Joined: Dec. 2007
|6 October 2008|
Chunkdz at the Panda’s Thumb
This just in from a colleague:
I encourage you to take a look at the Panda’s Thumb and follow the entire thread devoted to the optimality of the genetic code. It is simply priceless. Someone styling himself Chunkdz dominates the discussion and by virtue of a very considerable gift for profane abuse, succeeds in doing what I never thought possible, and that is reducing the entire PT crowd to sputtering, dim-witted incoherence. You must link to it.
(Does the Dr. Dr. really understand what "link to it" means? And does he really have a colleague?)
Seems the PT people did just fine. What are the passages, exactly, where he schooled them?
(And I’m not talking about silly troll-talk, but in the science)
The reason I ask is because the post Dembski linked to shows (using the original paper) that chunkz misunderstood their results. He claimed they showed that the code is a global optimum, where the optimum is over all possible genetic codes.
However, they didn’t actually do that analysis, indeed it has been done and it has been shown it is far from optimal. That was the starting point of the paper!
The original paper, misread by chunky:
[O]ther analyses have shown that significantly better code structures are possible. Here, we show that if theoretically possible code structures are limited to reflect plausible biological constraints, and amino acid similarity is quantified using empirical data of substitution frequencies, the canonical code is at or very close to a global optimum for error minimization across plausible parameter space.
So this isn’t a global optimum over all possible codes, but is within a constrained parameter space. Plus, they say this result is highly likely no matter where you start (few of the local minima are far from the global minima within this restricted search space).
Good stuff, but I don't think BDKnight is long for this world. Meanwhile, I can't help but notice that Dr. Dr. D. is much more impressed by trashtalk than understanding the science he's talking about. An ignorant a**hole is fine with him so long as he's a pro-ID IA.
Edited to add asterisks and spell "fine" correctly.
Like every other academic field, philosophy of religion has its share of hacks and mediocrities. Edward Feser