Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#261  Postby Animavore » Aug 10, 2015 11:49 pm

Calilasseia wrote:Oh, while you're at it, you can take my own little challenge, that I keep tossing in the direction of people who think they have some sort of privileged handle on "detecting design". One of the rocks in the photo below is "designed", in the sense that it was shaped by a Palaeolithic human. Can you work out which one?


Can I make a stab at this?
Is it the one with the smiley face circled in green, or the fat chicken within the red circle?
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#262  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Aug 11, 2015 2:33 am

Hmmmm......design!

We humans are somewhat remarkable animals. Enormously successful in the sense that we can live in nearly every habitat, and have been able to populate the globe, to the tune of 7.3 billions, and counting.

We are social animals that live in two 'realities": the physical and the social. How we reconcile the two realities has been a subject of interest for millennia:-

Hamlet. Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?
Polonius. By th’ mass and ’tis like a camel indeed.
Hamlet. Methinks it is like a weasel.
Polonius. It is backed like a weasel.
Hamlet. Or like a whale?
Polonius. Very like a whale.
Hamlet. Then I will come to my mother, by and by.

http://eic.oxfordjournals.org/content/62/1/1.short

Our brains, like the rest of us, has evolved in such a way as to give us biological fitness. it does not endow us with the natural ability to do science well. We have to unlearn our cognitive biases, our one-shot learning, our pareidolian tendencies to do good science.

Our language has evolved along with our biology. To understand evolution, we have to re-design our word concepts to account for reality. [Or natural phenomena, which is the closest to reality as we are likely to achieve].

Design is one of those word-concepts that needs re-thinking, and updating, in the light of evolution. For millennia, we put a face on the designer. We personalize design. Human design, design by god[s]. For a long time, we could imagine no other designer. Until Darwin. To understand 'design" without entity or face, we have to move away from design as necessarily being a cognitive process, but rather a computative process.

Natural Selection of living patterns acts as a filtration process, no more remarkable than the process of evaporation that gives us [relatively] clean water when it falls as rain. As living patterns are in fact, the products of gene products interacting with the environments, this filter has computative power, acting over generations to give the appearance of design by conscious agency. However, this filtration process is far from perfect, the calculations far from being precise-what we have is a probability pump.
We can argue over semantics, but that is what it is.

Richard Dawkins coined the term "designoid" to describe the products of this natural selection process. A good term. Perhaps we need a third term to capture all the known or posited "species" of "design". I would call such a family of word-concepts the "Garfunkle". One could call it a "popsickle" if one prefers-it is just a container.

Garfunckle [container for all things that are or look in any way 'designed"

Genus "designer" : this would include designer agencies like :-
: "Creator god[s]: facts not in evidence.
: Intelligent beings, such as Human beings [fact] and Intelligent extraterrestrials [only posited]

Genus & Species: Natural Selection.

Until we have evidence for gods and ET, we have to discard them as designers. Humans, as designers in evolution, were not available to design [or garfunckle] most of evolutionary history, and indeed, cannot be responsible for the origin of life unless we deny the arrow of time.

We are left with natural selection as the only species of "garfunckle" that explains the designoid patterns we call life.

ETA:-
And of course, although ET could have seeded Humans, they could not have seeded themselves, and so for ET too, NS [in the absence of everything else], must have seeded their 'design" also. Of course, if we get good data on gods, then we would have to rethink. Until then, NS is the only valid hypothesis. The "garfunkle" of choice.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#263  Postby igorfrankensteen » Aug 11, 2015 4:37 am

I clearly don't understand "peer review journals."

I'd always thought that the way they worked, was to have a very few people take a cursory glance at an article, and then the publication of it was what actually triggered the "peers" to review it.

In other words, the "peers" don't see it until it IS published. Do I take it instead, that the more reputable "peer review" journals send every article to thousands of "peers" for review before publication?
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#264  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Aug 11, 2015 9:09 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:I clearly don't understand "peer review journals."

I'd always thought that the way they worked, was to have a very few people take a cursory glance at an article, and then the publication of it was what actually triggered the "peers" to review it.

In other words, the "peers" don't see it until it IS published. Do I take it instead, that the more reputable "peer review" journals send every article to thousands of "peers" for review before publication?

The editors have a look, and assign reviewers to read it. In their review they may deem it OK for publication, ask for a re-submit after the author fixes up the glitches they find, or reject it outright.
Once published, it is open to anyone in the field to criticism the paper, which is often done. The author may print corrections, often suggested by readers, or even a retraction, which may or may not be voluntary. [In the case of fraudulent results for example].
In short, I don't understand your objections. The system is not perfect, but what system is??
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#265  Postby Shrunk » Aug 11, 2015 12:54 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:I clearly don't understand "peer review journals."

I'd always thought that the way they worked, was to have a very few people take a cursory glance at an article, and then the publication of it was what actually triggered the "peers" to review it.

In other words, the "peers" don't see it until it IS published. Do I take it instead, that the more reputable "peer review" journals send every article to thousands of "peers" for review before publication?


Not thousands, but usually three or four, or thereabouts. Who (should) be expert in the relevant fields and give it a very thorough going over before it is accepted for publication. Things still slip thru, however, and you're right that "peer review" in a larger sense continues after publication.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#266  Postby Shrunk » Aug 11, 2015 12:58 pm

Darwinsbulldog wrote:Until we have evidence for gods and ET, we have to discard them as designers. Humans, as designers in evolution, were not available to design [or garfunckle] most of evolutionary history, and indeed, cannot be responsible for the origin of life unless we deny the arrow of time.


Playing devil's advocate, however, the creationists would say that the existence of "intelligent design" is evidence for gods or ET or some other non-human "creator."
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#267  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 11, 2015 8:13 pm

The problem being of course, is that none of them knows what it takes to convert assertions about "design" into something other than blind assertions.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#268  Postby Jan_Thomas » Aug 12, 2015 12:21 am

Shrunk wrote:Hi, Jan_Thomas. Welcome to the group.

I think you'll find the flaws in the paper quite thoroughly dealt with in PZ Myers' article I linked in the OP. Here's the link again:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ ... /#comments

If there's anything there you're not understanding, I'm sure some of the members here can help clear up your confusion.


Thank you for your welcome!

I have just, with increasing frustration, read through the first 212 posts of this thread. Disappointingly, the discussion almost imediately derailed from the original topic (shCherbak's paper) and instead concerned ID vs Evolution. This war of ideologies I suspect is quite common on this forum. Hats off to Rumraket and especially Calilasseia for producing a lot of interesting abstracts and papers regarding code origin / evolution, all in the interest of sober discussion via evidence. You seem to have ample expertise in that field, and I will try to read those abstracts with interest.

Sadly, that lenghty discussion with one particularly stubborn creationist slowly but surely degenerated into a heated emotional exchange of the same arguments over and over, with a few insults sprinkled in. I wouldn't have had the patience to stay calm for as long as you did. I have now got to the point where the actual co-author of the paper arrived in this thread to steer the discussion back towards his work, not knowing that he was walking into a bar-fight... :shock: I fear that your first responses to him reflect the state the discussion was at this point, as he was treated with the same aggressiveness as the ID-guy before him. I'll have to read the rest tomorrow.

Shrunk wrote:Hi, Jan_Thomas. Welcome to the group.

I think you'll find the flaws in the paper quite thoroughly dealt with in PZ Myers' article I linked in the OP. Here's the link again:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ ... /#comments

If there's anything there you're not understanding, I'm sure some of the members here can help clear up your confusion.


Shrunk: Thanks for the link. I have had read the article by Myers before coming to this forum, as well as shCherbaks answer which can be found here: http://gencodesignal.info/pz-myers/ . For fairness' sake I recommend reading their answer, too. I must say that Myers - regardless of the actual statements - does not conduct himself very well. He immediately calls the paper garbage, then continues in a tone of childish hyperbole and comes across as hysteric. This makes it hard to judge his criticism on an objective level. Concerning the actual statements: He seems to confuse the authors of the paper with creationist ID-proponents. Their actual agenda is the possibility of panspermia. Nowhere in the paper do they propose a higher being as the magical creator of life. This is not the intention. The paper discusses the possibility of a pattern inside the genetic code that cannot be explained by todays theories of code evolution AND shows signs of artificiality. My own opinion of the shCerbak paper and Myers answer will have to wait till I've read the entire thread. I will not, however, start calling the authors "another set of Intelligent Design creationists in Kazakhstan" that are "wanking over tables".

Shrunk wrote:If I may ask, why are you spending so much time trying to grok this worthless article? Aren't there any more worthwhile publications you could be reading? You really think these guys have found scientific proof of God, and no one has noticed?


Good question. Why does everybody think shCherbak's paper has anything to do with god?

- I have an interest in astronomy. I have a big interest in SETI. I am not very religious.
- As a human being, I feel a deep interest in the question of how life originated. I want to know where we come from.
- These guys do not say they found a proof of god. They say they may have found indication for directed panspermia, a concept that has been around for decades and discussed by, among others, Francis Crick.
- Combining the above, this paper intrigued me very much. I think it derserves scrutiny. Should these guys be right, the implications would be immense. Should they be wrong, at least reading the part about the ideogram was a truly magnificient piece of science fiction.

More later, good night!
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#269  Postby Shrunk » Aug 12, 2015 12:58 am

Yeah, well, if your primary criterion in judging the worth of an argument is the tone in which it is presented, good luck to you, Jan. You're going to find this difficult. But if you insist on trying, you might want to focus on Rumraket's last response to Max, the paper's author. As was mentioned, his questions were never answered. Since you've read the paper, and think you've understood it, why don't you try answering Rumraket's questions yourself. I think that'll give you a pretty good idea of the worth of this paper.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#270  Postby Shrunk » Aug 12, 2015 1:00 am

Oh, and this:

Jan_Thomas wrote:I have just, with increasing frustration, read through the first 212 posts of this thread. Disappointingly, the discussion almost imediately derailed from the original topic (shCherbak's paper) and instead concerned ID vs Evolution. This war of ideologies I suspect is quite common on this forum.


"War of ideologies"? That's what you call it? :nono:
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#271  Postby Jan_Thomas » Aug 12, 2015 8:28 am

Shrunk wrote:Yeah, well, if your primary criterion in judging the worth of an argument is the tone in which it is presented, good luck to you, Jan. You're going to find this difficult.


Call me old fashioned, but "manner maketh man" (Sorry for the genesis-pun) and all that. When someone shouts and ridicules, that makes me a tiny bit suspicious. I have however tried to follow his argumentation and views with objectivity. In scientific discussion, every argument should be given level headed, every statement at least thoroughly thought through before being thrashed, right?

Shrunk wrote:But if you insist on trying, you might want to focus on Rumraket's last response to Max, the paper's author. As was mentioned, his questions were never answered. Since you've read the paper, and think you've understood it, why don't you try answering Rumraket's questions yourself. I think that'll give you a pretty good idea of the worth of this paper.


That's what I intend to do. I look forward to reading the discussion between you guys and Makukov (the co-author of the paper). I had to slog through 200 posts of fruitless back-and-forth with a creationist that refused to give your arguments due respect and gave no indication that he really thought them through, and could not accept that the other side could actually have a point.

Shrunk wrote:Oh, and this:

Jan_Thomas wrote:I have just, with increasing frustration, read through the first 212 posts of this thread. Disappointingly, the discussion almost imediately derailed from the original topic (shCherbak's paper) and instead concerned ID vs Evolution. This war of ideologies I suspect is quite common on this forum.


"War of ideologies"? That's what you call it? :nono:


Yes. One ideology being a rational approach to discovering the origin of life via the scientific method. Thesis and theory, all that. Facts and deduction. The other ideology being the attempt to apply some limited (and half understood?) form of the scientific method to prove something that is by definition unprovable, i.e. GOD.

What do you call the first 200 posts in this thread? "War on idiocy"?
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#272  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Aug 12, 2015 9:09 am

Shrunk wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:Until we have evidence for gods and ET, we have to discard them as designers. Humans, as designers in evolution, were not available to design [or garfunckle] most of evolutionary history, and indeed, cannot be responsible for the origin of life unless we deny the arrow of time.


Playing devil's advocate, however, the creationists would say that the existence of "intelligent design" is evidence for gods or ET or some other non-human "creator."

I don't take no notice of what creationists claim! :grin:

The basic conundrum is:- how did a universe without mind give rise to something with mind?
I think my argument addresses this. We need a more generic term for design and designoid phenomena, and that was what I discussed.
Our understanding of what happened ~ 4 billion years ago will almost certainly be incomplete, but it is really the only game in town. Unless god comes down on his chariot or ET in her starship, and even then I would not be sure, unless there really is summat weird about time.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#273  Postby Shrunk » Aug 12, 2015 10:46 am

Jan_Thomas wrote:What do you call the first 200 posts in this thread? "War on idiocy"?


That's a good description, yes.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#274  Postby Thommo » Aug 13, 2015 11:52 am

Missed this thread first time around, but I've started reading the paper just for the hell of it. About 6 pages in now, and it's readily apparent it's numerology pure and simple, partitioning quantities in arbitrary ways (from many possibilities) to get sums divisible by 37, which look "nice" in decimals, just as 123456789 would or 1212121212 would.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#275  Postby Shrunk » Aug 13, 2015 12:41 pm

Thommo wrote:Missed this thread first time around, but I've started reading the paper just for the hell of it. About 6 pages in now, and it's readily apparent it's numerology pure and simple, partitioning quantities in arbitrary ways (from many possibilities) to get sums divisible by 37, which look "nice" in decimals, just as 123456789 would or 1212121212 would.


Yup. Max already pretty well admitted at much in the following post, though he did not realize he was doing so:

Max @ Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

I, along with Rumraket and others, tried to get him to be more specific about his criteria for "specialness", but Max chose, instead, to bugger off since we didn't genuflect before his brilliance with sufficient humility.

GenesForLife, as he is wont to do, nailed it in a single line:

GenesForLife wrote:Some transformations of data yield patterns that pique the interest of people looking for certain kinds of patterns. Is that it?


(You might want to search thru his posts if you don't think he knows what he is talking about, Jan_Thomas.)
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#276  Postby Thommo » Aug 13, 2015 1:03 pm

Shrunk wrote:
Thommo wrote:Missed this thread first time around, but I've started reading the paper just for the hell of it. About 6 pages in now, and it's readily apparent it's numerology pure and simple, partitioning quantities in arbitrary ways (from many possibilities) to get sums divisible by 37, which look "nice" in decimals, just as 123456789 would or 1212121212 would.


Yup. Max already pretty well admitted at much in the following post, though he did not realize he was doing so:

Max @ Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

I, along with Rumraket and others, tried to get him to be more specific about his criteria for "specialness", but Max chose, instead, to bugger off since we didn't genuflect before his brilliance with sufficient humility.


Interesting. I'm not sure where he comes in with the ratios part though, the following:-
Max wrote:If candies were arranged among the packets by some natural process, then it would at best make ratios of their quantities look special (e.g. they could be related by Fibonacci series ;) ). But it could never manage to make their notation look special in a particular numeral system.


Is patently false. All number bases have some variation of the specific pattern of repeated digits he talked about present. 111 divides 222, 333, 444 etc. in every single possible base system, so any of the (probably infinite number of) possible base systems for which 111 is prime will result in a "special looking" quantity for any physical system which reliably produces something (like an atomic number, or atomic weight, or electron shell count, or quotient of atomic numbers or...) in integer multiples of that particular number (7 in base 2, 13 in base 3, 21 in base 4, 31 in base 5, 43 in base 6, 57 in base 7, ...) or any of that number's divisors (1, 3, 37, 111 in the case of base 10).
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#277  Postby Shrunk » Aug 13, 2015 3:59 pm

Ah well, Thommo. It's too bad you weren't around to receive a lecture from Max on high school arithmetic.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#278  Postby Thommo » Aug 13, 2015 4:38 pm

Mmm. Seems like I missed a treat.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#279  Postby Thommo » Aug 13, 2015 4:55 pm

Max wrote:Again, if you looked into the paper you could find that we did generate random codes and performed statistical test - see Appendix B in the Icarus paper. We also checked alternative codes - they did not reveal even exact equalities of nucleon sums, not to mention their notation in any system.


Heh.

About as much as "The Bible Code" did. Sure other code words and other lengths of skip between reading letters produce equally good predictions, but there's only the one book that works for this particular set of observations. :whistle:

This reminds me of the conversation I had with Someone back in the "unbelievable mathematics" thread. Coincidentally, he was engaging in numerology, now I think about it. Spooky. Probably something going on there.
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Re: Bizarre article claims genetic code is result of "design."

#280  Postby Spearthrower » Aug 19, 2015 10:53 am

Shrunk wrote:
The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code
Vladimir I. shCherbaka, Maxim A. Makukovb


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