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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 2, general discussion of Dembski's site< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Venus Mousetrap



Posts: 201
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,17:10   

Quote (Quack @ Nov. 11 2008,16:28)
Quote (steve_h @ Nov. 11 2008,15:47)
I wonder if Barry the lawyer has ever wondered why the legal system that employs him exists. It seems to me that fear of judgement and punishment by other human beings plays quite an obvious role in keeping religious people as well as atheists in line

Which leads to the obvious question: Why do we all, atheists as well as believers judge and punish other people?  why are we not indifferent nihilists? How many atheists are nihilists?

And what about animals? They have no 'God', but they definitely are capable of moral behavior.

I believe they actually use the atheists-not-being-nihilists as an argument against atheism. Something like 'see, they don't believe in God yet they hold themselves accountable to some higher force... clearly they want to believe in God really! How can they maintain that we're just animals and not go around murdering innocent people, their whole argument breaks down yadda yadda'. It is on the face of it a compelling argument; I mean, I personally can't explain why I have a conscience, or why I desire to do good when I could easily get away with doing nothing, or even being bad. But it becomes another argument of the gaps; is God filling that gap which explains my morals (which I arrived at independently, as far as I can tell)? Given the success this line of argument has had in the past, that doesn't seem likely.

As for animals: whose morals are they following? I don't agree with that.

  
steve_h



Posts: 544
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,17:56   

I would have though everyone has done something that they are not particularly proud of and which they'd rather other people not learn about (and maybe wish could somehow just magically disappear from the historical record, cough).  Yet God knows about all such things and has forgiven them, and he's the only one that counts, so why worry about mere people knowing about them?  If you believe that disappointing God is the only thing that makes people moral, you should have no problem confessing your forgiven misdemeanors to the IRS folk, the spouse, the congregation etc.

  
k.e..



Posts: 5428
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,18:01   

Quote (Quack @ Nov. 12 2008,00:28)
Quote (steve_h @ Nov. 11 2008,15:47)
I wonder if Barry the lawyer has ever wondered why the legal system that employs him exists. It seems to me that fear of judgement and punishment by other human beings plays quite an obvious role in keeping religious people as well as atheists in line

Which leads to the obvious question: Why do we all, atheists as well as believers judge and punish other people?  why are we not indifferent nihilists? How many atheists are nihilists?

And what about animals? They have no 'God', but they definitely are capable of moral behavior.

Except if they are weasels....

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus
"I'm busy studying scientist level science papers" Galloping Gary Gaulin

  
jeffox



Posts: 671
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,18:16   

Speak of which. . . .



:)   :p

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,18:19   

Quote (jeffox @ Nov. 11 2008,19:16)
Speak of which. . . .



:)   :p

Methinks it is like a weasel.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Henry J



Posts: 5767
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,20:14   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 10 2008,18:20)


We can haz ka-boom? :O

  
bystander



Posts: 301
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,21:55   

Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Nov. 12 2008,10:10)
Quote (Quack @ Nov. 11 2008,16:28)
Quote (steve_h @ Nov. 11 2008,15:47)
I wonder if Barry the lawyer has ever wondered why the legal system that employs him exists. It seems to me that fear of judgement and punishment by other human beings plays quite an obvious role in keeping religious people as well as atheists in line

Which leads to the obvious question: Why do we all, atheists as well as believers judge and punish other people?  why are we not indifferent nihilists? How many atheists are nihilists?

And what about animals? They have no 'God', but they definitely are capable of moral behavior.

I believe they actually use the atheists-not-being-nihilists as an argument against atheism. Something like 'see, they don't believe in God yet they hold themselves accountable to some higher force... clearly they want to believe in God really! How can they maintain that we're just animals and not go around murdering innocent people, their whole argument breaks down yadda yadda'. It is on the face of it a compelling argument; I mean, I personally can't explain why I have a conscience, or why I desire to do good when I could easily get away with doing nothing, or even being bad. But it becomes another argument of the gaps; is God filling that gap which explains my morals (which I arrived at independently, as far as I can tell)? Given the success this line of argument has had in the past, that doesn't seem likely.

As for animals: whose morals are they following? I don't agree with that.

I think that in the comments on UD that they are saying that Atheists live miserable empty lives, always on the verge of murder and having sex with ferrets.

When they are shown the facts that atheists are no more or less fufilled than any theists, they will retreat to your position.

I don't find it difficult to see why we have developed morals, because societies with people that don't have morals don't survive. What the UDiots don't see is that morals have evolved over the last couple hundred years - 2 hundred years ago most good christians believed that slavery was okay and negros were subhuman and you need to beat your children to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Now, except for some notable exceptions this is a minority view even on the right.

  
stevestory



Posts: 13407
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,22:36   

Casey, Dembski, and Mark Chu-Carroll tells a badass story I never heard before:

Quote
The "information smuggling" rubbish goes back to some work that Dembski did with (I think) Robert Marks. They argued that, following on Dembski's "No Free Lunch", that true evolutionary systems were no better than random walks through a fitness landscape. Since it's easy to demonstrate that there are evolutionary software systems that do perform significantly better than random walks, they needed to come up with some explanation of why those systems were able to do what Dembski had supposedly proven to be impossible.

The excuse they came up with was "information smuggling". That is, some information about the structure of the fitness landscape was sneakily added into the system - and the result of that was that the evolutionary systems were really following a pre-ordained path determined by the smuggled information.

So, according to them, the evolutionary system didn't actually do anything, except follow the instructions sneakily added to the system in the form of smuggled information.

It's a really trashy argument, which is demonstrably wrong. The demonstration is when an evolutionary system produces a result that surprises the people who ran it.

There's a famous example, which I don't have a handy reference for at the moment; I learned about it in a speech given by Bill Joy.

A group at Sun Research was looking at using evolutionary systems for circuit design and layout. One of their results
consisted of two electrically isolated components - components that couldn't influence each other. And yet, they did. It turned out that the system was exploiting a flaw in the manufacturing process - the insulation between circuit traces wasn't as complete as they thought. So they got a result based on a physical property of their manufacturing process which they were not even aware of.

That's not smuggled information. You can't smuggle information that you don't know. But the evolutionary
experiment exploited it - a randomly generated mutation
put two circuit traces very close together, so that they
influenced each other, and when the circuit containing that
feature was evaluated for correctness, it got the right results. They only discovered the manufacturing process by trying to understand why the circuit generated by their system worked!

Posted by: Mark C. Chu-Carroll | November 11, 2008 4:20 PM


Marc Chu-Carroll : Casey Luskin :: Porsche 911 windshield : bug

When I see things like that, as an academic exercise, I like to think, "How would I respond to that if I were the kind of complete...person...who believed, here in November 2008, that ID was a fascinating new science?" and I think I have a reply.

By using the flawed circuit printing machine the researchers were unwittingly smuggling the information into the system. "You can't smuggle information that you don't know." Why not? You can smuggle heroin that you don't know about. That's why at the airport, they ask you to make sure not to let a stranger named Raul take your carry-on alone into the men's room for 10 minutes before you go through security. It's because you could be smuggling something without being aware! Raul is in the bathroom with a brick of Shanghai Sally and a sewing kit, but that yam-yam could just as easily be encrypted CDs, in which case, as you went through security, you'd be unwittingly smuggling information! The scientists were acting as unwitting mules for the information. Knowledge is not a requirement for smuggling.

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2008,22:41   

very nice argument.  you might supplement it with "what if there was an infinite wavelength beam, then what?" because that also saves the noumena

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
themartu



Posts: 28
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,04:07   

Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 11 2008,09:38)
To put it differently--if there was no fine tuning problem, I believe, without any way of proving my belief, that the scientific community would be far more critical of parallel universe theories.

Every universe has a fine tuning problem that is the point, without fine tuning of some description nothing stable would exist. Or maybe everything would exist. Either way it is a pointless exercise which is also known as philosophy.

Leave philosophy to those who can't do proper science and get working on a hyperdrive or anti gravity.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,06:37   

Dave Webster:
Quote
Emphatic non-buttressation of ID
DaveScot

(blah blah blah)

Buttressation? Non-buttressation?

That word is non-utteratational. It doesn't even existinate.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,06:55   

This paragraph, from a recent NY Times science article, has some potential for Luskin-esque quote-mining.
 
Quote
In a similar vein, we may never understand the workings of our cells and genomes as comfortably and cockily as we understand the artifacts of our own design. “We have evolved to solve problems,” Dr. Keller said. “Those do not include an understanding of the operation of our own systems — that doesn’t have much evolutionary advantage.” It’s quite possible, she said, that biology is “irreducibly complex,” and not entirely accessible to rational analysis. Which is not to say we’re anywhere near being stymied, she said: “Our biology is stretching our minds. It’s another loop in the evolutionary process.”

Somehow I suspect that Casey et al. will ignore the bit about never understanding biology as well as we understand our own designs...

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
JonF



Posts: 634
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,07:10   

Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 11 2008,23:36)
Casey, Dembski, and Mark Chu-Carroll tells a badass story I never heard before:

 
Quote
There's a famous example, which I don't have a handy reference for at the moment; I learned about it in a speech given by Bill Joy.

A group at Sun Research was looking at using evolutionary systems for circuit design and layout. One of their results consisted of two electrically isolated components - components that couldn't influence each other. And yet, they did. It turned out that the system was exploiting a flaw in the manufacturing process - the insulation between circuit traces wasn't as complete as they thought. So they got a result based on a physical property of their manufacturing process which they were not even aware of.

That's not smuggled information. You can't smuggle information that you don't know. But the evolutionary
experiment exploited it - a randomly generated mutation
put two circuit traces very close together, so that they
influenced each other, and when the circuit containing that feature was evaluated for correctness, it got the right results. They only discovered the manufacturing process by trying to understand why the circuit generated by their system worked!

Sounds like a degraded version of http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/users/adrianth/ices96/paper.html:

Quote
Fig. 7 shows the functional part of the circuit that remains when the largest possible set of cells has been clamped without affecting the behaviour. The cells shaded gray cannot be clamped without degrading performance, even though there is no connected path by which they could influence the output -- they were not present on the pruned diagram of Fig. 6. They must be influencing the rest of the circuit by some means other than the normal cell-to-cell wires: this probably takes the form of a very localised interaction with immediately neighbouring components. Possible mechanisms include interaction through the power-supply wiring, or electromagnetic coupling. Clamping one of the gray cells in the top-left corner has only a small impact on behaviour, introducing either unwanted pulses into the output, or a small time delay before the output changes state when the input frequency is changed. However, clamping the function unit of the bottom-right gray cell, which also has two active connections routed through it, degrades operation severely even though that function output is not selected as an input to any of the NEWS neighbours: it doesn't go anywhere.

  
k.e..



Posts: 5428
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,07:17   

Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 12 2008,06:36)
Casey, Dembski, and Mark Chu-Carroll tells a badass story I never heard before:

Quote
The "information smuggling" rubbish goes back to some work that Dembski did with (I think) Robert Marks. They argued that, following on Dembski's "No Free Lunch", that true evolutionary systems were no better than random walks through a fitness landscape. Since it's easy to demonstrate that there are evolutionary software systems that do perform significantly better than random walks, they needed to come up with some explanation of why those systems were able to do what Dembski had supposedly proven to be impossible.

The excuse they came up with was "information smuggling". That is, some information about the structure of the fitness landscape was sneakily added into the system - and the result of that was that the evolutionary systems were really following a pre-ordained path determined by the smuggled information.

So, according to them, the evolutionary system didn't actually do anything, except follow the instructions sneakily added to the system in the form of smuggled information.

It's a really trashy argument, which is demonstrably wrong. The demonstration is when an evolutionary system produces a result that surprises the people who ran it.

There's a famous example, which I don't have a handy reference for at the moment; I learned about it in a speech given by Bill Joy.

A group at Sun Research was looking at using evolutionary systems for circuit design and layout. One of their results
consisted of two electrically isolated components - components that couldn't influence each other. And yet, they did. It turned out that the system was exploiting a flaw in the manufacturing process - the insulation between circuit traces wasn't as complete as they thought. So they got a result based on a physical property of their manufacturing process which they were not even aware of.

That's not smuggled information. You can't smuggle information that you don't know. But the evolutionary
experiment exploited it - a randomly generated mutation
put two circuit traces very close together, so that they
influenced each other, and when the circuit containing that
feature was evaluated for correctness, it got the right results. They only discovered the manufacturing process by trying to understand why the circuit generated by their system worked!

Posted by: Mark C. Chu-Carroll | November 11, 2008 4:20 PM


Marc Chu-Carroll : Casey Luskin :: Porsche 911 windshield : bug

When I see things like that, as an academic exercise, I like to think, "How would I respond to that if I were the kind of complete...person...who believed, here in November 2008, that ID was a fascinating new science?" and I think I have a reply.

By using the flawed circuit printing machine the researchers were unwittingly smuggling the information into the system. "You can't smuggle information that you don't know." Why not? You can smuggle heroin that you don't know about. That's why at the airport, they ask you to make sure not to let a stranger named Raul take your carry-on alone into the men's room for 10 minutes before you go through security. It's because you could be smuggling something without being aware! Raul is in the bathroom with a brick of Shanghai Sally and a sewing kit, but that yam-yam could just as easily be encrypted CDs, in which case, as you went through security, you'd be unwittingly smuggling information! The scientists were acting as unwitting mules for the information. Knowledge is not a requirement for smuggling.

Shhhh Daniel will be over here to tell you "You see..... god used circuits to design evolution"

--------------
"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus
"I'm busy studying scientist level science papers" Galloping Gary Gaulin

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4969
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,07:35   

Dembski has been whalloped hard on the "information smuggling" gambit several times, dating back at least to 1997's NTSE conference and Bill Jefferys bringing him up short on the implications of Dembski's measure of bits of information that could be attributed to the action of natural selection.

The latest Dembski and Marks stuff disingenuously assumes that information smuggling occurs and lays out a bunch of math that purports to quantify that, when all they are quantifying is how much better than random search a particular approach is. Assuming your conclusion doesn't make for a good argument.

I like the anecdotes about contradictions to information smuggling, but I think that also laying out the arguments as to why, generically, "information smuggling" cannot be correct is also needed, as I attempted in item #5 in my essay on objections to evolutionary computation.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4969
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,07:40   

Quote

Sounds like a degraded version of http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/users/adrianth/ices96/paper.html:


I was wondering about that. Adrian Thompson's evolving hardware projects are the canonical examples of evolution exploiting specific hardware "features" that were never envisaged by the designers of the FPGA circuitry.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Amadan



Posts: 1337
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,07:42   

Things have been a bit quiet over at the Tardmines recently. No doubt this is due to the disincentivising effect of the new socialist administration.

To introduce a healthy capitalist spur to productivity, I propose that, in parallel with our own coveted POTW award, we recognise each week's most profound manifestation of true pigheaded ignorance with the Presidential Science Medal:



Admins wishing to avail of this can find it at

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8An3n3....dal.jpg

or

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8An3n3....dal.jpg

for a smaller version.

--------------
"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
Venus Mousetrap



Posts: 201
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,07:56   

Quote (Amadan @ Nov. 12 2008,07:42)
Things have been a bit quiet over at the Tardmines recently. No doubt this is due to the disincentivising effect of the new socialist administration.

To introduce a healthy capitalist spur to productivity, I propose that, in parallel with our own coveted POTW award, we recognise each week's most profound manifestation of true pigheaded ignorance with the Presidential Science Medal:



Admins wishing to avail of this can find it at

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8An3n3....dal.jpg

or

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8An3n3....dal.jpg

for a smaller version.

...I'm not sure if Americans use that word. :)

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,08:03   

i am much in favor of this anagram for tardery.  very nice

amadan i admired your work regarding Christian Domestic Discipline over at the other mines.  very good.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Amadan



Posts: 1337
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,08:26   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 12 2008,08:03)
amadan i admired your work regarding Christian Domestic Discipline over at the other mines.  very good.

Found it while Googling for Christian Romance novels, for a recent post about Palin on the Politics thread.

Those of you wondering what the heck we're gabbling about, I posted this on FSTDT (warning, not for the squeamish).

The fact that it comes up on a search for those terms says  . . . well  . . . something.

--------------
"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,09:05   

Quote (Amadan @ Nov. 12 2008,08:26)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 12 2008,08:03)
amadan i admired your work regarding Christian Domestic Discipline over at the other mines.  very good.

Found it while Googling for Christian Romance novels, for a recent post about Palin on the Politics thread.

Those of you wondering what the heck we're gabbling about, I posted this on FSTDT (warning, not for the squeamish).

The fact that it comes up on a search for those terms says  . . . well  . . . something.

BEAUTIFUL!

I like the "Key Terms":

Key terms
Cassie, Jill-Ann, Domestic Discipline, she'd, marriage, McRib, Jake Cole, stroke, Lacie Jane, strop, nightgown, Dixie Stampede, hiccough, wiggled, Wisdom Worker, Gatlinburg, screamed, something awful, belt-whipping, sniffled

I swear To Bael, that these are real, I did not make these up.  It's Poe's Law beatches...

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,09:42   

Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 11 2008,16:46)
It is worth noting that the popular multiverse theories  do not require a MWI. In my opinion the MWI is even more speculative than, say, The Cosmic String Landscape.

I agree, though I'm far out of my expertise. MWI =/= multiverse. MWI says that this universe is in a large number of states at the moment, a number that has been growing since time zero. However, it has nothing to say about the fine tuning (or lack thereof) of the constants of this universe. All it assumes is that this universe has QM physics.

Side question: can a universe with Newtonian or other non-QM phyics support life?

--------------
I’m referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
I’m not an evolutionist, I’m a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,11:15   

ooh there is a disturbance in the Farce.  from the new thread "Anti-God Ad Campaign Comes to Washington, D.C." posted by that intellectual giant Eric Forman Gil Dodgen






Quote
1
Berceuse
11/12/2008
10:35 am
What insufferable presumption.


2
Duvenoy
11/12/2008
10:51 am
No more of a presumption nor insufferable than the “War on Christmas” nonsense and the knee-jerk preaching of, and believing in, a myth.

Atheists exist and we are not going away; live with it.

doov


which one of you is Duvenoy?  I remember him as a minor character but perhaps the story line is changing.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,11:33   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 12 2008,04:37)
Dave Webster:
 
Quote
Emphatic non-buttressation of ID
DaveScot

(blah blah blah)

Buttressation? Non-buttressation?

For Dave, it's always about teh gayz.


Note: Too blue?

  
ERV



Posts: 329
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,11:36   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 12 2008,06:37)
Dave Webster:
Quote
Emphatic non-buttressation of ID
DaveScot

(blah blah blah)

Buttressation? Non-buttressation?

That word is non-utteratational. It doesn't even existinate.

*shrug* 'Non-buttressation' is a perfectly cromulent word.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,12:21   

Quote (ERV @ Nov. 12 2008,12:36)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 12 2008,06:37)
Dave Webster:
 
Quote
Emphatic non-buttressation of ID
DaveScot

(blah blah blah)

Buttressation? Non-buttressation?

That word is non-utteratational. It doesn't even existinate.

*shrug* 'Non-buttressation' is a perfectly cromulent word.

Ouch. I've been enlittled.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,14:26   

Quote
It is on the face of it a compelling argument; I mean, I personally can't explain why I have a conscience, or why I desire to do good when I could easily get away with doing nothing, or even being bad.


What we call a conscience can be explained pretty easily, I think. Members of a social species are disposed to monitor their conspecifics, and construct internal representations of their social environment. Human altruistic and ethical behavior is the result of this, but with a great deal of elaboration engendered by the fact that we carefully monitor not only our conspecifics but ourselves as part of our representation. Good empirical research in Psychology and associated social sciences has suggested that, at root, our gut-level reaction to what we consider immoral behavior arises from our ability to detect cheating --defector behavior, if you like Game Theory and the iterated Prisoners Dillemma, which is a pretty good model of social interactions within a small social group of the kind our ancestors evolved in. So "a conscience" is a product of the interaction of our "cheater detection" module with our self-representation --whether we're introspectively aware of it or not, we're assessing our own future courses of action in terms of their likelihood of detection as anti-social behavior by our social peers. And we've evolved to be about as scared of social ostracism as we are of bodily injury. For good reason, since one guy alone on the Savannah is also called "lion food."

As for "moral" behavior among non-human animals, and "whose" are the morals by which these can be judged, I think it's a misleading question. Members of social species are capable of altruistic behavior. You are correct to point out that there can be no absolute arbiter of whether such proto-moral behavior is "right" or "good." But social behavior among other social mammals shows many similarities with human altruistic behavior. The main difference, in this view, is the complexity of the internal model of the social environment, and, crucially, the inclusion within it of a highly resolved self-model.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5454
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,14:38   

Quote (Amadan @ Nov. 12 2008,08:42)
Things have been a bit quiet over at the Tardmines recently. No doubt this is due to the disincentivising effect of the new socialist administration.

To introduce a healthy capitalist spur to productivity, I propose that, in parallel with our own coveted POTW award, we recognise each week's most profound manifestation of true pigheaded ignorance with the Presidential Science Medal:

(snip image)

Admins wishing to avail of this can find it at

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8An3n3....dal.jpg

or

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_8An3n3....dal.jpg

for a smaller version.

lurve.

--------------
“Why do creationists have such a hard time with commas?

Linky“. ~ Steve Story, Legend

   
stevestory



Posts: 13407
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,18:03   

Quote


2

sxussd13

11/12/2008

4:15 pm

Well, maybe some of the more liberal minded ID friendly commenters are going to be allowed back in after DaveScot’s political banning frenzy of any Obama supporters. I think that was way over the top and not really thought through.

I agree that there are political implications to ID but banning people cause they favor a different political view as if ID was all that was voted on was plain over the top.

ID wants to be treated fairly with “teach both sides of the story” but UD (or the lone ranger DS) does not leave any ends to discussion on topics that fairly belong on this blog.

Maybe there could be improvement in this direction.

I would like to see political issues, not relating to ID (e.g. propaganda for one side or the other), banned from this site since there are also a lot of non Americans (like me) that visit this site.


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-297435

   
ERV



Posts: 329
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 12 2008,18:58   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 12 2008,12:21)
Quote (ERV @ Nov. 12 2008,12:36)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 12 2008,06:37)
Dave Webster:
   
Quote
Emphatic non-buttressation of ID
DaveScot

(blah blah blah)

Buttressation? Non-buttressation?

That word is non-utteratational. It doesn't even existinate.

*shrug* 'Non-buttressation' is a perfectly cromulent word.

Ouch. I've been enlittled.

Dont be depressed!  After Kim Kardashians brief stint at fame, being enlittled is in vogue again.

The fashion industry is kinda going through a butt recession.

  
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