PDA

View Full Version : METHINKS IT IS A WEASEL

Pages : [1] 2

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 10:13 AM
WEASEL

Question: How many “good” words are there in English for the various numbers of letters, two, three, four, five and six etc. ? What then is the probability p that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change will result in another good word ?

San Jose Scrabble® Club No. 21

TWO LETTER WORDS
1 page x 56 + 39 = 95 out of 26 x 26 = 676
p= 0.14

THREE LETTER WORDS
16 pages x 56 + 7 = 903 out of 26 x 26 x 26 = 17,576
p=0.0514

---------------------------------------------------------
Australian Scrabble® Players Association (ASPA)

http://www.scrabble.org.au/words/threes.htm

http://www.scrabble.org.au/words/fours.htm

FOUR LETTER WORDS
6 pages x 840/page = 5040 + 35 = 5075 out of 676 x 676 = 456,976
p= 0. 011

-----------------------------------
http://aaron.doosh.net/lexicon/05LetterWords.html

All of the Five Letter Words in the WORDOX Dictionary:
18/line x 45 lines/page x 12 pages + 12 lines x 18 = 9936
26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 = 11,881,376
p=0.00084

All of the Six Letter Words in the WORDOX Dictionary:
18/line x 45 lines/page x 26 pages + 18 x 18 = 21,384
26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 = 308,915,776
p=0.000069

Summarizing:
2 - p= 0.14
3 - p= 0.0514
4 - p= 0.011
5 - p= 0.00084
6 - p= 0.000069
7 – p= ?
--------------------

METHINKS DAWKINS STINKS

Jukia
February 14th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Is this related to Pastor Enyart's silly "did life evolve?" program?

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 01:55 PM
Is this related to Pastor Enyart's silly "did life evolve?" program?

Nope.

You really "don't get it, do you? :dunce:

Jukia
February 14th, 2006, 01:59 PM
Nope.

You really "don't get it, do you? :dunce:

guess not, want to explain to us dunces out here. Thanks so much.

Vaquero45
February 14th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Is this related to Pastor Enyart's silly "did life evolve?" program?

"evolution, yay!!!"

"creation, booo!!!"

Thanks Jukia.

Johnny
February 14th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Another horrible analogy (quell suprise). You and Bob Enyart should team up. Perhaps you two working together could cook up something even more deceitful than either of you have achieved on your own.

fool
February 14th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Bob?
It looks like you hired Letsargue to write your OP.
Can you drop a dime in the clue machine for us and tell us what on Earth your talking about?

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 04:12 PM
Bob?
It looks like you hired Letsargue to write your OP.
Can you drop a dime in the clue machine for us and tell us what on Earth your talking about?

Nope.

It's better if you think some more about it (if you can rise above the thinking "rut" you are in) and suddenly the light may dawn.

When it does prepare yourself for a major paradigm shift.

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Another horrible analogy (quell suprise). You and Bob Enyart should team up. Perhaps you two working together could cook up something even more deceitful than either of you have achieved on your own.

I love this.

Johnny can't rise out of his thinking "rut" either. :D

fool
February 14th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Nope.

It's better if you think some more about it (if you can rise above the thinking "rut" you are in) and suddenly the light may dawn.

When it does prepare yourself for a major paradigm shift.
Yup, Letsargue has hacked Bob's computer.

Jukia
February 14th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Nope.

It's better if you think some more about it (if you can rise above the thinking "rut" you are in) and suddenly the light may dawn.

When it does prepare yourself for a major paradigm shift.

Well, thanks bob b, you would have made one heck of a teacher.

However, it seems related to Pastor Enyarts dumb example. Thanks a lot anyway.

Jukia
February 14th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Yup, Letsargue has hacked Bob's computer.

Maybe they are the same person! Has anyone seen them together?

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Well, thanks bob b, you would have made one heck of a teacher.

However, it seems related to Pastor Enyarts dumb example. Thanks a lot anyway.

I actually had no expectation that you would "tumble", but I really did think that fool and Johnny might have.

I will give them more time to think about it while remaining hopeful that they might see at least the first part of what is really a three-part example.

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 04:27 PM
However, it seems related to Pastor Enyarts dumb example. Thanks a lot anyway.

Actually, bob b didn't seem to draw any conclusions from his example, did he?

I think it would be mildly interesting to Scrabble players, etc.

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 04:33 PM
What then is the probability p that having one particular “good” word that a single letter change will result in another good word ?

Summarizing:
2 - p= 0.14
3 - p= 0.0514
4 - p= 0.011
5 - p= 0.00084
6 - p= 0.0000056
7 – p= ?
--------------------

These results are wrong considering how you've defined p. You need to recheck the math.

bob b
February 14th, 2006, 04:41 PM
These results are wrong considering how you've defined p. You need to recheck the math.

Oh, this is rich. I predicted to my wife that someone would start arguing about the details and miss the whole point of the example. That is probably why some smart people, like most evolutionists, never can "see the forest for all those trees", yet the "simple" folk can, because lacking knowledge of all the nitty gritty details (the trees) they can easily see the big picture (the forest).

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 04:56 PM
Oh, this is rich. I predicted to my wife that someone would start arguing about the details and miss the whole point of the example.

There was a point?

I just see you asking the question "What is the probability p that having one particular good word that a single letter change will result in another good word" and then giving a wrong answer because you don't understand the math.

Johnny
February 14th, 2006, 05:09 PM
Oh, this is rich. I predicted to my wife that someone would start arguing about the details and miss the whole point of the example. Inattention to details is why you are and will remain just another creationist who will never get his science right. What value does any analogy have if it is not analogous? What is the whole point of the example? Do enlighten us lowly evolutionists.

fool
February 14th, 2006, 06:00 PM
Actually, bob b didn't seem to draw any conclusions from his example, did he?

I think it would be mildly interesting to Scrabble players, etc.
Bob draws conclusion in other thread.

Actually my posting on METHINKS IT IS (LIKE) A WEASEL nicely disposes of "random mutations plus natural selection plus millions of years" in a simple and easy to see manner.

fool
February 14th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Me thinks it is a weasel indeed.
And it's wearin a cowboy hat.

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 06:47 PM
Actually my posting on METHINKS IT IS (LIKE) A WEASEL nicely disposes of "random mutations plus natural selection plus millions of years" in a simple and easy to see manner.

Wow! Your understanding of evolution or math (or both) is awful. You've failed on at least three accounts:

1) You did the math wrong.
2) Even if you would have done the math right, your analogy is flawed.
3) Even if you would have done the math right, and used a better analogy, you should have included a description of your goofy conclusions in this thread.

So, for starters, brush up on your math (specifically probability), learn what the phrase "random mutations plus natural selection" means, and reread your first post for the obvious glaring errors.

By the time you've finished that, you probably won't want to waste our time with this nonsense anymore.

billwald
February 14th, 2006, 06:48 PM
The point was that random changes can't produce information, right? But if the math is wrong . . . .

The example assumes facts not in evidence beginning with the size the the DNA "dictionary."

koban
February 14th, 2006, 07:30 PM
Yup, Letsargue has hacked Bob's computer.

I was thinking the same thing when he first posted. :chuckle:

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 09:29 PM
You did the math wrong.

I say the math looks good, bob b.

Why doesn't herr professor demonstrate why it's flawed?

fool
February 14th, 2006, 09:44 PM
I say the math looks good, bob b.

Why doesn't herr professor demonstrate why it's flawed?
Can you explain to us what Bob is trying to say with the OP?
He's being cryptic in this thread, holding this thread up as evidence of somthing in another thread, refusing to discuss it, and his credibility is starting to look much like Cheney's hunting buddy.

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 09:48 PM
Can you explain to us what Bob is trying to say with the OP?
He's being cryptic in this thread, holding this thread up as evidence of somthing in another thread, refusing to discuss it, and his credibility is starting to look much like Cheney's hunting buddy.

I thought the OP was just a cool co-inky-dink, with some applications in more abstract number theory pehaps.

Are you saying there's more than meets the eye, fool?

SS

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 09:51 PM
and his credibility is starting to look much like Cheney's hunting buddy.

Poor guy. Got shot. Had a heart attack. Is the center of attention of the whole world. Only to get his credibility questioned on some web forum. C'mon schlemiel. Let's give a brotha a rest.

fool
February 14th, 2006, 09:56 PM
Poor guy. Got shot. Had a heart attack. Is the center of attention of the whole world. Only to get his credibility questioned on some web forum. C'mon schlemiel. Let's give a brotha a rest.
The reference to the shooting victim was an analogy, as in shot to pieces, like Bob's credibility for pointing to this nebulus thread as evidence of him refuting mutation.

bowhunter
February 14th, 2006, 09:59 PM
like Bob's credibility for pointing to this nebulus thread as evidence of him refuting mutation.

how can he refute something that on the level he is talking about, does not exist?

fool
February 14th, 2006, 09:59 PM
I thought the OP was just a cool co-inky-dink, with some applications in more abstract number theory pehaps.

Are you saying there's more than meets the eye, fool?

SS
No.
I'm saying that Bob's statement that his posts in this thread nicely disposed of anything was bullfeces.

fool
February 14th, 2006, 10:05 PM
like Bob's credibility for pointing to this nebulus thread as evidence of him refuting mutation.

how can he refute something that on the level he is talking about, does not exist?
"On the level that he's talking about"
What's that mean?
I asked him a straight forward question.
Where on his scale of "p" does his spread of species from Noah's primordial kinds fit?
Perhaps you would like to take a crack at it.

bowhunter
February 14th, 2006, 10:08 PM
pretty simple really, bovine after it's kind, canis after its kind, avian after its kind, rodent after its kind, fool after its kind, (well hopefully not).

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 10:15 PM
The reference to the shooting victim was an analogy,
:dizzy:

as in shot to pieces,
I think "peppered" is the PC term for what happened to that guy. Then he had a heart attack.

like Bob's credibility for pointing to this nebulus thread as evidence of him refuting mutation.

This thread isn't about a nebulus. (http://www.foredown.virtualmuseum.info/images/hst_carina_ngc3372_0006.jpg) . And as far as refuting mutation (http://cec.wustl.edu/~naw1/nh/hallucinations/teenage%20mutant%20ninja%20turtle.jpg) , I seriously doubt that's what bob b is doing here. But I won't speak for bob b. He and I disagree on a few things, even though we're in the same boat.

SS

fool
February 14th, 2006, 10:19 PM
pretty simple really, bovine after it's kind, canis after its kind, avian after its kind, rodent after its kind, fool after its kind, (well hopefully not).
And where on Bob's scale of "p" do these variations fall?

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 10:27 PM
looking at the math again, I'm not so sure if it answers the question bob b put forward. The math deals with the probability of two random letters getting a good word, not a single letter change. hmm.....

fool
February 14th, 2006, 10:33 PM
:dizzy:

I think "peppered" is the PC term for what happened to that guy. Then he had a heart attack.

Pepper is a spice.
Old Boy got shot.

Like "how bad do I want a quail?"

This thread isn't about a nebulus. (http://www.foredown.virtualmuseum.info/images/hst_carina_ngc3372_0006.jpg) .
nebulus is sometimes used to mean "cloudy", as in Bob's purpose, intent, positation, in this thread, which he is holding up as evidence of him refuting mutation in other threads.

And as far as refuting mutation (http://cec.wustl.edu/~naw1/nh/hallucinations/teenage%20mutant%20ninja%20turtle.jpg) , I seriously doubt that's what bob b is doing here. But I won't speak for bob b. He and I disagree on a few things, even though we're in the same boat.

SS
Perhaps it would be best if Bob got out of his "rut" and told us what he did mean, instead of saying it's evidence of him disposing of somthing with an arguement that he declines from making, in a thread that looks like it was OPed by Letsargue.

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 10:38 PM
nebulus is sometimes used to mean "cloudy",
Oh I see. You mean nebulAR. "Protean" is a good one to lob at an argument as well.

Perhaps it would be best if Bob got out of his "rut" and told us what he did mean, instead of saying it's evidence of him disposing of somthing with an arguement that he declines from making, in a thread that looks like it was OPed by Letsargue.
I guess I'm more interested in seeing the math cleared up.

SS

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 10:43 PM
I say the math looks good, bob b.

Why doesn't herr professor demonstrate why it's flawed?

You're correct. Bob's arithmetic is good. It is true that 56 + 39 does equal 95, and 26 x 26 does equal 676. But bob did the wrong problem.

He was supposed to be answering his question "what is the probability p that having one particular good word that a single letter change will result in another good word?", but instead he answered the question "what is the probability of making a good word out of randomly selected letters?" But even if he wouldn't have botched that, this still isn't an accurate simulation of "random mutations plus natural selection" since it ignores the natural selection part.

Someone please tell me Bob Enyart's evolve.exe is better than this!

Oh, this is rich. I predicted to my wife that someone would start arguing about the details...

I love how bob refers to doing the math as "the details".

fool
February 14th, 2006, 10:46 PM
looking at the math again, I'm not so sure if it answers the question bob b put forward. The math deals with the probability of two random letters getting a good word, not a single letter change. hmm.....
So do you think that Bob is talking about Scrabble? or mutation?
Is Scrabble in any way an analogy for mutation?
Does DNA spell out recognizable words in the English language?
If it does, does that mean that any organism who's DNA does not spell out recognizable words in the English language is non-viable?
Do you see that for him to claim that he has refuted mutation with this analogy is dishonest?
Do you see that the sword cuts both ways and that his speciation from Ark Kinds is also under attack by his own OP?
Do you think Cheny should resign and let McCain become VP?

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 10:47 PM
SUTG,

Yeah, I agree that the math doesn't reflect the real problem.

Why wouldn't you say that created a "good" word would be analogous to creating a "good" protein sequence?

SS

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 10:47 PM
You mean nebulAR.

I think he meant nebulous, but made a typo.

-Herr Professor

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 10:50 PM
fool,

Your "chewbacca defense" won't work on me.

Do you think Cheny should resign and let McCain become VP?

McCain? NO

McCann? Yes

SS

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 10:52 PM
I think he meant nebulous, but made a typo.

-Herr Professor

SS: 2
fool:1

SUTG
February 14th, 2006, 11:00 PM
Yeah, I agree that the math doesn't reflect the real problem.

Yeah. To quote bob from earlier in the thread, I think someone "missed the forest for the trees." :chuckle:

Why wouldn't you say that created a "good" word would be analogous to creating a "good" protein sequence?

To be honest, I don't know squat about Biology...but I think this analogy could be granted. But I'll bet the probablilites would be different for the creation of the good word and the creation of the good protein sequence.

But just choosing random groups of letters leaves out one of the most critical and important parts of the "random mutations plus natural selection" - the natural selection!

fool
February 14th, 2006, 11:00 PM
fool,

Your "chewbacca defense" won't work on me.

SS
I'm not familier with the chewbacca defense.
I thought my post was more of an attack.
Did I make an appeal to wookie?

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 11:08 PM
To be honest, I don't know squat about Biology...but I think this analogy could be granted. But I'll bet the probablilites would be different for the creation of the good word and the creation of the good protein sequence.

It's so much more complex, it's unfathomable (to me, at least.) I think this could hold as a rather loose analogy, though I wouldn't push it too far.

But just choosing random groups of letters leaves out one of the most critical and important parts of the "random mutations plus natural selection" - the natural selection!
I think the qualification of "good" is roughly analogous to being naturally selected.

About the math, wouldn't you have to do it on a word by word basis, especially for the larger words?

SS

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 11:18 PM
I'm not familier with the chewbacca defense.

Here (http://images.southparkstudios.com/media/sounds/214/214_chewbacca.wav) is an example.

I thought my post was more of an attack.
Overwhelming me with questions isn't an attack, no more than throwing marshmellows.

Did I make an appeal to wookie?
Close. o thou fool

SS

fool
February 14th, 2006, 11:38 PM
Here (http://images.southparkstudios.com/media/sounds/214/214_chewbacca.wav) is an example.

SS
Chewbacca was on that planet to fight the Empire.
Are you a Syth?
:shocked: only one letter off !
:think: what are the odds?

sentientsynth
February 14th, 2006, 11:39 PM
:darwinsm:

bob b
February 15th, 2006, 05:37 AM
It's so much more complex, it's unfathomable (to me, at least.) I think this could hold as a rather loose analogy, though I wouldn't push it too far
I think the qualification of "good" is roughly analogous to being naturally selected.
About the math, wouldn't you have to do it on a word by word basis, especially for the larger words? SS

This is the first posting I have seen which takes the example seriously. This is undoubtedly because it comes from a believer. Believers like you see things that are hidden from unbelievers. For example, one level and one "snare".

The example seems to be a "parable" which has multiple levels of meaning plus a number of snares for unbelievers, some of which are only slowly becoming apparent to me.

The concept is probably not from me, because it simply "popped" into existence as I was in a semi-dreamlike state following the alarm going off and my drifting back into oblivion.

Jukia
February 15th, 2006, 06:48 AM
This is the first posting I have seen which takes the example seriously. This is undoubtedly because it comes from a believer. Believers like you see things that are hidden from unbelievers.

Is this the "Become a believer and all will be revealed to you" spiel? Can anyone think of a 4 lette word---CULT---perhaps?
The KoolAid is available at bob b's house. The space ships are coming next week so drink up now.
And who is doing the hiding? Is that God's plan.
bob b what have you been smoking?
Pardon me if I bail from this thread.

SUTG
February 15th, 2006, 09:59 AM
I was in a semi-dreamlike state...

OK. But when you finally come-to, doublecheck your math. :chuckle:

bob b
February 15th, 2006, 10:47 AM
OK. But when you finally come-to, doublecheck your math. :chuckle:

Are you referring to the fact that I carelessly entered an extra digit on the calculator while doing the six-letter example or perhaps to the fact that p is not strictly the probability as stated in the preamble to the example?

As far as the parable is concerned, these are minor details having very little to do with the point of the parable or even the detailed example for that matter.

"For some can not see the forest because all those pesky trees get in the way of the view."

"And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye? Matt 7:3 "

What a creationist idiot! Did you ever take a ruler and measure the size of an eye and then the size of a wooden beam? Check your math buddy. ;)

bob b
February 15th, 2006, 11:15 AM
13Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matt 13:13-15

SUTG
February 15th, 2006, 11:56 AM
p is not strictly the probability as stated in the preamble to the example?

Ding, Ding, Ding!!! I think we have a winner!

Although why understate it by saying that p is not "strictly" the probability as stated in the preamble? You made a rudimentary probability error, and I stepped in to Truthsmack you silly.

If you can't even understand the basic problem you posed in the preamble, you'll never understand the Theory of Evolution.

bob b
February 15th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Ding, Ding, Ding!!! I think we have a winner!

Although why understate it by saying that p is not "strictly" the probability as stated in the preamble? You made a rudimentary probability error, and I stepped in to Truthsmack you silly.

If you can't even understand the basic problem you posed in the preamble, you'll never understand the Theory of Evolution.

:sigh:

SUTG
February 15th, 2006, 12:13 PM
So, seriously, isn't anyone going to tell me if Enyart's evolve.exe is more worthwhile than bob b's probability SNAFUs?

Does anyone have a description of the algorithm?

Johnny
February 15th, 2006, 12:29 PM
This is the first posting I have seen which takes the example seriously. This is undoubtedly because it comes from a believer. Believers like you see things that are hidden from unbelievers. For example, one level and one "snare".Things like this leave me frustratingly speechless.

SS said, "I think this could hold as a rather loose analogy, though I wouldn't push it too far
I think the qualification of "good" is roughly analogous to being naturally selected. " I just chose not to fluff your ego and told you straight up that it was a wretched analogy.

It's funny how you compare your parables to Christ's parables. Christ's parables had a different purpose. They taught ideas where the details of who and what don't matter. Unfortunately, when you're trying to make a scientific point, you're not afforded the same luxury. So while you may feel you're the creationist messiah preaching to us heathen evolutionists using cryptographic parables and then berating us for pointing out that you're analogy is flawed, the rest of us are marvelling at the lengths to which deliberate ignorance and intellectual prostitution can drive a man.

You can't tell us what heavenly revelation your analogy is supposed to be reveal because you know that it will fall apart upon cursory examination. I am quite willing to accept that you are already well aware of the shortcomings of this analogy, but like Bob Enyart, this does not concern you. Instead, you will simply pretend that only believers in creationism can get your point. On this matter I will agree with you. Only someone who is as scientifically incompetent as a young earth creationist would be willing to overlook such a flawed analogy. Don't blame the rest of us for our intellectual standards. I must bow out of this thread. I think I've said enough.

billwald
February 15th, 2006, 02:26 PM
> Believers like you see things that are hidden from unbelievers.

Theonomists/Reconstructionists/VanTilians seem to "believe" that only Theonomists/Reconstructionists/VanTilians have access to "truth."

bob b
February 15th, 2006, 02:28 PM
Things like this leave me frustratingly speechless.

SS said, "I think this could hold as a rather loose analogy, though I wouldn't push it too far
I think the qualification of "good" is roughly analogous to being naturally selected. " I just chose not to fluff your ego and told you straight up that it was a wretched analogy.

It's funny how you compare your parables to Christ's parables. Christ's parables had a different purpose. They taught ideas where the details of who and what don't matter. Unfortunately, when you're trying to make a scientific point, you're not afforded the same luxury. So while you may feel you're the creationist messiah preaching to us heathen evolutionists using cryptographic parables and then berating us for pointing out that you're analogy is flawed, the rest of us are marvelling at the lengths to which deliberate ignorance and intellectual prostitution can drive a man.

You can't tell us what heavenly revelation your analogy is supposed to be reveal because you know that it will fall apart upon cursory examination. I am quite willing to accept that you are already well aware of the shortcomings of this analogy, but like Bob Enyart, this does not concern you. Instead, you will simply pretend that only believers in creationism can get your point. On this matter I will agree with you. Only someone who is as scientifically incompetent as a young earth creationist would be willing to overlook such a flawed analogy. Don't blame the rest of us for our intellectual standards. I must bow out of this thread. I think I've said enough.

Don't leave.

I'm interested in why you think it is an analogy, what it might be comparing and why you think it is flawed.

BTW I fixed my calculator misstep in the six letter case in my first posting which started this thread.

It doesn't affect the point that was being made at all, of course. Too bad so few ( if any) get the point of the "parable". :bang:

ThePhy
February 15th, 2006, 09:02 PM
I have watched this thread loosely without sensing the reputed deep spiritual insight Bob has hidden here. With all the advertising of this thread Bob has done, and the critical attention it has garnered from the TOL regulars, I am reminded of those movies that are so bad that Hollywood knows they will flop if they don’t first hype them unmercifully. I am willing to wait and see if Bob has a blockbuster or just another bust in the offing. He has already been successful at garnering a lot of participation without anything but vague secretive hints at glorious revelations to come in this thread.

bob b
February 16th, 2006, 09:04 AM
I have watched this thread loosely without sensing the reputed deep spiritual insight Bob has hidden here. With all the advertising of this thread Bob has done, and the critical attention it has garnered from the TOL regulars, I am reminded of those movies that are so bad that Hollywood knows they will flop if they don’t first hype them unmercifully. I am willing to wait and see if Bob has a blockbuster or just another bust in the offing. He has already been successful at garnering a lot of participation without anything but vague secretive hints at glorious revelations to come in this thread.

I have "fine tuned" my example to satisfy the "nit pickers" here, even though the previous minor flaws did not affect the point of the "parable" in the least. What puzzles me is how otherwise intelligent (perhaps even brilliant) unbelievers here can not see the point of this example. Jesus was certainly right when He observed that few saw the point of his parables.
----------------------
WEASEL

Question: How many “good” words are there in English for the various numbers of letters, two, three, four, five and six etc. ? What then is the probability p that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change in that same word will result in another "good" word ?

Source for number of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. letter English words = WORDOX Dictionary:
http://aaron.doosh.net/lexicon/05LetterWords.html

p = (#good words -1) / (#possible words -1)

TWO LETTER WORDS
96 out of 26x26=576
p = 0.165

THREE LETTER WORDS
956 out of 26x26x26=17,576
p = 0.0543

FOUR LETTER WORDS
4155 out of 676x676=456,976
p= 0. 0091

FIVE LETTER WORDS
9936 out of 26x26x26x26x26=11,881,376
p= 0.00084

SIX LETTER WORDS
21,384 out of 17576x17576=308,915,776
p= 0.000069

SEVEN LETTER WORDS
In process
p= 0.00000??

Summarizing:
2 - p= 0.165
3 - p= 0.0543
4 - p= 0.0091
5 - p= 0.00084
6 - p= 0.000069
7 – p= 0.00000??

--------------

Should I reveal the meaning of the parable in the Truth Smacker's area?

fool
February 16th, 2006, 09:13 AM
Bob;
Your "parable" is false because it ignores the fact that new words are created that didn't exist before.
For example, "wookie" wasen't a word before Star Wars, it wasen't on the list, now it is.

Jukia
February 16th, 2006, 09:15 AM
Still waiting for bob b to explain his parable to those of us too dense to figure it out ourselves.

fool
February 16th, 2006, 09:26 AM
Bob;
Your "parable" is false because it ignores the fact that new words are created that didn't exist before.
For example, "wookie" wasen't a word before Star Wars, it wasen't on the list, now it is.
Bob is defineing a "good" word as one that existed before.
So in that he has gone so far away from a mutation analogy that his parable is useless.

ThePhy
February 16th, 2006, 09:32 AM
I don’t see a lot of value in trying to do a technical analysis of the content of Bob's example, when I don’t know what he his really trying to get at with it. It looks similar to some of Spetner’s ideas. If Bob is going to say his problem is relevant to some aspect of evolution or abio, then he will need to show that there are not substantive differences between his problem and what he is trying to show. So far, I see only a question about forming words – hardly something that grabs my attention. Bob is right about Jesus’ parables being hidden from many, though. Heck, I am still stuck in Genesis trying to figure out how to make a snake talk. That should be a very up-front thing to demonstrate, nothing requiring hidden meanings behind it (unless it really didn’t happen). Like I already said, Bob could walk away from this thread right now comfortable in the knowledge that he riled up a bunch of posters who tried to attack his idea – an idea that he hasn’t even elucidated to us less-discerning types. Quit giving him free publicity. Make him come up with the goods or let the thread die.

bob b
February 16th, 2006, 09:49 AM
I don’t see a lot of value in trying to do a technical analysis of the content of Bob's example, when I don’t know what he his really trying to get at with it. It looks similar to some of Spetner’s ideas. If Bob is going to say his problem is relevant to some aspect of evolution or abio, then he will need to show that there are not substantive differences between his problem and what he is trying to show. So far, I see only a question about forming words – hardly something that grabs my attention. Bob is right about Jesus’ parables being hidden from many, though. Heck, I am still stuck in Genesis trying to figure out how to make a snake talk. That should be a very up-front thing to demonstrate, nothing requiring hidden meanings behind it (unless it really didn’t happen). Like I already said, Bob could walk away from this thread right now comfortable in the knowledge that he riled up a bunch of posters who tried to attack his idea – an idea that he hasn’t even elucidated to us less-discerning types. Quit giving him free publicity. Make him come up with the goods or let the thread die.

See the new thread, The Source of Novels.

bob b
February 16th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Bob;
Your "parable" is false because it ignores the fact that new words are created that didn't exist before.
For example, "wookie" wasen't a word before Star Wars, it wasen't on the list, now it is.

Stop it, you're killing me.
:mock: :mock: :mock: :mock: :mock: :mock: :mock: :mock:

ThePhy
February 16th, 2006, 12:48 PM
See the new thread, The Source of Novels. Why is this beginning to smell like a case of you seeing how many threads you can drag posters into without really having to come up with anything defensible? If you have something to say that doesn’t require a Christian fundamentalist inspected and certified and registered parable decoder, then let me know. I really prefer to have ideas clearly expressed and evaluated. If you don’t have anything that you are willing to expose to examination, then please don’t ask me to waste my time. You have been eminently adroit at that already. (Is this really the way you used to do your engineering?)

SUTG
February 16th, 2006, 01:00 PM
I have "fine tuned" my example to satisfy the "nit pickers" here

Really? I see that you changed the problem by adding the phrase "in the same word". Too bad the math is still wrong.

bob b
February 16th, 2006, 03:37 PM
Really? I see that you changed the problem by adding the phrase "in the same word". Too bad the math is still wrong.

Really?

I thought I fixed the flaw. Of course the numbers are not all that critical, but the "point" is.

bob b
February 16th, 2006, 03:50 PM
Why is this beginning to smell like a case of you seeing how many threads you can drag posters into without really having to come up with anything defensible? If you have something to say that doesn’t require a Christian fundamentalist inspected and certified and registered parable decoder, then let me know. I really prefer to have ideas clearly expressed and evaluated. If you don’t have anything that you are willing to expose to examination, then please don’t ask me to waste my time. You have been eminently adroit at that already. (Is this really the way you used to do your engineering?)

I did sometimes plant "seeds" (ideas) and later got to see them sprout.

It was not uncommon for me to suggest something to the group in a meeting, have the naysayers shout it down (figuratively) and then some months later have someone announce to me their "great new idea", with no recollection regarding the previous incident and their original negative attitude.

I always smiled, and congratulated them for coming up with such a great new idea. ;)

Works almost every time. ;)

One Eyed Jack
February 16th, 2006, 04:12 PM
Bob;
Your "parable" is false because it ignores the fact that new words are created that didn't exist before.
For example, "wookie" wasen't a word before Star Wars, it wasen't on the list, now it is.

Wookiee has two e's, and actually it did exist before Star Wars. In THX-1138 someone on the radio says "I think I just ran over a wookiee back there."

bob b
February 16th, 2006, 04:32 PM
parable, the term translates the Hebrew word "mashal"—a term denoting a metaphor, or an enigmatic saying or an analogy. In the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition, however, "parables" were illustrative narrative examples. Jewish teachers of the 1st cent. A.D. made use of comparisons in narrative form to clarify scripture. As used in the Gospels, the "parable" not only denotes metaphors, analogies, and enigmatic statements, but also short illustrative narratives. In Jesus' parables, the speaker compares an observable, natural, or human phenomenon to the Kingdom (i.e. the rule) of God. Some of these challenge and mystify or even attack the hearer. Other parables are allegories. The major themes of the parables of Jesus include the contrast between the old and new age now dawning in the ministry of Jesus; the necessity of radical decisions; the gradual but sure growth of the Kingdom of God on earth; God's way of relating to people; and God's invitation for people to enter his Kingdom.

aharvey
February 17th, 2006, 08:27 AM
I have "fine tuned" my example to satisfy the "nit pickers" here, even though the previous minor flaws did not affect the point of the "parable" in the least. What puzzles me is how otherwise intelligent (perhaps even brilliant) unbelievers here can not see the point of this example. Jesus was certainly right when He observed that few saw the point of his parables.
----------------------
WEASEL

Question: How many “good” words are there in English for the various numbers of letters, two, three, four, five and six etc. ? What then is the probability p that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change in that same word will result in another "good" word ?

Source for number of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. letter English words = WORDOX Dictionary:
http://aaron.doosh.net/lexicon/05LetterWords.html

p = (#good words -1) / (#possible words -1)

TWO LETTER WORDS
96 out of 26x26=576
p = 0.165

THREE LETTER WORDS
956 out of 26x26x26=17,576
p = 0.0543

FOUR LETTER WORDS
4155 out of 676x676=456,976
p= 0. 0091

FIVE LETTER WORDS
9936 out of 26x26x26x26x26=11,881,376
p= 0.00084

SIX LETTER WORDS
21,384 out of 17576x17576=308,915,776
p= 0.000069

SEVEN LETTER WORDS
In process
p= 0.00000??

Summarizing:
2 - p= 0.165
3 - p= 0.0543
4 - p= 0.0091
5 - p= 0.00084
6 - p= 0.000069
7 – p= 0.00000??

For those who are interested in how to actually calculate the p values for the question bob has posed, using the two-letter example:

For each "good" word (not each "possible" word), calculate the probability that a single random letter change in either the first or second position will generate a known "good" word. The number of "possible" words never comes into play. There is no a priori way to calculate these probabilities because they are dependent on direct comparison with a pre-established list of known "good" words. Therefore you have to calculate the probabilities for each "good" word, sum these (assuming that every "good" word is equally likely to experience the random letter change), and divide that sum by the number of "good" words.

In the present case, this leads to a calculated overall probability of 0.2545 that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change in that same word will result in another "good" word. I tested this by doing 50 replications of 100 independent random letter changes each, and averaged 27.7+ 4.6 "good" words per each 100 changes.

Change the criteria for "good" words, you change the probabilities. Reduce the number of alternate states (e.g., from 26 letters down to, say, 4) will increase the probabilities. Relax the assumption that all changes are equally likely and you are most likely to increase the probabilities.

As far as guessing what you want us to see, bob, well, I'm sure it wasn't your intellectual laziness or your lack of analytical skills, but these are the most obvious elements of this 'example'. I can look at this post and see many different potential patterns, knowing where you're coming from I can make some educated guesses as to what you are hinting at, but I can't imagine why you think anyone would be interested in engaging in "well, bob, could it be this?" "nope, try again! :D" "okay, then how about this?" "close, but no cigar!" ad nauseum. If you have an actual point, please make it, and spare us the games. At least when it comes to parables, you're no Jesus!

Jukia
February 17th, 2006, 08:30 AM
At least when it comes to parables, you're no Jesus!

AMEN!

Turbo
February 17th, 2006, 08:37 AM
I love this.

Johnny can't rise out of his thinking "rut" either. :D
He also can't spell the simple French I word that he pretentiously used. ;)

fool
February 17th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Wookiee has two e's, and actually it did exist before Star Wars. In THX-1138 someone on the radio says "I think I just ran over a wookiee back there."
Was it a word before THX-1138?

Turbo
February 17th, 2006, 08:54 AM
Is this the "Become a believer and all will be revealed to you" spiel? Can anyone think of a 4 lette word---CULT---perhaps?
The KoolAid is available at bob b's house. The space ships are coming next week so drink up now.
And who is doing the hiding? Is that God's plan.
bob b what have you been smoking?
Pardon me if I bail from this thread.
This is rich coming from a guy who attributes his own claimed belief in Christ's resurrection to "brain washing--perhaps (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=814521#post814521)."

fool
February 17th, 2006, 09:00 AM
This is rich coming from a guy who attributes his own claimed belief in Christ's resurrection to "brain washing--perhaps (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=814521#post814521)."
Tsk, Tsk, Turbo.
Quote mining makes you look like a trickster.
He said this;

However there is a difference between this "belief" and my inability to believe in a 6000 year old universe, 6 day creation, the Flood, etc. There is substantial independent evidence that shows the universe & earth are far older etc. There is evidence and a mechanism for evolution, etc.
Belief in God goes beyond such substantial independent evidence and in my case is a function of early and continuous education (brain washing--perhaps), some thought, reflection, etc. Since I took that leap of faith the jump to belief in Christianity was not as long a jump.
There is no independent evidence (other than the fact that it is absurd/miraculous) for Jesus resurrection as there is independent evidence for the age of the universe, evolution, etc. Therefore, it is easier, and I think rational (once you get beyond the basic irrationality of "faith") to be able to say, I agree with the fact of the death and resurrection of Jesus about 2000 years ago but do not buy a literal interpretation of Genesis.

aharvey
February 17th, 2006, 09:08 AM
This is rich coming from a guy who attributes his own claimed belief in Christ's resurrection to "brain washing--perhaps (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=814521#post814521)."
Hey, Turbo, you don't post much on evol-related threads, I was wondering if you ever noticed my reply (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=995248&postcount=84) to your "radiometric methods give bad dates" post?

It's in the "Where do dinosaurs fit in?" thread, if you want to take a gander.

By the way, fool's right: quote-mining always smacks of trickery. And ridiculing someone for a typo, especially one in an internet forum for crying out loud, isn't exactly a compelling way to make your case either!

Turbo
February 17th, 2006, 09:42 AM
Tsk, Tsk, Turbo.
Quote mining makes you look like a trickster.
He said this;
:duh: I know what he said. I even posted a link to the source of the quote so that anyone who was interested could read it. How is that "trickery" :freak:

Turbo
February 17th, 2006, 09:42 AM
Hey, Turbo, you don't post much on evol-related threads, I was wondering if you ever noticed my reply (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=995248&postcount=84) to your "radiometric methods give bad dates" post? Yes, I did. My thoughts, which I didn't bother to type and submit at the time, were that the technician of the whale scale would recognize that your sample of jellybeans was "out of range" for that equipment, seeing that it was nowhere near 10,000 lbs, and would report that.

By the way, fool's right: quote-mining always smacks of trickery.How is it trickery to post a quote along with a link to the context of that quote?

And ridiculing someone for a typo, especially one in an internet forum for crying out loud, isn't exactly a compelling way to make your case either!I say nothing about over 99% of the typos, misspelled words, and grammatical errors that I notice on TOL, regardless of who makes them. But when Johnny pretentiously wrote quel instead of how, yet misspelled it quell, I found it ironic and I couldn't resist ribbing him for it a little. Sheesh, it's not like I insulted his mother or something. I sometimes tease Knight when he writes your when he means you're, too. Lighten up.

Jukia
February 17th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Turbo, fool, aharvey: Nice to be quoted anyway. Anyone who bothered to check (and that is probably not many) would have gotten the gist of the rest of my post. We are so attuned to "sound bites" that quote mining probably comes naturally to most of us. It is after all what I do often as a lawyer, although if I quote mine something I had better be sure that the rest of the case really does support my quote because if it does not it is likely the other side will call me on that.
Speaking of legal issues and the relationship to quote mining, it is also of some import to Pastor Enyart's Alito score card and the fact that he has admitted that he only read portions of Alito's decisions. A word to the wise, Pastor Bob, ya gotta read more than the head notes in order to understand the reasoning. Hey sorry about the use of the word "understand" so close to the word "reasoning" but that is what you really have to do, whether reading the law or science.

I am off for a long weekend.

You all play nice now.

aharvey
February 17th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Yes, I did. My thoughts, which I didn't bother to type and submit at the time, were that the technician of the whale scale would recognize that your sample of jellybeans was "out of range" for that equipment, seeing that it was nowhere near 10,000 lbs, and would report that.
Excellent! That's exactly what I would have expected too. Can we follow through with that thought on the proper thread? I didn't want to hijack this one.

How is it trickery to post a quote along with a link to the context of that quote?
Well, sorry, if one bothers to go back to the original quote and finds that in context it says something very different from how you used it, I can't help but feel like you're trying to pull a fast one on me, whether you provide the link or I dig it out myself.

I say nothing about over 99% of the typos, misspelled words, and grammatical errors that I notice on TOL, regardless of who makes them. But when Johnny pretentiously wrote quel instead of how, yet misspelled it quell, I found it ironic and I couldn't resist ribbing him for it a little. Sheesh, it's not like I insulted his mother or something. I sometimes tease Knight when he writes your when he means you're, too. Lighten up.
Sorry. I didn't realize saying it "isn't exactly a compelling way to make your case either!" was such an intensely brutal assault! Sounds rather gently teasing to me, to tell you the truth.

noguru
February 17th, 2006, 09:55 AM
Yes, I did. My thoughts, which I didn't bother to type and submit at the time, were that the technician of the whale scale would recognize that your sample of jellybeans was "out of range" for that equipment, seeing that it was nowhere near 10,000 lbs, and would report that.

How is it trickery to post a quote along with a link to the context of that quote?

I say nothing about over 99% of the typos, misspelled words, and grammatical errors that I notice on TOL, regardless of who makes them. But when Johnny pretentiously wrote quel instead of how, yet misspelled it quell, I found it ironic and I couldn't resist ribbing him for it a little. Sheesh, it's not like I insulted his mother or something. I sometimes tease Knight when he writes your when he means you're, too. Lighten up.

Yes, I think you once ribbed me for posting noone instead of no one. :doh: My bad. It's a good thing you at least have these kinds of things that you can point out. :D

fool
February 17th, 2006, 10:50 AM
Turbo;
Perhaps you could respond to my post (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=992934&postcount=65) regarding your radiometric farse as well.

fool
February 17th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Yes, I did. My thoughts, which I didn't bother to type and submit at the time, were that the technician of the whale scale would recognize that your sample of jellybeans was "out of range" for that equipment, seeing that it was nowhere near 10,000 lbs, and would report that.
.
Oh Turbo;

No specific location or expected age information was supplied to the laboratory.
They specificlly didn't tell them it was a jellybean.

bob b
February 17th, 2006, 10:56 AM
For those who are interested in how to actually calculate the p values for the question bob has posed, using the two-letter example:

For each "good" word (not each "possible" word), calculate the probability that a single random letter change in either the first or second position will generate a known "good" word. The number of "possible" words never comes into play. There is no a priori way to calculate these probabilities because they are dependent on direct comparison with a pre-established list of known "good" words. Therefore you have to calculate the probabilities for each "good" word, sum these (assuming that every "good" word is equally likely to experience the random letter change), and divide that sum by the number of "good" words.

In the present case, this leads to a calculated overall probability of 0.2545 that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change in that same word will result in another "good" word. I tested this by doing 50 replications of 100 independent random letter changes each, and averaged 27.7+ 4.6 "good" words per each 100 changes.

Change the criteria for "good" words, you change the probabilities. Reduce the number of alternate states (e.g., from 26 letters down to, say, 4) will increase the probabilities. Relax the assumption that all changes are equally likely and you are most likely to increase the probabilities.

As far as guessing what you want us to see, bob, well, I'm sure it wasn't your intellectual laziness or your lack of analytical skills, but these are the most obvious elements of this 'example'. I can look at this post and see many different potential patterns, knowing where you're coming from I can make some educated guesses as to what you are hinting at, but I can't imagine why you think anyone would be interested in engaging in "well, bob, could it be this?" "nope, try again! :D" "okay, then how about this?" "close, but no cigar!" ad nauseum. If you have an actual point, please make it, and spare us the games. At least when it comes to parables, you're no Jesus!

Notice that harvey did not try to calculate the probabilities for anything but the trivial case. Why? Obviously because anything beyond a trivial case quickly becomes impractical in a forum like this, not to mention that the example is only a parable and treating the example as a precise mathematical model causes one to completely miss the point of the parable (as we have seen in action on this thread).

Thus the example sticks to the most practical way to illustrate the trend that is happening right before one's eyes.

But in whipping out his microscope and examining the bark of the tree in detail, the typical scientist fails to notice that the forest is on fire.

"How could a log be stuck in a person's eye?"

So my message to all is simply to try harder to understand the meaning of the "parable", for it is really simple in concept, even if you still don't agree with the point that is being made.

Jukia
February 17th, 2006, 10:57 AM
Turbo;
Perhaps you could respond to my post (http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=992934&postcount=65) regarding your radiometric farse as well.

Its "farce", I think.

On Fire
February 17th, 2006, 11:02 AM
But in whipping out his microscope and examining the bark of the tree in detail, the typical scientist fails to notice that the forest is on fire.

:up:

bob b
February 17th, 2006, 11:11 AM
BTW, the other parable I posted on another thread, The Source of Novels, is related to this one.

How many "clues" do you microscope-wielding evolutionists need? :think:

fool
February 17th, 2006, 11:33 AM
Its "farce", I think.
Yup, farce it is.

SUTG
February 17th, 2006, 12:29 PM
Obviously because anything beyond a trivial case quickly becomes impractical in a forum like this

How would you know this, since you don't know how to do the calculations?

not to mention that the example is only a parable and treating the example as a precise mathematical model causes one to completely miss the point of the parable

OK, but if the math wasn't important then why did you include it? Your OP is almost all math based. Sure, it is bad and incorrect math, but it is math nonetheless.

So my message to all is simply to try harder to understand the meaning of the "parable", for it is really simple in concept, even if you still don't agree with the point that is being made.

I'm sure you probably do have a point hidden in there somewhere, or at least you think you do. It might even be an interesting point. (I enjoyed the Borges coffehouse scene) But unless the point is bad math, I think you'd be better off with a different parable. Or even a plain English rephrasing of your point.

fool
February 17th, 2006, 12:40 PM
So, to recap this thread, Bob starts out with some stuff about scrabble.
SS gives us an arguement from personal incredulity.

It's so much more complex, it's unfathomable (to me, at least.)
SS
In response to SS's post Bob reveals to us that this is indeed the Emporers New Clothes.

Believers like you see things that are hidden from unbelievers.
Does that pretty much summ it up?

aharvey
February 17th, 2006, 12:44 PM
Notice that harvey did not try to calculate the probabilities for anything but the trivial case. Why? Obviously because anything beyond a trivial case quickly becomes impractical in a forum like this, not to mention that the example is only a parable and treating the example as a precise mathematical model causes one to completely miss the point of the parable (as we have seen in action on this thread).
Stop with the attempts at mind-reading, you're really no good at it. I only presented the calculations for the simplest case because, as I quite explicitly stated, I was demonstrating, for those who were interested, the proper way to calculate the given probabilities, at which your own efforts failed rather miserably.

If you had bothered to work through the two methods (i.e., the correct one and yours), you might have realized that the problem that you are presumably hinting at is in fact an artifact of your faulty methods.

Thus, a single random letter change in each of 100 randomly selected 'good' two-letter words had a 27.7+4.6 % chance of forming another 'good' word, over 50 such runs, as I reported earlier.

A single random letter change in each of 100 randomly selected 'good' three-letter words had a 26.8+1.3 % chance of forming another 'good' word, over 50 such runs.*

 Sorry, I'm worn out, got a little careless in my writing. Each of the 50 three-letter trials was based on 1154, not 100, randomly selected (with replacement, of course!) three-letter words. That's why the standard deviation is so much smaller in this case than in the two-letter case.

And in case you have any doubt, no, 26.8+1.3 % (the p for three-letter words) is not significantly smaller than 27.7+4.6 % (the p for two-letter words).

So my message to all is simply to try harder to understand the meaning of the "parable", for it is really simple in concept, even if you still don't agree with the point that is being made.
Well, bob, unless the meaning had nothing to do with the "plummeting p's" in your calculations, allow me to suggest that your 'parable' is rather dead in the water. Of course, if the moral of your story is that the most obvious "problems" often turn out to be nothing more than mere illusions, then, yes, I'd say you've illustrated that rather nicely!

*I used the Aussie list you linked to, which had 1154 'good' three-letter words, not the 903 you reported. Also, all should note that I did not calculate the p in this case directly, as I did for the two-letter words, mainly because it was easier to expand the simulation (which I'd already tested with the two-letter words).

aharvey
February 17th, 2006, 01:20 PM
By the way, here's a small part of the last three-letter run (http://www.bio.georgiasouthern.edu/bio-home/harvey/images/sample3let.gif). The first column gives the randomly chosen "good" word; the second column shows the new word after a random (in terms of both letter identity and location); the third column reports whether or not the new word is a "good" word (i.e., on the list of 1154 approved words). Twenty-nine of these 100 samples produced a good word; for the entire 1000+run, the tally was 25.56%. Again, for all 50 1154-sample 3-letter runs, the average was 26.8%.

In the interest of keeping my claims as transparent and well-documented as possible.

One Eyed Jack
February 17th, 2006, 02:48 PM
Was it a word before THX-1138?

I don't think so -- I believe it was ad-libbed.

fool
February 17th, 2006, 02:53 PM
I don't think so -- I believe it was ad-libbed.
So, in this case we see a word that was non-viable (a not-good-word in the scrabble anology) which, later became a "good word" in the scrabble analogy.

bob b
February 17th, 2006, 05:02 PM
By the way, here's a small part of the last three-letter run (http://www.bio.georgiasouthern.edu/bio-home/harvey/images/sample3let.gif). The first column gives the randomly chosen "good" word; the second column shows the new word after a random (in terms of both letter identity and location); the third column reports whether or not the new word is a "good" word (i.e., on the list of 1154 approved words). Twenty-nine of these 100 samples produced a good word; for the entire 1000+run, the tally was 25.56%. Again, for all 50 1154-sample 3-letter runs, the average was 26.8%.

In the interest of keeping my claims as transparent and well-documented as possible.

Consider the following two questions:

I take it from your experiments that you have come to the conclusion that no matter how many letters are in a word that once one has a "good" word that the probability that a random change in that same word will result in another "good" word is reasonable?

And what do random transformations from one "good" word to another "good" word have to do with the point of the parable?

aharvey
February 18th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Consider the following two questions:

I take it from your experiments that you have come to the conclusion that no matter how many letters are in a word that once one has a "good" word that the probability that a random change in that same word will result in another "good" word is reasonable?
I take it from this question that you didn't really pay attention to what I said the first time around. My suggestion to you is that you simply try harder to understand.

Second question from bob:

And what do random transformations from one "good" word to another "good" word have to do with the point of the parable?
Answer from bob (in bold, from the very first post in which he gives us this fine parable):

WEASEL

Question: How many “good” words are there in English for the various numbers of letters, two, three, four, five and six etc. ? What then is the probability p that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change will result in another good word ?

snipped: his answer to his question, followed by his conclusion:

METHINKS DAWKINS STINKS
Perhaps the point of your parable is too difficult for even you to divine?

Johnny
February 18th, 2006, 12:46 PM
I don't even think Bob knows what his point is anymore.

noguru
February 18th, 2006, 03:36 PM
I don't even think Bob knows what his point is anymore.

His only point is that anyone who disagrees with him is wrong. :D

sentientsynth
February 18th, 2006, 05:48 PM
So, to recap this thread, Bob starts out with some stuff about scrabble.
SS gives us an arguement from personal incredulity.

Fool,

What are you talking about? That wasn't an argument from incredulity. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep myself from calling you names right now? I deserve a medal.

SS

ThePhy
February 18th, 2006, 06:57 PM
deleted

fool
February 18th, 2006, 07:35 PM
Fool,
What are you talking about? That wasn't an argument from incredulity. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep myself from calling you names right now? I deserve a medal.
SS
It was text book.

It's so much more complex, it's unfathomable (to me, at least.)
The red part follows the formula for argument from ignorance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance)
"The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or argument by lack of imagination, is a logical fallacy asserting that if something is currently unexplained then it did not (or could not) happen, or that if evidence of something has not been proven to their satisfaction, then it cannot exist."
The green part modifies the argument from ignorance into a subspecies called argument from personal incredulity

Argument from ignorance is similar to but not equivalent to the argument from personal incredulity (also known as argument from personal belief or argument from personal conviction), where a person asserts that because they personally find a premise unlikely or unbelieveable, it can be safely assumed not to be true.
You really should bone up on your fallacies, once you get familiar with the different forms their quite easy to spot, the wikipedia article has the link to the general fallacies article, if for some reason you think that your post would fit better under a different fallacy type then please advise.

sentientsynth
February 18th, 2006, 08:08 PM
Fool,

Part of committing an argumentative fallacy is actually creating an argument. You're so off base it's pathetic.

SUTG said: But I'll bet the probablilites would be different for the creation of the good word and the creation of the good protein sequence.

SS replied: It's so much more complex, it's unfathomable (to me, at least.)

My comment speaks to my impression of the complexity differential between creating "good" words and creating "good" proteins. editThe "it" in the "it's unfathomable" refers to the magnitude of the comlexity differential. close edit It does not speak to whether or not creating a good protein from a random genetic mutation is possible.

Just how complex is creating a "good" word from a single letter change? In the final analysis, calling a word "good" is meaningless because word creation is somewhat arbitrary. It wasn't a word before? Who cares! It is now! So once it's put in the dictionary, the "probability" within words of the same letter count goes up! If we put the analogy under the microscope, I think we must say that it's utterly meaningless with reference to biochemistry.

Creating a functional protein, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of arbitrary. It must meet very specific criteria of functionality within the cell.

If anything, my comment is actually an argument against the "good-word" analogy. Perhaps it is because I'm a Creationist that you didn't pick up on this. Perhaps.

I'll let you slide on this one fool. I've come down with the flu and am feeling especially sympathetic for some strange reason.

Sincerely,

SS

noguru
February 19th, 2006, 08:45 AM
Fool,

Part of committing an argumentative fallacy is actually creating an argument. You're so off base it's pathetic.

SUTG said: But I'll bet the probablilites would be different for the creation of the good word and the creation of the good protein sequence.

SS replied: It's so much more complex, it's unfathomable (to me, at least.)

My comment speaks to my impression of the complexity differential between creating "good" words and creating "good" proteins. editThe "it" in the "it's unfathomable" refers to the magnitude of the comlexity differential. close edit It does not speak to whether or not creating a good protein from a random genetic mutation is possible.

Just how complex is creating a "good" word from a single letter change? In the final analysis, calling a word "good" is meaningless because word creation is somewhat arbitrary. It wasn't a word before? Who cares! It is now! So once it's put in the dictionary, the "probability" within words of the same letter count goes up! If we put the analogy under the microscope, I think we must say that it's utterly meaningless with reference to biochemistry.

Creating a functional protein, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of arbitrary. It must meet very specific criteria of functionality within the cell.

If anything, my comment is actually an argument against the "good-word" analogy. Perhaps it is because I'm a Creationist that you didn't pick up on this. Perhaps.

I'll let you slide on this one fool. I've come down with the flu and am feeling especially sympathetic for some strange reason.

Sincerely,

SS

Are you saying that natural selection understands this concept arbitrary and only allows the creation of protiens through means that are not arbitrary?

Or is it genetic variation that has a guideline of not creating protiens through means that are not arbitrary?

Just so that we are clear which definition of arbitrary are you using?

arbitrary

1.) Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle: stopped at the first motel we passed, an arbitrary choice.

2.) Based on or subject to individual judgment or preference: The diet imposes overall calorie limits, but daily menus are arbitrary.

3.) Established by a court or judge rather than by a specific law or statute: an arbitrary penalty.

4.) Not limited by law; despotic: the arbitrary rule of a dictator.

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 03:04 PM
You guys slay me. :rotfl:

Perhaps you should review the purpose of a parable.

I gather that at least some are finally beginning to tumble to what the parable is pointing to.

And "examining a parable under a microscope" is about as useful as trying to determine the purpose of a sweater by examining a patch of its material under high magnification.

BTW, there are at least two further levels of meaning in the parable, but I won't talk about these until I am satisfied that the point of the first level has completely soaked in for all who are currently posting on this thread.

sentientsynth
February 19th, 2006, 04:30 PM
Noguru,

I'm using the first definition of arbitrary: determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle. I could make due with the trimming "not determined by principle."

Rereading my previous post, I understand how the statement "Creating a functional protein, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of arbitrary," led to some of your questions. Actually, that statement does a rather poor job of conveying the idea I was trying to get across.

Rather, what I'm trying to say is that a protein must meet specific criteria in order to be functional. It's primary, secondary, tertiary, and (possibly) quaternary structures must all work together with it's biochemical surroundings so as to "do" something, and that in accordance with physical-chemical law, i.e. without divine intervention. I guess it's kind of like a jig-saw puzzle. The protein just has to "fit." It may not need to be a razor sharp fit, but it can't be a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. (Yet another "loose analogy" not to be to "under the microscope." I guess you could put a square peg in a round hole if it were small enough. Slight variation: a square piston-head would not function very well in a combustion engine with round piston-holes (whatever they're called.) And what if an engine "devolved" to creating a brittle piston-shaft which broke upon use. It would break, rendering the engine useless. Not good.)

Are you saying that natural selection understands this concept arbitrary
Are you asking me if I anthropomorphize the concept of natural selection in a wooden literal sense? I'm not sure what you're asking me here, NoGuru.

and only allows the creation of protiens through means that are not arbitrary?
I'm not so much speaking to the means by which the new protein is created, but rather to the nature of the new protein. In order to be functional within the cell, it has to "fit" its surroundings somehow, and one would think that it would carry out a function at least similar to its predecessor protein. Consider the following, written by Douglas J. Futuyama.

Over the course of vertebrate evolution, gene duplication has given rise to a family of hemoglobin genes that have diverged in function. The hemoglobin of the lamprey, a primitive jawless vertebrate, consists of a single protein chain (a monomer), encoded by a single gene. In jawed vertebrates such as fishes and mammals, hemoglobin is a tetramer: an aggregate of four chains of two types (alpha and beta), encoded by two genes with related sequences. This tetramer has a cooperative oxygen-binding capacity not available to the lamprey. In salmon, quadruple copies of the beta gene, differing slightly in sequence, yield four types of hemoglobin with different, adaptive oxygen-loading properties.1 In mammals, successive duplications of the beta gene gave rise to the gamma and epsilon chains, which characterize the hemoglobin of the fetus and early embryo respectively, and enhance uptake of oxygen from the mother. Source (http://www.bostonreview.net/BR22.1/futuyma.html)

Imagine the mutation had not produced functional proteins. The organisms carrying these mutated genes would simply die. They wouldn't pass along their seed. They wouldn't be "naturally selected." The genetic mutation and subsequent protein would warrant the label "not good."

Or is it genetic variation that has a guideline of not creating protiens through means that are not arbitrary?

The "means" of protein synthesis is governed by highly specific processes (not arbitrary). I'm not sure if I'm addressing your question. I find it somewhat vague.

Hope I made my position a little more clear.

SS

sentientsynth
February 19th, 2006, 04:33 PM
Yo Bob B,

And "examining a parable under a microscope" is about as useful as trying to determine the purpose of a sweater by examining a patch of its material under high magnification.
Examining the material would give us an indication of how insulating the sweater is, and would in fact tell us if it would work as a sweater or not. But we'll hold this one as a "loose analogy" as well. :)

SS

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Yo Bob B,

Examining the material would give us an indication of how insulating the sweater is, and would in fact tell us if it would work as a sweater or not. But we'll hold this one as a "loose analogy" as well. :)

SS

SS

I am sorry if I offended you by my remark. On the other hand the microscope would be more effectively used on the object the analogy is pointing to rather than on the subject of the analogy itself.

BTW, the sweater analogy was off the top of my head, but since I couldn't think of anything more suitable on the spur of the moment, I decided to use it, even though I predicted to myself that someone would in turn examine that analogy with a microscope and conclude that the sweater's warmth (purpose) could be determined by examining the material using a microscope. :sigh:

sentientsynth
February 19th, 2006, 04:54 PM
I am sorry if I offended you by my remark.

Offended?!? What on earth gave that impression? I thought your remark was legit. The whole sweater bit was me joshin with you.

BTW, the sweater analogy was off the top of my head

You mean it didn't come from your brain?!? We need to ask ourselves serious questions, bob.

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 05:21 PM
Offended?!? What on earth gave that impression? I thought your remark was legit. The whole sweater bit was me joshin with you.
You mean it didn't come from your brain?!? We need to ask ourselves serious questions, bob.

I should have known, especially since I do the same thing myself.

But at any rate this thread has suffered the same fate as the sweater. Many have examined it under the microscope instead of looking at the object it pointed to.

sentientsynth
February 19th, 2006, 06:17 PM
I think I can see what you're getting at with this thread. Very subtle. I may be wrong, of course, but maybe we're on the same page.

Johnny
February 19th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Yea me too ::wink wink::

I think any incliniation anyone had left to take this thread seriously went out the window when Bob said to aharvey,
"And what do random transformations from one "good" word to another "good" word have to do with the point of the parable?"That's utterly hilarious, considering Bob's initial post questioned
"How many “good” words are there in English for the various numbers of letters, two, three, four, five and six etc. ? [B]What then is the probability p that having one particular “good” word that a random letter change will result in another good word ?[b]Bob then spent the rest of the post calculating what he thought was the right probabilities.

So Bob, enlighten us all. If random transformations from one "good" word to another "good" word have nothing to do with the point of the parable then perhaps you should have devoted your first post to explaining something else.

My question is why would you intentionally withold something that you feel is so enlightening? I'm willing to bet that you're too ashamed to tell us your original "point" now. I'll be waiting for whatever tale you can concoct to tell us that that was your point all along. I'll lay odds that I know what you'll say.

I'll be watching, but the game is getting really old.

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 09:11 PM
Yea me too ::wink wink::

I think any incliniation anyone had left to take this thread seriously went out the window when Bob said to aharvey, That's utterly hilarious, considering Bob's initial post questioned Bob then spent the rest of the post calculating what he thought was the right probabilities.

It was enlightening that people focused on whether the parable probabilities were precise.

So Bob, enlighten us all. If random transformations from one "good" word to another "good" word have nothing to do with the point of the parable then perhaps you should have devoted your first post to explaining something else.

Did I say that it had nothing to do with the point of the parable? I think not. I simply said,
"And what do random transformations from one "good" word to another "good" word have to do with the point of the parable?"

My question is why would you intentionally withold something that you feel is so enlightening?

Because a point stated directly by a creationist would be dismissed and forgotten, but a point discovered by oneself might be remembered, even if not agreed to.

I'm willing to bet that you're too ashamed to tell us your original "point" now. I'll be waiting for whatever tale you can concoct to tell us that that was your point all along. I'll lay odds that I know what you'll say.I'll be watching, but the game is getting really old.

You're still here, if maybe for the wrong reasons.

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 09:43 PM
From bob b:
BTW, there are at least two further levels of meaning in the parable, but I won't talk about these until I am satisfied that the point of the first level has completely soaked in for all who are currently posting on this thread. As an active poster in this thread, the thing I detected from the start (may that is a quick “soak in”) is that this was a super-hyped snake oil sales job. So far, there isn’t even an empty bottle of snake oil to show. Are you really going to wait for the “first level” so soak in to me before proceeding?

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 10:00 PM
From bob b: As an active poster in this thread, the thing I detected from the start (may that is a quick “soak in”) is that this was a super-hyped snake oil sales job. So far, there isn’t even an empty bottle of snake oil to show. Are you really going to wait for the “first level” so soak in to me before proceeding?

Since you seem befuddled regarding the point of the parable, I guess I will have to be patient. Some people take longer to see things than others.

ThePhy
February 19th, 2006, 10:23 PM
Sorry everybody, but this is not the first time I have had the honor of being the excuse for Bob b not sharing some revelatory secret. Might be a long wait, since I am clear back still experimenting with getting snakes to talk so I can get past early Genesis.

sentientsynth
February 19th, 2006, 10:41 PM
Better and better all the time, eh Bob?

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 10:43 PM
Sorry everybody, but this is not the first time I have had the honor of being the excuse for Bob b not sharing some revelatory secret. Might be a long wait, since I am clear back still experimenting with getting snakes to talk so I can get past early Genesis.

This parable is far easier. But if you wish to concede defeat so be it.

Perhaps someone more flexible can penetrate this "unfathomable mystery".

I think SS already has.

fool
February 19th, 2006, 10:56 PM
Since you seem befuddled regarding the point of the parable, I guess I will have to be patient. Some people take longer to see things than others.
Bob;
This new approach you have taken has disapointed me to a depth that I cannot express.
I plead to you to turn away from this course and seek a way that you may serve truth without becoming the antithesis of that you wish to espouse.
Some of the finest men I have known were YEC.
They suffered the ridicule of the whole World and bore their burden with grace, but they never resorted to bad arguments, or ridicule of logic, to score cheap points.
In the past when I have walked you down to the end of a trail you have given me "not enough is yet known" or, as I saw again in a recent thread, "this has been pondered since the begining of man" but you have not in the history of our relation gone so far as to hold up the unknown as proof of anything, nor have you ever been so arrogant as to not make arguments and say that your non-arguments were proof of somthing.
I feel as though my friend is falling down a well, and I don't know what to do to keep him from letting go

immivik
February 19th, 2006, 10:58 PM
natural selection requires a complete sell living and active in order that the 'fittest' would continue and also improve, yet the cell is found to be infinately more complicated than Darwin ever imagined the smaller parts of living things to be. He even said that if it could be shown that any living thing had complexity which could not have occurred in steps but required all parts to be completed all at once for the species to survive (irreducable complexity) his theory would be destroyed.

bob b
February 19th, 2006, 11:06 PM
Bob;
This new approach you have taken has disapointed me to a depth that I cannot express.
I plead to you to turn away from this course and seek a way that you may serve truth without becoming the antithesis of that you wish to espouse.
Some of the finest men I have known were YEC.
They suffered the ridicule of the whole World and bore their burden with grace, but they never resorted to bad arguments, or ridicule of logic, to score cheap points.
In the past when I have walked you down to the end of a trail you have given me "not enough is yet known" or, as I saw again in a recent thread, "this has been pondered since the begining of man" but you have not in the history of our relation gone so far as to hold up the unknown as proof of anything, nor have you ever been so arrogant as to not make arguments and say that your non-arguments were proof of somthing.
I feel as though my friend is falling down a well, and I don't know what to do to keep him from letting go

What can I do?

I posed a parable that has an obvious connection to creation-evolution (my favorite topic).

I reference another thread (The Source of Novels).

Still, there is great difficulty in discovering the point of the parable!

There is no value in my stating the point, because I am (how did ThePhy put it) essentially a worthless source.

The only value in the parable is for those who are interested to seek and find the meaning themselves, even if while doing so they still reject the meaning.

Sorry, but this has been the conclusion which I have come to.

If everyone wants to give up, so be it.

But remember what Jesus said: "Seek and ye shall find" (of course He was talking about the Kingdom of God).

fool
February 19th, 2006, 11:37 PM
There is no value in my stating the point,
I would say that the best path would be to state your point and nothing else.
Speak softly and.............................

But remember what Jesus said: "Seek and ye shall find" (of course He was talking about the Kingdom of God).
"Seek" being the operative word.
You have tried to be Jesus with these threads, you make a much better Bob.
We need Bob back, Jesus is Jesus's job.
If we have our Bob trying to be Jesus we will have niether a Jesus or a Bob.

sentientsynth
February 20th, 2006, 12:12 AM
My comment speaks to my impression of the complexity differential between creating "good" words and creating "good" proteins. editThe "it" in the "it's unfathomable" refers to the magnitude of the comlexity differential. close edit It does not speak to whether or not creating a good protein from a random genetic mutation is possible.

Oh, SS. I see what you're saying now. I retract my statement. My apologies.

Not a problem fool. Hey, it happens right? Just so long as I've made myself clear now. Sorry if I seemed nebulous.

Gosh, SS. You're such a great guy. How can I become more like you?

I don't know how I do it, fool. Sometimes I amaze even myself.

SS

sentientsynth
February 20th, 2006, 12:20 AM
I don't know how I do it, fool. Sometimes I amaze even myself.

But you're SO awesome, SS. It doesn't seem humanly possible to be that awesome ALL the time. There must be a secret. I am in utter awe of your awesomeness. I'm willing to do ANYTHING to be more like you.

Well, fool, awesomeness, as I see it, is one of those qualities that a man is born with. He cannot be taught it. If you are truly thirsty for my awesomeness, I suggest that you read everything I say and attempt to re-make yourself after my pattern. This is your only hope, fool

Gosh, SS. That seems so hard to do. But I'm in such awe of your awesomeness that I'm willing to do anything. Please, SS. Teach me how to be totally awesome just like you.

When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you must say to yourself is, "I do not suck. Neither will I allow myself to do anything that isn't awesome. By this I will channel the spirit of SS, and thereby become more awesome."

Thanks, SS. You're so awesome.

I know, fool. I know.

fool
February 20th, 2006, 12:55 AM
Blah blah blah

Looks like you're over your flu.
Cool.
As far as me destroying your posts, it does matter to me that I may have misconstrued which particular nuance you were refering to, vis-a-vie you talkin to SUTG, but what set me off was Bob holdin that particular post up as bein the only serious post regardin his OP. And the fact remains that you used the word "unfathomable", which is a red flag word for me. It implies that something can't be fathomed. And I maintain that is an argument from ignorance.
Having read your subsequent posts I can see that you were refering to a nuance of a sub argument of a dispute about the formula of the original OP argument that Bob still declines to make or defend. So I apologize for hammering you. However, that "unfathomable" word will set me off whenever spotted so just watch it.
:cheers:

koban
February 20th, 2006, 01:11 AM
Looks like you're over your flu.
Cool.
As far as me destroying your posts, it does matter to me that I may have misconstrued which particular nuance you were refering to, vis-a-vie you talkin to SUTG, but what set me off was Bob holdin that particular post up as bein the only serious post regardin his OP. And the fact remains that you used the word "unfathomable", which is a red flag word for me. It implies that something can't be fathomed. And I maintain that is an argument from ignorance.
Having read your subsequent posts I can see that you were refering to a nuance of a sub argument of a dispute about the formula of the original OP argument that Bob still declines to make or defend. So I apologize for hammering you. However, that "unfathomable" word will set me off whenever spotted so just watch it.
:cheers:

The ease with which you can be set off is unfathomable. :chuckle:

sentientsynth
February 20th, 2006, 01:14 AM
Looks like you're over your flu.
Almost. I self-medicate well.

As far as me destroying your posts, it does matter to me that I may have misconstrued which particular nuance you were refering to
Thanks.

And the fact remains that you used the word "unfathomable", which is a red flag word for me. It implies that something can't be fathomed. And I maintain that is an argument from ignorance.
"Unfathomable" is indeed a red-flag word. Whenever you see it, look for context. Here, it was hyperbole. I use many literary devices when I write. They help me to communicate with clarity and style. Language isn't algebra, fool. I'd like to share with you this resource (http://virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm) that I refer to from time to time to help me with my writing. This resource will help you in your day to day striving to become more..well...you know...

However, that "unfathomable" word will set me off whenever spotted so just watch it.
I can understand your aversion to it within formal logic. However, If you want to be really awesome (like me), then you should look to see if the context warrants the use of that word. If it's presented within a syllogistic format, then "argument from incredulity" is warranted.

SS

aharvey
February 20th, 2006, 09:11 AM
I’ve still seen no evidence that bob even knows what the point of his parable is, but I’ll note the following (No microscope here, not that there ever was one: it strains credulity that you would present a very specific mathematical model, and claim that the point it makes is valid no matter how completely wrong the model is!):

1. Calculating probabilities involving specific “behaviors” of even simple words is far more complex than some folks are apparently aware.
2. Proper accounting of these probabilities show that even simple words often don’t “behave” the way you might expect them to.
3. Proteins are far more complicated than even complex words.
4. Thus, a simplistic probabilistic viewpoint that fails to account for the “behavior” of simple words has little chance to correctly infer the “behavior” of complex proteins!

I’ll also note that in either case (words or proteins), if you relax the assumption of a priori functionality, all bets are off.

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 09:53 AM
I’ve still seen no evidence that bob even knows what the point of his parable is, but I’ll note the following (No microscope here, not that there ever was one: it strains credulity that you would present a very specific mathematical model, and claim that the point it makes is valid no matter how completely wrong the model is!):

I would agree that recognizing the point of the parable is not proof that its point is valid. For some, like myself, it is sufficient. For others it hopefully raises an interesting question.

1. Calculating probabilities involving specific “behaviors” of even simple words is far more complex than some folks are apparently aware.

The complexity arises when a specific set of words is specified, because the hidden assumption in the simple model assumes homogeneity in the distribution of the word-space.

2. Proper accounting of these probabilities show that even simple words often don’t “behave” the way you might expect them to.

Correct.

3. Proteins are far more complicated than even complex words.

Correct.

4. Thus, a simplistic probabilistic viewpoint that fails to account for the “behavior” of simple words has little chance to correctly infer the “behavior” of complex proteins!

Again, correct. However the value of parables (or analogies) is to point to key issues. This the "word parable" does in even its simplist form, i.e. transformation of a single specially unique word to another single specially unique word, where these "specially unique words" are in the minority in the total word space.

To add to the complete parable, there are two deeper levels beyond the initial "word parable" that have yet to be fully revealed and explored.

These two additional levels further strengthen the sense of validity of the parable for those who become aware of the deeper levels.

Try rereading The Source of Novels.

I’ll also note that in either case (words or proteins), if you relax the assumption of a priori functionality, all bets are off.

Do you recommend doing this?

noguru
February 20th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Noguru,

I'm using the first definition of arbitrary: determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle. I could make due with the trimming "not determined by principle."

Rereading my previous post, I understand how the statement "Creating a functional protein, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of arbitrary," led to some of your questions. Actually, that statement does a rather poor job of conveying the idea I was trying to get across.

Rather, what I'm trying to say is that a protein must meet specific criteria in order to be functional. It's primary, secondary, tertiary, and (possibly) quaternary structures must all work together with it's biochemical surroundings so as to "do" something, and that in accordance with physical-chemical law, i.e. without divine intervention. I guess it's kind of like a jig-saw puzzle. The protein just has to "fit." It may not need to be a razor sharp fit, but it can't be a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. (Yet another "loose analogy" not to be to "under the microscope." I guess you could put a square peg in a round hole if it were small enough. Slight variation: a square piston-head would not function very well in a combustion engine with round piston-holes (whatever they're called.) And what if an engine "devolved" to creating a brittle piston-shaft which broke upon use. It would break, rendering the engine useless. Not good.)

Are you asking me if I anthropomorphize the concept of natural selection in a wooden literal sense? I'm not sure what you're asking me here, NoGuru.

I'm not so much speaking to the means by which the new protein is created, but rather to the nature of the new protein. In order to be functional within the cell, it has to "fit" its surroundings somehow, and one would think that it would carry out a function at least similar to its predecessor protein. Consider the following, written by Douglas J. Futuyama.

Over the course of vertebrate evolution, gene duplication has given rise to a family of hemoglobin genes that have diverged in function. The hemoglobin of the lamprey, a primitive jawless vertebrate, consists of a single protein chain (a monomer), encoded by a single gene. In jawed vertebrates such as fishes and mammals, hemoglobin is a tetramer: an aggregate of four chains of two types (alpha and beta), encoded by two genes with related sequences. This tetramer has a cooperative oxygen-binding capacity not available to the lamprey. In salmon, quadruple copies of the beta gene, differing slightly in sequence, yield four types of hemoglobin with different, adaptive oxygen-loading properties.1 In mammals, successive duplications of the beta gene gave rise to the gamma and epsilon chains, which characterize the hemoglobin of the fetus and early embryo respectively, and enhance uptake of oxygen from the mother. Source (http://www.bostonreview.net/BR22.1/futuyma.html)

Imagine the mutation had not produced functional proteins. The organisms carrying these mutated genes would simply die. They wouldn't pass along their seed. They wouldn't be "naturally selected." The genetic mutation and subsequent protein would warrant the label "not good."

The "means" of protein synthesis is governed by highly specific processes (not arbitrary). I'm not sure if I'm addressing your question. I find it somewhat vague.

Hope I made my position a little more clear.

SS

Yes, you addressed my questions very well. The reason I asked those questions and posted those definitions was for a specific purpose. I appologize if they seemed vague to you.

At any rate, I agree that there are highly specific processes governing the means of protien synthesis. I would add that arbitrary in this sense is referring to the lack of principle. In Bob's example it is referring to a more strigent and codified written language. Are you certain that Bob's "parable" is a good analogy? I mean I would say that a better analogy would be verbal language. In this case misspellings (in the head of the orator) can occur (because it is the pheonetics and context that is most important), but functionality for the most part remains intact.

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 11:34 AM
Yes, you addressed my questions very well. The reason I asked those questions and posted those definitions was for a specific purpose. I appologize if they seemed vague to you.

At any rate, I agree that there are highly specific processes governing the means of protien synthesis. I would add that arbitrary in this sense is referring to the lack of principle. In Bob's example it is referring to a more strigent and codified written language. Are you certain that Bob's "parable" is a good analogy? I mean I would say that a better analogy would be verbal language. In this case misspellings (in the head of the orator) can occur (because it is the pheonetics and context that is most important), but functionality for the most part remains intact.

Bingo! The 2nd level of the parable appears! ;)

Nice work noguru. :thumb:

noguru
February 20th, 2006, 05:22 PM
Bingo! The 2nd level of the parable appears! ;)

Nice work noguru. :thumb:

OK. Thanks. Now how does this support or influence the probability calculations of your first level "parable"?

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 07:51 PM
OK. Thanks. Now how does this support or influence the probability calculations of your first level "parable"?

Back to the thread subject, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

What single letter could we substitute in one of the positions of "LIKE" and still retain reasonable sense?

Out of the possible 456,976 4-letter combinations and 4155 "good" 4-letter words, there are 17 candidates:
bike dike hike kike mike pike sike tike lake leke lice life lime line lire lite live

Some of these 17 probably do not make better sense in the sentence than LIKE does.

But remember, there is at least one more level in the "parable".

koban
February 20th, 2006, 07:57 PM
Back to the thread subject, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

What letter could we substitute in one of the positions of "LIKE" and still retain reasonable sense?

M

Although why anybody would name a weasel "MIKE" is beyond me. :dizzy:

noguru
February 20th, 2006, 08:08 PM
Back to the thread subject, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

What letter could we substitute in one of the positions of "LIKE" and still retain reasonable sense?

Bob, can we add and remove letters and words also?

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 08:24 PM
M
Although why anybody would name a weasel "MIKE" is beyond me. :dizzy:

Exactly!!

But review my edited post for all 17 possible words.

koban
February 20th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Exactly!!

But review my edited post for all 17 possible words.

You missed "LUKE".

Although why anybody would name a weasel "LUKE" is beyond me. :dizzy:

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 08:30 PM
Bob, can we add and remove letters and words also?

It is only an analogy. The point is what is important. Remember, we started with:
FOUR LETTER WORDS - 4155 "good" words out of 26x26x26x26=456,976 possibilities

Here are the candidate words for LIKE when considering a single-letter substitution.

LIKE
bike dike hike kike mike pike sike tike lake leke lice life lime line lire lite live 17

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL

noguru
February 20th, 2006, 08:40 PM
It is only an analogy. The point is what is important. Remember, we started with:
FOUR LETTER WORDS - 4155 "good" words out of 676x676=456,976 possibilities

Here are the candidate words for LIKE when considering a single-letter substitution.

LIKE
bike dike hike kike mike pike sike tike lake leke lice life lime line lire lite live 17

Is this number equivalent to the possible number of functional protiens?

noguru
February 20th, 2006, 08:53 PM
You missed "LUKE".

Although why anybody would name a weasel "LUKE" is beyond me. :dizzy:

And nike. ike, if you can remove the first letter altogether. And if we a considering pheneotics, there is meik, leik, beik, deik, heik, keik, peik seik, teik, leik, reik, myek, lyek, dyek...... Also if we can change other words simultaneously or at another time the sentence will eventually begin to take on another meaning altogether.

bob b
February 20th, 2006, 09:02 PM
Is this number equivalent to the possible number of functional protiens?

At this point nobody knows.

What is known is that the average protein consists of something more than 100 amino acid letters, each "letter" having 22 different possible amino acids.

So the number of possible combination of 100 letters would be:

22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x 22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22

Which is a fair sized number. Roughly equal to the number of atoms in the universe cubed or quadrupled.

How many "good" proteins is one thing. How many could be formed from a specific "good" protein by changing a single amino acid to form another "good" one (which would have to be better than the old one in order to be preserved by natural selection) is something yet to be determined by science. This is the first level of meaning.

But "hope springs eternal" it is said.

noguru
February 20th, 2006, 09:05 PM
At this point nobody knows.

What is known is that the average protein consists of something more than 100 amino acid letters, each "letter" having 22 different possible amino acids.

So the number of possible combination of 100 letters would be:

22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x 22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22

Which is a fair sized number. Roughly equal to the number of atoms in the universe cubed or quadrupled.

How many "good" proteins is one thing. How many could be formed from a specific "good" protein by changing a single amino acid to form another "good" one (which would have to be better than the old one in order to be preserved by natural selection) is something yet to be determined by science. This is the first level of meaning.

So in other words, you are admitting that you don't really know whether or not your simplistic little "parable" is an appropriate analogy.

But "hope springs eternal" it is said.

Well perhaps not in your case.

February 20th, 2006, 10:35 PM
At this point nobody knows.

What is known is that the average protein consists of something more than 100 amino acid letters, each "letter" having 22 different possible amino acids.

So the number of possible combination of 100 letters would be:

22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x 22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22

Which is a fair sized number. Roughly equal to the number of atoms in the universe cubed or quadrupled.

How many "good" proteins is one thing. How many could be formed from a specific "good" protein by changing a single amino acid to form another "good" one (which would have to be better than the old one in order to be preserved by natural selection) is something yet to be determined by science. This is the first level of meaning.

But "hope springs eternal" it is said.

The chance of forming an enzyme like carboxypeptidase, a 300 amino acid long protein, randomly is 1 in 2.04 X 10^390. Add to that the probabilities of all the other enymes to get a number God hasn't invented yet...

sentientsynth
February 21st, 2006, 12:10 AM
The chance of forming an enzyme like carboxypeptidase, a 300 amino acid long protein, randomly is 1 in 2.04 X 10^390. Add to that the probabilities of all the other enymes to get a number God hasn't invented yet...

:darwinsm:

aharvey
February 21st, 2006, 07:52 AM
At this point nobody knows.

What is known is that the average protein consists of something more than 100 amino acid letters, each "letter" having 22 different possible amino acids.

So the number of possible combination of 100 letters would be:

22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x 22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22 x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x2 2x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22x22

Which is a fair sized number. Roughly equal to the number of atoms in the universe cubed or quadrupled.

How many "good" proteins is one thing. How many could be formed from a specific "good" protein by changing a single amino acid to form another "good" one (which would have to be better than the old one in order to be preserved by natural selection) is something yet to be determined by science. This is the first level of meaning.

But "hope springs eternal" it is said.
Yeah, sooner or later the "big numbers, tiny probabilities" argument was bound to appear. Ah well. I've already given a simple example (the number of possible arrangements of 100 grains of sand in a liter of water: 100^600, conservatively) that dwarfs these numbers, and yet when asked how the sand grains are likely to distribute themselves in the water, we somehow can easily eliminate virtually all of those possible arrangements. How is that possible?

bob b
February 21st, 2006, 08:48 AM
Yeah, sooner or later the "big numbers, tiny probabilities" argument was bound to appear. Ah well. I've already given a simple example (the number of possible arrangements of 100 grains of sand in a liter of water: 100^600, conservatively) that dwarfs these numbers, and yet when asked how the sand grains are likely to distribute themselves in the water, we somehow can easily eliminate virtually all of those possible arrangements. How is that possible?

For the same reason that crystals form in regular patterns.

But on the contrary, DNA and proteins appear in irregular patterns, what some have referred to as "specified complexity".

BTW, in the WEASEL example we can see in the particular case of LIKE being transformed into one of the other 17 "good" words which differ from it by only one letter, that the probability of doing this is 17 divided by 25+25+25 +25=100 (the total of possible words which could occur). Thus the probability in this case (given the initial word LIKE) is 17/100=0.17

The "hooker" in the case of the English language is that not all of the 17 "good" words are equal in the "sense" that they make when placed into a sentence. Thus in the METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL example, many of the 17 words would be rejected by an editor (artificial selection), further reducing the probability of achieving a "better" sentence.

In an analogous way, several proteins are typically embedded in a "sentence" (control system) so that not all "good" proteins are equal in improving the operation of the overall control system, and hence many would tend to be rejected by the "editor" (natural selection). This is the 2nd level of the parable (there is a 3rd).

Jukia
February 21st, 2006, 08:51 AM
In an analogous way, several proteins are typically embedded in a "sentence" (control system) so that not all "good" proteins are equal in improving the operation of the overall control system, and hence many would tend to be rejected by the "editor" (natural selection). This is the 2nd level of the parable (there is a 3rd).

I'm sooo glad bob b was able to continue this long enough to get to use the words "control system".

And is the 3rd lever the one that this long enough to move the earth?

bob b
February 21st, 2006, 08:54 AM
I'm sooo glad bob b was able to continue this long enough to get to use the words "control system".

And is the 3rd lever the one that this long enough to move the earth?

Level not lever. Natural selection would eliminate your typo. :rotfl:

aharvey
February 21st, 2006, 09:10 AM
For the same reason that crystals form in regular patterns.

But on the contrary, DNA and proteins appear in irregular patterns, what some have referred to as "specified complexity".
Hmm. So, "on the contrary," 100 sand grains in a liter of water will form a regular pattern? This is getting better and better.

BTW, in the WEASEL example we can see in the particular case of LIKE being transformed into one of the other 17 "good" words which differ from it by only one letter, that the probability of doing this is 17 divided by 25+25+25 +25=100 (the total of possible words which could occur). Thus the probability in this case (given the initial word LIKE) is 17/100=0.17

The "hooker" in the case of the English language is that not all of the 17 "good" words are equal in the "sense" that they make when placed into a sentence. Thus in the METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL example, many of the 17 words would be rejected by an editor (artificial selection), further reducing the probability of achieving a "better" sentence.

In an analogous way, several proteins are typically embedded in a "sentence" (control system) so that not all "good" proteins are equal in improving the operation of the overall control system, and hence many would tend to be rejected by the "editor" (natural selection). This is the 2nd level of the parable (there is a 3rd).
Too bad organisms are neither as tightly structured nor as linearly constrained as the English language.

But I am interested in how far you're willing to take this, because at some point you will have made such an excellent case, building on your assumptions, that you will have conclusively demonstrated the profound implausibility of the slightest evolutionary change. At that point we can revisit the question of whether, in a few thousand years, we could reasonably expect any genetic differences to have accumulated within biblical kinds, much less differences in genomic structure, if your arguments and assumptions are correct.

bob b
February 21st, 2006, 09:47 AM
Hmm. So, "on the contrary," 100 sand grains in a liter of water will form a regular pattern? This is getting better and better.

I could pursue this further but would prefer another thread so we can stay on topic here.

Too bad organisms are neither as tightly structured nor as linearly constrained as the English language.

An analogy is not an equality, but is only suggestive. The suggestion is that some characteristics of a language may be present to a more or less degree in the DNA/protein "language". If so then it suggests possible lines of investigation.

But I am interested in how far you're willing to take this, because at some point you will have made such an excellent case, building on your assumptions, that you will have conclusively demonstrated the profound implausibility of the slightest evolutionary change.

That is way overstating the case for what is after all only an analogy. However your comment does raise an interesting characteristic of the English language: its redundancy.
People can still understand the meaning of a sentence even if there are typos in it. It should be obvious that the same holds true for organisms with protein mutations: they frequently still work. Exactly why is a subject for further research.

At that point we can revisit the question of whether, in a few thousand years, we could reasonably expect any genetic differences to have accumulated within biblical kinds, much less differences in genomic structure, if your arguments and assumptions are correct.

Again, you miss the purpose of an analogy by treating it as an equality or a model.

aharvey
February 21st, 2006, 10:05 AM
I could pursue this further but would prefer another thread so we can stay on topic here.
Fine, but don't overlook my point that a few simple rules can invest a whole lot of nonrandomness into a system, so that outcomes that seem impossibly unlikely in a random system become not so far fetched after all.

An analogy is not an equality, but is only suggestive. The suggestion is that some characteristics of a language may be present to a more or less degree in the DNA/protein "language". If so then it suggests possible lines of investigation.
I'll be interested to learn what possible lines of investigation your "analogy" suggests that are not already under investigation by biologists.

That is way overstating the case for what is after all only an analogy. However your comment does raise an interesting characteristic of the English language: its redundancy.
People can still understand the meaning of a sentence even if there are typos in it. It should be obvious that the same holds true for organisms with protein mutations: they frequently still work. Exactly why is a subject for further research.
So, again, you think biologists aren't aware of this? That no one's studying this?

Again, you miss the purpose of an analogy by treating it as an equality or a model.
Not at all, but it will be interesting to see how you ultimately summarize the "points" of your analogy/parable/fable/shaggy dog story/etc.

bob b
February 21st, 2006, 11:32 AM
Fine, but don't overlook my point that a few simple rules can invest a whole lot of nonrandomness into a system, so that outcomes that seem impossibly unlikely in a random system become not so far fetched after all.

It was a good point, and should be taken into consideration.

I'll be interested to learn what possible lines of investigation your "analogy" suggests that are not already under investigation by biologists.

This discussion was not aimed at "educating" research biologists, many of whom are probably well aware of the "English language" analogy.

So, again, you think biologists aren't aware of this? That no one's studying this?

Ditto my previous answer.

Not at all, but it will be interesting to see how you ultimately summarize the "points" of your analogy/parable/fable/shaggy dog story/etc.

The parable "seed" has now been planted in the minds of those who have been reading this thread.

It will be interesting to see whether, or in whom, it will grow.

It might take awhile.

ThePhy
February 21st, 2006, 12:03 PM
I still think this thread is a credit to bob. It takes a pretty good con artist to keep people coming back to a thread for well over 100 exchanges before the ruse starts to show.

bob b
February 21st, 2006, 01:09 PM
I still think this thread is a credit to bob. It takes a pretty good con artist to keep people coming back to a thread for well over 100 exchanges before the ruse starts to show.

Thanks. That's got to be the nicest thing you've ever said to me. :)

ThePhy
February 21st, 2006, 01:37 PM
Thanks. That's got to be the nicest thing you've ever said to me. :)That's what best buddies are for.

noguru
February 22nd, 2006, 08:06 AM
I still think this thread is a credit to bob. It takes a pretty good con artist to keep people coming back to a thread for well over 100 exchanges before the ruse starts to show.

It's par for the course. That's the only reason I read Bob's posts anymore. That is to see how he sets that "salesman's" hook.

bob b
February 22nd, 2006, 08:35 AM
It's par for the course. That's the only reason I read Bob's posts anymore. That is to see how he sets that "salesman's" hook.

Let us hope that your faith in God will water the seed that I have planted.

noguru
February 22nd, 2006, 09:05 AM
Let us hope that your faith in God will water the seed that I have planted.

Bob I think you flatter yourself. My faith in God is not dependant on any "seed" you might think you have planted. I need only open up the Bible and live my life, in order to plant and water seeds of faith.

ThePhy
February 22nd, 2006, 06:13 PM
Let us hope that your faith in God will water the seed that I have planted. Wow. Incorrect mathematics trying to support an incorrect idea, and that is supposed to be a seed that God can make blossom. If God has one ounce of integrity He will use it to show how un-truthful Bob's use of this thread has been.

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 08:53 AM
Wow. Incorrect mathematics trying to support an incorrect idea, and that is supposed to be a seed that God can make blossom. If God has one ounce of integrity He will use it to show how un-truthful Bob's use of this thread has been.

Isn't God amazing?

Even though He works through His fallible servents, the Truth still shines through!!

:wave:

ThePhy
February 23rd, 2006, 10:41 AM
From bob b:
Even though He works through His fallible servents, the Truth still shines through!! I take this as an admission that in this thread your point was indeed wrong, but you expect God can still salvage something from your blunder.

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 11:50 AM
fallible servents(sic)

Point taken. :chuckle:

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 11:53 AM
From bob b: I take this as an admission that in this thread your point was indeed wrong, but you expect God can still salvage something from your blunder.

The point was interesting, even though an analogy is of course never "proof".

Yes, I did struggle a bit with the probabilities, but the exact numbers were not the "point". The trend should be clear to those with eyes to see. Whether the same trend occurs in proteins is of course the real question and that will not become clear until more research is done on determining the Natural Laws (if any) governing the determination (folding I suppose) of "good" proteins.

Did anyone notice how flawed the original Dawkin's analogy was?

That was why I used his "punchline" of METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

He actually came up with an interesting concept of comparing the English language to the "language" of DNA/proteins. But somewhere along the way of finetuning his analogy he strayed off the course of plausability.

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 12:06 PM
Did anyone notice how flawed the original Dawkin's analogy was?

No, but if you want to discuss that, why not post the original Dawkins' analogy and your criticism of it?

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 12:33 PM
No, but if you want to discuss that, why not post the original Dawkins' analogy and your criticism of it?

I am amazed to hear someone claim it is not flawed.

Perhaps you would like to discuss why you think the sky is not blue.
(It's raining?)

aharvey
February 23rd, 2006, 01:00 PM
I am amazed to hear someone claim it is not flawed.

Perhaps you would like to discuss why you think the sky is not blue.
(It's raining?)
At one time I would have been amazed to hear someone equate the statement "No, I hadn't noticed how flawed the original Dawkin's analogy was" with the claim "No, it is not flawed." I guess I've finally lost my innocence when it comes to creationist argumentation tactics.

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 01:48 PM
At one time I would have been amazed to hear someone equate the statement "No, I hadn't noticed how flawed the original Dawkin's analogy was" with the claim "No, it is not flawed." I guess I've finally lost my innocence when it comes to creationist argumentation tactics.

So you think SUTG hasn't heard of the flaws?

Boy are you are naive.

I interpreted his answer to mean that he doesn't consider the "flaws" in Dawkin's WEASEL model to be actual flaws and wants to argue that position.

The difference is that you consider SUTG to be ignorant and I don't.

BTW, I am assuming you are aware of the flaws, right?

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 01:58 PM
I interpreted his answer to mean that he doesn't consider the "flaws" in Dawkin's WEASEL model to be actual flaws and wants to argue that position.

I was not familiar with Dawkins' WEASEL model, but just looked it up on Google.

Are you sure you understand the model? Can you explain it, and the flaws, in your own words?

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 02:06 PM
I was not familiar with Dawkins' WEASEL model, but just looked it up on Google.

Are you sure you understand the model? Can you explain it, and the flaws, in your own words?

Too much hassle. Post the link and I will tell you whether I agree or disagree with their description of it (I have the Dawkins book).

And I am truly amazed that you had never heard of it, and furthermore would be interested in whether you agree with its applicability to evolution and have noticed the obvious flaws or not.

aharvey
February 23rd, 2006, 02:08 PM
So you think SUTG hasn't heard of the flaws?

Boy are you are naive.

I interpreted his answer to mean that he doesn't consider the "flaws" in Dawkin's WEASEL model to be actual flaws and wants to argue that position.

The difference is that you consider SUTG to be ignorant and I don't.

BTW, I am assuming you are aware of the flaws, right?
I interpreted his/her answer as he/she typed it in response to the question that you asked. Since I've made it clear what I think of your worth as a mind reader, I guess we'll have to let SUTG speak for him/herself. Even so, I'll note that SUTG may have heard of the flaws but not noticed them him/herself.

For example, to answer your question (let's see how you bollux this up!), I have heard creationists claim the Dawkins Weasel example is flawed (a creationist really has no option to claim otherwise!), but as I've never read the original paper by Dawkins and only have a general familiarity with the idea, I don't know what these flaws are supposed to be, and therefore I can't possibly pass judgement on whether they are really flaws. If I'm not mistaken, all Dawkins was trying to do was show the error in only thinking of evolution as a "random process," and that a structured, i.e, non-random process can rapidly generate non-random structure. How much more specific does he get than that?

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 02:24 PM
Too much hassle. Post the link and I will tell you whether I agree or disagree with their description of it (I have the Dawkins book).

Here is one of them. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_program)

And I am truly amazed that you had never heard of it, and furthermore would be interested in whether you agree with its applicability to evolution and have noticed the obvious flaws or not.

I'm also surprised I hadn't heard of it. I am reading the Wikipedia entry right now, and will post afterwards.

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 02:32 PM
Seems OK to me for what Dawkins said it was doing - illustrating the difference between random and cumulative selection.

What are the flaws?

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 02:54 PM
Seems OK to me for what Dawkins said it was doing - illustrating the difference between random and cumulative selection.

What are the flaws?

A lot of work just to do that.

Besides I asked you if you thought it had any applicability to evolution? If so what?

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 02:58 PM
A lot of work just to do that.

What do you mean? He went through alot of work to show the difference between random selction and cumulative selection?

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 03:04 PM
I asked you if you thought it had any applicability to evolution? If so what?

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 03:11 PM
I asked you if you thought it had any applicability to evolution? If so what?

Well, the program was designed ( :chuckle: ) to show the difference between random selection and cumulative selection, which it does just fine.

So are you asking whether cumulative selection has any applicibility to evolution?

aharvey
February 23rd, 2006, 03:39 PM
Well, the program was designed ( :chuckle: ) to show the difference between random selection and cumulative selection, which it does just fine.

So are you asking whether cumulative selection has any applicibility to evolution?
I guess bob has never heard the creationist reference to evolution via natural selection as a "random" process!

No, I don't really believe that for a second. There is rather more evidence that suggests that creationists feel it is their best interests to continue under any circumstances to refer to this process as random, as evidenced by this fairly astonishing AiG criticism of the Weasel (http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v12/i3/dawkins.asp) (my emphasis added below):

"I described the basic procedure to a Christian lawyer recently: a computer program generates 28 random letters (or spaces) one after the other and these are matched in order to the sentence ‘METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL’. The experiment is repeated for only the positions where a match did not occur (see Figure 1, below). Eventually the desired sentence is reproduced. By analogy to this allegedly ‘random’ process, mutations could presumably give rise to the complexity we see in life forms."

Dawkins' whole point is that it is not a random process, and yet creationists bitterly complain that Dawkins falsely alleges that it is a random process!

fool
February 23rd, 2006, 03:55 PM
Tell me if I'm not getting this.
Does the whole problem revolve around the issue of the "Correct" letters from the last try not being retained for subsequent trys?

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 03:59 PM
Yeah - when I was doing my Google search, I came across that "Answers" in Genesis site. Something didn't look right, so I decided to keep searching until I could find the actual, relevant quotes from Dawkins himself.

Just about every Christian site I have found that discusses the weasel makes the same error. Either they are being dishonest, they don't understand what Dawkins was saying, or they haven't read Dawkins and are just repeating the same mistakes from other Christian sites.

It amazes me that, having never heard of the WEASEL program before, I could go to Google and gain a better understanding of it in 10 minutes than these Christian websites are posting all over the place. Talk about willful ignorance!

Johnny
February 23rd, 2006, 04:06 PM
There seems to be a lot of "just repeating the same mistakes from other Christian sites." That's what happens when your ability to critically think is secondary to maintaining your dogmatic world-view.

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 04:44 PM
Yeah - when I was doing my Google search, I came across that "Answers" in Genesis site. Something didn't look right, so I decided to keep searching until I could find the actual, relevant quotes from Dawkins himself.

Just about every Christian site I have found that discusses the weasel makes the same error. Either they are being dishonest, they don't understand what Dawkins was saying, or they haven't read Dawkins and are just repeating the same mistakes from other Christian sites.

It amazes me that, having never heard of the WEASEL program before, I could go to Google and gain a better understanding of it in 10 minutes than these Christian websites are posting all over the place. Talk about willful ignorance!

I think you underestimate the people on those Christian websites. They were not fooled for a minute by Dawkin's "innocent" claim that all he was doing was giving an example to show the difference between "single-step selection" and "cumulative selection".

SUTG
February 23rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
I think you underestimate the people on those Christian websites. They were not fooled for a minute by Dawkin's "innocent" claim that all he was doing was giving an example to show the difference between "single-step selection" and "cumulative selection".

They sure seem to be fooled by something! They don't even get the claim correct:

Zoology Professor Richard Dawkins claimed to show that random mutations could generate new structures such as organs or limbs by a computer programming exercise.

Since you have the book, can you show me where Dawkins claimed that the weasel program did this? His claim appears to be just the opposite from the quotes I've seen.

How are you guys supposed to be refuting Dawkins when you don't even understand what he is saying? That is why I wanted to hear his argument from you in your own words. Do you not see that these websites are misrepresnting Dawkins' claim for the program?

aharvey
February 23rd, 2006, 05:02 PM
Yeah - when I was doing my Google search, I came across that "Answers" in Genesis site. Something didn't look right, so I decided to keep searching until I could find the actual, relevant quotes from Dawkins himself.

Just about every Christian site I have found that discusses the weasel makes the same error. Either they are being dishonest, they don't understand what Dawkins was saying, or they haven't read Dawkins and are just repeating the same mistakes from other Christian sites.

It amazes me that, having never heard of the WEASEL program before, I could go to Google and gain a better understanding of it in 10 minutes than these Christian websites are posting all over the place. Talk about willful ignorance!
I agree with bob, you might be underestimating the people on those Christian websites. I think they are fully aware that Dawkins was specifically illustrating a non-random process, but they are equally aware that painting evolution as a "random process" helps make it seem ridiculous ("How could something as complex and well-integrated as DNA be the result of mindless random chance processes?"). There are lots of Lynn73's and bowhunter's in the world on whom such duplicity apparently works very well.

February 23rd, 2006, 05:26 PM
I agree with bob, you might be underestimating the people on those Christian websites. I think they are fully aware that Dawkins was specifically illustrating a non-random process, but they are equally aware that painting evolution as a "random process" helps make it seem ridiculous ("How could something as complex and well-integrated as DNA be the result of mindless random chance processes?"). There are lots of Lynn73's and bowhunter's in the world on whom such duplicity apparently works very well.

There is a great deal of money in it. Discovery Institute gets millions in donations. Right wing book readers are easily parted from their money.

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 05:27 PM
I agree with bob, you might be underestimating the people on those Christian websites. I think they are fully aware that Dawkins was specifically illustrating a non-random process, but they are equally aware that painting evolution as a "random process" helps make it seem ridiculous ("How could something as complex and well-integrated as DNA be the result of mindless random chance processes?"). There are lots of Lynn73's and bowhunter's in the world on whom such duplicity apparently works very well.

Of course almost all evolutionists agree that evolution is a random process, but try to downplay the randomness, which they assume is due to random mutations, by claiming that natural selection removes the randomness.

Wrong. It doesn't.

Dawkins was illustrating a process that although random could converge on a target phrase in stages by making use of intelligent selection. This has similarities to the algorithms used by Engineers and others to optimize various processes. We used to refer to these as "Monte Carlo methods".

His example (as well as his text) implied that this has something to do with "random mutations plus natural selection plus billions of years" being able to transform a hypothetical primitive protocell into all life on Earth.

It doesn't.

His example was spurious, but effective in achieving an objective, much like so many advertisements we see on television.

aharvey
February 23rd, 2006, 05:41 PM
Of course almost all evolutionists agree that evolution is a random process but try to downplay the randomness, which they assume is due to random mutations, by claiming that natural selection removes the randomness.
Need I say more?

"Evolution is a random process."
"Evolution is a process with both random and non-random components."

Can anyone seriously think these mean the same thing?

bob b
February 23rd, 2006, 07:33 PM
Need I say more?

"Evolution is a random process."
"Evolution is a process with both random and non-random components."

Can anyone seriously think these mean the same thing?

Semantics.

The Monte Carlo method is a random process as opposed to a deterministic process.

Yet the result of this method generally converges on a unique answer, usually in just a few iterations. This is because it involves a correction function, typically non-random.

If you choose to call evolution a non-random process, even though it assumes random mutations, be my guest.

bob b
February 25th, 2006, 01:35 PM
Time for the next "level" of the "parable".

Richard Dawkins claims that the process of evolution can be demonstrated by comparing it to its ability to generate an English sentence, namely, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

Great idea but flawed in its execution.

Evolution must proceed by going from one feasible lifeform to another feasible lifeform. Any lifeforms that are not feasible will be eliminated by Natural Selection.

Thus, we would see in the English language analogy that one "feasible" sentence should logically lead to another "feasible" sentence.

But wait, Natural Selection, in this case represented by an "editor" would want not only a "feasible" sentence but one that gave an improved meaning to the sentence.

But wait. Sentences do not normally exist in isolation, they are usually embedded in a paragraph, and the overall meaning of the paragraph would restrict which sentences would "fit" into the overall meaning of the paragraph.

Does this relate to proteins in lifeforms?

Oh yes.

It is known, for example, that a single "bad" point mutation can cause deleterious multiple effects in different subsytems of lifeforms. In other words a genetic disease traced back to a single deleterious point mutation can screw up more than expected. This must be because the effected protein is used not only in one subsystem, but in other subsystems as well. Sort of a "wheel within a wheel" situation.

Such situations are somewhat similar to the need of the "editor" in our English language example to consider not only the meaning of the immediate sentence in which a change affects its meaning, but the effect the change has on the paragraph in which that altered sentence is embedded.

This is why it would be so difficult to make major beneficial changes in a lifeform by a process that makes only small changes acting one step at a time.

When I first started reading about DNA some 23 years ago it was obvious to me, a former control system engineer, that the "small change scenario" could not possibly work (I had previously attended seminars where scientists had revealed that lifeforms were "loaded" with automatic feedback control systems). I fully expected that there would be better and more feasible mechanisms coming along than "random mutations plus natural selection", but I never found any, and in the ensuing 23 years nobody else has found any either.

aharvey
February 26th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Semantics.

The Monte Carlo method is a random process as opposed to a deterministic process.

Yet the result of this method generally converges on a unique answer, usually in just a few iterations. This is because it involves a correction function, typically non-random.

If you choose to call evolution a non-random process, even though it assumes random mutations, be my guest.

Is there a "jaw-droppingly stupid" emoticon? Because this is about the most jaw-droppingly stupid post you have ever made on TOL, bob. I was about to refer you to Dawkin's monkey/Shakespeare example to illustrate this, but I see from your next post you have no clue about that one either.

Sigh... what can we do? Ever play poker? A fair game of poker starts with a randomly dealt hand, correct? Does that make poker playing nothing more than a random process? Are there not good poker players and bad poker players? Just because there is an element of randomness doesn't mean that it is nothing more than a random process! I can't believe you don't understand that this is a fundamental distinction, and once again am led to suspect that in the holy war against evolution there is no need for the niceties of fair play.

Time for the next "level" of the "parable".

Richard Dawkins claims that the process of evolution can be demonstrated by comparing it to its ability to generate an English sentence, namely, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.
This is what we've been oh so anxiously awaiting?!? Your complete misunderstanding/misrepresenting of the entire point of Dawkins's demonstration?!?

Dawkins's example illustrates the difference between single-step and cumulative selection, between purely random and partly random processes. He takes considerable pains to make it clear that it was not intended to be a model of how evolutionary processes actually work. For you to base your whole, profoundly idiotic "parable," on not only a deeply defective "model" of your own but now, we see, a blatantly deceptive misrepresentation of Dawkins's model leads me once again to ponder what this crusade you've taken on has done to your moral compass.

bob b
February 26th, 2006, 02:49 PM
Is there a "jaw-droppingly stupid" emoticon? Because this is about the most jaw-droppingly stupid post you have ever made on TOL, bob. I was about to refer you to Dawkin's monkey/Shakespeare example to illustrate this, but I see from your next post you have no clue about that one either.

Sigh... what can we do? Ever play poker? A fair game of poker starts with a randomly dealt hand, correct? Does that make poker playing nothing more than a random process? Are there not good poker players and bad poker players? Just because there is an element of randomness doesn't mean that it is nothing more than a random process! I can't believe you don't understand that this is a fundamental distinction, and once again am led to suspect that in the holy war against evolution there is no need for the niceties of fair play.

I have already granted you that some people prefer to speak of random versus non-random whereas I, as well as some mathematicians, prefer to speak of random versus deterministic.

This is what we've been oh so anxiously awaiting?!? Your complete misunderstanding/misrepresenting of the entire point of Dawkins's demonstration?!?

Dawkins was obviously using his example to "slide in" the idea that natural selection (the head monkey) can turn a situation of low probability into one of certainty. That is the whole point of his Blind Watchmaker book.

Dawkins's example illustrates the difference between single-step and cumulative selection, between purely random and partly random processes.

A "partly" random process is what I call a "random process". ;)

He takes considerable pains to make it clear that it was not intended to be a model of how evolutionary processes actually work.

Baloney. He was trying to illustrate how selection turns a hopelessly rare situation into one that converges rapidly on the target sentence.

For you to base your whole, profoundly idiotic "parable," on not only a deeply defective "model" of your own but now, we see, a blatantly deceptive misrepresentation of Dawkins's model leads me once again to ponder what this crusade you've taken on has done to your moral compass.

My "parable" illustrates the point I have been trying to illuminate here for all these weeks: "random mutations plus natural selection" is not the answer to large scale changes, and by inference why starting with multiple advanced life forms is a much better scenario.

February 26th, 2006, 03:03 PM
Isn't purely random something without selection; no rule for selecting that which looks most like the target word; and partly random the scenario where the letter change is random (now I've said "random" so many times I'm not sure what it means) but the selected word is not? Just trying to keep up. Many thanks.

billwald
February 26th, 2006, 03:15 PM
Is "Monopoly" a game of random chance because the players throw the dice?

noguru
February 26th, 2006, 03:17 PM
The more Bob expounds on his ideas the less confidence I have in his judgement.

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think your an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt."

February 26th, 2006, 03:19 PM
The more Bob expounds on his ideas the less confidence I have in his judgement.

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think your an idiot, than to open it and remove all doubt."

Now, now; let's be nice. A whetstone is a blessing!

noguru
February 26th, 2006, 03:21 PM
Now, now; let's be nice. A whetstone is a blessing!

What's a whetstone?

bob b
February 26th, 2006, 03:25 PM
Isn't purely random something without selection; no rule for selecting that which looks most like the target word; and partly random the scenario where the letter change is random (now I've said "random" so many times I'm not sure what it means) but the selected word is not? Just trying to keep up. Many thanks.

It is true that there is a better word that conveys a more accurate picture, but many people are not familiar with the word "stochastic".

February 26th, 2006, 03:25 PM
What's a whetstone?

Eh, well, it's a fine grain stone for honing tools... but it sometimes gets used to refer to a person who allows us to sharpen ourselves; as of someone you debate.

bob b
February 26th, 2006, 03:45 PM
For any who are listening, I will explain what is going on here in the "discussion" between harvey and myself.

In a courtroom each lawyer is trying to "win over" the jury to his/her side by any means possible.

One way to do this is to convince the jury that the opposing lawyer does not know "beans" about anything and hence any argument advanced should be viewed with suspicion.

This is sometimes referred to as the "shoot the messenger" tactic.

In the above argument Harvey wants to focus on the definition of terms. Thus he calls me stupid.

Other times he attacks my credibility and reinforces his own, i.e. the "professor" lectures the student on some point having little to do with the main issue..

Watch for these kinds of arguments in creation/evolution debates, because evolutionists do not want the discussion to focus on the weaknesses of their theory: things like the "random mutations plus natural selection" mechanism.

Forewarned is forearmed. ;)

Johnny
February 26th, 2006, 04:04 PM
In the above argument Harvey wants to focus on the definition of terms. Thus he calls me stupid.Unless I missed something, he specifically called your post stupid, and by extension your argument. I don't recall any "Bob is dumb, ignore his argument" going on. Perhaps you could direct my attention to the post.

Other times he attacks my credibility and reinforces his own, i.e. the "professor" lectures the student on some point having little to do with the main issue..I think your blatant misrepresentation of Dawkins and your complete disregard for any shread of intellectual honesty is a huge point. When you've built your point around this it becomes a main issue.

February 26th, 2006, 05:31 PM
the weaknesses of their theory: things like the "random mutations plus natural selection" mechanism.

Forewarned is forearmed. ;)

Why is that a weakness? Thanks for the word "stochastic". I collect words. I intuit on a verbal level, so I'm slow with the math.

bob b
February 26th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Unless I missed something, he specifically called your post stupid, and by extension your argument. I don't recall any "Bob is dumb, ignore his argument" going on. Perhaps you could direct my attention to the post.

Johnny thinks you should note the distinction between calling a post stupid and calling the person stupid. Thus, since I have made a stupid blunder in not properly defining the situation, the point which was being discussed must be invalid and should be ignored.
That's a pretty good illustration of the point I was making. Thanks, Johnny.

I think your blatant misrepresentation of Dawkins and your complete disregard for any shread of intellectual honesty is a huge point.

And that makes the point which I was making invalid too. Right?

When you've built your point around this it becomes a main issue.

What issue is that Johnny? That I am intellectually dishonest and hence any point which I make is automatically "out of court"?

Another excellent example of the point I was making. Thanks again Johnny.

You're learning the legal trade pretty well Johnny. Might come in handy someday when the Neo-Darwinism paradigm collapses. ;)

Johnny
February 26th, 2006, 06:25 PM
Johnny thinks you should note the distinction between calling a post stupid and calling the person stupid.Yes, I do. Distinctions between what happened and what didn't happen are important.

Thus, since I have made a stupid blunder in not properly defining the situation, the point which was being discussed must be invalid and should be ignored.Your point was that he called you stupid and thus shot the messenger. But your point was wrong. He called your post stupid. So yes, the point you were making was invalid and should be ignored. But not because of the messenger who said it, but because of the message itself was wrong. Again, an important distinction.

And that makes the point which I was making invalid too. Right?Yes. If you misrepresent someone elses viewpoint to insist that their view is wrong, then your point is invalid. Again, this is not the messenger syndrome you so desire to be a victim of. It's your message that is wrong. An important distinction.

What issue is that Johnny? That I am intellectually dishonest and hence any point which I make is automatically "out of court"?No. Your points throw themselves "out of court". Messenger identity is not required.

Bob, you'll notice that no one has dismissed any of your arguments because you said it. They are being dismissed because of what was said. An important distinction.

I hope you are clear on this now.

February 26th, 2006, 06:28 PM
Yes, I do. Distinctions between what happened and what didn't happen are important.

Your point was that he called you stupid and thus shot the messenger. But your point was wrong. He called your post stupid. So yes, the point you were making was invalid and should be ignored. But not because of the messenger who said it, but because of the message itself was wrong. Again, an important distinction.

Yes. If you misrepresent someone elses viewpoint to insist that their view is wrong, then your point is invalid. Again, this is not the messenger syndrome you so desire to be a victim of. It's your message that is wrong. An important distinction.

No. Your points throw themselves "out of court". Messenger identity is not required.

Bob, you'll notice that no one has dismissed any of your arguments because you said it. They are being dismissed because of what was said. An important distinction.

I hope you are clear on this now.

I think he's arguing that it was a misrepresentation, but that he was making some other point... I could be wrong; I don't quite follow what is going on.

Johnny
February 26th, 2006, 06:34 PM
I think he's arguing that it was a misrepresentation, but that he was making some other point... I could be wrong; I don't quite follow what is going on.It seems he's quite willing to make that sacrifice if it will allow him to become the victim of messenger shooting. But he misrepresents Dawkins and then said Dawkins is wrong because..

Richard Dawkins claims that the process of evolution can be demonstrated by comparing it to its ability to generate an English sentence, namely, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.

Great idea but flawed in its execution.

February 26th, 2006, 06:37 PM
It seems he's quite willing to make that sacrifice if it will allow him to become the victim of messenger shooting. But he misrepresents Dawkins and then said Dawkins is wrong because..

I guess I'll have some idea with the reply to my question, "why is it a weakness?"

bob b
February 26th, 2006, 11:24 PM
I think he's arguing that it was a misrepresentation, but that he was making some other point... I could be wrong; I don't quite follow what is going on.

You are correct in thinking that I am saying that Dawkins was engaging in misrepresentation.

Basically he is trying to "sell" the idea that "cumulative selection" is similar to random mutations plus natural selection.

First he sets up the WEASEL example and uses it to describe how it rapidly converges on a "target" phrase. Later he admits that the target phrase selection is not a realistic equivalent to natural selection but dismisses this as unimportant because natural selection "has no goal" and hence the target phrase portion of the example can be dispensed with.

Although the monkey/Shakespeare model is useful for explaining
the distinction between single-step selection and cumulative
selection, it is misleading in important ways. One of these is that, in
each generation of selective 'breeding'the mutant 'progeny' phrases
were judged according to the criterion of resemblance to a distant ideal
target, the phrase METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL. Life isn't like
that. Evolution has no long term goal. There is no long-distance target,
no final perfection to serve as a criterion for selection, although human
vanity cherishes the absurd notion that our species is the final goal of
evolution. In real life, the criterion for selection is always short-term,
either simple survival or, more generally, reproductive success. If, after
the aeons, what looks like progress toward some distant goal seems,
with hindsight, to have been achieved, this is always an incidental
consequence of many generations of short-term selection. The
'watchmaker' that is cumulative natural selection is blind to the
future and has no long term goal.
We can change our computer model to take account of this point.

But instead of explaining how, he abruptly drops further discussion of WEASEL and switches to a different computer model, the famous "biomorphs".

In addition, Dawkins states:

There is a big difference, then, between cumulative selection (in
which each improvement, however slight, is used as a basis for future
building), and single-step selection (in which each new 'try' is a fresh
one). If evolutionary progress had had to rely on single-step selection, it
would never have got anywhere. If, however, there was any way in
which the necessary conditions for cumulative selection could have
been set up by the blind forces of nature, strange and wonderful might
have been the consequences. As a matter of fact that is exactly what
happened on this planet, and we ourselves are among the most recent,
if not the strangest and most wonderful, of those consequences.

Emphasis added. The IF is the hooker. Not only that but the "cumulative selection" Dawkins talks about is really "random tries followed by selection". He has set up the "straw man" of random selection and knocked it down with his fictional "cumulative selection" which is really nothing more than a "stalking horse" for the evolutionary fairytale that random mutations plus natural selection can transform a hypothetical primitive protocell into all the life which has ever existed on this globe.

No mention of the fact that according to the evolutionary paradigm each "success" to be a real success must result in not only a creature that "works", but one that works better than the one to be replaced. This is why I stated that WEASEL was flawed, and proposed an addition to it which includes "the "word must work(exist)" and later "the altered sentence must fit the context of the paragraph". (I also eliminated the "target phrase" as Dawkins indicated needed to be done).

Microevolution: maybe. Macroevolution: no way.

No Worries
February 27th, 2006, 12:00 AM
One of the sillier opening posts.

Bob, going back to the opening post, it shows that if you have 6 letters then the chances of having a good six letter word is much less than if you have only 2 letters and the chances of having a good 2 letter word. But if you have 6 letters then the chances of you having a good 2 letter word is much, much higher than if you only had 2 letters. The more letters you have the greater the probability of having a good lower number word.

And how many chances do you get? If you don't get a good set of letters the first time can you go back a step and try again, and again, and again ad infinitum. Because thats exactly what happens in the real world. In fact start looking at it from that perspective your post is actully an argument for macro evolution.

I think you knew that you were not providing all the evidence and being open with the argument you set. That doesn't make you dishonest, it does mean that you are unscientific in your thought process.

What model of plane do you help make again?

bob b
February 27th, 2006, 08:43 AM
One of the sillier opening posts.

Bob, going back to the opening post, it shows that if you have 6 letters then the chances of having a good six letter word is much less than if you have only 2 letters and the chances of having a good 2 letter word. But if you have 6 letters then the chances of you having a good 2 letter word is much, much higher than if you only had 2 letters. The more letters you have the greater the probability of having a good lower number word.

And how many chances do you get? If you don't get a good set of letters the first time can you go back a step and try again, and again, and again ad infinitum. Because thats exactly what happens in the real world. In fact start looking at it from that perspective your post is actully an argument for macro evolution.

I think you knew that you were not providing all the evidence and being open with the argument you set. That doesn't make you dishonest, it does mean that you are unscientific in your thought process.

Your "probability" argument is flawed.

Your statement: "The more letters you have the greater the probability of having a good lower number word" is misleading on the face of it because a lower number word embedded in a higher number word is beside the point. Remember, the original higher number word had spaces separating it from the other words and the modified sentence has to make sense to be preserved by the "editor" (natural selection). Try an example and it will become clear.

But that is beside the point. I was explaining to Lord Vader (and others) why Dawkins was playing a shell game with his readers (and perhaps himself), and I took a great deal of time preparing a long posting only to have someone interrupt with a nonresponsive posting.

What model of plane do you help make again?

I was originally a member of the Systems Analysis group for the TALOS ship-to-air long range supersonic ramjet-powered guided missile where we treated as "black boxes" the various subsystems comprising the missile electronics, pneumatics and hydraulics systems as a closed loop control system. Later I was asked to join a newly formed Operations Research group where we analyzed the entire Fleet Air Defence system in much the same way, i.e. missiles and ships were mere components or smaller subsystems of a much larger overall system, the entire fleet and its various defence systems. I also spent some time in this period analyzing and computer modeling various ICBM overall systems in support of our Advanced Weapon System group, for in this era I was simultaneously in charge of both the Scientific Computer Group and the Operations Research Group.

No Worries
February 27th, 2006, 08:52 AM
Your "probability" argument is flawed.

Your statement: "The more letters you have the greater the probability of having a good lower number word" is misleading on the face of it because a lower number word embedded in a higher number word is beside the point. Remember, the original higher number word had spaces separating it from the other words and the modified sentence has to make sense to be preserved by the "editor" (natural selection). Try an example and it will become clear.

But now you are saying that the letters must be in a certain order too. Still given time and retrials it is a given that a word will be spent and who is to say that the letters must form a permutation not a combination.

Does junk DNA exist?

bob b
February 27th, 2006, 09:28 AM
But now you are saying that the letters must be in a certain order too. Still given time and retrials it is a given that a word will be spent and who is to say that the letters must form a permutation not a combination.

Does junk DNA exist?

If you wish to change the subject from the very important subject of Dawkins WEASEL and why it is flawed, please start a new thread. Thanks.

dataanapar
February 27th, 2006, 09:29 AM
If you wish to change the subject from the very important subject of Dawkins WEASEL and why it is flawed, please start a new thread. Thanks.

Amen to that.

No Worries
February 27th, 2006, 09:34 AM
If you wish to change the subject from the very important subject of Dawkins WEASEL and why it is flawed, please start a new thread. Thanks.

I believe I was addressing the initial post. If you do not wish to respond then I shall respect that.

(you don't work on planes then....I can fly again - thankyou).

Everybody else please take from where bob left off.
:wave2:

bob b
February 27th, 2006, 11:50 AM
I am still interested in comments on my refutation of the Dawkins WEASEL.

http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1037488&postcount=210

aharvey
February 27th, 2006, 12:45 PM
Is "Monopoly" a game of random chance because the players throw the dice?
bob,

I notice you didn't answer billwald's question. What say you? How about poker? Is that a game of random chance because you shuffle the deck beforehand? How about football? You toss a coin to see who starts.

Do you really think "partly random" is the same as "random"?

I have already granted you that some people prefer to speak of random versus non-random whereas I, as well as some mathematicians, prefer to speak of random versus deterministic.
Interesting non-sequitur. While scientists and mathemeticians may refer to stochastic vs. deterministic, I can guarantee you that they classify neither random processes nor stochastic processes as "any process that isn't completely deterministic"!

Dawkins was obviously using his example to "slide in" the idea that natural selection (the head monkey) can turn a situation of low probability into one of certainty. That is the whole point of his Blind Watchmaker book.
Ah. So you take the point of an entire book and you apply it to every chapter, every sentence, every example? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. The Weasel program was designed to illustrate one small piece of the puzzle, not the entire puzzle. You simply can't say the Weasel program fails to illustrate anything because it can't illustrate everything! And you can't say the point of the Weasel example was obviously exactly the same as that of the entire book!

A "partly" random process is what I call a "random process". ;)
Yeah, we've covered that. You still want to stick with this?

Baloney. He was trying to illustrate how selection turns a hopelessly rare situation into one that converges rapidly on the target sentence.
I don't even know what to say to this. Dawkins takes considerable pains to make it clear that it was not intended to be a model of how evolutionary processes actually work. How on earth do you justify claiming that a model based on a letter game could in any way be intended to demonstrate how evolutionary processes actually work, especially given Dawkins' careful and explict caveats to the contrary?

My "parable" illustrates the point I have been trying to illuminate here for all these weeks: "random mutations plus natural selection" is not the answer to large scale changes, and by inference why starting with multiple advanced life forms is a much better scenario.
Fallacy of the excluded middle. A really, really, really big excluded middle. One that includes all of evolutionary theory, as far as I can tell.

Incidentally, bob, Johnny is exactly right that it is appropriate to reject a claim because it is stupid, at least one that is demonstrated as such (as I did). If you want to claim the title of "stupid" for yourself because one of your posts was deemed "stupid," well, no one can stop you, but you have no logical basis for it.

bob b
February 27th, 2006, 01:57 PM
bob,

I notice you didn't answer billwald's question. What say you? How about poker? Is that a game of random chance because you shuffle the deck beforehand? How about football? You toss a coin to see who starts.

Do you really think "partly random" is the same as "random"?

Depends on one's classification scheme. I stated mine as random (more precisely stochastic for the purists) versus deterministic.

You apparently don't like my classifications, but you are free to use yours if you like. I gave you my permission. ;)

Interesting non-sequitur. While scientists and mathemeticians may refer to stochastic vs. deterministic, I can guarantee you that they classify neither random processes nor stochastic processes as "any process that isn't completely deterministic"!

Better look up the definition. I did.

Ah. So you take the point of an entire book and you apply it to every chapter, every sentence, every example? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. The Weasel program was designed to illustrate one small piece of the puzzle, not the entire puzzle. You simply can't say the Weasel program fails to illustrate anything because it can't illustrate everything! And you can't say the point of the Weasel example was obviously exactly the same as that of the entire book!

Not my words but those of Dawkins:

If, however, there was any way in which the necessary conditions for cumulative selection could have been set up by the blind forces of nature, strange and wonderful might
have been the consequences. As a matter of fact that is exactly what happened on this planet, and we ourselves are among the most recent, if not the strangest and most wonderful, of those consequences.

Yeah, we've covered that. You still want to stick with this?
I don't even know what to say to this. Dawkins takes considerable pains to make it clear that it was not intended to be a model of how evolutionary processes actually work. How on earth do you justify claiming that a model based on a letter game could in any way be intended to demonstrate how evolutionary processes actually work, especially given Dawkins' careful and explict caveats to the contrary?

Because he contradicts himself with his own words?

Incidentally, bob, Johnny is exactly right that it is appropriate to reject a claim because it is stupid, at least one that is demonstrated as such (as I did). If you want to claim the title of "stupid" for yourself because one of your posts was deemed "stupid," well, no one can stop you, but you have no logical basis for it.

You only think you demonstrated my claim was stupid. ;)

aharvey
February 27th, 2006, 02:30 PM
Depends on one's classification scheme. I stated mine as random (more precisely stochastic for the purists) versus deterministic.
So how about answering the question for your classification scheme? How would you classify Monopoly, poker, football? All of these have random elements just like evolution. But would you call them games of random chance?

You apparently don't like my classifications, but you are free to use yours if you like. I gave you my permission. ;)
I already know how I would classify these things. I'm asking you specifically because you seem to use an atypical classification. So how about it, bob? Are the only choices "random" and "purely deterministic"?

Better look up the definition. I did.
Don't need to. Referring to a process as deterministic simply means you can predict the outcome if you have enough relevant information about the system. Referring to a process as stochastic (okay, we'll use your term random) means you can't, no matter how much information you have. In case you haven't noticed, these are end points. You are treating them as mutually exclusive AND comprehensive: either something is random or it is deterministic, and since evolution is not purely deterministic, it must be random. Few (non-trivial) processes are purely random or purely deterministic, and that includes evolution. I'll give you points for sheer chutzpah in trying to bluff me on this one, though.

aharvey: Ah. So you take the point of an entire book and you apply it to every chapter, every sentence, every example? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. The Weasel program was designed to illustrate one small piece of the puzzle, not the entire puzzle. You simply can't say the Weasel program fails to illustrate anything because it can't illustrate everything! And you can't say the point of the Weasel example was obviously exactly the same as that of the entire book!

Not my words but those of Dawkins:
Ah, more quote mining. If we got back to your own post #210, you specifically state that this quote comes NOT from a discussion of the weasel program but after his abrupt switch to the biomorph program.

Because he contradicts himself with his own words?
According to your earlier post, bob, you are now taking what he said in reference to one model and applying it to what he said about a different model. Who's being self-contradictory? So far it seems you're perfectly illustrating my argument, that you are erroneously taking individual pieces, now individual quotes, and using them as if they are all referring to the same thing. They're not, only this time you've already made that arguement for me!

You only think you demonstrated my claim was stupid. ;)
Whether I was successful or not, you then crossed the line by claiming I called you stupid. I do not think you are making these misrepresentations and fallacious arguements out of stupidity. And so far, I haven't seen much support for the intelligence of your argument that any process that is not purely deterministic is therefore random

bob b
February 27th, 2006, 03:43 PM
So how about answering the question for your classification scheme? How would you classify Monopoly, poker, football? All of these have random elements just like evolution. But would you call them games of random chance?

They are stochastic as opposed to deterministic.

I already know how I would classify these things. I'm asking you specifically because you seem to use an atypical classification. So how about it, bob? Are the only choices "random" and "purely deterministic"?

I believe It is more accurate to say that they are either deterministic or stochastic. I previously avoided the mathematical term because most people would not have been familiar with it.

Don't need to. Referring to a process as deterministic simply means you can predict the outcome if you have enough relevant information about the system. Referring to a process as stochastic (okay, we'll use your term random) means you can't, no matter how much information you have. In case you haven't noticed, these are end points. You are treating them as mutually exclusive AND comprehensive: either something is random or it is deterministic, and since evolution is not purely deterministic, it must be random. Few (non-trivial) processes are purely random or purely deterministic, and that includes evolution. I'll give you points for sheer chutzpah in trying to bluff me on this one, though.

You need to review the definition of the terms. I did.

Ah, more quote mining. If we got back to your own post #210, you specifically state that this quote comes NOT from a discussion of the weasel program but after his abrupt switch to the biomorph program.

I may have misled you by using the quote at the point that I did in my discussion. The quote was actually not at the end of the WEASEL discussion but probably somewhere nearer the middle. Check it yourself and see.

According to your earlier post, bob, you are now taking what he said in reference to one model and applying it to what he said about a different model. Who's being self-contradictory? So far it seems you're perfectly illustrating my argument, that you are erroneously taking individual pieces, now individual quotes, and using them as if they are all referring to the same thing. They're not, only this time you've already made that arguement for me!

Read the whole WEASEL discussion and you will see that it is Dawkins doing the misleading, not me.

Whether I was successful or not, you then crossed the line by claiming I called you stupid. I do not think you are making these misrepresentations and fallacious arguements out of stupidity. And so far, I haven't seen much support for the intelligence of your argument that any process that is not purely deterministic is therefore random

Sorry for crossing the line (if I did). I guess the professor might have to give me a ticket. ;)

aharvey
February 27th, 2006, 04:53 PM
They are stochastic as opposed to deterministic.

I believe It is more accurate to say that they are either deterministic or stochastic. I previously avoided the mathematical term because most people would not have been familiar with it.

You need to review the definition of the terms. I did.
I'll bet you did (funny time to resort to definitional games). So in your view, any process with any stochastic element is a stochastic process? Then what, pray tell, qualifies as a deterministic process? I'm asking for specific examples. It's hardly a criticism of evolutionary theory to state that it, like everything else, is a stochastic process!

I may have misled you by using the quote at the point that I did in my discussion. The quote was actually not at the end of the WEASEL discussion but probably somewhere nearer the middle. Check it yourself and see.

Read the whole WEASEL discussion and you will see that it is Dawkins doing the misleading, not me.
Well, as I don't have the book (I don't really have the time to read the popularized versions of my own profession, I'm afraid), this one will have to remain unresolved. But perhaps you could combine your two different accounts of when and why Dawkins made that for-some-reason-damning quote into a single non-contradictory account.

Sorry for crossing the line (if I did). I guess the professor might have to give me a ticket. ;)
Nah. I do wish you would at least make an effort at accountability (see what I bolded above).

bob b
February 27th, 2006, 06:02 PM
I'll bet you did (funny time to resort to definitional games). So in your view, any process with any stochastic element is a stochastic process? Then what, pray tell, qualifies as a deterministic process? I'm asking for specific examples. It's hardly a criticism of evolutionary theory to state that it, like everything else, is a stochastic process!

Well, as I don't have the book (I don't really have the time to read the popularized versions of my own profession, I'm afraid), this one will have to remain unresolved. But perhaps you could combine your two different accounts of when and why Dawkins made that for-some-reason-damning quote into a single non-contradictory account.

Nah. I do wish you would at least make an effort at accountability (see what I bolded above).

I think I explained very well how Dawkins was attempting to slide in an argument for random mutations plus natural selection through the backdoor of something he refered to as "cumulative selection".

If you didn't "get it" that's a shame. But I really didn't expect much from you considering.

I hope a few others got it. If any did please let me know.

February 27th, 2006, 10:34 PM
You are correct in thinking that I am saying that Dawkins was engaging in misrepresentation.

Basically he is trying to "sell" the idea that "cumulative selection" is similar to random mutations plus natural selection.

Isn't that stated out right by biologists; that cumulative selection is this multi step process of random mutations and natural selection?

First he sets up the WEASEL example and uses it to describe how it rapidly converges on a "target" phrase. Later he admits that the target phrase selection is not a realistic equivalent to natural selection but dismisses this as unimportant because natural selection "has no goal" and hence the target phrase portion of the example can be dispensed with.

Isn't this because he was merely debunking a creationist chestnut that random mutations couldn't have resulted in life as we know it since it's statistically impossible; that there is a way to do it even though that way doesn't describe evolution itself in that evolution doesn't use goals, generally speaking?

But instead of explaining how, he abruptly drops further discussion of WEASEL and switches to a different computer model, the famous "biomorphs".

Do you mean he doesn't explain how the computer model is changed?

Emphasis added. The IF is the hooker. Not only that but the "cumulative selection" Dawkins talks about is really "random tries followed by selection". He has set up the "straw man" of random selection

But weren't there creationists making the single step argument?

and knocked it down with his fictional "cumulative selection" which is really nothing more than a "stalking horse" for the evolutionary fairytale that random mutations plus natural selection can transform a hypothetical primitive protocell into all the life which has ever existed on this globe.

So far in my experience biologists have always said this outright. I'm not sure why you're calling it a stalking-horse.

No mention of the fact that according to the evolutionary paradigm each "success" to be a real success must result in not only a creature that "works", but one that works better than the one to be replaced. This is why I stated that WEASEL was flawed, and proposed an addition to it which includes "the "word must work(exist)" and later "the altered sentence must fit the context of the paragraph". (I also eliminated the "target phrase" as Dawkins indicated needed to be done).

Isn't it the case that it's flawed in so far as it does not encompass the entire mechanism of evolution; it only demonstrates that there isn't just the single step way to proceed?

Thanks for your patients.

aharvey
February 28th, 2006, 07:47 AM
I think I explained very well how Dawkins was attempting to slide in an argument for random mutations plus natural selection through the backdoor of something he refered to as "cumulative selection".
See Lord Vader's post. It's hard to imagine why you think Dawkins would want to conceal his opinions concerning the role of mutations and natural selection! And for the nth time, the weasel model is not a comprehensive model for Dawkins's views on the evolutionary process; why do you keep damning it as such? Much less as a sneaky version of such?

If you didn't "get it" that's a shame. But I really didn't expect much from you considering.
Considering what? That I don't uncritically swallow dishonest misrepresentations others may toss my way?

I notice you included in your quote but did not reply to the first part of my post. Here, try again, it's important:

'I'll bet you did (funny time to resort to definitional games). So in your view, any process with any stochastic element is a stochastic process? Then what, pray tell, qualifies as a deterministic process? I'm asking for specific examples. It's hardly a criticism of evolutionary theory to state that it, like everything else, is a stochastic process!'

bob b
February 28th, 2006, 12:36 PM
See Lord Vader's post. It's hard to imagine why you think Dawkins would want to conceal his opinions concerning the role of mutations and natural selection! And for the nth time, the weasel model is not a comprehensive model for Dawkins's views on the evolutionary process; why do you keep damning it as such? Much less as a sneaky version of such?

Considering what? That I don't uncritically swallow dishonest misrepresentations others may toss my way?

You seem to have done just that in the case of the Dawkins WEASEL example. ;)

Dawkins was trying to convince people that "cumulative selection" was the solution to how life evolved from a hypothetical primitive protocell to a human being. This is evident from the following:

There is a big difference, then, between cumulative selection (in
which each improvement, however slight, is used as a basis for future
building), and single-step selection (in which each new 'try' is a fresh
one). If evolutionary progress had had to rely on single-step selection, it
would never have got anywhere. If, however, there was any way in
which the necessary conditions for cumulative selection could have
been set up by the blind forces of nature, strange and wonderful might
have been the consequences. As a matter of fact that is exactly what
happened on this planet, and we ourselves are among the most recent,
if not the strangest and most wonderful, of those consequences.

aharvey
February 28th, 2006, 01:16 PM
You seem to have done just that in the case of the Dawkins WEASEL example. ;)
Since I've yet to have read Dawkins's word directly, and have been studying evolutionary theory at a professional level for at least a couple of decades now, I don't think you can seriously claim this!

Dawkins was trying to convince people that "cumulative selection" was the solution to how life evolved from a hypothetical primitive protocell to a human being.
Yes, Dawkins is trying to convince people that biodiversity is a result of cumulative selection. Of course he is! What's deceptive about that? I've already asked you about this more than once, and you answer by repeating the "accusation." Cheez, bob!

This is evident from the following:
He used the weasel example to show the difference between single-step and cumulative selection; namely that cumulative selection can lead to large changes far more rapidly than single-step (random) selection.

He argues pretty much everywhere (right?) that cumulative selection is responsible for the diversity of life on earth.

He did not use the weasel example to show that cumulative selection is responsible for the diversity of life on earth!

"If, however, there was any way in
which the necessary conditions for cumulative selection could have
been set up by the blind forces of nature, strange and wonderful might
have been the consequences. As a matter of fact that is exactly what
happened on this planet, and we ourselves are among the most recent,
if not the strangest and most wonderful, of those consequences."

You seem to think that the bold-faced "that" refers to his weasel model, when in fact it clearly refers to the idea that "the necessary conditions for cumulative selection were in some way set up by the blind forces of nature."

Get it? The weasel model shows that in a very generic sense cumulative selection can be very powerful. If that were not true, then it wouldn't matter whether or not cumulative selection could be a natural process. But demonstrating that cumulative selection can be very powerful is not the same as demonstrating that cumulative selection is responsible for biodiversity, and since (I assume that) Dawkins's several books on the subject of evolution are not simply endless discussion of the weasel model, it seems safe to say that Dawkins is not trying to pretend otherwise. The weasel model is a look at a piece of the puzzle. Stop pretending that he's trying to pass it off as the entire story.

bob b
February 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Since I've yet to have read Dawkins's word directly, and have been studying evolutionary theory at a professional level for at least a couple of decades now, I don't think you can seriously claim this!

Yes, Dawkins is trying to convince people that biodiversity is a result of cumulative selection. Of course he is! What's deceptive about that? I've already asked you about this more than once, and you answer by repeating the "accusation." Cheez, bob!

He used the weasel example to show the difference between single-step and cumulative selection; namely that cumulative selection can lead to large changes far more rapidly than single-step (random) selection.

He argues pretty much everywhere (right?) that cumulative selection is responsible for the diversity of life on earth.

He did not use the weasel example to show that cumulative selection is responsible for the diversity of life on earth!

"If, however, there was any way in
which the necessary conditions for cumulative selection could have
been set up by the blind forces of nature, strange and wonderful might
have been the consequences. As a matter of fact that is exactly what
happened on this planet, and we ourselves are among the most recent,
if not the strangest and most wonderful, of those consequences."

You seem to think that the bold-faced "that" refers to his weasel model, when in fact it clearly refers to the idea that "the necessary conditions for cumulative selection were in some way set up by the blind forces of nature."

Get it? The weasel model shows that in a very generic sense cumulative selection can be very powerful. If that were not true, then it wouldn't matter whether or not cumulative selection could be a natural process. But demonstrating that cumulative selection can be very powerful is not the same as demonstrating that cumulative selection is responsible for biodiversity, and since (I assume that) Dawkins's several books on the subject of evolution are not simply endless discussion of the weasel model, it seems safe to say that Dawkins is not trying to pretend otherwise. The weasel model is a look at a piece of the puzzle. Stop pretending that he's trying to pass it off as the entire story.

METHINKS the lad protests too much!! ;)

"As a matter of fact that is exactly what happened on this planet"

i.e. cumulative selection, or as it is more popularly known, "random mutations plus natural selection".

aharvey
February 28th, 2006, 01:36 PM
METHINKS the lad protests too much!! ;)

"As a matter of fact that is exactly what happened on this planet"

i.e. cumulative selection, or as it is more popularly known, "random mutations plus natural selection".
Oh my gosh! You're right! Dawkins IS trying to convince us that organisms evolved via mutations and natural selection! How cleverly he has concealed this, his true intent!

So what is he pretending to say instead?

bob b
February 28th, 2006, 05:10 PM
He is pretending that something he calls "cumulative selection" actually exists in nature to transform a hypothetical primitive protocell into a human being.

aharvey
February 28th, 2006, 05:39 PM
He is pretending that something he calls "cumulative selection" actually exists in nature to transform a hypothetical primitive protocell into a human being.
bob, that sentence doesn't even make any sense. I'll grant you, that's one way to make your claims unassailable!

Now, let's try again. You have been tossing around accusations that Dawkins has been saying one thing when he means something else. On the surface, all of us gullible sods have been thinking that Dawkins has been taking the position that standard evolutionary mechanisms involving mutations and selection are largely responsible for the diversity of life on earth (the apparent hedging is because actual scientists are aware that there is more to the story than this, but this is the core of it). Now you come along and enlighten us by claiming that his true intent, what he's trying to sneak past us, is: that mutation and selection are largely responsible for the diversity of life on earth?!?

I'm sorry, so far it sounds like Dawkins is really trying to demonstrate what it sounds like he is trying to demonstrate! But then again, maybe the garbled statement above means something else.

In fact, as I reread what you typed, I'm convinced that you did mean something else. It sounds like you are accusing Dawkins of deception because he is advocating something that you disagree with ... that makes no sense either, unless you have reason to think that he actually knows it's wrong but he's doing it anyways. Of course, we've been down this road before (Of course Haldane was surprised by his results, because he must have been, and therefore his apparent lack of surprise must have been a coverup)...

February 28th, 2006, 06:58 PM
He is pretending that something he calls "cumulative selection" actually exists in nature to transform a hypothetical primitive protocell into a human being.

It doesn't?

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 11:29 AM
It doesn't?

Of course not. Natural Selection of random mutations has no power to generate new systems not already present in genomes.

The purpose of my modified WEASEL was to suggest that the subsystems and systems in lifeforms were similar in overall concept to the sentences, paragraphs and themes in literature, meaning that single random steps, even when "bad trials" are eliminated by selection, is woefully inadequate to account for the major "types" of lifeforms.

Why such a suggestion is dismissed out-of-hand can only be explained by the dogmatism of evolutionary thought. It apparently "blinds" evolutionists to reality.

aharvey
March 1st, 2006, 12:44 PM
Of course not. Natural Selection of random mutations has no power to generate new systems not already present in genomes.
Gee, biologists have known this from the start, right? Here's a recent quote from my current textbook, but we can go back much further than this!

"Selection can edit only existing variations. Natural selection favors only the fittest phenotypes among those currently in the population, which may not be the ideal traits. New alleles do not rise on demand." (Biology, Campbell and Reece, 2005)

The purpose of my modified WEASEL was to suggest that the subsystems and systems in lifeforms were similar in overall concept to the sentences, paragraphs and themes in literature, meaning that single random steps, even when "bad trials" are eliminated by selection, is woefully inadequate to account for the major "types" of lifeforms.

Why such a suggestion is dismissed out-of-hand can only be explained by the dogmatism of evolutionary thought. It apparently "blinds" evolutionists to reality.
Out-of-hand? Meaning you missed all the discussion that accompanied the dismissal? Or is it your humble view that anyone who disagrees with you must automatically be doing so "out-of-hand"?

And why do you refer to what you presented as a "modified WEASEL"? Your 'modification' didn't do anything!

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 03:25 PM
Gee, biologists have known this from the start, right? Here's a recent quote from my current textbook, but we can go back much further than this
"Selection can edit only existing variations. Natural selection favors only the fittest phenotypes among those currently in the population, which may not be the ideal traits. New alleles do not rise on demand." (Biology, Campbell and Reece, 2005)

So an isolated sentence out of a single textbook has made your case? I don't think so.

Out-of-hand? Meaning you missed all the discussion that accompanied the dismissal? Or is it your humble view that anyone who disagrees with you must automatically be doing so "out-of-hand"?

I haven't heard any evolutionist say that there might be merit in the concept that like letter changes in languages, changes in individual proteins might be constrained by their appearance and activities in multiple subsystems and higher level systems simultaneously.

And why do you refer to what you presented as a "modified WEASEL"?

Because it is a modification of the Dawkins WEASEL?

Your 'modification' didn't do anything!

So now you admit it was a modification, but then fail to see what the effect of such a modification would be.

"Fascinating", as Mr. Spock would say.

(Did I ever mention that I played the role of a Vulcan in a DVD made at Universal Studies? It was fun saying the line: "Fascinating".)

aharvey
March 1st, 2006, 04:42 PM
So an isolated sentence out of a single textbook has made your case? I don't think so.
Excellent. So you are now explicitly claiming that biologists are unaware that natural selection can only select among already existing choices, not generate new ones. That says volumes about how well you know the biological literature. Aren't you also puzzling about the biologists' fixation on mutations? Hmm...

I haven't heard any evolutionist say that there might be merit in the concept that like letter changes in languages, changes in individual proteins might be constrained by their appearance and activities in multiple subsystems and higher level systems simultaneously.
Non sequitur...

Because it is a modification of the Dawkins WEASEL?
Except that WEASEL does something. Yours does nothing.

So now you admit it was a modification, but then fail to see what the effect of such a modification would be.
Um, bob? Have you ever heard of "air quotes"? I do realize that there are a couple of reasons one puts quotes around individual words, but one of the main reasons is the written equivalent of air quotes: specifically to note disagreement with that particular choice of word. I can't quite believe you didn't know this!

"Fascinating", as Mr. Spock would say.

(Did I ever mention that I played the role of a Vulcan in a DVD made at Universal Studies? It was fun saying the line: "Fascinating".)
Whatever floats your boat!

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 05:01 PM
Excellent. So you are now explicitly claiming that biologists are unaware that natural selection can only select among already existing choices, not generate new ones.

How you got that from my statement "Natural Selection of random mutations has no power to generate new systems not already present in genomes" is a mystery to me.

Except that WEASEL does something. Yours does nothing.

WEASEL is a computer program based on an analogy with the English language. My analogy (parable) extended the analogy to be closer to the actual structure of the English language as used in books, i.e. sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc.

Um, bob? Have you ever heard of "air quotes"? I do realize that there are a couple of reasons one puts quotes around individual words, but one of the main reasons is the written equivalent of air quotes: specifically to note disagreement with that particular choice of word. I can't quite believe you didn't know this!

I use quotes whenever I feel like it. I can't believe you never noticed this before! ;)

But in your scheme do you disagree with air quotes because you put it in quotes? :doh:

I guess from now on I will have to always put "evolution" in quotes. Happy? ;)

aharvey
March 1st, 2006, 05:15 PM
How you got that from my statement "Natural Selection of random mutations has no power to generate new systems not already present in genomes" is a mystery to me.
Not from that quote, bobby, from your following quote in which you laugh off my single feeble quote from a college level biology textbook. Remember? "So an isolated sentence out of a single textbook has made your case? I don't think so." That quote.

WEASEL is a computer program based on an analogy with the English language. My analogy (parable) extended the analogy to be closer to the actual structure of the English language as used in books, i.e. sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc.
Yes, but Dawkins's does something. There is an outcome. Yours does nothing. You "modified" his program to do nothing. One of my students similarly "modified" a beaker the other day by dropping it.

I use quotes whenever I feel like it. I can't believe you never noticed this before! ;)
In the present context, who cares??? It wasn't your random use of quotes that was the problem, it was your ignoring my use of quotes to try to make it seem like I was contradicting myself!

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 05:26 PM
You certainly like to major in the minors, Harvey.

Like missing the point of my "parable" ("analogy") which points to the reason why "evolution" can't make "chicken salad" out of "chicken sh t".

March 1st, 2006, 05:34 PM
You certainly like to major in the minors, Harvey.

Like missing the point of my "parable" ("analogy") which points to the reason why "evolution" can't make "chicken salad" out of "chicken sh t".

What was your analogy, again?

I always like to ask, WWCJD (what would Captain Janeway do)?

bob b
March 1st, 2006, 07:04 PM
What was your analogy, again?

Try the "short" version from an earlier posting in this thread.

"I haven't heard any evolutionist say that there might be merit in the concept that like letter changes in languages, changes in individual proteins might be constrained by their appearance and activities in multiple subsystems and higher level systems simultaneously."

aharvey
March 2nd, 2006, 07:28 AM
Try the "short" version from an earlier posting in this thread.

"I haven't heard any evolutionist say that there might be merit in the concept that like letter changes in languages, changes in individual proteins might be constrained by their appearance and activities in multiple subsystems and higher level systems simultaneously."
Perhaps because there is no merit in a concept that confounds even its sole proponent's attempts to articulate it coherently?

bob b
March 2nd, 2006, 07:47 AM
Perhaps because there is no merit in a concept that confounds even its sole proponent's attempts to articulate it coherently?

It's not my fault that some people are so rigidly wedded to a false paradigm that they can't see the forest for all those trees.

Try The Source of Novels again.

March 2nd, 2006, 04:42 PM
Try the "short" version from an earlier posting in this thread.

"I haven't heard any evolutionist say that there might be merit in the concept that like letter changes in languages, changes in individual proteins might be constrained by their appearance and activities in multiple subsystems and higher level systems simultaneously."

I'm sorry. I do not understand that paragraph.

bob b
March 2nd, 2006, 05:38 PM
I'm sorry. I do not understand that paragraph.

Try a slighty longer version.

Proteins within lifeforms are analogous to the English language, because any new protein (sentence) obtained by a simple mutation must function (make sense to an editor) and also must not disrupt or negatively affect the feedback control mechanism of which it is a component (paragraph) as well as also not negatively affecting any higher level feedback control mechanism in which it also participates (chapter).

It is well known that proteins do not act in isolation, but in fact act as components arranged as biological feedback control systems, and further that defects in a single protein can impact many different bodily control systems, indicating the "wheel within a wheel" nature of the complexity of the overall systems and subsystems of any lifeform.

All of this constrains what changes could be selected by natural selection, which only operates at levels above the simple single protein mutation level.

bob b
March 4th, 2006, 10:17 AM
Waiting for Lord Vader to comment on my previous posting.

March 5th, 2006, 05:59 PM
Waiting for Lord Vader to comment on my previous posting.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Sorry.

bob b
March 5th, 2006, 07:01 PM
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Sorry.

You first said that you did not understand.

I then drafted a longer explanation.

You did not respond.

I pointed out you did not respond.

You then responded by saying that you still did not understand.

I am uncertain how I should proceed, except to ask if anyone else did not understand what I said or if Lord Vader is the only one who has trouble understanding that one can not create a control system from scratch by making tiny errors in DNA.

I checked with talk.origins to see if they had a credible explanation. All they had was a claim that tiny errors is all that is needed: i.e. no backup for the claim.

bob b
March 5th, 2006, 08:19 PM
Dawkins has demonstrated how easy it is to converge on a target sentence assuming a "head monkey" who saves intermediate "tries" that are closer to the desired target sentence.

Of course evolution doesn't work that way because there is no "target sentence" and no "head monkey" who saves tries that are closer to the target sentence.

A better test is to see if his valid sentence METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL , could be transformed into any other valid sentence by a single letter change.

The theory of evolution of course requires that each "try" must result not only in a valid result, but one which is "better", so that natural selection would preserve it and spread it throughout the population.

The procedure is as follows:

There are 28 letters and spaces in the sentence. We treat a space as a letter, hence there would be 26 new possible changes for each position of the sentence.

We will try changing each of the 28 positions of the sentence in turn and see if a new meaningful sentence results. We use the WORDEX dictionary for valid words and our God given brain to judge any new meaningful sentences.

Position 1, M:
There is no valid sentence which could be derived by trying the other 25 letters & space.
Position 2, E: Ditto
Positions 3, T: Ditto
Positions 4, H: Ditto
Positions 5, I: Ditto
Positions 6, N: Ditto
Positions 7, K: Ditto
Positions 8, S: Ditto
Position 9, space: Ditto
Position 10, I: Ditto
Position 11, T: Ditto
Position 12, space: Ditto
Position 13, I: Ditto
Position 14, S: Ditto
Position 15, space: Ditto
Position 16, L: Ditto
Position 17, I: Ditto
Position 18, K: Ditto
Position 19, E: Ditto
Position 20, space: Ditto
Position 21, A: Ditto
Position 22, space: Ditto
Position 23, W: Ditto
Position 24, E: Ditto
Position 25, A: Ditto
Position 26, S: Ditto
Position 27, E: Ditto
Position 28, L: Ditto

Conclusion: One can not derive any other valid and meaningful sentence by making a single letter (or space) change to any of the 28 positions in the sentence, METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL

bob b
March 6th, 2006, 10:05 AM
So we can easily see from the METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL example that it is extremely difficult in the case of an English sentence to generate another meaningful English sentence by making a small change to it, a single change in one position.

In the same way it should be obvious that in the case of a biological control system, which consists of dozens of proteins acting in harmony, that it is difficult to make a single change in the DNA which will result in a modified protein that will be more "meaningful" in the context of its function in that feedback control system, and hence would be preserved by Natural Selection and spread throughout a population.

Microevolution: maybe. Macroevolution: definitely no.