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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 4, Fostering a Greater Understanding of IDC< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
eigenstate



Posts: 76
Joined: Nov. 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,10:05   

Quote (keiths @ Feb. 16 2012,01:29)
Quote (eigenstate @ Feb. 15 2012,22:44)
Question for Eric Anderson:
 
Quote
The tautology problem is very real. It is frankly disappointing to see so many critics of evolutionary theory shy away from it. The just-so stories come up all the time and are largely based on the tautological formulation, and it is absolutely appropriate to point out when this circular reasoning is being used.

Why is e=mc^2 important as a tautology? It is a tautology, right? Of course it is.  "Survival of the fittest" is similarly tautologous (fittest = those that survive), and is important for the same reason. The tautology is not argument, not syllogism, but an *effect*, a *product* of the model, in both cases.

Eigenstate, I'm not sure why you think E=mc2 is a tautology.  It's not true by definition, and it's empirically falsifiable.  Could you elaborate?

@keiths,

"Survival of the fittest" is NOT just a truism, but is a equivalence borne of Darwin's hypothesis concerning adaptation to the environment based on the variability of heritable traits.  Which is just to say (and this is my point to Eric) that "fittest = those who survive" is just as empirically falsifiable as "e=mc^2".

"Survival of the fittest", per Darwin, or whoever that guy was who coined the phrase on reading Darwin, and which Darwin eventually picked up on, is predicated on the differential survival based on traits passed down through reproduction. It does NOT mean (and I know you know this) "survival of the most muscular". A trivial interpretation of "survival of the fittest" would be compatible with "fittest are those species God favors", or "those with the biggest brains", etc. That is not part of the equation for evolution, and if either of those explanations obtained empirically, Darwin's ideas of survival of the fittest would be falsified, just as through as if energy was not convertible to mass at the speed of light squared, empirically.

This is why "survival of the fittest" is considered problematic in discussion evolution. There is an equivalence there, a translation, but it's based on heritable traits driving differential survival. So when a critic, or anyone, gets on about "survival of the fittest" being a tautology, it's ONLY a problem if they equivocate on what those terms mean for evolution.  That's the basis for comment to Eric: it's a tautology in the same way as e=mc^2. It's a production, and equivalence for sure, but it's based on reality-grounded, empirical principles (and both are falsifiable).

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,10:10   

Ernst Mayr went on and on about essentialism, a term I was unfamiliar with.

But it seems to be characteristic of most people who reject evolution.

Gpuccio insists that fitness can be defined absolutely as some independently measurable attribute of a protein. That's rather sophisticated compared to folks who are still worried about Kinds.

GP thinks directed evolution or intelligent selection is more powerful than natural selection because it can home in more quickly on  a target. What he simply can't grok is that fitness is an integral, and the target moves.

It's fun to laugh at people who don't get it, but I think sometimes that evilutionists need to try multimodal approaches to making this understandable. There are lots of otherwise bright people who don't get it, many of whom are nominally pro-evolution.

I'd be happy to hear some feedback on this. Do I have it right or wrong?  Or both at the same time, in the same sense?

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
eigenstate



Posts: 76
Joined: Nov. 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,10:22   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 16 2012,08:21)
KF treats the moon as a wavicle and calculates a non-zero probability for superposition. Will he be banned?

Hah, yes, had a grin at that one.

I can't tell if he's just not aware that he's now recapitulated my answer, or whether he just thinks it's reasonable because he still has the right magical view of the tools of classical logic.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,10:23   

fitness is relative to other members of the population and dependent upon environmental covariates.

survival doesn't mean shit unless an individual reproduces.  herbert spencer caused quite a mess with that syllogism because it misrepresented the thrust of natural selection in way that has perpetuated itself  for eons since

david hull addresses this in a favorite essay

http://www.jstor.org/stable.....4330516

Quote
Critics of evolutionary theory seem evenly divided on thequestion of whether the survival of the fittest is false or
tautological. In spite of the tiresome regularity with which
this claim is made, it has little foundation. Leading evolutionists from Darwin to G. G. Simpson and Ernst Mayr have provided excellent explanations of why this principle is neither tautological nor viciously circular.3 Fitness in evolutionary theory is a relative notion. Certain organisms in a given environment are fitter than others. A higher percentage of those organisms which are nearer the "fittest" end of the scale tend to survive than those at the other end. This scale in turn is ordered at least in part independently of the actual survival of these individuals. Of course, the claim that the fittest tend to survive can be made viciously circular if fitness were determined only by means of actual survival or into a tautology by defining "fitness" exclusively in terms of actual survival, but biologists do neither.


creationists, on the other hand...


ETA  ok maybe not EONS

Edited by Erasmus, FCD on Feb. 16 2012,11:24

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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

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 1994
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,10:51   

Quote (eigenstate @ Feb. 16 2012,10:05)

"Survival of the fittest", per Darwin, or whoever that guy was who coined the phrase on reading Darwin, and which Darwin eventually picked up on, is predicated on the differential survival based on traits passed down through reproduction. It does NOT mean (and I know you know this) "survival of the most muscular". A trivial interpretation of "survival of the fittest" would be compatible with "fittest are those species God favors", or "those with the biggest brains", etc. That is not part of the equation for evolution, and if either of those explanations obtained empirically, Darwin's ideas of survival of the fittest would be falsified, just as through as if energy was not convertible to mass at the speed of light squared, empirically.

The problem, though, is how you define fitness. if you define it as ability to survive then you have a tautology.

The way out of this is to define fitness as a function of survival and reproduction, something which can be estimated without reference to what eventually evolves. Then we can ask whether the trait (or whatever) with the greatest fitness is the one which comes to dominate the population.

BTW, "survival of the fittest" we coined by Herbert Spencer.

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It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
JonF



Posts: 571
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,10:59   

Quote (keiths @ Feb. 16 2012,06:08)
Quote (Soapy Sam @ Feb. 16 2012,01:21)
Sorry - I should be talking to Eric. Just can't seem to ... (tap-tap-tap) ... ummm ... I think part of my internet is broken.

Here's your problem, Sam: The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

The tubes are full of cats.

  
Robin



Posts: 1431
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,11:27   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 16 2012,10:10)
Ernst Mayr went on and on about essentialism, a term I was unfamiliar with.

But it seems to be characteristic of most people who reject evolution.

Gpuccio insists that fitness can be defined absolutely as some independently measurable attribute of a protein. That's rather sophisticated compared to folks who are still worried about Kinds.

GP thinks directed evolution or intelligent selection is more powerful than natural selection because it can home in more quickly on  a target. What he simply can't grok is that fitness is an integral, and the target moves.

It's fun to laugh at people who don't get it, but I think sometimes that evilutionists need to try multimodal approaches to making this understandable. There are lots of otherwise bright people who don't get it, many of whom are nominally pro-evolution.

I'd be happy to hear some feedback on this. Do I have it right or wrong?  Or both at the same time, in the same sense?

Hmm...maybe I don't fully understand essentialism, but doesn't taxonomy rely, at least to some extent, upon it? I certainly think that those who practice science recognize that taxonomy is a tool - a model for the convenience of our own organization of the world around us - but I really feel that some acceptance of essentialism is necessary to appreciate the tool.

I do agree to some extent with your point however and I think that many people who reject evolution have more of a reliance upon essentialism and less of an understanding that models are representative tools. I seem to recall a number of discussions on UD where several folk (Mathgrrl/Patrick and Lizzie) tried in vain to get a number of the UD denizens to recognize the difference between the map of a given landscape and the landscape itself. Gordon's insistence that an alpha-numeric character has inherent information as opposed to being a representative placeholder springs to mind.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Soapy Sam



Posts: 536
Joined: Jan. 2012

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,11:32   

Quote (keiths @ Feb. 16 2012,05:08)
 
Quote (Soapy Sam @ Feb. 16 2012,01:21)
Sorry - I should be talking to Eric. Just can't seem to ... (tap-tap-tap) ... ummm ... I think part of my internet is broken.

Here's your problem, Sam: The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Right, I've called tech support. Here is a brief summary of the exchange.

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If hail is made out of ice and ice came from ice via water, then hail is made out of ice. Joe G

BTW, when you make little jabs like “I thought basic logic was one thing UDers could handle,” you come off looking especially silly when you turn out to be wrong. - Barry Arrington

  
Robin



Posts: 1431
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,11:33   

Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 16 2012,10:51)
The problem, though, is how you define fitness. if you define it as ability to survive then you have a tautology.

Isn't part of the problem also that the folks who insist that survival of the fittest is a tautology or circular invariably think of it in terms of individual survival (and thus individual fitness) as opposed to a property of group dynamics?

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Freddie



Posts: 366
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,11:37   

Finally I have a worthy sig.  Thanks Joe.

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Joe: Most criticisims of ID stem from ignorance and jealousy.
Joe: As for the authors of the books in the Bible, well the OT was authored by Moses and the NT was authored by various people.
Byers: The eskimo would not need hairy hair growth as hair, I say, is for keeping people dry. Not warm.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,11:49   

Quote (eigenstate @ Feb. 16 2012,10:22)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 16 2012,08:21)
KF treats the moon as a wavicle and calculates a non-zero probability for superposition. Will he be banned?

Hah, yes, had a grin at that one.

I can't tell if he's just not aware that he's now recapitulated my answer, or whether he just thinks it's reasonable because he still has the right magical view of the tools of classical logic.

My bet is he can do sums, but has no idea what they mean or imply.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
eigenstate



Posts: 76
Joined: Nov. 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,12:24   

Quote (Bob O'H @ Feb. 16 2012,10:51)
 
Quote (eigenstate @ Feb. 16 2012,10:05)

"Survival of the fittest", per Darwin, or whoever that guy was who coined the phrase on reading Darwin, and which Darwin eventually picked up on, is predicated on the differential survival based on traits passed down through reproduction. It does NOT mean (and I know you know this) "survival of the most muscular". A trivial interpretation of "survival of the fittest" would be compatible with "fittest are those species God favors", or "those with the biggest brains", etc. That is not part of the equation for evolution, and if either of those explanations obtained empirically, Darwin's ideas of survival of the fittest would be falsified, just as through as if energy was not convertible to mass at the speed of light squared, empirically.

The problem, though, is how you define fitness. if you define it as ability to survive then you have a tautology.

The way out of this is to define fitness as a function of survival and reproduction, something which can be estimated without reference to what eventually evolves. Then we can ask whether the trait (or whatever) with the greatest fitness is the one which comes to dominate the population.

BTW, "survival of the fittest" we coined by Herbert Spencer.

Herbert Spencer, right, thanks -- I could have Googled that in the time it took me to type out that I couldn't recall.

I agree with your "way out" and understand that to be primarily a practical problem, a problem that is just exceedingly complex, but not intractable conceptually.

For example, if we ask "will this trait contribute to fitness"? The answer, in a "lazy" way is: dunno, let's just wait and see. And while I call that "lazy", that's pretty harsh, because the program for really calculating it is terrifying complex. But I don't see any voodoo there, just lots and lots of variables and parameters that are impractical to capture.

If you were going to calculate fitness for a trait in a completely forward-looking sense, what would you need to do:

1. Know all the other traits configured for this organism's DNA.
2. Model the genetic and epigenetic outputs as a realized organism.
3. Know the operating environment for this organism -- what are the physical contexts for this organism's life, survival and reproduction?

#3 then, reduces to calculations in terms of physics.  It's unthinkably complex to try and model in practical terms (it's not too hyperbolic to say you'd need a quantum computer the size our universe to really capture it all), but this would not need to simply rely on retrodiction.

If we were "super-brained" and could fulfill #1-#3, we would have a predictive framework that could take, at the level of hard, physical stereochemisty, some discrete inputs, plug them into the DNA for an (yet to be born) organism, and score the fitness of those inputs.  A 'hard' prediction that we could test empirically.

I'm under no illusions about the practical difficulty of doing that, but "fitness" is not magic. It's just physics. We don't look at a hurricane and say "that's magic" because it's stupendously difficult to model and predict in detail. It's a problem of scale and complexity, not magic or conceptual intractability.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,12:35   

Quote
Hmm...maybe I don't fully understand essentialism, but doesn't taxonomy rely, at least to some extent, upon it?


It seems to me that taxonomy is a mess and just gets messier the more samples you have. The only definition of species that makes temporary sense is that of breeding populations, but even that is fuzzy. Taken over time, it is completely fuzzy.

I look at such things as gradients. I think things like color names are artifacts of our visual processing systems. Maps, if you will. the actual landscape has no colors and nothing but continuously varying wavelengths.



--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,12:41   

Quote
#3 then, reduces to calculations in terms of physics.  It's unthinkably complex to try and model in practical terms (it's not too hyperbolic to say you'd need a quantum computer the size our universe to really capture it all), but this would not need to simply rely on retrodiction.


When I argued along those lines -- that Design is impossible -- I was granted a prime place in the list of stupidest arguments against ID.

I think gpuccio said any five-year-old could see how stupid it is.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,13:08   

Quote (eigenstate @ Feb. 16 2012,08:05)
That's the basis for comment to Eric: it's a tautology in the same way as e=mc^2.

Which is to say, not a tautology at all.  "Survival of the fittest" would be a tautology only if biologists defined the "fittest" as "those who survive".  E=mc2 would be a tautology only if m were defined as E/c2.  Physicists don't define m in that way, and so E=mc2 is not a tautology.
Quote
It's a production, and equivalence for sure, but it's based on reality-grounded, empirical principles (and both are falsifiable).

Right.  It just seems odd to me that you would call it a tautology when it's falsifiable. "A falsifiable tautology" is an oxymoron. To use the classic example, we don't need to examine a single actual bachelor in order to determine that "all bachelors are unmarried" is a tautology.  It's true by definition.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,13:22   

Because not all "bachelors" are unmarried.

And some of them are busy using using bananas to seduce, peel and throw away wimmin.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
Ptaylor



Posts: 899
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,13:33   

While you people are arguing the finer points of logic, Barry demonstrates that he is a master of it:
Quote
lastyearon: “You removed just about every critic of ID from the site.”

Nonsense, as your very presence demonstrates.


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To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. - Isaac Asimov

"Grow up, assface" - Joe G., grown up ID spokesperson, Sandwalk, April 2014

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10324
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,13:41   

Quote (Ptaylor @ Feb. 16 2012,13:33)
While you people are arguing the finer points of logic, Barry demonstrates that he is a master of it:  
Quote
lastyearon: “You removed just about every critic of ID from the site.”

Nonsense, as your very presence demonstrates.

You skip over that 'just about' there, Barry. I'm not sure he should be lecturing on 'right reason'.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5379
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,13:48   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 16 2012,13:35)
   
Quote
Hmm...maybe I don't fully understand essentialism, but doesn't taxonomy rely, at least to some extent, upon it?


It seems to me that taxonomy is a mess and just gets messier the more samples you have. The only definition of species that makes temporary sense is that of breeding populations, but even that is fuzzy. Taken over time, it is completely fuzzy.

I look at such things as gradients. I think things like color names are artifacts of our visual processing systems. Maps, if you will. the actual landscape has no colors and nothing but continuously varying wavelengths.


This brings to mind a prime example of how science works so differently than UD's dishonest brand of creationism.

My Evolutionary Biology professor from last semester is my professor this semester for a senior seminar on hybridization. Every single week, he and I wind up going back and forth on the species concept(s). He argues the Mayrian position that a species is a real, concrete (if kind of fuzzy sometimes) thing. I hold the position that it's a linguistically useful tool for categorizing things that exist along a continuum (your point), and that the evolutionary relationships are more important than whether we call these groups of organisms separate species or subspecies or races (along the lines of Mallet, perhaps). Nature doesn't give a fuck what we call them, they do what they do.

He doesn't throw me out or try to shut me up, doesn't tell me I'm stupid, doesn't construct strawmen soaked in oil of Mullings or whatever. He argues his point in congenial good faith and I do the same. He treats me as (dare I use the term?) a colleague with a slightly different, but well-argued, and thus valid perception on a very nuanced topic.

Fuck, I love my university.




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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
khan



Posts: 1486
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,14:07   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Feb. 16 2012,14:48)
Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 16 2012,13:35)
   
Quote
Hmm...maybe I don't fully understand essentialism, but doesn't taxonomy rely, at least to some extent, upon it?


It seems to me that taxonomy is a mess and just gets messier the more samples you have. The only definition of species that makes temporary sense is that of breeding populations, but even that is fuzzy. Taken over time, it is completely fuzzy.

I look at such things as gradients. I think things like color names are artifacts of our visual processing systems. Maps, if you will. the actual landscape has no colors and nothing but continuously varying wavelengths.


This brings to mind a prime example of how science works so differently than UD's dishonest brand of creationism.

My Evolutionary Biology professor from last semester is my professor this semester for a senior seminar on hybridization. Every single week, he and I wind up going back and forth on the species concept(s). He argues the Mayrian position that a species is a real, concrete (if kind of fuzzy sometimes) thing. I hold the position that it's a linguistically useful tool for categorizing things that exist along a continuum (your point), and that the evolutionary relationships are more important than whether we call these groups of organisms separate species or subspecies or races (along the lines of Mallet, perhaps). Nature doesn't give a fuck what we call them, they do what they do.

He doesn't throw me out or try to shut me up, doesn't tell me I'm stupid, doesn't construct strawmen soaked in oil of Mullings or whatever. He argues his point in congenial good faith and I do the same. He treats me as (dare I use the term?) a colleague with a slightly different, but well-argued, and thus valid perception on a very nuanced topic.

Fuck, I love my university.



A crucial albeit difficult "lightbulb moment".

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

Frequency is just the plural of wavelength...
-JoeG

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,14:09   

Barry8
Quote
Some have made the ludicrous suggestion that I have banned all Darwinists from this site. Do you really mean to suggest that there were only eight Darwinists in all of the blogosphere and I’ve banned them all and UD is now destined to become an echo chamber for all time? Piffle.

Here are the eight:

champignon
DrRec
CGUGreyArea
Liz Liddle
Bullwinkle
Peter Griffin
Geoxus
Eigenstate
Paraquin
OgreMk5
MaxEntropy
Petrushka
Rhampton7
Ben h.
Doveton
Chas D
Heinrich
Prof Fx Gumby
Mark Frank

Hello...ello...ello...lo...lo...

--------------
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

  
Robin



Posts: 1431
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,14:37   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 16 2012,14:09)
Barry8
 
Quote
Some have made the ludicrous suggestion that I have banned all Darwinists from this site. Do you really mean to suggest that there were only eight Darwinists in all of the blogosphere and I’ve banned them all and UD is now destined to become an echo chamber for all time? Piffle.

Here are the eight:

champignon
DrRec
CGUGreyArea
Liz Liddle
Bullwinkle
Peter Griffin
Geoxus
Eigenstate
Paraquin
OgreMk5
MaxEntropy
Petrushka
Rhampton7
Ben h.
Doveton
Chas D
Heinrich
Prof Fx Gumby
Mark Frank

Hello...ello...ello...lo...lo...

So not only can Barry not count he has a problem understanding the actual complaint. No one's claimed that Barry has banned all "Darwinists" (actually the term I've seen is ID critics) across all the Internet, but rather that he removed the those critics who regularly posted on UD from the site.  Odd that you can't seem to wrap that law-degreed head of yours around the difference.

Oh and Barry...don't flatter yourself. UD isn't that well-known in the blogsphere. The vast majority of people out there have never heard of you or UD. Your pond was pretty tiny to begin with. That you've reduced the fish population by over half pretty much guarantees that UD can become nothing but an echo chamber.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,14:54   

Quote
Of course I understand that Barry wasn’t after a mathematical or physical answer to the question, but after a logical one.


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-420680

Of course not. He was looking for an excuse to ban undesirables. Hence the fact that KF and ScottAndrews were not banned, even though they gave answers that were not the single word, No.

When Barry Arrington's lips are not moving, is he still lying? Yes or no.

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
Richardthughes



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,15:02   

I'm always greatly amused by their inability to refer to this site by name.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
iconofid



Posts: 32
Joined: July 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,15:16   

Quote (Ptaylor @ Feb. 14 2012,14:51)
Barry's latest (emphasis added):
       
Quote
The law of non-contradiction (“LNC”) states that for any proposition “A,” A cannot be both true and false at the same time and in the same formal relation.

The existence of the LNC is the very basis of all argumentation, and anyone who denies it also denies meaning, order, truth and logic. For obvious reasons, therefore, it is not only useless but also affirmatively harmful to the search for truth to argue with someone who refuses to admit unambiguously the LNC. Arguing with a person who denies the basis for argument is self-defeating and can lead only to confusion. Only a fool or a charlatan denies the LNC, and this site will not be a platform from which fools and charlatans will be allowed to spew their noxious inanities.

For that reason, I am today announcing a new moderation policy at UD. At any time the moderator reserves the right to ask the following question to any person who would comment or continue to comment on this site: “Can the moon exist and not exist at the same time and in the same formal relation?” The answer to this question is either “yes” or “no.” If the person gives any answer other than the single word “no,” he or she will immediately be deemed not worth arguing with and therefore banned from this site.

We will start with Petrushka to demonstrate the application of the policy. Petrushka, can the moon exist and not exist at the same time and in the same formal relation?

My opinion: bizarre.


I don't know if anyone has pointed this out yet because I'm replying to a post on page 98 of the thread, but Barry has just denied the existence of an omnipotent God. He has also effectively banned anyone who believes in such a God from defending its ability to make the moon simultaneously existent and non-existent.

I'm banned from U.D., but had I been Petrushka, I'd have relished pointing this out.

Ignoring the physics for a moment, the knife could be stuck in this way:

"Only someone who believes in an omnipotent god could answer yes to that. And who believes in miracles these days?"

I wonder if this has occurred to any of the god squad at U.D.

Does anyone with a surviving sock want to make the point?

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3607
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,15:34   

I think it would be easier and more useful to point out that
Aristotelian logic forbids the Christian Trinity.

That was Newton's heresy.

Is Barry Arrington a Unitarian?

But You're right. A god that can make the sun stand still in the sky could surely do a superposition of the moon.

Edited by midwifetoad on Feb. 16 2012,15:34

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”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
eigenstate



Posts: 76
Joined: Nov. 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,15:44   

Quote (iconofid @ Feb. 16 2012,15:16)
 
Quote (Ptaylor @ Feb. 14 2012,14:51)
Barry's latest (emphasis added):
         
Quote
The law of non-contradiction (“LNC”) states that for any proposition “A,” A cannot be both true and false at the same time and in the same formal relation.

The existence of the LNC is the very basis of all argumentation, and anyone who denies it also denies meaning, order, truth and logic. For obvious reasons, therefore, it is not only useless but also affirmatively harmful to the search for truth to argue with someone who refuses to admit unambiguously the LNC. Arguing with a person who denies the basis for argument is self-defeating and can lead only to confusion. Only a fool or a charlatan denies the LNC, and this site will not be a platform from which fools and charlatans will be allowed to spew their noxious inanities.

For that reason, I am today announcing a new moderation policy at UD. At any time the moderator reserves the right to ask the following question to any person who would comment or continue to comment on this site: “Can the moon exist and not exist at the same time and in the same formal relation?” The answer to this question is either “yes” or “no.” If the person gives any answer other than the single word “no,” he or she will immediately be deemed not worth arguing with and therefore banned from this site.

We will start with Petrushka to demonstrate the application of the policy. Petrushka, can the moon exist and not exist at the same time and in the same formal relation?

My opinion: bizarre.


I don't know if anyone has pointed this out yet because I'm replying to a post on page 98 of the thread, but Barry has just denied the existence of an omnipotent God. He has also effectively banned anyone who believes in such a God from defending its ability to make the moon simultaneously existent and non-existent.

I'm banned from U.D., but had I been Petrushka, I'd have relished pointing this out.

Ignoring the physics for a moment, the knife could be stuck in this way:

"Only someone who believes in an omnipotent god could answer yes to that. And who believes in miracles these days?"

I wonder if this has occurred to any of the god squad at U.D.

Does anyone with a surviving sock want to make the point?

Hi iconofid,

Orthodox Christianity doesn't conceive of "omnipotent" in ways that allow self-contradictory propositions.  They just laugh, and with some warrant, when you ask if "God can create a rock so heavy he can't lift it", or "make a square circle". Even (especially) God is not potent in that way, because it's not a potency at all, but instead a conceptual error in the asking of the question.

An omnipotent God would not be able to make a moon exist and not-exist at the same time, and in the same (classical, we must note) sense. That's a contradiction in terms, rather than an ability or a potency. "No be able" is a bit of a language trick we play on our selves there,  because "make a square circle" does not resolve against "able" or "unable".

  
Soapy Sam



Posts: 536
Joined: Jan. 2012

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,15:59   

Scott has not encountered drift

Which is a bit frustrating since I recall spending a bit of time trying to explain why it matters. I'd have another go, but (despite my Thought not having been subjected to Trial By Barry :p ) I find myself unwelcome.  
                     
Quote
[...]and even every extinct species exists and/or existed, and therefore must have been selected.


Must have survived long enough to get big enough not to die without trace! Whether 'selected' or not is a different matter. Survival /= Selection. For as long as genes exist, they are surviving. If they are doing no better (in terms of their effect on carrier mean fitness) than other alleles at the same locus, they aren't being selected. Survival, or the number of offspring produced by any one individual, has little to do with selection, other than providing datum points for long-terms trends of each allele they possess.

Selection is a differential in average reproductive success at each locus. No differential (or 2s <=1/N), no selection. If there is a consistent differential in reproductive success, one allele will consistently find itself in more offspring than the other, and is more likely to survive (in the population) because of that. Which is not tautology but "If ... then" argumentation. If there is NO consistent differential in reproductive success, one allele will still find itself concentrated by sampling error alone.

                     
Quote
If natural selection is not assumed and therefore tautological then why is it missing from every single evolutionary narrative?


Everything is missing from an evolutionary narrative whose genetic intermediates have been lost - just as almost every word ever spoken has long since disappeared from record. What is assumed is the genetic continuum, not that every change was beneficial. Nonetheless, the expectation is that 'visible' changes are fixed by consistent differential reproduction beneficial more often than by drift. But selection is not evidenced by survival alone, and evolution is not "RM+NS".

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If hail is made out of ice and ice came from ice via water, then hail is made out of ice. Joe G

BTW, when you make little jabs like “I thought basic logic was one thing UDers could handle,” you come off looking especially silly when you turn out to be wrong. - Barry Arrington

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,16:02   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Feb. 16 2012,15:54)
Quote
Of course I understand that Barry wasn’t after a mathematical or physical answer to the question, but after a logical one.


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-420680

Of course not. He was looking for an excuse to ban undesirables. Hence the fact that KF and ScottAndrews were not banned, even though they gave answers that were not the single word, No.

When Barry Arrington's lips are not moving, is he still lying? Yes or no.

KF had a disability waiver on using only one word to answer the question.

The man has Tourette's Syndrome by proxy. (His verbal tics cause cursing in others.)

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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

  
eigenstate



Posts: 76
Joined: Nov. 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2012,16:13   

Quote (keiths @ Feb. 16 2012,13:08)
Which is to say, not a tautology at all.  "Survival of the fittest" would be a tautology only if biologists defined the "fittest" as "those who survive".  E=mc2 would be a tautology only if m were defined as E/c2.  Physicists don't define m in that way, and so E=mc2 is not a tautology.

Yes, and in your saying that, I guess I was being "too clever by half", in saying that fitness is tautological in the same way (or, more precisely, non-tautogological in the same way) as E=mc2. Even so, both are
covertabilities and productions, "effects" of the underlying physics, not definitions of the forces themselves. That is the connection I support as "tautological", although I grant that maybe insisting on "equivalencies" or "conversions" would be better terminology.
 
Quote
Right.  It just seems odd to me that you would call it a tautology when it's falsifiable. "A falsifiable tautology" is an oxymoron. To use the classic example, we don't need to examine a single actual bachelor in order to determine that "all bachelors are unmarried" is a tautology.  It's true by definition.

I accept your point, but there's overloading going on here, or a tautology within a non-tautology.

If we stipulate that the fitness in the "looking forward" sense we agreed on here is NOT tautological, then it remains true, nonetheless, that looking backward, once we understand that, that whoever survives by our observation is, by definition, "the fittest".

Maybe it helps to put it this way. The process, in principle, is non-tautological. But in practice, whatever survives we label as "most fit". In that sense, constrained to the dynamics of fitness as the outworking of differential survival via variable heritable traits, we do apply a tautology, or at least we say that whatever survived is the most fit.

Without doing all the calculations, which we COULD do, in principle, we are left in practice with a tautological response: "oh, well if these are the ones that survived, then they are by definition the most fit".

They are not "by definition the most fit" if we suppose it's because they simply had more muscle mass and that is our rule, or that "God wanted these ones to survive, and made it so".  The tautology is limited to the outcomes of the non-tautological processes we've discussed above as "fitness".

We can't do the math, or make forward predictions with any precision, so we are left with seeing who survived and reproduced, and applying "fittest" as retrodiction.

Edited by eigenstate on Feb. 16 2012,16:39

  
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