Fathers’ Rights

A Chicago Blog

The limits of science: where does the information come from?

Posted by madcap on March 7, 2008

New Plant Evolution Paper Misfires while Debating the Controversy That Doesn’t Exist

In short, this paper is not about biological origins, it’s an empirical study of the processes of cell wall growth in plants. (As an afterthought in his paper, Kutschera does observe that there are striking similarities between the growth of helicoidal structures in both plants and insects, but he finds that these must be convergent similarities and no where attempts to explain how cell walls evolved.) Why would Kutschera claim that this is evidence against intelligent design?

Fundamentally, intelligent design investigates the origin of the information in life. What Kutschera has done is analogous to a person who opens up a computer and does nothing more than describes how it works. One can study a computer and find that a good one will work without any intelligent oversight as long as it’s plugged into a power source. But that doesn’t mean that the complexity underlying the computer’s operation evolved by a natural process. Such a study may describe how a computer works, but it does not explain how the computer arose in the first place. Thus, Kutschera’s empirical study is worthwhile. But such types of studies do not explain mechanisms of the origins of the first computer—nor of cell walls. Full article

Advertisements

15 Responses to “The limits of science: where does the information come from?”

  1. Dan said

    Fundamentally, intelligent design isn’t investigating anything. No experiments, nothing.

    What intelligent design advocates ARE doing is trying to stop actual scientists from discussing their methodological inquiries.

  2. madcap said

    So where does information come from and why? No Telos? No Eros? You can prove this? Also, people have been conducting mind experiments for thousands of years. It’s called meditation. Strangely, the sages of old claim many of the same things as modern science concerning the nature of the Kosmos. Dan, you are a orange vMeme all the way!
    See this:
    https://thoughtsongod.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/holons-and-the-four-ways-of-being/

  3. Dan said

    “So where does information come from and why?”

    Information? Try biochemistry.

    “Strangely, the sages of old claim many of the same things as modern science concerning the nature of the Kosmos.”

    Right – what was it that Plato said about Special Relativity? I forget.

  4. madcap said

    “Right – what was it that Plato said about Special Relativity? I forget.”

    You did not forget, you never knew.

    “Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves.” -Nagarjuna, old school Buddha

    “An elementary particle is not an independently existing unanalyzable entity. It is, in essence, a set of relationships that reach outward to other things.”-H.Stapp, new school physics

    “The world thus appears as a complicated tissues of events, in which connections of different kinds alternate or overlap or combine and thereby determine the texture of the whole.”-Heisenberg

    “He on whom the sky, the earth, and the atmosphere are woven, and the wind, together with all life-breaths, Him alone know as the one soul.”-Mundaka Upanishad

    It’s all holons, all the way up and all the way down. Too bad your view of the Kosmos is restricted to the biosphere. What a strange flatland. There is so much more!

  5. Dan said

    Thanks for the correction. I didn’t know about the Buddhist particle accelerators.

  6. madcap said

    What is so cool is that the ancient sages knew that there was an unseen world behind the material cosmos we see. Then when science was able to crash particles into each other, what do you know, some of the energy disappears into some unseen realm. Not bad for some old dood sitting on a rock meditating!

    Today we know so much more about holons. We know that the unfolding of evolution does not stop at the biosphere but continues into noosphere and theosphere. We also know that Eros and Telos are the two driving forces that science can not explain. You stop evolution at the biosphere and do not see that noosphere is of a higher order that biosphere. This is called flatland. It is the pathology of orange vMeme.

  7. Dan said

    What bothers me about that logic is the failure to distinguish between empirical and non-empirical knowledge. For instance, contrary to what you’re suggesting, it was not the religious mystics who began to look for rational ways of thinking about the world. That was the ancient Greeks – John Wilkins explains that fairly well.

    I’m not familiar with the notions of the “noosphere” or the “theosphere.” Are these concepts anything grounded in any evidence-based reasoning, or is this more of what looks to be your muddled confusion of truths and facts?

  8. Dan said

    Hold on – I’m looking up info on the noosphere and theosphere, which appear to have wikipedia entries (wiki isn’t thorough, but in a pinch it’ll do). I’ll try and address those concepts in a bit.

    I hope that helps.

  9. madcap said

    Well, if you can see that you have consciousness then you are familiar with the noosphere. This is from the ancient Greeks that you mention. From the biosphere comes noosphere. Life became aware of its self. I have provided information on the evolutionary process of all these layers of the Kosmos.

    You mention reason, this would be a product of orange vMeme. But, the evolution of consciousness does not stop at reason but continues into trans-rational realms. Often people get caught in what is known as pre-trans confusion. That is confusing pre-rational (magic and myth) with trans-rational or integral awareness.
    See:
    https://thoughtsongod.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/beyond-darwin-integral-evolution/
    and:
    https://thoughtsongod.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/holons-and-the-four-ways-of-being/

    Also, I’m glad that you are looking this up, but keep in mind this is big stuff that cannot be understood by reading one web page. I have been studying this stuff for 15 years including hundreds of books from all fields of research. I’ll have to take your comments with a block of salt.

  10. Dan said

    Okay – some of my thoughts on “noosphere” first (again, based on a very quick reading of wikipedia, so feel free to point out where my impressions are off the mark):

    – This idea sounds very fishy. In biology at least, vitalism is generally a code-word for crackpot, and has been since about 1920. You can argue legitimately that activities involving collective consciousness take on a life of their own, but that’s just metaphor. The literal reality is that emergent properties of complex networks exhibit hierarchical dynamics, creating new rules and behaviors for added levels of the hierarchy, but still completely dependent upon the functioning of lower levels of the hierarchy. You’re still talking about the interactivity of the biosphere.

    For theosphere, from what I can see, the theosphere appears to be an extension on the noosphere. Hence, it the same criticisms probably apply, I would imagine. Similarly with ‘holons.’ All of this appears to be valid in completely non-empirical and metaphorical modes of perceiving reality.

    Thus, again, I’m left being bothered by the blurring of the lines between empirical and non-empirical forms of understanding.

  11. madcap said

    Thus, again, I’m left being bothered by the blurring of the lines between empirical and non-empirical forms of understanding.

    Ok, you bring up an important point that Wilber address in depth. Give me a min to put it together.

  12. madcap said

    This has to do with the big three that the Greeks did not separate. This would be the true, good, and beautiful that I mentioned before. What happened is that over time the big three did separate and rightfully so. Each addresses a different dimension of the Kosmos. This happened for several reasons that I won’t get into, but I will mention the separation of physics and biology. Times arrow moves in different directions in the physiosphere and the biosphere. One is winding up, the other is winding down.

    So, the hard sciences took off in their own specific directions, metaphysics went another way and so on. This is all well and good except that things became fractured, no one was comparing notes and therefore did not, and does not see the patterns that connect the evolutionary process in all three realms.

    I have mentioned that you are a specialist, which is great until you collapse all of the Kosmos to the level of biospher, and some others to the physiosphere.

    In my view the biosphere is of a higher order than the physiospher in that it transcends and includes the physiosphere. Bios takes on something new. This pattern of transcend and include is found at all layers, and all levels of the Kosmos.

    Thus we have noosphere arising from biosphere. What you tend to do is known as gross reductionism, in that you do not recognize that noosphere as a higher order than bios. And yet you will recognize that bios as higher than physios. (I think?)

    Now, the best model of the evolution of consciousness, or moral development can be found in Spiral Dynamics. I gave you the links.

    I would highly recommend reading Sex, Ecology, and spirituality; The Spirit of Evolution by Ken Wilber. Seriously, I think you will find it interesting.

    Let me give you one example of pre-trans confusion in psychology. Freud took all trans-rational awareness and cast it down into the basement with the “id”. Jung on the other hand elevated pre-rational states of awareness to trans-rational.

    Rather than “blurring the lines” I’m re-integrating and clarifying lines.

    “what looks to be your muddled confusion of truths and facts?”

    It looks muddled to you because of your own ignorance, not in me being an “idiot.” For those living in flatland things get confused real quick.

  13. Dan said

    “In my view the biosphere is of a higher order than the physiospher in that it transcends and includes the physiosphere. Bios takes on something new. This pattern of transcend and include is found at all layers, and all levels of the Kosmos.”

    Okay so far. Yes, this is the hierarchical dynamics I was mentioning, where the physics represents the foundation but not the entirety of chemistry, and chemistry represents the foundation but not the entirety of biology. No argument there. What is critical is that these are all actual entities composed of matter.

    “Thus we have noosphere arising from biosphere. What you tend to do is known as gross reductionism, in that you do not recognize that noosphere as a higher order than bios.”

    To this, I say ‘sort of,’ in a metaphorical manner. I say metaphorical, because unlike the case for biology, chemistry and physics, it is difficult (or at least unorthodox) to claim that there is an actual hierarchical level to study. The only way I can make sense out of it is to refer to this concept of ‘sphere of collective consciousness’ is to call it sociology or some such principle of social networking, and thus the ‘sociosphere’ instead of the ‘noosphere.’

    I will look into the Wilber book.

    And no, your suggestion that Darwin inspired Hitler aside, I do not think that you are an idiot. I’m also fully willing to acknowledge my ignorance on certain topics.

  14. madcap said

    “I do not think that you are an idiot. ”

    That is real good news because for a roofer with a high school diploma I think I do well in the arena of ideas. Let’s just agree to disagree on the Hitler thing. This far more interesting anyway.

  15. madcap said

    I would like to move this conversation to a different thread. This one has the maps we need to look at.
    https://thoughtsongod.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/holons-and-the-four-ways-of-being/

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: