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Irreducible Complexity.


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#141 Loungehead

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 06:05 PM

In case you were wondering there are more than 1 definition of part.  Your 'plain use' of part can be and probably is different from other peoples use of the word.

But I'm fine going in with your definition.

It doesn't matter which definition you use, the problem is apples and oranges.

Irreducible complexity is based on essentialist thinking; the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess, and therefore all things can be precisely defined or described.

Irreducible complexity goes one step further in regard to biological features and claims the biological features cannot function without all the parts.

Evolution, on the other hand, is based on population thinking i.e. the statistical relationships between members of a population in defining biological features. The statistics define the biological feature or organism, not the parts. For example, the human eye is defined by statistical relationships between features within the population. In a case where the S cones are missing from an inviduals eye, for whatever reason. Population thinking still includes this person within the statistical relationship, even though their eye falls outside the statistical mean of what we would say a human eye is.

So even if a human was born with an eye without S cones, that missing part according to evolutionary theory does not mean the individual does not have a human eye. They merely have an eye outside the statiscal mean of 20/20 full colour vision. Where as irreducible complexity claims they do not have a human eye, due to a part (S cones) missing that would make it function as a human eye with full colour.

Ryyker, I really hope you can learn to stop with these snide little comments.

Don't let it bother you. I tend to agree with him. But I would word it differently - you lack simplistic intelligence. I believe your arguments may be too sophisticated to get any traction here.

:D

#142 Javabean

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 07:54 PM

It doesn't matter which definition you use, the problem is apples and oranges.


Gotcha, I was doing this :D when I read this first line but after reading your post it makes sense to me now.

Irreducible complexity is based on essentialist thinking; the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess, and therefore all things can be precisely defined or described. 

Irreducible complexity goes one step further in regard to biological features and claims the biological features cannot function without all the parts.


Okay you really needed to say this at the beginning of the thread :D I wouldn't have needed to hop in here at all :D

Evolution, on the other hand, is based on population thinking i.e. the statistical relationships between members of a population in defining biological features.  The statistics define the biological feature or organism, not the parts.  For example, the human eye is defined by statistical relationships between features within the population.  In a case where the S cones are missing from an inviduals eye, for whatever reason.  Population thinking still includes this person within the statistical relationship, even though their eye falls outside the statistical mean of what we would say a human eye is. 

So even if a human was born with an eye without S cones, that missing part according to evolutionary theory does not mean the individual does not have a human eye.  They merely have an eye outside the statiscal mean of 20/20 full colour vision.  Where as irreducible complexity claims they do not have a human eye, due to a part (S cones) missing that would make it function as a human eye with full colour.


Cool.

So just to make sure I understand the issue then. Within the concept of ID if an important part, such as the S cones in the eye, or the holder arm of the mouse trap is missing then it is no longer that "thing" anymore. But if the 'part' is not important, like the left CTRL button on a keyboard is missing then it is still the keyboard, although slightly damaged.

Did I miss anything?

Don't let it bother you.  I tend to agree with him.  But I would word it differently - you lack simplistic intelligence.  I believe your arguments may be too sophisticated to get any traction here.

:)

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ROFLOL Thank you Loungehead this made me smile. See the thing is I don't take anything that Ryyker says personally. I just do my best to point out when I feel that someone is being abrasive. He might think he has a valid reason for being this abrasive.

And this was the first time I can think of that I was accused of having sophisticated arguments :D I wasn't too sure how to take it at first, but I appreciate it. I know I over-think a lot of things.

#143 Loungehead

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 12:11 PM

Gotcha, I was doing this  :lol:  when I read this first line but after reading your post it makes sense to me now.

I thought it might throw yah! I'm glad what followed made sense.

Okay you really needed to say this at the beginning of the thread I wouldn't have needed to hop in here at all :lol: 

The problem is "the controversy" is generally seen as a political issue about whether Creationism or Evolution is science or not. And in the process, a lot of scientists from both sides spend too much time arguing the science of the matter. Some argue the philosophy too, but it tends to be overlooked, particularly the creationist position.

In fact the Philosophy of Biology paper I'm currently doing in a secular university spends a lot of time ripping apart Dawkins' The God Delusion because he really doesn't make very good philosophical arguments. We have also looked at the scientific basis for Darwin's The Origin of Species. Very little attention has been given to Creationism, which is why I am here.

And the way things are shaping up, there is very little philosophical analysis of Creationism from both sides, especially creationists. Almost every question I've asked in this forum, probing the philosophical basis of Creationism has been unanswered. And those questions that have been answered were insufficiently addressed.

Even finding the material is difficult. The Discovery Institute provides an obscure article on falsifiability. It looked more like a discussion paper on media strategy to deny that Intelligent Design is not a falsifiable theory, rather than a clear statement of how it is falsifiable.

So far, what I have pieced together indicates a Creationism is based on a completely different metaphysics from science. Creationism appears to use an understanding of "science" similar to Ancient Greeks, particular Plato and Aristotle, which is to be expected given the foundations of Christian thought. And that's not necessary a bad thing. But it does reveal the fundamental problem with "the controversy" philosophically.

Cool. 

So just to make sure I understand the issue then.  Within the concept of ID if an important part, such as the S cones in the eye, or the holder arm of the mouse trap is missing then it is no longer that "thing" anymore.  But if the 'part' is not important, like the left CTRL button on a keyboard is missing then it is still the keyboard, although slightly damaged.

Did I miss anything?

No, you pretty much got it.

As I said in another thread, missing parts means the function changes. The eye with missing S Cones becomes color blind to violet hues, so its function differs in terms of the type of visual images that will be constructed within the brain. Just as an eye without a lens would still send colour to the visual cortex, but not sharp images, shows that the eye still functions, but in a different way. The question for irreducible complexity; Is the eye still to considered a human eye?

In the case of the mouse trap... if it was missing the trigger arm, the next best function I can see for it, is a door stop. The weird thing is friends would still ask why I have a "mouse trap" jammed under my door. My answer would be, "Are you stupid? Its not a mouse trap, why would you even think that it was? Can't you see the door stop design in it?"

The missing CTRL button. That would be like the missing S cones. The object still can carry out most of its functions, but cannot do everything a fully functional object would do.

The problem for Irreducible Complex is that it relies on a static interpretation of the world. That is, a mouse trap is only a mouse trap if it has all its parts (essentialism). So even if a mouse did get caught in a "mouse trap" without a trigger arm, we cannot say the mouse was caught in a mouse trap. Maybe we would say the mouse is trapped in a door stop.

:lol:

ROFLOL  Thank you Loungehead this made me smile.  See the thing is I don't take anything that Ryyker says personally.  I just do my best to point out when I feel that someone is being abrasive.  He might think he has a valid reason for being this abrasive.

I disaprove of the way Ryyker was belittling you. And wanted to express it.

"All evil needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson.

And this was the first time I can think of that I was accused of having sophisticated arguments :D  I wasn't too sure how to take it at first, but I appreciate it.  I know I over-think a lot of things.

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I have a similar problem. A tendency to know how the sentences I write connect logically (in my head) but overlook that fact the expression does not always carry it through.

:D

#144 Javabean

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 07:07 PM

I thought it might throw yah! I'm glad what followed made sense.


:lol: it certainly did. I like to read the entire post before I fully react to them.

The problem is "the controversy" is generally seen as a political issue about whether Creationism or Evolution is science or not.  And in the process, a lot of scientists from both sides spend too much time arguing the science of the matter.  Some argue the philosophy too, but it tends to be overlooked, particularly the creationist position.


You seem to hold a lot of respect for the creationist point of view. I do to, but I am curious how you came to it.

In fact the Philosophy of Biology paper I'm currently doing in a secular university spends a lot of time ripping apart Dawkins' The God Delusion because he really doesn't make very good philosophical arguments.  We have also looked at the scientific basis for Darwin's The Origin of Species.  Very little attention has been given to Creationism, which is why I am here.


Just remember when thinking about Dawkins is that he is a scientist first and a philosopher last.

And the way things are shaping up, there is very little philosophical analysis of Creationism from both sides, especially creationists.  Almost every question I've asked in this forum, probing the philosophical basis of Creationism has been unanswered.  And those questions that have been answered were insufficiently addressed. 

Even finding the material is difficult.  The Discovery Institute provides an obscure article on falsifiability.  It looked more like a discussion paper on media strategy to deny that Intelligent Design is not a falsifiable theory, rather than a clear statement of how it is falsifiable.

So far, what I have pieced together indicates a Creationism is based on a completely different metaphysics from science.  Creationism appears to use an understanding of "science" similar to Ancient Greeks, particular Plato and Aristotle, which is to be expected given the foundations of Christian thought.  And that's not necessary a bad thing.  But it does reveal the fundamental problem with "the controversy" philosophically.


I think the understanding you have so far is good. but the biggest thing to remember is that to a Creationist is that the Bible is infallible. So everything that they see is skewed by that perspective. Like you said its not a bad thing.

No, you pretty much got it.

As I said in another thread, missing parts means the function changes.  The eye with missing S Cones becomes color blind to violet hues, so its function differs in terms of the type of visual images that will be constructed within the brain.  Just as an eye without a lens would still send colour to the visual cortex, but not sharp images, shows that the eye still functions, but in a different way.  The question for irreducible complexity; Is the eye still to considered a human eye?


Good I thought I had it pretty much figured out after you explained it.

So here is the question then. If the eye without the 's cones' is not considered a human eye, is the person who has the 'non-human eye' still considered a human? This person has a 'non-human' part, so they cannot be human.

:lol: here is the question that will incite anger. If this person is no longer a human because of this different eye, doesn't this show that IC proves evolution? This person changed species because they have non-human features.

In the case of the mouse trap... if it was missing the trigger arm, the next best function I can see for it, is a door stop.  The weird thing is friends would still ask why I have a "mouse trap" jammed under my door.  My answer would be, "Are you stupid?  Its not a mouse trap, why would you even think that it was?  Can't you see the door stop design in it?"


I can imagine doing this to my friends. I think I would get slapped!

I disaprove of the way Ryyker was belittling you.  And wanted to express it.

"All evil needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson.


One of my favorite quotes from our founding fathers. I would list more but those would incite anger from people on this site also.

I have a similar problem.  A tendency to know how the sentences I write connect logically (in my head) but overlook that fact the expression does not always carry it through.

:lol:

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I'm glad I'm not the only one! :D

#145 Loungehead

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:02 PM

You seem to hold a lot of respect for the creationist point of view. I do to, but I am curious how you came to it.

I've studied a lot of philosophy at university. And while I have always been open to considering alternative ideas, the Philosophy of Buddhism paper that I'm doing introduced an approach to studying religious philosophy in a serious way, despite any disagreement I might personally have. Instead of dismissing perceived or real inconsistencies, contradictions, and absurdities in religious philosophy (and Buddhism has plenty), I've learnt to take those anomalies and find ways in which they can be reconciled within the philosophical system to which they relate. For example, instead of judging creationism from the perspective of evolutionary biology, it needs to be understood on its own terms.

So the respect I give creationism is based on my desire to learn the metaphysical basis for it.

Just remember when thinking about Dawkins is that he is a scientist first and a philosopher last.

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For sure. I find his historical anaylsis and sociological anaylsis very amateur too.

I think the understanding you have so far is good.  but the biggest thing to remember is that to a Creationist is that the Bible is infallible.  So everything that they see is skewed by that perspective.  Like you said its not a bad thing. 
Good I thought I had it pretty much figured out after you explained it.

That's the bit I struggle with. I have no understanding of Biblical interpretation. I was brought up a Catholic, and was taught that Genesis is metaphorical and the Bible was spiritual and moral guide. Not a scientific database.

And when I indicated a desire to learn Biblical interpretation in another thread, CTD kept trying to undermine the integrity of my enquiry. And the ensuing argument had the thread subsequently closed. So, I sort of avoid that issue now, which is a shame, because I'm still ignorant on how to interpret the Bible.

The other problem is that Creationism is not only a Christian science. Islam also adopts Creationism, so where does the Bible fit in with that?!
:lol:
But I'm not considering that just yet. My head might explode.

So here is the question then.  If the eye without the 's cones' is not considered a human eye, is the person who has the 'non-human eye' still considered a human?  This person has a 'non-human' part, so they cannot be human.

I assume so.

If this person is no longer a human because of this different eye, doesn't this show that IC proves evolution?  This person changed species because they have non-human features.

I suppose it does! :lol:

#146 deadlock

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:22 AM

So even if a human was born with an eye without S cones, that missing part according to evolutionary theory does not mean the individual does not have a human eye.  They merely have an eye outside the statiscal mean of 20/20 full colour vision.  Where as irreducible complexity claims they do not have a human eye, due to a part (S cones) missing that would make it function as a human eye with full colour.


No, it only claims that the eye will not function properly.

#147 Javabean

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 06:49 AM

No, it only claims that the eye will not function properly.

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I can accept you answer, but I am really interested in Ryyker's answer to this line of thinking.

From reading his posts it seems to me that if the mouse trap is missing a part it is no longer a mouse trap. So a human eye missing the s cones is no longer a human eye.

I do want to ask you this. Did you get the same impression from his posts?

#148 Ryyker

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 06:25 AM

It seems some people want to play dumb and not accept the consequences of such action. It seems some people want to use the plain meaning of words only when it suits them.

The arbitary alteration of plain meaning is the antithesis of examination which surely defeats the main reason for this forum's exsitence.

I would like to ask a simple question that was asked by a great man a long time ago - How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?

#149 Ryyker

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 06:45 AM

I would just like to state that I think Javabean is highly intelligent, it has been a pleasure and informative to read his posts on EFT from a critical thinking and rhetoric detection perspective.

#150 Javabean

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:38 AM

I would just like to state that I think Javabean is highly intelligent, it has been a pleasure and informative to read his posts on EFT from a critical thinking and rhetoric detection perspective.

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PODPERSON!!!!!!!!!!! :o

What did you do with Ryyker!!!!!

Ryyker thank you for those kind words. I have enjoyed discussing different topics with you, even if we disagree. I find that your posts have been very well written and informative.




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