information have a natural source, or is information by definition artificial?

Re: You have stated that we knew the motivation of the North Koreans. You seem to imply this was discovered via the logical path "if human, then motive = create nuclear device." But this doesn't really provide a satisfactory answer how we know their motivation. Or was this motivation not discovered by knowing something of the psychology and history of the North Koreans in question.

"You are making this more complicated than it is. The seismologists were trying to determine if the Koreans had exploded a nuclear device. If the Koreans had exploded a nuclear device, then obviously Korean scientists had the motivation, at some time, to design and make a nuclear device. The seismologists were trying to decide if the Koreans had exploded a nuclear device – no matter how much you try you cannot make this “the same” as the way ID tries to imply design."

Your right, its not the same, but it is a similar inference of intelligently produced patterns. My posting was in response to the allegation that we can’t determine intelligent source apart from motivation, which is incorrect. It sure helped in the Korean case, but knowing the motivation was not necessary. It only helped pin point WHY the intelligently produced pattern was indeed produced and WHO produced it. If the signal was discovered by itself, then it would have most likely been attributed to intelligence (from my understanding of the case, the signature of the signal pointed to an “unnatural” source regardless of any Korean motivation). Furthermore, I was in the process of showing that even motivation is only known through previous information of the intelligence in question. And this information is gleaned only through the science of psychology (interviewing the responsible parties) and history. Relating this to SETI, we have neither history nor psychology to work with, or do we?

Re: You also stated that in archaeology we are looking for evidence of human design. The question I wish to pose is: "Can the same criteria that is used to verify human design also be used to verify design originating from intelligence that is at least as intelligent as humans?"

"The criterion is not how intelligent the designer (human or not) may be. The question archeologists ask would be: “knowing what we know about the designers (human), would they have made this tool we have found?” If you know nothing about the non-human intelligence, you can not make any inference about whether something was designed by it or not.

You are using semantics to try to equate how we verify human design with how you would infer your “intelligent designer”. You can’t do that because ID says nothing about the intelligent designer. You can’t infer anything from a lack of knowledge."

So, according to what you just stated: “If you know nothing about the non-human intelligence, you can not make any inference about whether something was designed by it or not,” SETI is unscientific since we know nothing about the non-human intelligence in question. But do we really not know anything about the intelligence in question?

And no, this is not about semantics. This is about grouping intelligence into a workable set. If human intelligence is part of a set of “‘higher’ intelligence which produces information,” then we can use the same criteria (information) that is used to verify human intelligence to verify design originating from other intelligence that is at least as intelligent as humans (given the valid assumption that an intelligence that is at least as intelligent as humans is a ‘higher’ intelligence which produces information). This is why both SETI and ID are valid sciences. If this were not the case, then if SETI received an information rich signal, it could not determine it as having an intelligent source until it discovered the psychology of the designer in question, since as we all know “information happens naturally (note sarcasm).”

Re: also "can we not use knowledge about design and intelligence itself to provide context in determining if something is the design of intelligence?"

"I don’t see how. I know IDists think they can but they haven’t managed it."

I just showed how. The rest of the details are in my post “My view of ID in a nutshell

Re: Whereas, you seem to be saying that you can only scientifically verify specifically human design, since we are human and therefore we know the psychology of humans.

"Not psychology, per se. Context."

What’s the difference in relation to our discussion? Furthermore, psychology is the main context, since everything that we do and make and the marks we leave behind ultimately originates from our in-grained human psychology.

Furthermore, how do we know context in terms of archaeology apart from previously identified marks of human intelligence as gathered in history?

Re: Relating this to SETI -- Do we have any knowledge about the designers, and hence do we have any context?

"Explained in the original post."

I’m sorry but I’m not seeing any context or knowledge about the designers other than that they are intelligent and are presumed to produce things that intelligence would produce.

Re: Yes, but that only begs the question, "how do we know ET is sending us a signal?"

"We don’t. And we haven’t found one yet so perhaps they aren’t. But if we find one we’ll know, won’t we?"

Ummmm ... that’s the BIG QUESTION ... HOW? Your response is not at all scientific.

Re: Contrary to what you seem to be implying earlier, now you are quite specifically stating that all Intelligence, at the least within our universe, has commonality, and therefore there is a certain science that we can use to determine whether something is intelligently designed. Correct?

"No. I said in the post, that some signals are not seen in nature, and if we did see them it would imply design. I also explained how this is different from ID, that thinks a complex signal must be designed. We know complex things can evolve, and we know ID is wrong on this."
This is unfortunately a common misunderstanding regarding ID. ID shows that information, not complexity, must be designed. This is also dealt with in my post “my view of ID in a nutshell

Furthermore you say that “some signals are not seen in nature?” I do understand that you give examples of artificiality. Is there a way to group these artificial signals and categorize them scientifically or are they just arbitrarily given until proven wrong as was the case with signals from pulsars, which were thought to be artificial at one time, showing that scientists don’t necessarily know what artificial signals look like. IOW, how does one scientifically categorize artificial from natural. The only science I know of that has done this is ID in defining information and then categorizing it as artificial. So, far no NATURAL LAWS have been shown to CREATE information. Therefore, it is still valid to categorize it as artificial.

"In addition, and unlike other radio emissions produced by the cosmos, such a signal is devoid of the appendages and inefficiencies nature always seems to add – for example, DNA’s junk and redundancy.

IDists are looking for complexity, because they think complexity must have been designed. SETI are looking for an artificial signal – a simple tone that does not appear in nature – because they know what an artificial signal looks like.”

Incorrect, ID looks for information. Information is perfectly artificial (it is not defined by physical laws of attraction). It can create complexity, but by itself it is neither complex nor simple, in fact it appears to be mostly random – there is no pattern (complex or simple) to information.

Furthermore, redundancy and “junk” DNA proves nothing re: natural creation of information. Furthermore, DNA is beginning to look less “junky,” and how can large areas of ultra-conserved DNA that seems to be either redundant or “junk,” survive millions of years, in an RM + NS scenerio without being mutated even though these regions apparently have no function and therefore can not be preserved by natural selection.

Search for redundant and junk DNA here

Re: My question to this: how are these assumptions used to predict WHERE to look and WHERE IS SETI LOOKING? Last I checked it was EVERY direction for ANY intelligent siganl from ANY ETintelligence.

"Can you please read my post? I explained all this. By “where” I did not mean a direction. I meant “near to the 1,420MHz interstellar hydrogen signal”."

Ah, yes ... I misunderstood in accordance with reading only that post which I responded to. Additionally, I’ve already responded earlier in this reply to the unscientific assumption of artificiality.

Re: Furthermore, when SETI finds THE SIGNAL, is that siganl necessarily going to tell them anything ABOUT THE SOURCE other than that it came from intelligence and the general direction of it's source?

"Maybe not – but it will be the start of an endeavor to learn more about the source. As I explained, this differs from ID where a (supposed) design determination is the END of the job."

You explicitly stated: “If SETI do make contact, all efforts would immediately be diverted to learning something about the intelligence, finding where it came from, learning something about the source planet, translating the message, ultimately making contact if possible.”

This is true, however, the follow up information is not necessarily contained within the radio signal, thus separating the discovery of the signal as having an intelligent source from the discovery of the source itself. Therefore, these become two separate, yet related scientific endeavours, with the inference of intelligence not relying on the second question of origins. We may never discover anything extra about the source, yet we can still be confident that the signal is the product of an intelligence that is at least as intelligent as humans. Therefore, intelligence CAN BE reasonably determined without knowledge of the source other than that the source must be intelligent.

And who said that someone can’t start a sub-discipline within ID to determine the identity of the intelligence? The only point that ID makes is that this extra knowledge of identity is not NECESSARY in order to determine the signal as having an intelligent source. Therefore, this is a process of discovery as you have stated ... both in “cracking” the genetic code, building life, and in discovering the source.

check into possible ID research

Therefore, ID DOES NOT differ in SETI as design determination NOT being the END of the job.

The MAIN DIFFERENCE between ID and SETI is that once SETI receives "the signal" from space the only option left is to discover the source. Whereas ID is an all-encompassing field that is used in SETI (information rich signal would definitely = intelligence), archaeology (rosetta stone contains information = intelligent source), and in biology (libraries of information contained in DNA = intelligent source). However, when it comes to ID in biology and in archaeology, there is more to do than just determine the source. You now have codes to crack and languages to translate. So, ID is kept busy using its research axiom to discover how life works and how it started and how it evolves (non-randomly) as further "NOT-end-of-the-job-research." Since discovering the source of the code is another aspect of ID, then if someone wants to formulate further hypothesis regarding the source and test them, then that is perfectly scientific ID research. But, with SETI, that is the only option left, so it is necessarily the second step to discover the source.

Re: Neither SETI nor ID use this to infer design. They both use this as an assumption that intelligence WILL LEAVE OR PRODUCE A MARK. That specific mark itself is an inference to design.

"Yet ID hasn’t been able to define what this “mark” is. (Well, OK they think they have, but specified complexity etc has been shown to have evolved. ID hasn’t produced a valid definition.)

Before commenting again please read my original post and make sure your questions haven’t already been answered. Thanks."

First, there is a difference between the origination of information (which my blog deals with) and the further evolution of information. Regardless, ID has produced a valid definition of CSI.
Furthermore, CSI has not been shown to have been created by any natural laws. Only two options left ... random accidental blind occurrences or teleological processes. Additionally, RM + NS is not as scientifically rigorous as ID + NS (refer to “my view of ID in a nutshell)

Secondly, to say that you must know the identity and motive of the designer in order to infer design is similar to saying that you must know the process of abiogenesis in order to infer evolution. The logic goes like this, once evolution is determined then search for abiogenesis, which bears no immediate relevance to the science of evolution (it stands and falls on its own) – the two can be studied as separate yet related sciences. Similarly, once design is determined THEN we can look into the identity and motives of the designer by searching and analysing the signal from a psychological perspective (ie: why would the designer create this signal?). However, the design inference stands and falls on its own – the two steps (source and type of signal [artificial or natural]) can be studied as separate yet related sciences.

So it seems the question remains: “Is there a SCIENTIFIC method to determine artificial from
natural that would provide a law for further use in investigating design?” Arbitrary rules may seem to work however, remember that signals from pulsars were once thought to have an intelligent source, since it was not known that nature could produce a steady, repetitive signal of the type that pulsars produce. Upon further investigation, intelligence was weeded out of the equation. Is there a reliable law that separates artificial from natural that, even if the source was not found (regardless of effort to find said source), we could reliably infer design?

ID is the only science to date that has started to provide this rigorous scientific classification of artificial vs. natural.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Science and Teleology

If both purpose and consciousness are illusions, then who are they fooling?

I have heard it said before that it is the glory of science to eliminate teleological processes. Well, if that is true, then is it the glory of science to eliminate teleology from archaeology and SETI regardless of its relevance to the intelligent design debate? Or does that statement need to be qualified?

Does it really mean that it is the glory of science to discover the roots of teleology, which seems to be the result of a mind which is supposedly a result of brain which arises out of genetic information? However, since information is not bound by the laws of physics and only arises from previous teleological processes, where does the loop end? In fact, if natural laws are not teleological in nature and natural laws are all that exist, do true teleological processes exist at all or are they an illusion? In accordance with purposeful processes arising from natural processes, are teleological processes truly teleological, or are they merely a set within natural processes thus being an illusion of true purpose apart fom natural laws? I say "apart" here, since natural laws don't act with purpose, they just exist. If teleological processes were merely a subset of natural laws, then there should be no difference between natural laws as the set and teleological processes as a subset within it. If this is a true account, then how are we to tell the difference between that which has been created through teleology verses that which has been created throught natural laws, since both would owe their ultimate creation to natural laws. Ie: natural laws can thus create cars, computers, and houses; discover math and logic, paint a picture, compose a song, write essays and discover and define themselves.

If teleology does exist, then does science need to address the issue? How does one scientifically demonstrate the difference between a teleological process and a methodologically naturalistic process?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

In materialistic worldview truth may not be discoverable (part 1)

Understood basically, natural selection edits that which accidentaly functions to aid survival and reproduction in its given environment. The correlation between this and the ability to logically judge truth from falsehood, I can not see.

Is everyone’s reasoning ability ultimately based on random chance, accidental mutations, and survival. Is reasoning the result of blind interactions between matter and energy as dictated by blind physical and chemical laws? The reasoning ability that has developed through evolutionary processes is only, supposedly, the one which confers the largest survival advantage and reproductive success, not the one which necessarily discovers actual truth claims and true laws of logic or any idea of truth for that matter. Indeed, in this evolutionary scenario, we have no idea if reasoning and interpretation of certain observations has anything to do with discovering actual facts and truths, as opposed to merely being that reasoning program and interpretation of observations which has been passed on through random mutation and natural selection, and has caused the most reproductive and survival success. How would we know if possibly truthful interpretations (correct reasoning ability) of certain observations that are not necessarily life threatening (such as discovering truth and knowledge for the sake of truth and knoweldge) indeed did give any survival advantage? How do you know that your answer to the previous question is not just a programmed evolutionary result of random mutation, natural selection, and survival of the fittest? Also, are there ideas which are wrong, yet pose great survival advantage? If everything is based on survival advantage, including our reasoning ability, how are we to decide between two competing ideas. Are the rules of logic a subjective construct of the human brain, created by evolution, or is it an objective reality that humanity is now intelligent enough to discover? If natural selection tells us that evolution preserves that which is most useful to survival and reproduction, is it also true that an idea or interpretation of certain observations which is most useful is always that which amounts to a statement or an idea of truth or fact (as based upon the rules of logic), instead of merely being an idea that works for the time being in its present environment (as based on survival of the fittest/natural selection)? Why or why not?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My view of ID in a nutshell

Information has only ever been seen to be the result of a mind and has never been seen and actually does not make any logical sense to be a result of any process (especially natural laws) other than that -- purposeful process -- produced by mind. In fact, one of the defining points of mind is that it produces information.

Information = a seemingly random, yet also non-repetitive arrangement of units, in which the specific arrangement, not defined by natural laws of attraction, produces specific function. In other words, the sequence and therefore the function is not described by the physical properties of the units. The reason this arrangement is not random is because it must also conform to an independently given pattern, the pattern (similar to a password) being that which unlocks the function.

So what is the difference between information and naturally occurring complex patterns? Information either has specific meaning (the code of language as used orally and in writing) or it produces something specific (genetic code produces specific proteins that, together, produce specific functions) as based upon non-repetitive sequences of symbols or units. However, conversely, when units of water are frozen together they form a repetitive pattern (snowflake or ice) that is a result of natural laws of attraction between its units H and O. There is simply no code based upon non-repetitive units that either communicates meaning or produce specific units that act together to create specific functions.

As previously stated, information is completely independent of physical or chemical laws. There is no physical or chemical relation to how the units in a code are organized, be it ABCs on a piece of paper or A-C-T-Gs on a string of DNA. It is all up to what the intelligence wanted to communicate or build -- it's up to what he previously had in mind.

I'm NOT SAYING that there are no chemical or physical properties that combine the letter to the paper or the base to the DNA backbone. What I am saying is that in all codes there is no physical or chemical law apart from intelligence that causes the specific ordering and non-repetitive sequencing of these letters or bases to produce specific effects.

So, we have literal information in the form of DNA and we have the possibility for information generating and other teleological processes resulting from mind with a program and thus information at its base. Therefore, information at the foundation of mind is a reality and minds which produce information is another reality. So, we have an information to mind to information loop, similar to the classic “which came first, the chicken or the egg” problem, with no room for natural law, since the very definition of information runs contrary to the definition of natural laws, which is why critics must toss random chance occurrences into the mix.

Here’s a question for you. Since science is the study of natural laws which describe the repeatable results that occur upon specific initial conditions, what are the specific initial conditions that repeatedly produce information? Be careful how you answer. Everything you say will be used ... ... in a civil discussion with you.

Before I continue, I must note that a goal created by a guided process is one that is either guided by a previously set natural law working in accordance with specific initial conditions to create that goal as a necessary result of the initial conditions and previously set laws (a program) or one that is guided by an intelligence toward that previously determined goal without a program other than the designers’ blueprint, and thus he is designing directly with his own hand and other tools.

I’ve heard critics of GM + NS (Guided Mutations [one Intelligent Design concept] + Natural Selection) complain that it isn’t a scientific approach because they are not happy with the scientific filter for GM + NS being a combination of the mathematical approach of probability, the presence of Complex Specified Information (CSI), or the presence of an Irreducibly Complex (IC) system. Yet, they can not point to a natural law to account for these precise systems -- CSI or IC. Thus, they must make a chance of the gaps type of argument, which actually, upon further inspection is not scientific since you can never provide evidence that something immensely improbable isn’t just a freak random accidental occurrence.

I quote Professor Hasofer:

"The problem [of falsifiability of a probabilistic statement] has been dealt with in a recent book by G. Matheron, entitled Estimating and Choosing: An Essay on Probability in Practice (Springer-Verlag, 1989). He proposes that a probabilistic model be considered falsifiable if some of its consequences have zero (or in practice very low) probability. If one of these consequences is observed, the model is then rejected.
‘The fatal weakness of the monkey argument, which calculates probabilities of events “somewhere, sometime”, is that all events, no matter how unlikely they are, have probability one as long as they are logically possible, so that the suggested model can never be falsified. Accepting the validity of Huxley’s reasoning puts the whole probability theory outside the realm of verifiable science. In particular, it vitiates the whole of quantum theory and statistical mechanics, including thermodynamics, and therefore destroys the foundations of all modern science. For example, as Bertrand Russell once pointed out, if we put a kettle on a fire and the water in the kettle froze, we should argue, following Huxley, that a very unlikely event of statistical mechanics occurred, as it should “somewhere, sometime”, rather than trying to find out what went wrong with the experiment!’

Thus, in accordance with the previous statement, I pose the question, “what really went ‘wrong’ to cause information (especially in life) and possible evolution”

The account of RM + NS (random mutations + natural selection) is at the very least, not as scientifically rigorous as GM + NS. ID (as a guided process) is the result of an inference to the best explanation, which is a scientific approach based on the fact that every time a highly improbable event appears which shows the presence of CSI or IC, as scientifically defined and quantified, we have always seen it to be the result of ID. At least ID does have a rigorous scientific filter.

Now, I’d like to pose another question. What if we are to place the same strict rules on RM + NS that we place on GM + NS? What scientific filter is used to separate an occurrence that is the result of natural laws from one that is the result of random chance occurrences? If you can’t provide this, then RM becomes a science stopper, since it is equivalent to throwing your hands up in the air and saying “I don’t know how natural laws could have done it so it must be the result of a random chance occurrence (of course filtered by the scientifically verifiable fact that things that don’t work in their respective environment, just plain don’t work and those things which do work, usually continue working -- natural selection).” Thus, you stop searching for a natural law for the sole reason that you can’t find one yet. Furthermore, you stop searching for a natural law without a rigorous scientific filter to distinguish between a random, chance occurrence verses an occurrence that is the result of ID (since ID is a real part of nature which in reality creates these types of systems which we are attempting to explain) or at the very least natural laws (since science is the discovery of these amazingly complex yet simple, consistent, repeatable laws).

The inspiration for this Blog (part 2)

An interview with the aliens responsible for the signal.

CJYman: Did you create the signal?

Aliens: Not directly.

Cjyman: What do you mean by that?

Aliens: Well, we planned the end product, yet it took some calculations that to mere earthlings would seem to be extremely complex, near impossible.

CJYman: Please do explain ...

Aliens: Well, we had to create a project for our High School science fair. We had read about other projects where you could evolve a program indirectly by forcing it through some preset filters, and we decided to take it one step further ...

CJYman: How did you manage that?

Aliens: Well, we knew we wanted to create a conscious and intelligent program, but how to evolve it was the question.

CJYman: uhuh ...

Aliens: We decided to use radio frequencies as the carrier for the code and the gravitational fields available naturally in your universe as the filters ... to split, recombine, and interfere countless times to evetually create the signal that was picked up on earth.

CJYman: So, the scientists were right then ...

Aliens: Woah, Woah, wait a minute. Hold on ... not so fast. The scientists were right that the creation of the signal by purely unguided means was logically possible. I mean, some of the necessary conditions were actually available, in the form of natural filters, however these conditions are not sufficient to create the ending signal. The signal had to be the right grouping of frequencies to begin with and it had start out at the prefect angle aimed exactly at the right spot at the right gravitational field in order to start everything. We intelligent beings had to provide these conditions. Even after calculating this for 250 years, we still ended up with some errors ...

CJYman: Ya, sorry for interrupting, but there were some errors in the end signal and even some leftover stuff.

Aliens: Well, that's just basically inevitable, because of all the factors involved. These radio mutations, although not perfect, created what we intended in the end.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The inspiration for this Blog

This blog and it's possible subtitle "Reality Deficit" is in large inspired by the blog "Imagination Deficit."

Here is a very short story that I would like to dedicate to "Imagination Deficit." Be advised that the author of this short story (myself) received less than excellent grades in High School short story writing class. Please look past the lack of dialogue and adventure and into the analogy.

Once upon a time there was a pseodoscientific research team that was searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. They went by the name, SPAGETI (Search for Petite And Grande Extraterrestrial Intelligence). They decided that once they received a radio signal that could not have "possibly" been created by natural processes (didn't bear the mark of natural processes) then they would know that intelligence was the most likely explanation.

So, the researchers were sitting around their computer screens one day and they all noticed a peculiar looking radio signal. It was composed of different and distinct frequencies repeating themselves randomly. It was interesting since it was not periodic, such as those signals from spinning black holes or the like. The sequence of these frequencies seemed to be perfectly random, until on closer inspection it was found that certain sections of the signal repeated themselves, yet even these repetitions seemed to appear randomly. Well, one of the younger and more curious of the group of researchers decided to take a closer look at these signals.

He came to the conclusion that they did behave rather oddly, and he was puzzled by the random recurrence of sections of what seemed to be a random string of signals. In fact, this string of radio signals seemed to act as if it were some type of code. So, he began running tests on it in an attempt to decode the signal.

He eventually discovered (don't ask me how; he's smarter than I am) that the signal could actually be separated into five different signals and upon converting and running each of their codes in DivX (I guess aliens use DivX as well), you would get five different instructional videos. The instructional videos each showed how to put all five signals together to create a code, and then how to create the computer and the program to run it. Well, this young researcher was ecstatic and upon showing the result to his team members, was allocated the finances and manpower to create this alien program.

Of course it took a long time ... blah blah blah ... many trials and errors ... blah ... sweat and determination ... blah blah ... he finally completed the program. However, there were some glitches in the original signal that he had to correct, which he could because he gained an understanding of the program. Furthermore, there seemed to be a couple viruses which liked to destroy some parts of the code, and these viruses seemed to be in the original signal so he was quite sure that they weren't mistakes on his part. Then there was the extra code that didn't seem to fit in anywhere and a few mistakes on his own part. But, in the end, he decided to turn it on and see what happened. Well, the program started to spit up more information on the screen. But this time it was all in English. It was providing more information on how to hook up sensory apparatus onto the computer.

In the end, with the sensory apparatus hooked up, it seemed that an intelligent, conscious being was created. It had its glitches, but the researchers were able to actually teach it basic English in the course of the year and they were able to carry on conversation with it that you could have with a six year old.

Well, now that they had knock out proof of an intelligent source for the original signal, they could publish the results and confidently determine that we are not alone, and unfortunately but still definitely not the most intelligent beings, in this universe.

However, thankfully, the scientific community came to the rescue and showed how this research was completely pseudoscientific and was performed by ignorant, imagination deficit, religiously motivated pseudoscientists. (for effect one can preclude with "fundamentalist")

The scientists were fortunately able to display to the general public that all that was missing was a healthy dose of imagination. "There are other, actually scientific explanations for the data," the scientists pronounced. "We can't allow intelligence, since it is a cop out and pretty soon we'll be explaining everything in terms of 'an-intelligence-that-we-can't-see-did-it.' This would indeed be the demise of science since we all know that science doesn't allow such explanations."

"Furthermore, experiments have already been performed in the lab by Dr.s Iller and Murey that show that each of these frequencies can and have been produced naturally and that gravitational fields can and do bend radio signals to create two of the same signals and these signals can cause interference with other signals to easily produce the sequence of frequencies in the signal that was picked up by SPAGETI. Additionally, the universe is so vast, and there is so much gravity and radio frequencies out there that practically anything could have been done to the signal as it was travelling for billions of years. So, this is most likely a common occurence that happens all over the universe, and it just so happened that we were in the path of one of these signal.

And didn't you say that the end product -- your so called intelligent creature -- had some viruses and errors within it? Well, that is obviously the result of the aforementioned processes of random signal accumulation and error due to interference and gravitational effects. Therefore, it is obvious that the whole process was completely unguided and the result of random natural processes. See, all that is needed is a healthy dose of imagination.

In fact, the scientific community was able to link most of the researchers to organizations that were explicitly religious. Furthermore, some of the scientists were interested in UFOlogy. It was obvious that as a collective whole the SPAGETI researchers were a group of ignorant fundamenalists with a deep desire to create the idea of aliens so that they could prove UFOlogy, have some foreign entity to worship, and discover an advanced race that would be able to take over our government and install an Alienocracy. Even more damning was the direct correlation between the organizations name, SPAGETI, and the religion of the FSM.