Crop Circles

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Sean Pitman

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Mar 10, 2004, 11:10:40 AM3/10/04
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drea...@hotmail.com (Von Smith) wrote in message news:<8d74ec45.04030...@posting.google.com>...

> > For example, if I walk by a house in the morning and find a window
> > broken I can rationally assume either a mindless or mindful cause for
> > that broken window as both processes could give rise to such a
> > phenomenon. However, if I were to walk by this same house in the
> > evening and find that this window had been fixed, could I rationally
> > assume anything other than a mindful cause?
>
> I don't know. If I cut myself and it heals, could I rationally assume
> anything other than a mindful cause?

The reason why your skin heals when you cut yourself is not because
the molecules in your skin have some inherent individual capacity to
organize themselves in such a way. They are only able to work to heal
your skin because of the existence of the pre-established order of the
incredibly complex information system that directs the processes of
the skin to include its self-healing properties. If you don't believe
me, try cutting a dead body and see what happens. The cut doesn't
heal itself.

Consider the window example again for illustration. What if I set up
a very complex mechanical system that would sense when a window in a
house was broken and set about making a new window and would put it
into place when it finished making this window. Now, is the fixing of
the window in this case a "mindless" process? You may argue that it
is, but ultimately you know that without higher informational input,
the window, by itself, does not have enough informational complexity
to fix itself. It must rely on a much higher order of pre-established
informational complexity, in whatever form, to be fixed.

So, in seeing a window or a cut on your arm become "fixed" it is no
problem to know that a higher system of informational complexity was
driving such a phenomenon.


> If I shake up oil and vineager,
> and then come back later to find it re-separated, could I rationally
> assume anything other than a mindful cause?

The separation of oil and vinegar does not require the input of
outside information because the required information needed to give
rise to this phenomenon is contained within each of the individual oil
and vinegar molecules themselves. However, if you were to find drops
of oil and vinegar arranged in a very symmetrical pattern around your
plate, you could adequately assume design because you know that such a
pattern is not inherent to either oil or vinegar, but would require
some sort of outside informational input.

> We know from a variety of
> sources that *windows* do not heal themselves or reform on their own.
> There are other things that do, however.

Again, you must know two things in order to adequately propose the
activity of intelligent design. You must know the inherent
limitations of a give system and its individual components AND you
must know the potential of higher outside informational systems (such
as an intelligent mind at the level of the human mind or beyond).

For example, if you knew nothing about the normal crystallizable forms
of carbon you could not propose an intelligent origin behind a
perfectly cut diamond with 256 symmetrical facets. However, if after
studying carbon in greater detail you find that there is no inherent
properties within the carbon atoms themselves or other mindless
natural properties in the vicinity that give rise to such a
cut-diamond form, you can then adequately propose the involvement of
an intelligent mind or at least a much higher system of informational
complexity that is contained within the cut diamond.

Another useful example is the "crop circles" that people made in wheat
fields in England and elsewhere. Although there were a few who
proposed mindless causes when these symmetrical and ornate patterns of
circles first started appearing, the great majority of people
correctly saw evidence of a much higher intelligence behind these
patterns than can be achieved by any known mindless process - even
without having ever seen such a phenomenon created before by anyone or
anything. How where these people able to correctly determine an
intelligent origin without ever having met the origin of intelligence
behind this particular phenomenon? Obviously they were able to do
this because of their knowledge about two things: They knew that
crops, by themselves nor in conjunction with any other known mindless
process, did not and could not make anything even close to these
observed designs. The only rational option left was the assumption of
a much higher intelligence behind the formation of these circles.
Now, many people wrongly proposed an alien intelligence, but at least
they knew correctly a higher intelligence was involved. Obviously the
most likely intelligence in this case was a human intelligence. But
still, the fact that high intelligence or a system with much higher
informational complexity was involved could be clearly recognized
without having ever seen any intelligence create such a phenomenon
before.

Sean
www.naturalselection.0catch.com

Eric Gill

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Mar 10, 2004, 11:26:01 AM3/10/04
to
seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com (Sean Pitman) wrote in
news:80d0c26f.04031...@posting.google.com:

> drea...@hotmail.com (Von Smith) wrote in message
> news:<8d74ec45.04030...@posting.google.com>...
>
>> > For example, if I walk by a house in the morning and find a window
>> > broken I can rationally assume either a mindless or mindful cause
>> > for that broken window as both processes could give rise to such a
>> > phenomenon. However, if I were to walk by this same house in the
>> > evening and find that this window had been fixed, could I
>> > rationally assume anything other than a mindful cause?
>>
>> I don't know. If I cut myself and it heals, could I rationally
>> assume anything other than a mindful cause?
>
> The reason why your skin heals when you cut yourself is not because
> the molecules in your skin have some inherent individual capacity to
> organize themselves in such a way. They are only able to work to heal
> your skin because of the existence of the pre-established order of the
> incredibly complex information system that directs the processes of
> the skin to include its self-healing properties.

Good, good.

Now, tell us - why must a biological system be like a house?

<snip>

Malachi

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Mar 10, 2004, 12:10:08 PM3/10/04
to

Windows are not biological systems; they do not reproduce and are not in
competition for limited resources. Your analogy is a false one.

Again, crop circles are not biological systems; they do not reproduce and
are not in competition for limited resources. Your analogy is a false
one.

Frank Reichenbacher

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Mar 10, 2004, 2:52:30 PM3/10/04
to

"Sean Pitman" <seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com> wrote in message
news:80d0c26f.04031...@posting.google.com...

> drea...@hotmail.com (Von Smith) wrote in message
news:<8d74ec45.04030...@posting.google.com>...
>
<snip>

>
> > If I shake up oil and vineager,
> > and then come back later to find it re-separated, could I rationally
> > assume anything other than a mindful cause?
>
> The separation of oil and vinegar does not require the input of
> outside information because the required information needed to give
> rise to this phenomenon is contained within each of the individual oil
> and vinegar molecules themselves. However, if you were to find drops
> of oil and vinegar arranged in a very symmetrical pattern around your
> plate, you could adequately assume design because you know that such a
> pattern is not inherent to either oil or vinegar, but would require
> some sort of outside informational input.
>

Congratulations Sean, you correctly identified the oil and vinegar solution.
It is, in fact, the solution to the problem of the origin and evolution of
all living organisms:

The information for the evolution of self-replicating organic molecules and
for origin of the earliest living organisms is contained in the chemical and
physical natures of their constituents as affected and limited by the
envioronment. The evolution of new characters in organisms is contained in
the chemical and physical natures of their constituents as affected and
limited by the envioronment.

No other inputs required. The oil and vinegar phenomenon is no different
from the you and me phenomenon.

Frank

<snip>


Matt Silberstein

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Mar 10, 2004, 3:35:13 PM3/10/04
to
In talk.origins I read this message from
seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com (Sean Pitman):

[snip]

>Another useful example is the "crop circles" that people made in wheat
>fields in England and elsewhere. Although there were a few who
>proposed mindless causes when these symmetrical and ornate patterns of
>circles first started appearing, the great majority of people
>correctly saw evidence of a much higher intelligence behind these
>patterns than can be achieved by any known mindless process - even
>without having ever seen such a phenomenon created before by anyone or
>anything. How where these people able to correctly determine an
>intelligent origin without ever having met the origin of intelligence
>behind this particular phenomenon? Obviously they were able to do
>this because of their knowledge about two things: They knew that
>crops, by themselves nor in conjunction with any other known mindless
>process, did not and could not make anything even close to these
>observed designs. The only rational option left was the assumption of
>a much higher intelligence behind the formation of these circles.
>Now, many people wrongly proposed an alien intelligence, but at least
>they knew correctly a higher intelligence was involved. Obviously the
>most likely intelligence in this case was a human intelligence. But
>still, the fact that high intelligence or a system with much higher
>informational complexity was involved could be clearly recognized
>without having ever seen any intelligence create such a phenomenon
>before.

I suggest that a different logical process was used. Those who
proposed aliens argued that humans could not make such circles.
Those who proposed that humans made the circles claims that no
none non-human process made such circles, but humans had the
ability, were available at the appropriate time and place, and
did make such things. The notion of "mind" per se does not come
into the equation. I would further argue that no mind made the
circles. Mind don't more wheat stalks: bodies do. When you have
evidence of some bodies with the necessary abilities at the
appropriate time and place we can discussed deliberate
abiogenesis.


--
Matt Silberstein

Donate to the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum, burnt down by arsonists who wrote
"Remember Timothy McVeigh" on the wall.

C.A.N.D.L.E.S. stands for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments
Survivors.

www.candles-museum.com

Dissident

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Mar 10, 2004, 3:48:49 PM3/10/04
to
drea...@hotmail.com (Von Smith) wrote:
>>We know from a variety of
>>sources that *windows* do not heal themselves or reform on their own.

Grammatical errors, should be: "Windows does not heal itself
or reform on its own" ... as any owner of a Microsoft product
knows all too well.

John Wilkins

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Mar 10, 2004, 4:56:03 PM3/10/04
to
Eric Gill <eric...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Because Edgar Allen Poe wrote in both of them? Sorry, wrong riddle...
--
John Wilkins
john...@wilkins.id.au http://www.wilkins.id.au
"Men mark it when they hit, but do not mark it when they miss"
- Francis Bacon

Dana Tweedy

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Mar 10, 2004, 5:14:29 PM3/10/04
to

"John Wilkins" <john...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message
news:1gah5g1.ncvbp16abfydN%john...@wilkins.id.au...
snipping

.


> >
> > Good, good.
> >
> > Now, tell us - why must a biological system be like a house?
> >
> > <snip>
>
> Because Edgar Allen Poe wrote in both of them? Sorry, wrong riddle...

But why is a mouse when it spins?

DJT


Mark Isaak

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Mar 10, 2004, 10:49:47 PM3/10/04
to
On Wed, 10 Mar 2004 17:10:08 +0000 (UTC), Malachi <Mal...@Earth.com>
wrote:

>Windows are not biological systems. . .

Then why do they spread so many viruses?

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) earthlink (dot) net
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger." -- Hermann Goering

Malachi

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Mar 10, 2004, 11:40:10 PM3/10/04
to
On Thu, 11 Mar 2004, Mark Isaak wrote:

> On Wed, 10 Mar 2004 17:10:08 +0000 (UTC), Malachi <Mal...@Earth.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Windows are not biological systems. . .
>
> Then why do they spread so many viruses?

Because a large population of biological systems have been infected with
the Microsoft meme forcing them to install the Windows virus environment
on to their computers to perpetuate the viral strains.

John Wilkins

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Mar 10, 2004, 11:59:04 PM3/10/04
to
Malachi <Mal...@Earth.com> wrote:

In short, Windows is an enxtended phenotype :-)

But the fit shall prevail (he said, in this best of all possible worlds;
sure they will). Un*x is the future *and* the past.

Rodjk

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Mar 11, 2004, 2:33:11 AM3/11/04
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seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com (Sean Pitman) wrote in message news:<80d0c26f.04031...@posting.google.com>...

<SNIP>

So your skin heals itself due to a higher system of informational
complexity driving such a phenomenon, but oil and vinegar seperate due
to information contained in the molecules themselves?
But the healing of the skin is contained within the cells of the skin,
and all the reactions that occur are consistant with know chemical
activity.
So it is a bit more complicated, but not something that needs an
outside force to drive it.

Try again.
Rodjk #613

Sean Pitman

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Mar 11, 2004, 12:46:03 PM3/11/04
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rjk...@yahoo.com (Rodjk) wrote in message news:<dbe402.040310...@posting.google.com>...


> So your skin heals itself due to a higher system of informational
> complexity driving such a phenomenon, but oil and vinegar seperate due
> to information contained in the molecules themselves?
> But the healing of the skin is contained within the cells of the skin,
> and all the reactions that occur are consistant with know chemical
> activity.
>
> So it is a bit more complicated, but not something that needs an
> outside force to drive it.
>
> Try again.

If you look into a system and see that it cannot, by itself, go beyond
a certain point, then when it does go beyond this point, you must
assume the involvement of an outside system of greater informational
complexity.

Again, when you see a window in a house, you know through your
experience with glass windows that they simply cannot fix themselves
once they are broken. Their level of informational complexity simply
is not great enough to give rise to this level of functional
complexity. So, when you see that a glass window has been fixed, you
do not assume that the window fixed itself or that any other low
agency with a low level of functional complexity fixed the window
either. You know that fixing glass windows requires a fairly high
level of pre-established functional complexity.

The same is true for skin healing itself. The reason why skin can
heal itself is because of the pre-existence of a very high level of
functional complexity, which includes the rest of the body. For
example, the skin cells cannot work to heal the skin if the person's
heart stops pumping or the blood stops flowing to that area of skin.
All the subparts of the skin and many other aspects of the body must
be placed in a very highly specified arrangement at a very high level
of emergent functional complexity before they can work together to fix
a cut in the skin. Brought together randomly, the subparts simply
will not self-assemble at this level of complexity.

This is a bit different than a salad dressing made of vinegar and oil.
Taking the subparts of the salad dressing and mixing them together
randomly will not destroy their ability to separate themselves. This
"function" is contained entirely by the subparts themselves regardless
of their specified orientation. Of course you can even go smaller
than this. Both vinegar and oil have smaller subparts, which cannot
be rearranged without a loss of vinegar and oil properties or
functions. However, even you must admit that the level of specified
functional complexity found here is extremely low level when compared
to the level of specified functional complexity found in living skin
and the process of skin healing itself. And yet, neither process can
go very far beyond its pre-established level of complexity without the
input of higher-level systems of function.

For example living skin can heal itself because its pre-established
information and structural system supports such a process. However,
skin cannot do much of anything beyond its preprogramming. It cannot
spell out the letters "MOM" on a biker's dude's arm. It cannot filter
blood of waist products like the kidney. It cannot think like the
brain. It cannot make insulin like the pancreas . . . etc. If it did
start doing any of these things, it would be because of the influence
of an outside information system of greater complexity than the skin.

The same thing is true of vinegar and oil salad dressing. Such a
salad dressing has a very low level ability to separate itself into
vinegar and oil, but it can't do many other things very far beyond
this low level of informational complexity. Such a salad dressing
cannot grow legs and walk out of the salad bowl. It cannot arrange
itself on a flat plate into a circle of perfectly spaced droplets . .
. etc. If salad dressing were ever found in such forms, the
involvement of a pre-established outside information system is the
only logical solution. Depending on the level of complexity of the
particular phenomenon, the level of required complexity of the outside
information system can be determined with a fair degree of accuracy.

Consider the crop circle phenomenon again. No process with low-level
complexity could have made many of these circles or patterns. Many of
the patterns required a high level of functional complexity and
deliberate planning to create. No known level of functional
complexity less than that of a human mind could have produced these
crop circles. Of course something more complex than the human mind
could have been behind these formations, but it seems very clear that
nothing less than a human mind could have made these formations.
Certainly the crops themselves do not have this level of information
available to themselves. And, nothing around them in their
environment less complex than humans seems to have this level of
complexity either.

Knowing the limits of the system itself, when this system goes
significantly beyond these limits, it becomes clear that something
greater was definitely involved.

> Rodjk #613

Grinder

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Mar 11, 2004, 3:48:44 PM3/11/04
to

"Sean Pitman" <seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com> wrote in message
news:80d0c26f.04031...@posting.google.com...
> rjk...@yahoo.com (Rodjk) wrote in message
news:<dbe402.040310...@posting.google.com>...
>
> > So your skin heals itself due to a higher system of informational
> > complexity driving such a phenomenon, but oil and vinegar seperate due
> > to information contained in the molecules themselves?
> > But the healing of the skin is contained within the cells of the skin,
> > and all the reactions that occur are consistant with know chemical
> > activity.
> >
> > So it is a bit more complicated, but not something that needs an
> > outside force to drive it.
> >
> > Try again.
>
> If you look into a system and see that it cannot, by itself, go beyond
> a certain point, then when it does go beyond this point, you must
> assume the involvement of an outside system of greater informational
> complexity.

[snip]

Sincerely, isn't this circular?

Dana Tweedy

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Mar 11, 2004, 9:57:58 PM3/11/04
to

"Sean Pitman" <seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com> wrote in message
news:80d0c26f.04031...@posting.google.com...
> rjk...@yahoo.com (Rodjk) wrote in message
news:<dbe402.040310...@posting.google.com>...
snipping

> If you look into a system and see that it cannot, by itself, go beyond
> a certain point, then when it does go beyond this point, you must
> assume the involvement of an outside system of greater informational
> complexity.

Or perhaps just a simple modification of the original structure.

>
> Again, when you see a window in a house, you know through your
> experience with glass windows that they simply cannot fix themselves
> once they are broken. Their level of informational complexity simply
> is not great enough to give rise to this level of functional
> complexity. So, when you see that a glass window has been fixed, you
> do not assume that the window fixed itself or that any other low
> agency with a low level of functional complexity fixed the window
> either. You know that fixing glass windows requires a fairly high
> level of pre-established functional complexity.

Because we know that glass is not living tissue.


>
> The same is true for skin healing itself. The reason why skin can
> heal itself is because of the pre-existence of a very high level of
> functional complexity, which includes the rest of the body. For
> example, the skin cells cannot work to heal the skin if the person's
> heart stops pumping or the blood stops flowing to that area of skin.
> All the subparts of the skin and many other aspects of the body must
> be placed in a very highly specified arrangement at a very high level
> of emergent functional complexity before they can work together to fix
> a cut in the skin. Brought together randomly, the subparts simply
> will not self-assemble at this level of complexity.
>

Sean, are you sure you are an MD? I'm just a lowly Paramedic, and even I
know that skin cells can be grown in a media culture, without the need for
the whole human body. All that is required for healing the skin is cell
division, something cells have been doing for billions of years before there
was a human body to hang the skin on.
http://www.bioshares.com.au/bioshares32.pdf
http://www.medbc.com/annals/review/vol_10/num_4/text/vol10n4p215.htm

Pouliot R, Larouche D, Auger FA, Juhasz J, Xu W, Li H, Germain L.
"Reconstructed human skin produced in vitro and grafted on athymic mice".
Transplantation. Jun 15;73(11):1751-7, 2002.

Also, you seem to be assuming a random self assembly of sub parts, something
that evolutionary theory does not predict.


Snip the rest


DJT

Von Smith

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Mar 12, 2004, 2:26:41 AM3/12/04
to
> drea...@hotmail.com (Von Smith) wrote in message news:<8d74ec45.04030...@posting.google.com>...
>

Since Dr. Pitman has chosen to post identical responses to me in two
different threads, I will simply paste my response from the "Evidence
of Things Unseen" thread here.

> > > For example, if I walk by a house in the morning and find a window
> > > broken I can rationally assume either a mindless or mindful cause for
> > > that broken window as both processes could give rise to such a
> > > phenomenon. However, if I were to walk by this same house in the
> > > evening and find that this window had been fixed, could I rationally
> > > assume anything other than a mindful cause?
> >
> > I don't know. If I cut myself and it heals, could I rationally assume
> > anything other than a mindful cause?
>
> The reason why your skin heals when you cut yourself is not because
> the molecules in your skin have some inherent individual capacity to
> organize themselves in such a way. They are only able to work to heal
> your skin because of the existence of the pre-established order of the
> incredibly complex information system that directs the processes of
> the skin to include its self-healing properties. If you don't believe
> me, try cutting a dead body and see what happens. The cut doesn't
> heal itself.

Having read your earlier accounts of how DNA "guides" biological
processes, I would have thought your position to be that at least some
molecules in our bodies do indeed contain such an inherent capacity.

>
> Consider the window example again for illustration. What if I set up
> a very complex mechanical system that would sense when a window in a
> house was broken and set about making a new window and would put it
> into place when it finished making this window. Now, is the fixing of
> the window in this case a "mindless" process? You may argue that it
> is, but ultimately you know that without higher informational input,
> the window, by itself, does not have enough informational complexity
> to fix itself. It must rely on a much higher order of pre-established
> informational complexity, in whatever form, to be fixed.
>
> So, in seeing a window or a cut on your arm become "fixed" it is no
> problem to know that a higher system of informational complexity was
> driving such a phenomenon.
>
>
> > If I shake up oil and vineager,
> > and then come back later to find it re-separated, could I rationally
> > assume anything other than a mindful cause?
>
> The separation of oil and vinegar does not require the input of
> outside information because the required information needed to give
> rise to this phenomenon is contained within each of the individual oil
> and vinegar molecules themselves. However, if you were to find drops
> of oil and vinegar arranged in a very symmetrical pattern around your
> plate, you could adequately assume design because you know that such a
> pattern is not inherent to either oil or vinegar, but would require
> some sort of outside informational input.

You appear to be suggesting that nature cannot contain information
above the molecular level. If that is not what you are suggesting,
than I don't understand what the point of any of this is. The
individual molecules of my skin do not contain an inherent capacity to
heal skin; nor, for that matter, do the individual cells. I don't
know if live tissue samples of skin can heal themselves or not, but
for argument's sake I will assume that they cannot, at least not
optimally. In that case, the relevant system that would "contain the
information" for healing skin would then be the organism and its
environment (since envirnomental factors can aid, hinder, or even
prevent proper healing). The only questions that matter, then, are
whether or not *this* system can contain the requisite information
without "outside informational input", and if so, whether there is
anything else in the world that might provide such input.

There are plenty of examples of natural things behaving in ways that
are not dicated by their molecules. Certainly the orbits of planets
are not encoded in their molecules. Nor are the structure and
dynamics of their atmospheres. Nor are their surface geologies (for
those that have solid crusts). These things are largely determined by
environment and history. Come to think of it, so is the formation of
molecules in the first place.

To propose rigid limits on what sort of effects natural processes can
produce is essentially a claim about how much information the natural
world can contain. More specifically, to say that life cannot have
evolved naturally to its present diversity is to make a claim about
how much information its natural history can have contained. I don't
see that you are qualified to make such an assessment based on what is
known.

>
> >We know from a variety of
> > sources that *windows* do not heal themselves or reform on their own.
> > There are other things that do, however.
>
> Again, you must know two things in order to adequately propose the
> activity of intelligent design. You must know the inherent
> limitations of a give system and its individual components AND you
> must know the potential of higher outside informational systems (such
> as an intelligent mind at the level of the human mind or beyond).

This actually only boils down to one thing, really: the constraints
of the system as a whole. Examining sub-components can be useful, but
one must also consider the system's *emergent* properties before one
draws conclusions about "higher outside informational systems". None
of the individual components of a hurricane (the atmosphere, the
ocean, the earth's rotation and tilt, and the energy input from the
sun) contains the information needed to produce one; in fact, most of
the interactions among those parts do not produce one, either.
Nonetheless, hurricanes do happen when the system reaches a certain
state, and the process does not require any appeal to a "higher
outside informational system" at all. The relevant system and
environment contain the requisite information.

Speaking of systems, this is the second time you have ignored my
question about ecosystems. Are they complex? How do they happen?
Where does the information come from to produce and maintain them?

>
> For example, if you knew nothing about the normal crystallizable forms
> of carbon you could not propose an intelligent origin behind a
> perfectly cut diamond with 256 symmetrical facets. However, if after
> studying carbon in greater detail you find that there is no inherent
> properties within the carbon atoms themselves or other mindless
> natural properties in the vicinity that give rise to such a
> cut-diamond form, you can then adequately propose the involvement of
> an intelligent mind or at least a much higher system of informational
> complexity that is contained within the cut diamond.
>

Exactly. Once you know enough about a system's characteristics,
environment, and history, you can make meaningful predictions about
how it is likely to behave. If the system behaves in a way that is
unexpected, you can assume that: a) your model of how the system
works is incomplete, or b) something outside of the system has
intervened to modify it. Your "design inference" involves starting
with the pretence that life's complexity and diversity is somehow
unexpected or inexplicable given what we know about it, ignoring
possibility a) to account for this, and not only insisting on
possibility b), but also claiming to know exactly what causal agent
intervened thus.


> Another useful example is the "crop circles" that people made in wheat
> fields in England and elsewhere. Although there were a few who
> proposed mindless causes when these symmetrical and ornate patterns of
> circles first started appearing, the great majority of people
> correctly saw evidence of a much higher intelligence behind these
> patterns than can be achieved by any known mindless process - even
> without having ever seen such a phenomenon created before by anyone or
> anything.

People had seen hoaxes before and knew that there were plenty of human
beings around to produce them. They also knew that there was no other
independent positive evidence for any other plausible explanation. I
think most educated people pretty much knew from the start that crop
circles were produced not just by "a much higher intelligence", but by
human beings, in spite of all the media sensationalism about UFOs.
Those who did entertain extraterrestrials as a serious option did so
largely for two reasons: an unfounded and irrational incredulity
towards mainstream explanations, and prior cultural conditioning to
expect certain things from little green men. I see those same two
factors at work in almost all of your arguments against evolution and
for creationism.

Notice that these were the leading possibilities considered: human
hoax and little green men. This was based on *prior* models of how
these *specific* proposed agents were known or believed to behave, and
on prior assessments of their availability. AFAIK, few people
speculated about "intelligent agencies" in the abstract. Very few
people considered the possibility that God, or Satan, or Vishnu, or
fairies, or rogue Pentagon androids had made the circles, or that the
crops themselves had developed a collective intelligence and were
pleading with us to stop murdering them.

And notice that the crop circle case is actually a good
*counter-example* to the sort of design inference you propose. Once
again, as with demonic possession to explain illness, as with angels
to explain the orbits of the planets, and as with fairies to explain
fairy rings, the inference from an unexplained phenomenon to the
existence of an exotic and otherwise unevidenced intelligence failed.
The correct explanation turned out to be one previously known to be
"in the system".

> How where these people able to correctly determine an
> intelligent origin without ever having met the origin of intelligence
> behind this particular phenomenon? Obviously they were able to do
> this because of their knowledge about two things: They knew that
> crops, by themselves nor in conjunction with any other known mindless
> process, did not and could not make anything even close to these
> observed designs. The only rational option left was the assumption of
> a much higher intelligence behind the formation of these circles.
> Now, many people wrongly proposed an alien intelligence, but at least
> they knew correctly a higher intelligence was involved. Obviously the
> most likely intelligence in this case was a human intelligence. But
> still, the fact that high intelligence or a system with much higher
> informational complexity was involved could be clearly recognized
> without having ever seen any intelligence create such a phenomenon
> before.

As I said above, the case of crop circles actually serves as a
*caution* to any attempt to infer an exotic intelligence in the face
of baffling phenomena, not a vindication of it.


Von Smith
Fortuna nimis dat multis, satis nulli.

Sean Pitman

unread,
Mar 13, 2004, 11:23:31 AM3/13/04
to
"Dana Tweedy" <twe...@cvn.net> wrote in message news:<iN94c.844$CJ5...@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net>...

> > The same is true for skin healing itself. The reason why skin can
> > heal itself is because of the pre-existence of a very high level of
> > functional complexity, which includes the rest of the body. For
> > example, the skin cells cannot work to heal the skin if the person's
> > heart stops pumping or the blood stops flowing to that area of skin.
> > All the subparts of the skin and many other aspects of the body must
> > be placed in a very highly specified arrangement at a very high level
> > of emergent functional complexity before they can work together to fix
> > a cut in the skin. Brought together randomly, the subparts simply
> > will not self-assemble at this level of complexity.
> >
>
> Sean, are you sure you are an MD? I'm just a lowly Paramedic, and even I
> know that skin cells can be grown in a media culture, without the need for
> the whole human body. All that is required for healing the skin is cell
> division, something cells have been doing for billions of years before there
> was a human body to hang the skin on.

Do you, as a paramedic, know why a diabetic patient gets foot ulcers
that will not heal themselves? Such wounds would heal quickly on a
healthy person's foot. Why won't they heal on the diabetic patient's
foot?

The difference, you understand, is a lack of blood supply. Certainly
you can grow skin cells on a culture medium, but the skin cells cannot
grow without the culture medium providing them with nutrients.
Likewise, skin cells cannot grow to heal the body without the
nutrients brought by their blood supply. And another thing as an
aside, living skin on a body is far more than the superficial skin
cell layers produced in vitro for grafting purposes.

> Also, you seem to be assuming a random self-assembly of sub parts, something


> that evolutionary theory does not predict.

Evolution does predict self-assembly of sub parts without the
involvement of a higher intelligence or more highly ordered outside
system of complexity - - It is just that in the ToE this all happens
over extended periods of time of self-replication with little
"mistakes" and exposure to natural selection.

> DJT

Sean
www.naturalselection.0catch.com

Zachriel

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Mar 13, 2004, 4:28:01 PM3/13/04
to

"Sean Pitman" <seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com> wrote in message
news:80d0c26f.04031...@posting.google.com...
<snip>

>
> Knowing the limits of the system itself, when this system goes
> significantly beyond these limits, it becomes clear that something
> greater was definitely involved.
>

This is an argument from ignorance. You are asserting that if we don't know
what makes a system work, then it must be due to divine or intelligent
intervention. People didn't know what made the planets move in the sky, so
it was the work of angels. People didn't know what made people sick, so it
was demons.

You had claimed, in the thread "O Sean Pitman",

> So, you simple cannot get from "O" to "Beware a war of words, Sean
> Pitman, ere you err" without crossing significant gaps of neutral or
> even detrimental meaning/function.

This is incorrect and forms the crux of your argument from ignorance. Please
meet the challenge in "O Sean Pitman" where I have posted the definitions
necessary for the test of your assertion. (Due to my previous posting
problems, I am posting here in the hope that you see it.)
http://tinyurl.com/yrmdb

Dana Tweedy

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Mar 13, 2004, 4:35:21 PM3/13/04
to

"Sean Pitman" <seanpi...@naturalselection.0catch.com> wrote in message
news:80d0c26f.0403...@posting.google.com...

Usually poor circulation, resulting in tissue death. . That doesn't answer
my point. Skin cells, like other cells, can exist without a body to support
them. Diabetics have trouble getting the nutrition and O2 to their distal
cells, but the cells themselves can survive quite well as long as something
is providing them with nutrition and oxygen. Your point seems to be that
cells die without nutrition, which is true, but irrelevant.

>
> The difference, you understand, is a lack of blood supply. Certainly
> you can grow skin cells on a culture medium, but the skin cells cannot
> grow without the culture medium providing them with nutrients.
> Likewise, skin cells cannot grow to heal the body without the
> nutrients brought by their blood supply. And another thing as an
> aside, living skin on a body is far more than the superficial skin
> cell layers produced in vitro for grafting purposes.

Again, you seem to be missing my point. You say that the body is required
for skin cells to regenerate. I'm saying that skin cells can exist without
the body. Cells existed without human bodies for billions of years,
therefore your claim, that cells can't exist without a body to support them,
is wrong.

>
> > Also, you seem to be assuming a random self-assembly of sub parts,
something
> > that evolutionary theory does not predict.
>
> Evolution does predict self-assembly of sub parts without the
> involvement of a higher intelligence or more highly ordered outside
> system of complexity

Not true. Natural selection provides the "more highly ordered outside
system" No "higher intelligence" is in evidence, or required, so none is
appealed to. Parts of a human body did not randomly self assemble. They
were assembled by a natural process, that does not appear to have a "higher
intelligence" to guide it. The body is made up of cells, living as a colony
in a multicelluar organism.


- - It is just that in the ToE this all happens
> over extended periods of time of self-replication with little
> "mistakes" and exposure to natural selection.

Right, however those "mistakes" are more correctly called "mutations".
Mutations are usually neutral, but some are benefical. Natural selection
provides the "outside system" that prevents evolution from being a random
process of assembly.

DJT

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