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Posts: 160
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 03 2008,09:14   

Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 03 2008,09:00)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Jan. 03 2008,06:56)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Jan. 03 2008,01:06)
If you can drag yourselves away from the Sal/FtK show, the regulars are getting creamed on the NFL thread.

Well, I gotta admit that I don't follow the math arguments over there, but I did find this quote (from Semiotic007) to be priceless.        
I realize that Meester gives you some juicy quotes. But the technical content of the paper is atrocious. Are the quotes worth so much to you that you are willing to champion garbage?

The answer to that question, as we all know, is "Yes!"

All Science So Far!

It takes a special commitment to T.A.R.D. to sustain the thrashing being delivered by Semiotic 007. Meanwhile, kairos shows he doesn't understand what constitutes an appeal to authority.

kairos: I observe that both Haggstrom and Meester DID NOT cite what David Wolpert (who did invent NFLT) wrote in his paper on IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation), Dec. 2005: “in the typical coevolutionary scenarios encountered in biology, where there is no champion, the NFL theorems still hold.”

Semiotic 007: You’re engaged in the logical fallacy known as appeal to authority. Would you care to quote their argument in support of this conclusion? You won’t find it.

An appeal to authority is valid when

* The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
* The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
* The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
* There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
* There is no evidence of undue bias.

But authority is not infallable, and the proper argument against a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence.

In this case, there is not adequate agreement in the field, the expert's remark seems offhand, and Semiotic 007 correctly asks for the actual argument. Just because Fermat—as great a mathematician as he was—scribbles in the margin of Arithmetica that he has a theorem doesn't mean citing the mythical theorem constitutes a valid appeal to authority.

kairos: Are you sure? Really this is not the case. That citation is in a paper that is all dedicated to show how NFLT DO NOT hold in some coevolution cases, precisely when there’s a champion. At the end of this paper Wolpert (who was DIRECTLY involved in the ID controversy in the 90’s) do explicitly state that “in the typical coevolutionary scenarios encountered in biology, where there is no champion, the NFL theorems still hold.” Sorry for you but this appears to be the argument you were looking for. Come on. Haven’t you anything better?

Kairos doesn't understand the distinction between a claim and an argument.

Semiotic 007: kairos,

Pointing out that an authority who made an assertion REALLY, REALLY, REALLY is an authority and REALLY, REALLY, REALLY did make the assertion does not legitimize an appeal to authority... The theorems still hold? Wolpert and Macready do not provide or cite any argument. The only arguments I have found are that the NFL theorems do not apply to biological evolution.

DaveScot: Appeals to authority are generally legitimate when the authority is an acknowledged expert in a relevant field and it is not claimed the expert is infallible. You should read a little more and write a little less.

DaveScot agrees it's an appeal to authority, but thinks it's legitimate even absent a requested proof or argument. Semiotic explains,

Semiotic 007: Appealing to an authority who has reversed himself without explanation, and who declares on his own authority a contradiction of what other researchers argue, is not legitimate.

Semiotic adds,

Semiotic 007: While some of you here pronounce on an amazing range of topics in which you have neither academic training nor research experience, I do not. This thread relates to the only topic I know a great deal about. No one else with my credentials in NFL is going to field questions here. I have not been attacking ID. Folks should be taking advantage of an opportunity to learn about NFL, not fending off the “evilutionist.”

Learn? I'll let DaveScot answer that.

DaveScot: After chastising someone else about appealing to authority you appeal to yourself as an authority.


No, DaveScot. That's a valid appeal to reasonable discourse.

kairos: I like particularly the answer by Dave.

Me too!

Further complicating matters, I believe that Kairos' example of a search space in which "it is apparent that NFLT still hold" is actually an example where NFL does not hold.

Just because a search space has very small range of plateau-like optima does not mean that all algorithms are equally valid; hill climbing in this case should outperform hill descending since on those rare occasions when a hill climbing algorithm is on a plateau, it will find at worst a local maxima of the plateau (assuming some slight non-flatness) while hill descending will not.  Further, if the plateaus have non zero support, efficient splitting of the search space (binary splits, for example) will find plateaus faster than random walks.  

I may be incorrect in these intuitive conclusions (and they depend on a more precise definition of the search space than Kairos has provided), but in any case Kairos' assertion that "it is apparent that NFLT still hold" seems hasty.

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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