# My life is in direct defiance of God.

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Oh so all along you have only been trying to say that maybe or maybe not evolution could have happened...????

And by the way... the take on probability was only yours... i never said that measuring probability is impossible...because scientists have been doing it and making inferences...so, I think I am justified in saying it is impossible

Another goal post move. What you had been discussing (the probability arguement) is pathogenesis, not evolution.

Sorry abiogenesis, not evolution.

where did i say that i was discussing probabilty in the context of abiogenesis and not evolution??

Valiya - "where did i say that i was discussing probabilty in the context of abiogenesis and not evolution??"

Valiya - "Many mathematicians and information experts have worked out the probability of the information in DNA arising through natural processes and have stated that the probability is so low to the point of it being zero."

That is a calculation for the probability of abiogenesis, not evolution. We know where the information in an offspring's dna comes from.

"Moreover, speaking particularly about evolution… there are ways we can actually catch a glimpse of evolutionary effects over long periods…and that is by looking at bacteria. In a human life time, we can actually analyze millions and millions of generations of bacteria, which is the human equivalent of millions of years…which is good enough to see some big changes happen."

Please explain why millions of generations of bacteria is "good enough to see big changes." Please define "big" changes.

"I would actually take your advice on dropping math… for the simple reason that I am extremely weak in it. But then, does that mean that I should simply stop trying to understand the reality around me? No."

My argument wasn't that you should stop trying to understand reality, but that you should stop using probability to assess it. Statistical analyses have very specific utility, and when we try to apply it to anything outside that utility, it only muddies the waters and confounds an already hefty conversation.

"This is the reason I am using my intuition. However, I am not using it in some deceptive manner. I am using exactly as you or for that matter any human-being in the world would to make judgments in life.

An opened safe is indication that someone has cracked the secret number or is in the know of it. We totally eliminate the possibility of a burglar punching random numbers to open it."

Actually, with some of the new digital locks, a simple brute-force number generator that tries every combination possible is a common tool. I once found a combination lock with four dials on it myself, it took a week or so to figure out the combination. I would have figured it out sooner, but I made the mistake of assuming none of the numbers would repeat, and one actually did.

"This is what I mean by intuitive assessment of design. And we all do it every day."

I really can't say how you assess design, as you seem to use no mechanism that a scientist would. We do not determine if something was designed by its complexity, or we would be forced to conclude that crystals are all specially designed, we determine design by contrast with nature.

Not just time, but sample size. A one in a billion probability is a very different thing according to sample size. In a sample size of a hundred, one in a billion is phenomenal. In a sample size of hundreds of trillions, one in a billion is mundane. Time only further compounds the occurrence.

"Fine, there are some math nerds who have worked out the probability for this and have said the probability is still very low… but since we have agreed to abandon math, why should I buy that argument."

There are many math nerds right here, and we are all telling you that there is no legitimate probability for what you describe, as NOBODY has the information necessary to make such a calculation.

"I have only lived for a very short period of time… and there is no way I can assess processes that long to make a judgment, while my intuitive judgements of the current reality goes strongly against that argument. So, until my intuition can be proved to be wrong, I think I am right to stick to it."

1. Intuition is not a good indicator of truth. If we watch the photon in a double-slit experiment it either goes through one slit or the other, what would our intuition say should happen if we don't watch it? However, instead of behaving in an intuitive fashion, reality not only makes the photon go through both, but also in between them besides. In science, intuition isn't considered a reliable source of truth for a reason, that is why we rely on evidence and observation instead.

2. One would have to argue that all of the available evidence seems to go decidedly against your intuition on this one...

"Moreover, speaking particularly about evolution… there are ways we can actually catch a glimpse of evolutionary effects over long periods…and that is by looking at bacteria. In a human life time, we can actually analyze millions and millions of generations of bacteria, which is the human equivalent of millions of years…which is good enough to see some big changes happen.

Yet, we don’t see such evolution taking place in bacteria…"

We have observed many changes in bacteria, from new enzymes to novel structures, which are "big" changes for bacteria. If you really expected to see as much change in a single-celled organism as you would in a multicellular one, then I am afraid that the problem lies in your expectations and not the experiment...

"The maximum one can show are micro-evolution – even that when subject to deep scrutiny throws serious questions about the mechanisms involved."

There is no fundamental difference between micro and macro evolution, the terms don't even exist outside of creationist literature, the only apparent difference is where people put the goalpost. Inheritable change, any change, is an example of heredity. Heredity is a TENET of evolution, you cannot have one without the other, period. The fact that such heredity occurs substantiates evolution just as thoroughly as if you observed punctuated equilibrium, and not less.

“My argument wasn't that you should stop trying to understand reality, but that you should stop using probability to assess it. Statistical analyses have very specific utility, and when we try to apply it to anything outside that utility, it only muddies the waters and confounds an already hefty conversation.”

Fine I have stopped using probability to assess it. Now I am only left with my intuition which I know by experience is extremely reliable in assessing if something has been built by intelligence or not. And I am just applying it to understand the world.

"Actually, with some of the new digital locks, a simple brute-force number generator that tries every combination possible is a common tool. I once found a combination lock with four dials on it myself, it took a week or so to figure out the combination. I would have figured it out sooner, but I made the mistake of assuming none of the numbers would repeat, and one actually did.”

The brute-force number generator is the product of very high intelligence. Isn’t it?

“I really can't say how you assess design, as you seem to use no mechanism that a scientist would. We do not determine if something was designed by its complexity, or we would be forced to conclude that crystals are all specially designed, we determine design by contrast with nature.”

You are confusing order with specified complexity. Here are two sets of letters. 1) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. 2) THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

Visually, which of the two has order or pattern? The 1st example of course. But we know that even a monkey can produce this on a typewriter. Whereas the second example, though lacks order or symmetry, conveys a very specific meaning. There is nothing counterintuitive in crystals.

"Not just time, but sample size. A one in a billion probability is a very different thing according to sample size. In a sample size of a hundred, one in a billion is phenomenal. In a sample size of hundreds of trillions, one in a billion is mundane. Time only further compounds the occurrence.”

Now you are applying probability. Fine, I don’t have a problem with that. But there are people who have worked even this out, and say that still the probability of life as we see it emerging through evolution is extremely low. But ask me the details of the math, and I will have to confess that I don’t know.

"There are many math nerds right here, and we are all telling you that there is no legitimate probability for what you describe, as NOBODY has the information necessary to make such a calculation.”

Why should I believe you and not those nerds (who are highly reputed mathematicians and so on) who contradict you. And whose math agrees with my intuition.

"1. Intuition is not a good indicator of truth. If we watch the photon in a double-slit experiment it either goes through one slit or the other, what would our intuition say should happen if we don't watch it? However, instead of behaving in an intuitive fashion, reality not only makes the photon go through both, but also in between them besides. In science, intuition isn't considered a reliable source of truth for a reason, that is why we rely on evidence and observation instead.”

I agree with you. But there are some fundamental things to note here. Until our tried and tested intuition can be proven wrong with certainty, I think it makes a lot of sense to stick to it. I will not believe if a man told me he knows the future using theories on time travel from relativity…I will still go by my intuition there. Secondly, the CONTEXT of the intuitions also matter a lot. In the context of photons, one photon appears at two places at the same time. Very counterintuitive, but proven by quantum physics. Therefore, if a criminal brings an alibi in court of having been at two places at the same time, will the court have to overrule the intuitive judgment and go by quantum physics? Absolutely not. Similarly, as far as the real world is concerned, I am yet to see my intuition of specified complexity being proven wrong. Therefore, I feel no reason to abandon it.

2. One would have to argue that all of the available evidence seems to go decidedly against your intuition on this one...

"We have observed many changes in bacteria, from new enzymes to novel structures, which are "big" changes for bacteria. If you really expected to see as much change in a single-celled organism as you would in a multicellular one, then I am afraid that the problem lies in your expectations and not the experiment...”

This is a topic of a separate debate. The changes in bacteria are in fact non-random, and triggered by some mechanism that we are only beginning to understand.

Valiya - "The brute-force number generator is the product of very high intelligence. Isn’t it?"

Nice goal post move. First you tell us you can't open it with random guessing. Then when it is clear that isn't true, instead of admitting you were wrong, you alter the argument to make it about intelligence instead of random numbers.
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Valiya - "But there are people who have worked even this out, and say that still the probability of life as we see it emerging through evolution is extremely low."

Yes the is a name for those kinds of people. You have probably heard it: liars.
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Valiya - "Until our tried and tested intuition can be proven wrong with certainty"

Human intuition is less than worthless in most modern scientific work, it is dangerous.
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Valiya - "one photon appears at two places at the same time. Very counterintuitive, but proven by quantum physics"

actually quantum mechanics forbids this...
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Valiya - "I am yet to see my intuition of specified complexity being proven wrong"

You are right here. Your concept of specified complexity can never be shown to be wrong. Vague ideas can never be shown to be correct or incorrect. That is why they are worthless.

Nyarl

This is what I found in Wikipedia about brute force attack… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brute-force_attack

“It consists of systematically checking all possible keys or passwords until the correct one is found. In the worst case, this would involve traversing the entire search space.”

“Systematically checking” ….. doesn't sound like a random process, does it? I wonder how a dumb machine can do a task systematically? It does it because it was programmed to do so by an intelligent agent. The programmer.

why do you feel the need to insert words into my mouth on every reply. Did I say brute-force, no I didn't. And yes I know exactly what brute-force is, so you don't need to link it.

Then why did you say this as a response to my comment on brute force

"Nice goal post move. First you tell us you can't open it with random guessing. Then when it is clear that isn't true, instead of admitting you were wrong, you alter the argument to make it about intelligence instead of random numbers."

safe can, and have been opened by guessing random numbers. We already told you that. In fact, I've done it!

what i understood from wikipedia is that it is not by guessing random numbers... it is a systematic search criteria

I just told you I've done it by guessing...

are you saying that you opened a safe by guessing the secret numbers?

yes, i believe i have said that a few times now...

WOW... that's fantastic... maybe you should try your hand at gambling, because you seem to have some amazing luck...by the way how complicated was that secret number you cracked...as in how many digits?

This is actually not for me to answer... i think the safe makers who rely so much on the low probability (math) of someone guessing the secret number have to deal with this.

not all locks have the same strength, and analog locks are worse since even though the first number might be 5, you will often find that any number from 3 to 8 will work...so if you had a lock with three 1 digits numbers, with that weakness it would only have about 10 unique solutions

You actually applied some intelligence there to crack it... look at the information you just shared about the lock that helped you open it...

moreover, the very reason I invoke probability is to show how as specified information increases (such as a lock with 10 digits or 50 digits)...then the probability of random trials opening it would be impossible. Nobody doubts that a lock say with two numbers and a secret code of only two digits can be opened by any fool in just two attempts. If you worked out the math of that event, it will tell you the high probability of it happening.... whereas as complexity increases, probability drops...

So in your case, it was partial use of intelligence, and probability favoring you that enabled you to open the lock....

Valiya - "whereas as complexity increases"

Make to making mathematical arguments about your undefined quantities again I see.

SIGH...

In the example of the lock i clearly stated what i meant... more digits for the secret code..,. are you really saying that you pulled off a miracle by cracking that lock code? If not, explain how you managed it...and you would tell me the probability of opening it was high... being a math genius, I am sure you would be able to work it out.

Moreover.... the whole argument started because Travis cited the brute-force as an example of a random process enabling a specified complex task... but then i called him out because brute-force is not random process, but an intelligently created stuff....i don't know how your genius of guessing an easily guessable code of any relevance here?

the only person who knows if it is a " specified complex task" is you, since you are the only one who knows what that means.

okay... if you don't like that word, specified complexity, here is what everyone who indulged in this discussion could easily understand... a task whose probability of occurring through random process was so low as to be impossible.

This is what Travis meant when he brought up the example of the brute force

"a task whose probability of occurring through random process was so low as to be impossible. "

The probability of an event is either 0, or greater than zero. Not both.

so yes...events of zero probability...

the probability of guessing the combination, to any lock, on your first try, is not zero.

Well, if you want to get into the math of probability... i am sorry, i must admit that it's not my area...if you want i can cut and paste explanations by renowned mathematicians who have shown that evolution has a probability level that can be called impossible.... Dr lee spetner is one guy who immediately comes to my mind...

if you want i can provide the details... are you interested? but, if you have any refutations to their math, then i am afraid you will have to take it up with them, and not me...

"Fine I have stopped using probability to assess it."

Good.

"Now I am only left with my intuition which I know by experience is extremely reliable in assessing if something has been built by intelligence or not. And I am just applying it to understand the world."

Really? I would disagree, peoples intuition is notoriously unreliable in regard to many things. In fact, the entire history of science can be considered people actively challenging their base intuitions to better understand their reality. Now you want to take that intuition, which has been shown to be faulty consistently throughout human history, and apply it decide whether or not something could have happened naturally? Sounds like a bad plan, I would use a different method instead, like determining if DNA can actually reproduce naturally or supernaturally; that appears to be a MUCH better method in determining where our DNA comes from...

"The brute-force number generator is the product of very high intelligence. Isn’t it?"

It is a product designed to do a task an adequately trained monkey could probably do with enough time, all it is is trying random sequences of numbers and letters until you find the right one.

"You are confusing order with specified complexity."

Your specified complexity is nothing but order that you consider to be significant, if an equally complex but unordered object appeared, you would dismiss it because you did not consider it to be significant. Your "specified complexity" is merely a way to say "Hey, look at this particular order that happens to be meaningful, that couldn't possibly happen naturally!" while ignoring the VAST amounts of unordered complexity that arises naturally on a constant basis.

"Here are two sets of letters. 1) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. 2) THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

Visually, which of the two has order or pattern? The 1st example of course."

Both do, the second just isn't significant to you.

"But we know that even a monkey can produce this on a typewriter."

A monkey could produce both on a typewriter.

"Whereas the second example, though lacks order or symmetry, conveys a very specific meaning."

It doesn't lack order, it lacks meaning or context unless you speak English, the inability to grasp an order does not make that order nonexistent.

"There is nothing counterintuitive in crystals."

These words could only be spoken by one who has never studied crystallization in depth. Some of the strangest molecular structures on Earth are found in crystals.

"Now you are applying probability. Fine, I don’t have a problem with that."

This example was to further illustrate how probability is counter-intuitive.

"But there are people who have worked even this out, and say that still the probability of life as we see it emerging through evolution is extremely low. But ask me the details of the math, and I will have to confess that I don’t know."

The truth is, neither do they, they lack the information necessary to make a proper or accurate probability.

"Why should I believe you and not those nerds (who are highly reputed mathematicians and so on) who contradict you. And whose math agrees with my intuition."

Because, unlike them, I haven't given you a probability. Not only that, I have explained why I haven't given a probability. Further, I explained why their probabilities are incomplete, inaccurate, and utterly premature. Let me give you an example:

I have a deck with an unknown number of cards, with an unknown number of aces, what is the probability you will get an ace?

No matter what, until you know the number of cards and aces, you will NEVER be able to produce an accurate or honest probability.

"I agree with you. But there are some fundamental things to note here. Until our tried and tested intuition can be proven wrong with certainty, I think it makes a lot of sense to stick to it. I will not believe if a man told me he knows the future using theories on time travel from relativity…I will still go by my intuition there."

Sorry, that isn't how science works. We don't get to assume our intuitions are correct until they are proven wrong, we ONLY get to assume our intuition about something is correct once we have proven it to be correct, until then it is pure speculation and conjecture.

"Secondly, the CONTEXT of the intuitions also matter a lot. In the context of photons, one photon appears at two places at the same time. Very counterintuitive, but proven by quantum physics. Therefore, if a criminal brings an alibi in court of having been at two places at the same time, will the court have to overrule the intuitive judgment and go by quantum physics? Absolutely not."

Actually, it isn't in two places at the same time, we collapse its wave function because the equipment used to observe it. Once the observation stops, the wave function is restored, and the superposition of overlapping waves causes it to appear to do so.

"Similarly, as far as the real world is concerned, I am yet to see my intuition of specified complexity being proven wrong. Therefore, I feel no reason to abandon it."

All you have said here is that no one has yet proved that the order you think has significance, doesn't actually have significance. Which is silly considering all order has significance in mathematics and, by extension, science. This means that what you consider complex really is complex, as well as many of the things you dismiss as simple because they don't measure up to your standards. DNA literally has no more "specified complexity" than a crystal, snowflake, or sun; you just claim it does.

"This is a topic of a separate debate. The changes in bacteria are in fact non-random, and triggered by some mechanism that we are only beginning to understand."

True, it is an entire debate unto itself, but you seem a little confused on two points. Changes aren't random in evolution, and bacteria are much better understood than you seem to think they are.

TRAVIS

“…the entire history of science can be considered people actively challenging their base intuitions to better understand their reality…. I would use a different method instead, like determining if DNA can actually reproduce naturally or supernaturally;”

I thought I had already explained this. Fine, our intuitions have often seemed to clash with science. But when science hasn’t decisively stated anything about an intuitive perception…why should I abandon it. I believe a part of something cannot be bigger than the whole. This I believe is true from my everyday experience and intuition…should I abandon it just because it is intuition. I will not, unless science proves otherwise.

Then about DNA… I am not using my intuitive judgment to find out if DNA replicates naturally or supernaturally… I am only trying to figure out if that complex information in the DNA that gives it the instructions to replicate and do so many more functions could have come about through natural processes or from intelligence… it very much looks to me like intelligence.

“It is a product designed to do a task an adequately trained monkey could probably do with enough time, all it is trying random sequences of numbers and letters until you find the right one.”

How cleverly you said “trained monkey”… training is a sort of programming, which involves intelligence. So even if a trained monkey does the task…it is actually your intelligence that is doing it. Brute force uses a systematic criteria of searching out possibilities…and it is not random.

"Your specified complexity is nothing but order that you consider to be significant, if an equally complex but unordered object appeared, you would dismiss it because you did not consider it to be significant. Your "specified complexity" is merely a way to say "Hey, look at this particular order that happens to be meaningful, that couldn't possibly happen naturally!" while ignoring the VAST amounts of unordered complexity that arises naturally on a constant basis.”

I thought I already explained to you what I mean by specified complexity… it is the arrangement of basic components to fulfill a task, in which if the order is changed the task will be affected. In the example of ‘AAAAA…” I can exchange any A with any other A in the sequence and still the pattern will be undisturbed… moreover the pattern does not give any meaning. But try doing that with the second sentence, and you will see how the meaning gets affected.

“A monkey could produce both on a typewriter.”

Next time your boss sends you a mail to finish a job, just ignore it and tell him that you thought a monkey sent it to you. I would like to see how well the excuse gets received?

"These words could only be spoken by one who has never studied crystallization in depth. Some of the strangest molecular structures on Earth are found in crystals.”

If you are talking about the intricate forces at work in the subatomic particles and how that leads to the formation of atoms and how that in turn leads to the creation of molecules and so forth… yes, intuitively I would say that there is intelligence behind it…. But if you are talking about the symmetric arrangement of these molecules in crystals, this I know, like the AAAAA example, is possible through natural processes.

"Because, unlike them, I haven't given you a probability. Not only that, I have explained why I haven't given a probability. Further, I explained why their probabilities are incomplete, inaccurate, and utterly premature.”

If you haven’t worked out the probability, and if you say it is impossible, how then can you even assume that it is (evolution) probable?

“Sorry, that isn't how science works. We don't get to assume our intuitions are correct until they are proven wrong, we ONLY get to assume our intuition about something is correct once we have proven it to be correct, until then it is pure speculation and conjecture.”

Actually nothing is farther from truth than this. I am sure not even you practice what you stated above. We all run our lives based on such intuitions. Policemen investigate cases largely relying on this intuition of specified complexity emanating from intelligence… that’s how courts find people guilty and even punish them. If a murder takes place in a circus camp, and the victim had a note in her diary, saying “John is trying to kill me”… what would you think if the police said that some monkey in the camp must have scribbled those words randomly, and never went after John? After all you just said that a monkey can randomly write meaningful sentences, didn’t you?

“All you have said here is that no one has yet proved that the order you think has significance, doesn't actually have significance.”

I think we have discussed this before. It’s true that while what may appear to be random might be specified complexity, what is known to be specified complexity is never random. Sorry if that was confusing. Let me give an example.

Consider some symbols like this “%\$*&(#((*%((*\$#*&*\$#&*\$#(*\$#(*(“ This doesn’t have any specified complexity as far as we can see. But that doesn’t mean that it was not produced by an intelligent agent. It could have been. Just that we can’t prove it. But say, a Chinese man walks along and says that it’s actually the opening line in the communist manifesto in his language, then immediately we rule out randomness. This is definite proof of intelligence.

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