A Challenge to both Evolution and Intelligent Design

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:02 am

I'm not sure I'm understanding what you're saying...

Are you saying that there is non-DNA life, but that regardless of what gets entered into the life category there will still be a clear distinction between living and non-living, and that this clear distinction will rely upon it being a replication process somewhat similar to the DNA replication process?

If that is so, then surely you can distinguish between particular forms of theoretical replication process, or say what it is about the DNA/RNA replication processes, which qualify them for life?

mark black
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Post by mark black » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:15 am

a_uk,

Read the references. You're wrong on this - and I haven't the patience to argue this out. I think your essential fault is fixation on this two energy sources idea. It's sometimes the case, but not necessary to understanding entropy - and just confusing when considering the relation between order and energy in a system. Read what I've written above. Don't add or interpret. It's all there. I assure you I know what I'm talking about, and I assure you that you are mistaken in your understanding of this concept. No need to reply because I've said all I'm going to say.

mb.

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Arising_uk
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Post by Arising_uk » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:33 am

mb,
You make the mistake of thinking that my replies are for your eyes only.

You misunderstand. The two energy sources was to make it simple. The principle applies to multiple energy sources, hence we think the Universe is an Entropic process but the jury is still out on this.

You still do not explain what you mean by "order" in your examples and, if its as I suspect, it'll be because its another imported concept that you blindly accept on your faith.

If you cannot understand that to say a process universally applies to everything and then say that it does not apply to just one thing, means you do not fundamentally understand the concept of a universal Law of Physics nor Logic. To further use such a law by using it to define an object by it not obeying the law, beggars belief.

But have it your way, we are free to believe anything we like.
a_uk

mark black
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Post by mark black » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:56 am

a_uk,

New day - new vigour. If you write mb at the top of the page I'm correct in assuming they are for my eyes - though of course they are there for anyone else to read, but that's not my concern.

Entropy has many connotations, as, we seem to agree, it applies to everything. However, I think we are talking at cross purposes here because you're talking about classical thermodynamics, and I'm talking about information theory.
In science, the term "entropy" is generally interpreted in three distinct, but semi-related, ways, i.e., from macroscopic viewpoint (classical thermodynamics), a microscopic viewpoint (statistical thermodynamics), and an information viewpoint (information theory).
wiki

In fact, statistical thermodynamics is the fundamental definition - so please stop insinuating that entropy is derived and incorrectly applied in information theory. Also stop accusing me of faith - or in lieu of an equally provactive insult, I'll call you a ****.

Order is atomic, ionic or molecular regularity in material objects. Diamonds for example, have an extremely ordered atomic structure. That's why diamonds can only be formed by enormous heat and pressure, and to disrupt that structure requires a massive amount of energy.

In relation to your last paragragh, you say:
a process universally applies to everything and then say that it does not apply to just one thing
We have agreed that entropy applies to everything, but I have not claimed it does not apply to life. I can only restate the reference from above:
In the popular 1982 textbook Principles of Biochemistry by noted American biochemist Albert Lehninger, for example, it is argued that the order produced within cells as they grow and divide is more than compensated for by the disorder they create in their surroundings...
The universal principle is not violated by the fact that the organsim is neagtively entropic. Negative entropy is defined as:
Negentropy - a shorthand colloquial phrase for negative entropy. The negentropy, also negative entropy or syntropy, of a living system is the entropy that it exports to keep its own entropy low; it lies at the intersection of entropy and life.
wiki.

I don't know why you're trying to make out that I'm mistaken. Is this philosophy or rhetoric? I still maintain that negative entropy is a distinguishing feature of animate matter - or life, and there's a cannon of scientific theory that backs up such a definition. So, it's not faith, it's knowledge - and if you want to fault that knowledge, you can either show that the way in which it has been arrived at is methodologically unsound or that there is something not accounted for by the theory.

mb.

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:53 pm

But mark, you are operating on faith.

I am not suggesting that you take things as a matter of faith (though you almost certainly do), but you do at least expect other people to take things as a matter of faith.
mark black wrote:I assure you I know what I'm talking about, and I assure you that you are mistaken in your understanding of this concept
This is one of the fundamental problems of your scientific authoritarianism; you want a social elite of people who are above the matter of faith, and believe what they do on the basis of the use of their own reason, but you want everyone else to believe what these special few tell them on faith. The beliefs of the general populace would still be religion, with a new class of priest.

Ofcourse, thats a vast over-simplification, because what you mean when you say reason is your own exercise of reason which you mistake to be representative of a universal and objective reason, and seem to think that everyone's disageement with you is inherently because they are either being awkward or stupid, and like so many egotistical utopianists you assume that were society to be fixed just right then a new class of people who can 'properly' utilise their reason would come into existence who, as it happens, would agree entirely with yourself.

Morpheus
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Post by Morpheus » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:12 pm

OK, so if you want a downbeat Christmas, here's Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah! Rejoicingly depressing...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=USJbN3G0L ... h_response

mark black
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Post by mark black » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:41 pm

Psychonaut,

Yes, I see what you mean. I'm currently reading a book called Wrinkles in Time - and despite the fact I'm reasonably cogent scientifically, there are things in there that I don't begin to understand - and have to take, somewhat on faith. I'm not an uncritical reader, but okay...I see what you mean.

That said, we're not talking about the cutting egde of cosmology and high energy physics - but a middle ground, common sense, scientific understanding of reality as a basis for social, political and economic decisions. I think most people could concievably understand this - and the main virtue of this is that it's non-ideological - and so we're not decision making on the basis of one people's greed, and/or hatred of another group.

But anyhow, as you have no doubt noticed - I've given up. This is in part due to the lack of sensible feedback - but something else happened that brought it home to me how futile it is. I was walking along in the market and out of the corner of my eye saw a woman fall over. I rushed over. 'Oh dear, are you all right? Here, let me help you up' I said, and stuck out my hand. The woman scowled at me and struggled and struggled to rise on her own - but refused to take my hand. It was only then the fact struck me that she was a Muslim - and wouldn't accept help from a white person.

If that's the way of things - so be it. I wish you all a very merry armageddon. Good riddance. The universe will be a better place without you.

mb.

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Arising_uk
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Post by Arising_uk » Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:07 pm

mb,
Not necessarily because you were white. It may have been because no man but her husband may touch her.

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Arising_uk
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Post by Arising_uk » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:31 pm

Psychonaut wrote:...Are you saying that there is non-DNA life, but that regardless of what gets entered into the life category there will still be a clear distinction between living and non-living, and that this clear distinction will rely upon it being a replication process somewhat similar to the DNA replication process?
I guess I am as in another post I qualified it to 'this planet'. Whether this applies elsewhere I can't say.
If that is so, then surely you can distinguish between particular forms of theoretical replication process, or say what it is about the DNA/RNA replication processes, which qualify them for life?
I not sure I understand what you mean by "distinguish between particular forms of theoretical replication process"? But for the bit I think I did I'd say its not a reductionist argument in that DNA/RNA etc(?) are living just that all living life here, is based upon this type of replicative process and everything that isn't is not living. And that this appears to be confirmed by our observations.

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:37 am

Mark, if you are a liberal who cares about minorities, and this is why you are offended that a minority should be bigoted towards you, then you have probably led somewhat of a sheltered life.

'Minorities' are no different than anyone else, which means they are often prideful, bigoted, hateful, racist etc. Minorities are not the natural ally of the liberal, the only natural ally is liberals themselves, regardless of their background.

It may just be that the woman didn't want to feel helpless, and wanted to feel good about the fact that she could stand on her own, who knows? There could be any number of reasons. There is no onus on anyone to accept your help, and I think its high time you realised that when you force 'help' on someone it is no help at all.

mark black
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Post by mark black » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:49 am

Arising,

Yes, it could have been that, but it's the same thing. It's still some religiously inspired rationale that overides the human instinct to offer, and the pragmatic need to accept help.

I had thought that, people would be forced to cooperate - and thus my writings were shining a light on the road ahead, but now I think, no matter how bad things get, you'll cling to your ideologically defined identities, abuse resources until there's nothing left and then slaughter eachother.

Merry Christmas!

mb.

mark black
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Post by mark black » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:31 am

Psychonaut,

I'm not a liberal and I don't care about minorities. How absurd would it be to decry the religiously founded nation state and then defend the religiously defined minority? Thanks for attempting to stuff me into that box - but I'm not some Gaurdian reading, lentil eating, culturally relativist eco-pixie. I'm a philosopher who strives above all for objectivity of understanding. I don't argue that humankind needs to cooperate because of the brotherhood of man - or in the name of universal love. I don't argue that we need to protect environmental resources from some romantic idea of nature. How naive do you think I am? It's the pragmatics of continued existence - that's all. What the incident showed me was that the pragmatics don't matter. When the shit hits the fan, you'll fail on your own terms rather than compromise and cooperate to succeed.

mb.
Last edited by mark black on Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:38 am

How naive do you think I am?
On the basis of the above? Very.
It's the pragmatics of continued existence - that's all. What the incident showed me was that the pragmatics don't matter. When the shit hits the fan, you'll fail on your own terms rather than compromise and cooperate to succeed.
It can be only hoped.

mark black
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Post by mark black » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:49 pm

Psychonaut,

That was a meaningful story - illustrative of the irrationality fostered by the man made differences between members of the same species.

mb.

Morpheus
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Post by Morpheus » Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:38 pm

Mark, yet again my pointy pixie ears are aquiver.

Frequently in your writing you see only this or that, rarely (if ever) this and that.

For example, we need a fully functioning Earth system not just for our physical survival, but also for our inner sense of wellbeing. I climb a hill or mountain when I need inspiration; the forest cloaks me when I'm sad and needy; a thunderous waterfall energises me when I'm feeling depleted. Nature is my source of spiritual fulfilment and healing. I'm not afraid to admit that I embrace the spiritual in nature. I don't think I'm naive or over-sentimental to grieve when ancient woodland is felled, when a river is polluted, a coral reef dies, or when a tribal society is uprooted and destroyed.

Rather, I'm saddened when I realise that many people see nature as something outside of themselves. Thus, eco-systems are destroyed in the wake of unbridled industrialisation. As we are beginning to realise, this has been the greatest folly our of era. Due to our sense of disconnection from the Source, we are numb to the pain of self-destruction.

Also, extremist or fundamentalist religious beliefs are not much different from the extremist notion that science has the monopoly on Truth. All such notions are dogmatic, oppressive, delusory and ultimately destructive.

Where's the balanced position?

.

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