Ed Hudgins

Objectivism and Evolution: No Contradictions

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When you use technical-sounding jargon like "base probability" and "derived probability", it almost makes me afraid that you know what you're talking about. Almost, but not quite.

I'll repeat the coin example:

Instead of being interested in the mere number of outcomes that have one head and two tails (to return to the simpler example above), we were interested in a specific sequence; a specific order of one head and two tails -- for example, let's say the only sequence that was meaningful to us, and that we were looking for in advance of the calculation, was the sequence "T-H-T". We're not interested in "H-T-T", or "T-T-H", but only "T-H-T." Our question is now: What is the probability of finding that SPECIFIC sequence among all the possible sequences?

( A ) The probability of that one sequence, THT, occurring is 1/2^3 = 1/8.

( B ) The probability of any combination occurring that comprises 2-tails and 1-head, in any sequence whatsoever, is 3/8.

In the real world -- the one that exists apart from the junk arguments of Objectivists -- proteins function as in statement ( A ). For a protein to function, its constituent amino acids can't be in any order (i.e., "TTH" or HTT"), but only in a specific order (i.e., "THT").

Given 26 letters of the alphabet in a Scrabble box, how many 3-letter combinations can we generate that include an "A", a "T", and a "C"?

We can generate ATC, TAC, ACT, CAT, CTA, TCA = 6 possibilities.

But if we are not looking for all combination of the three letters, but only those that spell meaningful words in English, we have only two possibilities: ACT, CAT.

And if we are looking not just for all meaningful combination of the three letters, but for those that can typically function in a specific way -- e.g., as a verb -- then we have only one: ACT.

Alas for your argument, ACT is not just as good a combination as ATC, TAC, CAT, CTA, TCA, despite comprising the same letters. The criteria were (i) must function as a real word in English; (ii) must also function as a verb. The functional criteria led us to only one valid sequence, ACT.

If we randomly select Scrabble letters from a box, the chances of selecting the sequence A-C-T, in that order, are 1/26^3 = 1 in 17,576. Pretty slim.

Everything I just wrote above regarding words and the alphabet applies to proteins and amino acids. The criterion is "function"; ergo, sequence is key.

As for the silliness about "replication", proteins don't replicate at all in the absence of complex biochemical machinery -- the cell and DNA -- whose purpose is to make them replicate. The problem (had you been paying attention) was to use Darwinian assumptions in creating a protein of specific sequence and specific length without the aid of the machinery (i.e., ex nihilo).

I think you should stick to subjects you know best, like history of science. Your assertion earlier that transistors evolved from cat-whisker diodes (based on the physical similarity of the latter to the modern-day symbol for the former) was especially insightful and impressive.

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AristotlesAdvance:

What is your real name? (I doubt if it is "Aristotle Economides.")

I have had numerous experiences with frauds who copy and paste material, sometimes with slight alterations, from the internet and present it as their own, so I want to know with whom I dealing before I invest any more time in this exchange.

Ghs

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AristotlesAdvance:

What is your real name? (I doubt if it is "Aristotle Economides.")

I have had numerous experiences with frauds who copy and paste material, sometimes with slight alterations, from the internet and present it as their own, so I want to know with whom I dealing before I invest any more time in this exchange.

Ghs

I accept the compliment (as well as the unintended admission).

Are you able to respond to anything I last posted regarding the significance of Szostak's experiment in ribozyme engineering; or Deamer's admission, in his description of the experiment, that the researchers were simply doing what professional breeders do (i.e., intelligently selecting, on the basis of certain criteria, for the purpose of achieving a desired end -- a statement with which I completely agree, but the significance of which Deamer misses)?

If so, I'd be interested in reading your arguments.

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AristotlesAdvance:

What is your real name? (I doubt if it is "Aristotle Economides.")

I have had numerous experiences with frauds who copy and paste material, sometimes with slight alterations, from the internet and present it as their own, so I want to know with whom I dealing before I invest any more time in this exchange.

Ghs

I accept the compliment (as well as the unintended admission).

Are you able to respond to anything I last posted regarding the significance of Szostak's experiment in ribozyme engineering; or Deamer's admission, in his description of the experiment, that the researchers were simply doing what professional breeders do (i.e., intelligently selecting, on the basis of certain criteria, for the purpose of achieving a desired end -- a statement with which I completely agree, but the significance of which Deamer misses)?

If so, I'd be interested in reading your arguments.

I will respond as soon as I have reasonable assurance that I am not dealing with some 13-year-old kid who knows how to google, copy, and paste.

Providing your real name is a matter of common courtesy. If we were discussing this matter face-to-face, would you put a bag over your head and refuse to give your name? If you did this, I wouldn't talk to you.

I am willing to engage in some interaction with stealth posters, but only to a point. When a discussion gets into complex issues and therefore demands more of my time, I want to know that I am not wasting my time with a human bot.

Or is there some reason why you would be embarrassed to have your arguments associated with your name? Why will you not take personal responsibility for your arguments? Would Jesus have worn a mask?

Ghs

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When you use technical-sounding jargon like "base probability" and "derived probability", it almost makes me afraid that you know what you're talking about. Almost, but not quite.

LOL. As for me knowing what I am talking about, I leave it to you to discover what my occupation was.

If I had used "given" instead of "base", perhaps you would have grasped what I meant, but I doubt it. So I will try to explain it to you with a simple example. Consider a deck of 52 cards, the kind used for poker. The probability of drawing any given card from a full deck is 1/52. That is the base or given probability. Now suppose we wanted to know the probability of drawing 5 cards and getting 3 of a kind. There is an answer, and that answer is a derived probability. Was that so hard to understand?

Given 26 letters of the alphabet in a Scrabble box, how many 3-letter combinations can we generate that include an "A", a "T", and a "C"?

We can generate ATC, TAC, ACT, CAT, CTA, TCA = 6 possibilities.

But if we are not looking for all combination of the three letters, but only those that spell meaningful words in English, we have only two possibilities: ACT, CAT.

And if we are looking not just for all meaningful combination of the three letters, but for those that can typically function in a specific way -- e.g., as a verb -- then we have only one: ACT.

Yes and no. A Scrabble draw with an empty rack consists of 7 tiles. So ACT****, *ACT***, **ACT**, ***ACT*, ****ACT and ACT*ACT make 6 possibilities. But I do understand your wish to stick to base probabilities and at all costs stay away from derived ones.

If we randomly select Scrabble letters from a box, the chances of selecting the sequence A-C-T, in that order, are 1/26^3 = 1 in 17,576. Pretty slim.

LOL and wrong! It's also a good sign you don't know what you are talking about. A Scrabble game (English version) has 100 tiles, including 9 A's, 2 C's, and 6 T's. I await your correct calculation of the probability -- and how you got it -- of drawing 3 tiles and getting ACT in that order.

Everything I just wrote above regarding words and the alphabet applies to proteins and amino acids. The criterion is "function"; ergo, sequence is key.

Proof again that you don't know what you are talking about and that a little knowledge can be very dangerous.

As for the silliness about "replication", proteins don't replicate at all in the absence of complex biochemical machinery -- the cell and DNA -- whose purpose is to make them replicate. The problem (had you been paying attention) was to use Darwinian assumptions in creating a protein of specific sequence and specific length without the aid of the machinery (i.e., ex nihilo).

Where do you believe this complex biochemical machinery comes from? Do you believe it arrives on the scene spontaneously, or from the hand of a divine being, whenever the next gene sequence -- replicate or not -- comes into being?

The fact that you expect somebody to explain it ex nihilo is absurd beyond credibility.

I think you should stick to subjects you know best, like history of science. Your assertion earlier that transistors evolved from cat-whisker diodes (based on the physical similarity of the latter to the modern-day symbol for the former) was especially insightful and impressive.

I have no idea what you are talking about. I suspect you are confusing me with somebody else.

Edited by Merlin Jetton

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There is some evidence that early in evolutionary history, RNA had a dual function taken over later and separately by DNA and protein. We know that many viruses have only RNA, no DNA, and that this RNA can self-replicate. We know that in eukaryotic cells, although linear RNA's function is primarily that of an intermediary between DNA and protein, different forms of RNA have important structural roles in the protein-building process.

But the whole project of pretending on the basis of gaps in or questions about scientific understanding that therefore the only viable "alternative" is to postulate magic, non-natural processes is misbegotten from the get-go, indeed nonsensical. We have evidence for natural processes. We don't have any evidence for the invisible super-beings who can subvert the nature of things at will. But if anyone contributing to this thread does believe that there is evidence of the magic-wielding invisible super-beings, can he condescend to present it?

Edited by Starbuckle

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I will respond as soon as I have reasonable assurance that I am not dealing with some 13-year-old kid who knows how to google, copy, and paste.

The issue is not one of merely knowing how to google, copy, and paste; the issue is one of having enough confidence in one's own knowledge of a subject to know what to google, copy, and paste.

Providing your real name is a matter of common courtesy. If we were discussing this matter face-to-face, would you put a bag over your head and refuse to give your name? If you did this, I wouldn't talk to you.

You're unable to respond to my arguments without knowing my real name? Interesting. Have you tried a slightly a different strategy -- like maybe just addressing the arguments?

Anyway, I see that I can't put anything over on you -- you're too perceptive. So, I admit it. You're right. My real name (believe it or not) is actually NOT Aristotle Economides.

It's Aristotle Cohen.

(Just like "Alyssa Rosenbaum," I changed it a bit so that I wouldn't appear too Jewish.)

Feel free to post any sort of relevant response to my last post on Darwinism; even a copy/paste from an article you've googled.

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It's Aristotle Cohen.

And my name is Socrates Gittlestein.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I will respond as soon as I have reasonable assurance that I am not dealing with some 13-year-old kid who knows how to google, copy, and paste.

The issue is not one of merely knowing how to google, copy, and paste; the issue is one of having enough confidence in one's own knowledge of a subject to know what to google, copy, and paste.

If something can be lifted from a Creationist website, that seems good enough for you. Not very discriminating, are you?

Providing your real name is a matter of common courtesy. If we were discussing this matter face-to-face, would you put a bag over your head and refuse to give your name? If you did this, I wouldn't talk to you.

You're unable to respond to my arguments without knowing my real name? Interesting. Have you tried a slightly a different strategy -- like maybe just addressing the arguments?

Okay, so you want to play games; that much is clear. If you don't want to give your name, perhaps you would be civilized enough to answer these questions:

Why won't you provide your name?

Have you ever posted on OL under a name other than AristotleAdvances?

As for the arguments, I already knew what they were before you happened along, and I don't need you to copy and paste them for me. What concerns me is whether the arguments are also your arguments, i.e., whether you actually believe the crap about ID that you have been peddling around here. If I feel a strong urge to deal with those arguments in detail, I can always go to a Creationist website. I don't need to waste my time with a troll. (I used to spend a lot of time in Christian chatrooms, and, generally speaking, the Creationists I encountered were far more reasonable and forthright than you are.)

Your refusal to identify yourself merely reinforces my suspicion that you are a troll. For one thing, you seem to know quite a bit about about Rand, which is unusual for Creationists. Have you ever posted on the "Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature" website? Or is that also a secret?

Meanwhile, I may still respond to some of your points, as I get the time, but I can't take them very seriously until and unless you are willing to show some honesty.

If my doubts are unfounded and you have a good reason for not revealing your name (there are some), then keep this question in mind: What would Jesus do?

Ghs

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Your refusal to identify yourself merely reinforces my suspicion that you are a troll. For one thing, you seem to know quite a bit about about Rand, which is unusual for Creationists. Have you ever posted on the "Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature" website? Or is that also a secret?

In late 2007 and 2008 a person using the name Claude Shannon posted on Rebirth of Reason. He made a bunch of posts in a thread titled Ayn Rand and Evolution touting ID views (link). He also used "junk math", which is pretty ironic considering (1) a real Claude Shannon and (2) information theory is based on probability theory and statistics.

There was also earlier a person using the name The Grammarian touting ID and junk math stuff here.

Edited by Merlin Jetton

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You're right. My real name (believe it or not) is actually NOT Aristotle Economides.

It's Aristotle Cohen.

Oh come on, admit it. You’re called Diogenes Wanksalot.

Feel free to post any sort of relevant response to my last post on Darwinism; even a copy/paste from an article you've googled.

Ugh, try reading the posting guidelines…

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=899

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Why do you assume that each stage in the generation of life is completely random?

I don't make that assumption at all. Personally -- as you might have guessed -- I believe that each stage (or many of them) show unmistakeable signs of having been designed. It was Darwin and his True Believers who make the assumption of randomness. That's what their phrase "RANDOM VARIATION" means. Note the word "random", please. My calculation was based simply on taking their assumption literally.

"Random variation" refers to genetic mutations within individual organisms, and the nature of those organisms establishes necessary conditions for such mutations to occur. “Random,” in this context, doesn’t mean “uncaused,” nor does it mean that the mutations have the same probability of occurring in a rock.

Moreover, the survival value of certain mutations is not "random" (this depends on the environment), nor is the transmission of those genetic features (“information”) to future generations.

In other posts you have prattled on about "materialism," but you fail to understand that nothing is random, metaphysically speaking, in a system of deterministic materialism. Every natural event that has occurred had the probability of 1; there can be no uncaused "random" events in this worldview.

You also prattle on about "chance" (or "randomness") and "probability" without any consideration of what these terms mean. "Chance" does not govern events. For a deterministic materialist, chance does not exist in nature. Chance, as Laplace said, is merely our ignorance of causes in action. Probability is therefore subjective (epistemological), not objective (metaphysical). We speak of "chance" when we do not know or cannot predict the relevant causes that produce an event.

If we could calculate the "probability" that a single grain of sand would end up at a particular spot on a particular beach, the odds against this state of affairs ever happening would be astronomical. So does this mean that "an intelligence" must have directed the grain of sand to its destination? No, of course not. Given the causal forces at work, the (metaphysical) probability of this outcome is 1.

Calculations of statistical probability of the sort that you employ presuppose that the events under consideration are independent, i.e., that no event has a causal influence on any other event. This is clearly the case when speaking of coin tosses, since the result of one toss has no causal impact on subsequent tosses. But this mathematical technique is not applicable to causal accounts of the abiotic origin of life. Events in a causal explanation, by definition, are not independent, so the only relevant notion of probability is empirical probability (i.e., a calculation that takes causation into account), not an abstract mathematical probability in which causal influences are ruled out from the start.

On this basis, you would have to conclude that the probability of abiogenesis occurring on Venus and Earth were equal. This is nuts,

They are equal -- they're both effectively zero. The difference between Earth and Venus relevant to this discussion is this: once life already exists (ah! there's the problem!) THEN -- granted -- it will no doubt find it far more hospitable to thrive on Earth than on Venus. That doesn't mean that Earth-like ecologies naturally "tend" to the creation of life from non-living entities; that, of course, has never been shown experimentally. Such an assumption would also support the idea that given a certain environment, life is pretty much inevitable; i.e., determined. We know it isn't.

We know nothing of the kind. Your "effectively zero" claim is based on nothing more than your misuse of statistical probability. You have decided a priori that abiogenesis is impossible, so nothing can possibly qualify as evidence to the contrary.

If you think I am being unfair, then answer this question: What, in principle, would you accept as empirical evidence of abiogenesis? Suppose we could travel back in time and somehow photograph the abiotic development of life as it occurred. Would this convince you? No, of course it wouldn't. You would merely claim that we are witnessing "an intelligence" at work, since what we are seeing could not possibly have come about by mere chance.

but this very assumption is how you generate your fantastic odds against abiogenesis.

That's correct. That pretty much shows that the fantastic odds are not figments of anyone's imagination or a case of misapplied 7th-grade math. The odds are real. The conclusion, therefore is this: obviously, life didn't arise by a random process (or, more conservatively: life could not have arisen by a random process alone).

Life did not arise by a "random process." The "fantastic odds" you speak of are not so much a figment of your imagination as they are a natural concomitant of your sloppy thinking about the nature of "chance" and "probability."

Ghs

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(This is a continuation of my last post.}

The manner in which higher stages in the development of life can dramatically diminish randomness is illustrated in this article by the cell biologist Dave Deamer:

I'm acquainted with Deamer, his summary of this experiment, and the original paper in Science by Bartel & Szostak. This experiment -- an excellent example of what is today called "Ribozyme Engineering" -- is often touted by the Darwin Lobby as proof that abiogenesis can occur in a way consistent with the Darwinian theory of evolution; unfortunately for these poor benighted souls, the significance of the experiment is exactly the opposite. Deamer states this openly -- though probably unwittingly -- when he admits the following::

". . . By the way, this is the same basic logic that breeders use when they select for a property such as coat color in dogs . . . "

Yep. It sure is, Deamer. Even Darwin, who was a close observer of professional animal breeders, understood that breeders employ design and goals in their breeding efforts; they intentionally and intelligently select in favor of certain traits, and against certain other traits, that they want to see in the end result, or that they don't want to see in the end result. If one is going to carry the banner of materialism, it is obviously invalid to impute to insensate physical nature the same sort of ability to "select for favorable traits" or to "preserve traits that would be most welcome in an organism" that the breeders have.

Deamer refers to the "same basic logic," not to the same procedures. There is a difference, you know.

Deamer's summary is full of references to the researchers employment of design, in contradistinction to how unguided physical nature acts....

Every controlled experiment is designed. This doesn't mean that the results of such experiments are also designed.

Your objection would apply across the board to all experiments that deal with the abiotic origin of life. All such experiments, by your standards, would be invalid even before they are performed, owing to your a priori assumption, based on your bogus calculations, that abiogenesis is impossible.

How exactly do you propose that scientists observe how "unguided physical nature" acts over a course of 4.5 billion years? According to your a priori argument, nature cannot be unguided in regard to life, for you have already ruled this out as statistically impossible, so anything scientists observe that appears to be a step in abiogenesis will simply be recast by you as evidence of intelligent design.

Thus have you closed and locked every door against the very possibility of using empirical evidence to support abiogenesis. No controlled experiment will do, because every such experiment will have some element of design, and no "raw" observation of nature will do either, because you have defined all possible empirical evidence for abiogenesis out of existence with your statistical probability quackery.

Here is an interesting scenario. Suppose scientists eventually succeed in generating life from abiotic causes. (By "succeed," I mean unequivocally, to your own satisfaction.) What would be your response? Let me guess. You would say that the results don't count for the opposition, that they support your side instead, because the experiment, having occurred in a laboratory under controlled conditions, was itself "designed." Am I right?

Btw, has it ever occurred to you that the standard items used to illustrate randomness and probability, i.e., dice and coins, are designed artifacts? Indeed, dice are specifically designed so that nothing in the dice themselves will favor one side coming up more than other. But do you let this fact of design deter you from applying the results that we get from dice (or coins) to natural phenomena? Nope; on the contrary, you insist that in the absence of intelligent design, everything in the universe would behave like these man-made objects, so far as probability is concerned.

Lastly, I have a question for you. Suppose that time was not a factor here. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Big Bang theory is wrong and that we are dealing with infinite time in which abiogenesis, by your own calculations, would be statistically possible. Would this cut the ground from under your claim about the need to posit intelligent design? Would it change your mind about the existence of "an intelligence"? If you are a typical Creationist, your answer will almost certainly be NO.

Every Creationist I have ever encountered eventually falls back on the argument, which is typically based on so-called "irreducible complexity," that it is impossible in principle for life to have originated from abiotic causes, regardless of how much time is involved. . So is this your position as well? If it is, then all this business about the Big Bang, insufficient time, and statistical probability is little more than an intellectual shit-storm that obscures a more fundamental argument.

Or, alternatively, would you concede that, given sufficient time, abiogenesis would be possible in principle?

Thus far you have followed the Creationist line very closely by sticking only to criticisms of science and by being extremely vague about what you mean by an intelligent designer. You have steadfastly refused to reveal the broader philosophical or religious context from which you operate. This, of course, is the easy way to avoid criticism, but it is also characteristic of trolls.

Ghs

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Pssssssssssst. Hey, 9th Doc. Come here, I wanna tell ya something . . .

I'm not the kind of guy to rub it in and say "I told you so", but remember when I posted this:

(Which explains why many Objectivists, when they understand this, feel the need to drop the Big Bang model and adopt a Steady State one. They feel that this gives them almost infinite time for the "random walk" necessary to create a living thing ex nihilo. )

And you got all rattled and uppity, and when you calmed down a bit you replied with this:

Name a writer who has expressed a preference for a steady state cosmological model on the grounds that evolution needs more than the billions of years available to do it’s thing, to produce beings capable of discussing the issue . . . I'll be genuinely surprised if you can find even one . . .

Well look what I just found:

"Lastly, I have a question for you. Suppose that time was not a factor here. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Big Bang theory is wrong and that we are dealing with infinite time in which abiogenesis, by your own calculations, would be statistically possible. " (posted by George H. Smith)

Suppose, indeed!

I told ya so.

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Pssssssssssst. Hey, 9th Doc. Come here, I wanna tell ya something . . .

I'm not the kind of guy to rub it in and say "I told you so", but remember when I posted this:

(Which explains why many Objectivists, when they understand this, feel the need to drop the Big Bang model and adopt a Steady State one. They feel that this gives them almost infinite time for the "random walk" necessary to create a living thing ex nihilo. )

And you got all rattled and uppity, and when you calmed down a bit you replied with this:

Name a writer who has expressed a preference for a steady state cosmological model on the grounds that evolution needs more than the billions of years available to do it’s thing, to produce beings capable of discussing the issue . . . I'll be genuinely surprised if you can find even one . . .

Well look what I just found:

"Lastly, I have a question for you. Suppose that time was not a factor here. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Big Bang theory is wrong and that we are dealing with infinite time in which abiogenesis, by your own calculations, would be statistically possible. " (posted by George H. Smith)

Suppose, indeed!

I told ya so.

Are you so dense that you don't even know what a hypothetical question is? Here is a tip: When you encounter terms like "suppose" and "for the sake of argument," you are probably dealing with a hypothetical question.

You are exceedingly thick, even for a troll. There is only so much I can do to educate you; at some point you will need to show a glimmer of intelligence.

For those who don't want to go through my post again, here is the full context of my hypothetical question:

Lastly, I have a question for you. Suppose that time was not a factor here. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Big Bang theory is wrong and that we are dealing with infinite time in which abiogenesis, by your own calculations, would be statistically possible. Would this cut the ground from under your claim about the need to posit intelligent design? Would it change your mind about the existence of "an intelligence"? If you are a typical Creationist, your answer will almost certainly be NO.

Every Creationist I have ever encountered eventually falls back on the argument, which is typically based on so-called "irreducible complexity," that it is impossible in principle for life to have originated from abiotic causes, regardless of how much time is involved. So is this your position as well? If it is, then all this business about the Big Bang, insufficient time, and statistical probability is little more than an intellectual shit-storm that obscures a more fundamental argument.

Or, alternatively, would you concede that, given sufficient time, abiogenesis would be possible in principle?

Ghs

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Pssssssssssst. Hey, 9th Doc. Come here, I wanna tell ya something . . .

If that’s the best you can come up with, if this sort of example is what led you to your original assertion, it speaks for itself.

And you got all rattled and uppity, and when you calmed down a bit

Oh believe me, I’ve been calm the whole time. It seems you’ve gotten rattled, though. And you’ve been “uppity” from the start. I don’t suffer fools the way GHS and Merlin do (no offence intended to either). I judged you as being worthy only of mockery within a couple exchanges. There are a few regulars on this board I don’t think are worth talking to or reading, and I ignore them. Stick around and join the club.

...

When I searched for the Lobachevsky song yesterday this came up also, and as Bertie Wooster would say, it’s a corker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9w_Ar8s5HM&feature=related

Friends don't let friends derive drunk.

Don't hate, integrate!

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Are you [AristotlesAdvance] so dense that you don't even know what a hypothetical question is?

He seems almost as dense as osmium. Only the mystical can get near his nucleus. Even then the password is a proposition in junk math. :)

Edited by Merlin Jetton

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When you encounter terms like "suppose" and "for the sake of argument," you are probably dealing with a hypothetical question.

You mean, let's pretend that the universe is other than it is? Rand frowns.

Try again.

--Brant

is there intelligent life in the universe?

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When you encounter terms like "suppose" and "for the sake of argument," you are probably dealing with a hypothetical question.

You mean, let's pretend that the universe is other than it is? Rand frowns.

It seems that your googling skills were not up to the task this time.

Since your reading comprehension is so very limited, I will make things easier for you:

Given sufficient time, do you think abiogenesis would be possible? Or do you believe that time is irrelevant to the basic problem, because abiogenesis could never occur, regardless of how much time is involved?

If you still cannot understand the question, let me know, and I will see if I can rewrite it using words with no more than two syllables.

Ghs

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If it is, then all this business about the Big Bang, insufficient time, and statistical probability is little more than an intellectual shit-storm that obscures a more fundamental argument.

Take a stress pill, man. You gotta calm out.

I've said nothing about irreducible complexity. The discussion, to date, has centered on the following ideas only:

The impossibility of constructing a meaningful sequence of 300 characters by Chance alone (in this case, amino acids that form a functional protein, though the argument is just as valid for strings of letters that form meaningful sentences in English) given the physical constraints of the universe as it actually exists (the physical constraints providing the total probabilistic resources that we have to take into consideration when deciding whether something is probable or not -- "probabilistic resources" answers the question "Probable? By what standard?" ): i.e., no more than about 10^80 fundamental particles; no event occurring over a time period smaller than 1/10^45th of a second (Planck Time); and no event taking longer than our best estimate of the age of the universe, i.e., 12 billion years.

Interesting that you hypothesize infinite time instead of 12 billion years. Had you been really clever, you could have, instead, hypothesized an infinite number of fundamental particles instead of only 10^80; or assumed that physical events can occur over an infinitely small time period, instead being constrained to 1/10^45 second.

I think Objectivists are simply aesthetically attracted to the idea of a Steady State universe. Must be a religious thing.

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If it is, then all this business about the Big Bang, insufficient time, and statistical probability is little more than an intellectual shit-storm that obscures a more fundamental argument.

Take a stress pill, man. You gotta calm out.

I've said nothing about irreducible complexity. The discussion, to date, has centered on the following ideas only:

The impossibility of constructing a meaningful sequence of 300 characters by Chance alone (in this case, amino acids that form a functional protein, though the argument is just as valid for strings of letters that form meaningful sentences in English) given the physical constraints of the universe as it actually exists (the physical constraints providing the total probabilistic resources that we have to take into consideration when deciding whether something is probable or not -- "probabilistic resources" answers the question "Probable? By what standard?" ): i.e., no more than about 10^80 fundamental particles; no event occurring over a time period smaller than 1/10^45th of a second (Planck Time); and no event taking longer than our best estimate of the age of the universe, i.e., 12 billion years.

Interesting that you hypothesize infinite time instead of 12 billion years. Had you been really clever, you could have, instead, hypothesized an infinite number of fundamental particles instead of only 10^80; or assumed that physical events can occur over an infinitely small time period, instead being constrained to 1/10^45 second.

I think Objectivists are simply aesthetically attracted to the idea of a Steady State universe. Must be a religious thing.

Do you ever plan on answering my question? A simple "No, I won't answer it" would suffice. We already know that you can do junk math, so we don't need any more reminders of that.

Ghs

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is there intelligent life in the universe?

Yes, but the Intelligent Designer must have been having a very bad day when he imparted intelligence to AA. Maybe the ID was drunk or on drugs, or maybe he assigned the task to a trainee.

Ghs

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