Trashing natural selection as a special case.

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Quote: Evolution of plants, animals: “A very special case within a far larger natural phenomenon.” Similar marvels occur with stars, planets, minerals, other complex systems; When a novel configuration works well and function improves, evolution occurs.

https://scitechdaily.com/beyond-biology-...evolution/

OK - I want to rearrange some big but confused past ideas to map to current science.  The concept of natural selection is a sacred cow in the minds of materialists.  It was germane 200 years ago, but now it is an anachronism.   Natural selection had a special meaning ONLY vs creationism.  The article - whose core ideas I have supported for decades - extends selection to all systems.  If all natural systems change via selection to exhibit function - the combination of natural + selection are redundant terms.  

Selection is the active term in information processing, as an outcome in fact with prior causes.  The term Natural Selection is a tautology.  (natural science covers all selection processes) If caught on either the creationist side or the materialist this idea will seem disruptive.  Sorry.

So, let me divert away from the age old conflict and let it sink-in. 

Let me make a case for multilevel reductionism  (the math-logic concept) My claim will be that a lot of this brew ha ha about emergence goes away, when clarified by bridge theories.  Bridge theories connect and align causation from different disciplines.   The bridge theory here is that information science can define and measure selection in the environment.  Selection can be tracked independently of physical events. The article's line-up of players to cover the field (think sports) in its multi-discipline approach gives it an advantage.  Foot-pounds are units of measure in time and space.  Viewer preference of important television shows are measured in percentage of eyeballs' interest.

Quote: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
The co-authors themselves represent a unique multi-disciplinary configuration: three philosophers of science, two astrobiologists, a data scientist, a mineralogist, and a theoretical physicist.

Not suggested at all in the article - and just my personal claim - is the assertion that information science functionality is in a separate environment from physicality.  Information science actions do not exert force.  Physical events are not subject to individual importance.  Yet - importance is the root of systems and agents making selections. 

Selection is an action of information processing.  Selection in biology is just one example of a fundamental natural action, where design of function takes place.  My claim is that the process meant by "natural" selection is biology can be generalized to a more fundamental and general action in information science.  Mind does not just emerge - it is predictable when seen as a natural phenomena and an objective observable due to feedback to agents in an environment.
(This post was last modified: 2024-04-18, 01:12 PM by stephenw. Edited 4 times in total.)
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For me the link doesn't work, but I believe this is the article you're referring to?

I've seen variants of this idea elsewhere, that selection is occurring in different ways beyond biology...but I am unclear as to the actual evidence of this "law" they've uncovered.

To me "natural law" is just shorthand for reliable patterns of regularity, as there are too many issues with the idea of natural laws. As such the only "laws" we should take seriously are the ones we've used in applied science/engineering, everything else just feels like speculation even if it's been replicated in a lab.

IMO, for now, at least...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2024-04-18, 04:51 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: To me "natural law" is just shorthand for reliable patterns of regularity, as there are too many issues with the idea of natural laws. As such the only "laws" we should take seriously are the ones we've used in applied science/engineering, everything else just feels like speculation even if it's been replicated in a lab.

IMO, for now, at least...

Yeah, psi immediately comes to mind.
(This post was last modified: 2024-04-18, 07:52 AM by sbu. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2024-04-18, 04:51 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: For me the link doesn't work, but I believe this is the article you're referring to?

I've seen variants of this idea elsewhere, that selection is occurring in different ways beyond biology...but I am unclear as to the actual evidence of this "law" they've uncovered.

To me "natural law" is just shorthand for reliable patterns of regularity, as there are too many issues with the idea of natural laws. As such the only "laws" we should take seriously are the ones we've used in applied science/engineering, everything else just feels like speculation even if it's been replicated in a lab.

IMO, for now, at least...

Thanks Sci, I think the link is correct now.  I do agree that Natural Law is just the kind of old-fashion term that leads to confusion.  Patterns of regularity that reduce to process models are the meat of science.  It is a model of the correspondence of physical sciences and information sciences that I seek.  It would be independent from the moral realm in its scope.  While I do personally believe in spirituality.

Our observations of nature fall into three classes within my generalized and simplistic view.  The first is the data from physical events.  The third is observations about spirituality and ethics.  It is the class of models from information science I am trying to push to the foreground of the whole picture (Gestalt).  The patterns of regularity of mathematics and logic have been modeled with the greatest success.  The assertion is they are not generated by human thinking but are structures in reality to be discovered.  Wigner poses the problem and only hints at solutions as he wrestle with the concepts of Natural Laws.
https://www.maths.ed.ac.uk/~v1ranick/papers/wigner.pdf
Quote: However, it is important to point out that the mathematical formulation of the physicist’s often crude experience leads in an uncanny number of cases to an amazingly accurate description of a large class of phenomena. This shows that the mathematical language has more to commend it than being the only language which we can speak; it shows that it is, in a very real sense, the correct language.

Math and logic are semi-empirical findings about how information objects are structured.  When coupled with specified measurements they tap into the meaningful side of information.  There is real-world meaning in a measured solar system.  Information science analysis from the models of math and logic can then describe meanings into the past and project into the future informationally.  The combining of information structures with real-world meanings makes objects, just as combined energy with materials in time and space leads to physical objects.  imho
(This post was last modified: 2024-04-18, 01:55 PM by stephenw. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2024-04-18, 07:39 AM)sbu Wrote: Yeah, psi immediately comes to mind.
In response, what is required is a jump to the end point, where a process model of the interaction of mind and matter would reveal how it is happening.

Consciousness is considered the term that defines mental processes.  I see it too general and not specified.  The definition I would impose on it is -- a sum total of organic information processing with an emphasis on observational ability to detect one's own thinking.  It is an amalgam of many tracks of signaling and not a defined process.  How the term is used seems reified and difficult to pin down within such a diffused range of phenomena.

A key process of mental activity is personal and social will and motivation, which can be modeled as the output of personal or social intentions and responses.  In the actual state of affairs today - the marketing organizations around the world have developed computer models that parse people's and pets output of desires with some precision.  Along with will is an organism's ability to understand. 

Like willful intentions, the ability to understand is a second process that can be defined with a computable process model.  Theory offered is that Psi phenomena such as premonitions, remote viewing, reliving someone else's past or sensing spirits are all extreme forms of what understanding is a process.  Understanding in itself is amazing.  Think in terms of the aha experience.  In extreme form it is the basis of being psychic.

Seeing information science as exploring how mental processes work it is the capability of willful responses and understanding of the surrounding informational environment that reveal how Psi is happening.
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(2024-04-17, 09:05 PM)stephenw Wrote: https://scitechdaily.com/beyond-biology-...evolution/

OK - I want to rearrange some big but confused past ideas to map to current science.  The concept of natural selection is a sacred cow in the minds of materialists.  It was germane 200 years ago, but now it is an anachronism.   Natural selection had a special meaning ONLY vs creationism.  The article - whose core ideas I have supported for decades - extends selection to all systems.  If all natural systems change via selection to exhibit function - the combination of natural + selection are redundant terms.  

Selection is the active term in information processing, as an outcome in fact with prior causes.  The term Natural Selection is a tautology.  (natural science covers all selection processes) If caught on either the creationist side or the materialist this idea will seem disruptive.  Sorry.

So, let me divert away from the age old conflict and let it sink-in. 

Let me make a case for multilevel reductionism  (the math-logic concept) My claim will be that a lot of this brew ha ha about emergence goes away, when clarified by bridge theories.  Bridge theories connect and align causation from different disciplines.   The bridge theory here is that information science can define and measure selection in the environment.  Selection can be tracked independently of physical events. The article's line-up of players to cover the field (think sports) in its multi-discipline approach gives it an advantage.  Foot-pounds are units of measure in time and space.  Viewer preference of important television shows are measured in percentage of eyeballs' interest.


Not suggested at all in the article - and just my personal claim - is the assertion that information science functionality is in a separate environment from physicality.  Information science actions do not exert force.  Physical events are not subject to individual importance.  Yet - importance is the root of systems and agents making selections. 

Selection is an action of information processing.  Selection in biology is just one example of a fundamental natural action, where design of function takes place.  My claim is that the process meant by "natural" selection is biology can be generalized to a more fundamental and general action in information science.  Mind does not just emerge - it is predictable when seen as a natural phenomena and an objective observable due to feedback to agents in an environment.

I rather completely disagree with these seemingly grand and all encompassing concepts, whose reach in my opinion far exceeds their grasp.

In these ideas, design of function with life is supposed to be some sort of fundamental natural action as defined in information science, with no real accounting for the actual origin of the large masses of very special functional complex specified information comprising living organisms, which we know from experience only comes from intelligent design by consciousness, with all forms of "natural selection of random genetic variations" (Darwinism) being totally impotent to actually generate major innovations in living organisms.

And if as claimed mind is a natural phenomenon and an objective observable, then the Hard Problem just doesn't exist (though it obviously does in the total and fundamental immateriality of the properties of consciousness including subjective conscious awareness, qualia, thought, emotion, agency, etc., and their existence as an entirely different and higher existential category of reality than materiality). And according to these concepts mind (which is an incredibly mysterious and complex phenomenon with no scientific or other understanding even on the horizon) is somehow predictable by information science (by some sort of magic?) with there being no need to postulate a real soul or spirit to explain veridical NDE OBEs for instance. Multiple areas where observation conflicts with the concepts. 

Secondly, the concepts from the linked article are thoroughly contradicted by the principles that have been well defined in the science developed by the Intelligent Design movement concerning the fundamental irreducible complexity and nature of living organisms as being characterized by large amounts of functional complex specified information, that is known from experience to only come from intelligent creative activity. 

This contradiction is shown by the following quote from the linked article:

Quote:Evolution of plants, animals: “A very special case within a far larger natural phenomenon.” Similar marvels occur with stars, planets, minerals, other complex systems; When a novel configuration works well and function improves, evolution occurs.

In essence, the new law states that complex natural systems evolve to states of greater patterning, diversity, and complexity. In other words, evolution is not limited to life on Earth, it also occurs in other massively complex systems, from planets and stars to atoms, minerals, and more.

This last gratuitously equates the naturally emerging complexity of the natural nonliving world with the vastly more complex and very much more highly organized special functional specified information comprising living organisms. The "evolution" of the natural nonliving world of stars and planets is obviously of a very much lower order than that of life. As a practical example I would suggest just contrasting the evolutionary requirements for the development of the bacterial flagellum, a very complex and irreducibly complex living functional molecular machine of some bacteria, with the requirements for the evolution of planets and stars for instance (which arise from the laws of physics). These two are in entirely different "magisteria" of existence.
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(2024-04-18, 07:39 AM)sbu Wrote: Yeah, psi immediately comes to mind.

I don't really think these are comparable as I was speaking as someone who denies the existence of "natural laws" as an inherently flawed concept. So for me a "natural law" is short hand for noting something you are so sure of exists that it's, functionally, a brute fact that can be taken for granted. However the metaphysical idea of a "natural law" still remains flawed.

I can accept findings about things such as the nature of black holes and the QM level of reality without demanding some application, what I object to is the idea that there are supposedly definitive regularities that apply across the universe without application. Though of course applications really mean that locally we are confident in the "law", we don't really know whether said "law" applies across the universe.

Similarly I can accept Psi, though for me that would be the combination of some tentative interest due to lab studies but the stronger consideration coming from witness accounts.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2024-04-18, 03:39 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: In these ideas, design of function with life is supposed to be some sort of fundamental natural action as defined in information science, with no real accounting for the actual origin of the large masses of very special functional complex specified information comprising living organisms, which we know from experience only comes from intelligent design by consciousness, with all forms of "natural selection of random genetic variations" (Darwinism) being totally impotent to actually generate major innovations in living organisms.

And if as claimed mind is a natural phenomenon and an objective observable, then the Hard Problem just doesn't exist. 

Secondly, the concepts from the linked article are thoroughly contradicted by the principles that have been well defined in the science developed by the Intelligent Design movement concerning the fundamental irreducible complexity and nature of living organisms as being characterized by large amounts of functional complex specified information, that is known from experience to only come from intelligent creative activity. 
thanks for the thoughtful response.

(1) I am very familiar with the concept of CSI.  Only, if you agree to the dialogue, I would frame the model for mind causing bio-evolution in terms of CSI.
(2) "natural selection of random genetic variations" (Darwinism) - As said before Darwin said no such thing.  It is however the debunked mantra of NeoDarwinism - and is patently false.  
(3) D. Chalmers "Hard Problem" is a great piece of philosophy.  My humble more limited version of it - is to say that using the units of measure known as SI  - you can not get to answers about mind expressed in outcomes of knowledge, understanding, intentional vectors, intelligence or adaptation.  These must be smuggled into the logic ladder. These attributes describe actions that cause evolution and they all are measured in units that are in information science.  CSI is of course an information science concept, right?
Quote: The seven SI base units, which are comprised of:
Length - meter (m)
Time - second (s)
Amount of substance - mole (mole)
Electric current - ampere (A)
Temperature - kelvin (K)
Luminous intensity - candela (cd)
Mass - kilogram (kg)

Irreducible and complexity are math terms and have meaning there.  Mike Behe applied it to outcomes of functional molecules with great result in disputing NeoDarwinism.  However, if evolution is not random (it's not) there is no issue.

What do you think - can we discuss CSI as argued by Dembski?
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(2024-04-18, 06:08 PM)stephenw Wrote: thanks for the thoughtful response.

(1) I am very familiar with the concept of CSI.  Only, if you agree to the dialogue, I would frame the model for mind causing bio-evolution in terms of CSI.
(2) "natural selection of random genetic variations" (Darwinism) - As said before Darwin said no such thing.  It is however the debunked mantra of NeoDarwinism - and is patently false.  
(3) D. Chalmers "Hard Problem" is a great piece of philosophy.  My humble more limited version of it - is to say that using the units of measure known as SI  - you can not get to answers about mind expressed in outcomes of knowledge, understanding, intentional vectors, intelligence or adaptation.  These must be smuggled into the logic ladder. These attributes describe actions that cause evolution and they all are measured in units that are in information science.  CSI is of course an information science concept, right?

Irreducible and complexity are math terms and have meaning there.  Mike Behe applied it to outcomes of functional molecules with great result in disputing NeoDarwinism.  However, if evolution is not random (it's not) there is no issue.

What do you think - can we discuss CSI as argued by Dembski?

1&3) A physical model for mind such as the parameters of CSI using physical units of measure simply ignores the obvious fundamental immateriality of the basic properties of mind, which per the Hard Problem are qualia, awareness, subjective awareness, perception, thought, agency, etc. These have no physical units of measure. Therefore such a physical model for mind simply fails to capture the essence of mind. My interpretation of CSI is that this information in itself is the manifestation of mind in the nature and structure of physical living organisms, and therefore can be used in recognizing the sure signs of design in living organisms.

2) Due to lack of knowledge in his time Darwin framed the source of the natural selection process as simply natural variations, not knowing about genetic DNA mutations, etc. It amounts to the same thing.

As for Complex Specified Information (CSI) according to Dembski, I basically agree with his definition, it being "...an "explanatory filter": one can recognize design by detecting complex specified information (CSI). Dembski argues (in conclusion) that the unguided emergence of CSI solely according to known physical laws and chance is highly improbable" (Wiki). In my view Dembski's conclusion is undoubtedly the truth.
(This post was last modified: 2024-04-18, 07:19 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
(2024-04-18, 07:16 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: As for Complex Specified Information (CSI) according to Dembski, I basically agree with his definition, it being "...an "explanatory filter": one can recognize design by detecting complex specified information (CSI). Dembski argues (in conclusion) that the unguided emergence of CSI solely according to known physical laws and chance is highly improbable" (Wiki). In my view Dembski's conclusion is undoubtedly the truth.
Right!

Of course this rather argues against the idea that the whole thing can be wrapped up in a new law of nature analogous to thermodynamics.

David
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