Measuring Specificity in CSI

rossum

Well-known member
Basically all you have done is presented an objection without real reason.

Nature has tell tales which you seem to ignore. If you saw a hole in the ground...for the most part somewhat round you could point at it being dug by an intelligent being or perhaps natural like a sink hole....but if the hole in the ground was rectangle in shape and had 4 90 deg corners...well, the odds that it was designed go way, way up.
Unless it was formed in a rock with cubic crystals. For a hexagonal example, see Giant's Causeway with 120° internal angles and equal sides.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
Basically all you have done is presented an objection without real reason.
The reason is that it is circular!

You determine design from whether it was designed!

Nature has tell tales which you seem to ignore. If you saw a hole in the ground...for the most part somewhat round you could point at it being dug by an intelligent being or perhaps natural like a sink hole....but if the hole in the ground was rectangle in shape and had 4 90 deg corners...well, the odds that it was designed go way, way up.
In that instance, we look at possible natural causes and we look at possible design causes, and decide which is more likely. But part of that is deciding whether a designer is likely. A regular hole on Mars is far more likely to be natural than one on Earth because we know on earth there are people around to dig holes, and there are not on Mars.

Regular structures do occur in nature, look at crystals or, for a bigger example, the Giant's Causeway. The latter is a great example of people deciding "design" because it looks man-made, and yet when we learnt more about nature, we found a natural explanation.

What ID wants to do is just consider half the question; what is the likelihood of a natural process. It fails to consider the likelihood of a designer - and it does so because it is pretending that designer is not necessarily the Abrahamic God.

It also fails to take into account selection in the natural process so it can pretend the probability is so very low.

ETA: I now see rossum used exactly the same examples as I did; should have read his post first!
 

CrowCross

Super Member
The reason is that it is circular!

You determine design from whether it was designed!


In that instance, we look at possible natural causes and we look at possible design causes, and decide which is more likely. But part of that is deciding whether a designer is likely. A regular hole on Mars is far more likely to be natural than one on Earth because we know on earth there are people around to dig holes, and there are not on Mars.

Can you say for sure there were never "people" on Mars?
Regular structures do occur in nature, look at crystals or, for a bigger example, the Giant's Causeway. The latter is a great example of people deciding "design" because it looks man-made, and yet when we learnt more about nature, we found a natural explanation.

Like possum you picked the extreme and presented it as the norm.
What ID wants to do is just consider half the question; what is the likelihood of a natural process. It fails to consider the likelihood of a designer - and it does so because it is pretending that designer is not necessarily the Abrahamic God.

It doesn't matter in this instance who the God is....were talking about intelligence.
It also fails to take into account selection in the natural process so it can pretend the probability is so very low.

Pretend????
ETA: I now see rossum used exactly the same examples as I did; should have read his post first!
 

rossum

Well-known member
Funny how the evo-minded will always use the extreme and present it as the norm.
If a single example is all that is needed to refute an incorrect idea than a single example suffices.

Crystals are a common example of undesigned geometric solids. Giant's Causeway is just one example. Are sale crystals "extreme". Salt crystals are cubes, another "it sure looks designed to me" shape that is not designed.

A sculptor carves a cube from rock. A cubic rock salt crystal forms naturally. Presumably the CSI value of each is different. What are those two different values and how are they each measured? Show us the ID calculations that distinguish the designed cube from the other undesigned cube.
 

CrowCross

Super Member
If a single example is all that is needed to refute an incorrect idea than a single example suffices.

Crystals are a common example of undesigned geometric solids. Giant's Causeway is just one example. Are sale crystals "extreme". Salt crystals are cubes, another "it sure looks designed to me" shape that is not designed.

A sculptor carves a cube from rock. A cubic rock salt crystal forms naturally. Presumably the CSI value of each is different. What are those two different values and how are they each measured? Show us the ID calculations that distinguish the designed cube from the other undesigned cube.
Yeah, the statue of King David also formed naturally.

You can keep putting up your chemical lattice as examples....but try explaining an organelle that uses another organelle...or several organelle to acheive a purpose. You see, organelle are a bit more complicated and should not be taken as a "grain of salt".
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
Can you say for sure there were never "people" on Mars?
Of course not. If we found such a hole on Mars it could be designed, but in the absence o a known designer, we would be far more likely to conclude it was natural.

Just as we do for life.

Like possum you picked the extreme and presented it as the norm.
Right.

And until you can offer a way to measure these things so we can decide what is extreme, I will continue to do so.

How do we measure the specificity of the giant's Causeway? If you cannot tell us, then ID fails.

It may not be wrong, but as science, it fails.

It doesn't matter in this instance who the God is....were talking about intelligence.
I think there is a huge difference between a god who exists and a god who does not, so in my view who the god is is very important. The probability of a non-existent god creating life is zero.

Pretend????
Yes. As in, falsely represent the situation.

If selection is excluded from the model for a process of variation and selection then a very poor estimate will be achieved. I suggest that that exclusion is deliberate. You think otherwise? Can you point me to where creationists or IDists do a probability calculation and take account of selection? Or even admit that they are excluding it?

Here is an example from "Evolution News". As far as I can see, selection is not mentioned at all.

Either these people are utterly clueless about the theory of evolution, or they are pretending. Either is damning.
 

CrowCross

Super Member
Of course not. If we found such a hole on Mars it could be designed, but in the absence o a known designer, we would be far more likely to conclude it was natural.

Then you let ignorance win. To rule out intellligent design just because....is ignorance.
 

rossum

Well-known member
Yeah, the statue of King David also formed naturally.

You can keep putting up your chemical lattice as examples....but try explaining an organelle that uses another organelle...or several organelle to acheive a purpose. You see, organelle are a bit more complicated and should not be taken as a "grain of salt".
Thank you for confirming that you have no way to calculate the specificity in CSI. I gave you two cubical examples and you produced nothing except hand-waving waffle.

An excellent summary of the ID position methinks.
 

CrowCross

Super Member
Thank you for confirming that you have no way to calculate the specificity in CSI. I gave you two cubical examples and you produced nothing except hand-waving waffle.

An excellent summary of the ID position methinks.
Post 9 talked of a method.
 

rossum

Well-known member
Post 9 talked of a method.
If you have a method than show us your calculations for the sculpted cube and the naturally formed cube of rock salt. A method which does nor lead to actual numerical results is not useful in this thread: "Measuring Specificity in CSI". We are looking for the "Measuring" part. That means showing us the numbers and the derivation of those numbers.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
Of course not. If we found such a hole on Mars it could be designed, but in the absence of a known designer, we would be far more likely to conclude it was natural.
I'd say that if ID folks ever produced a reliable algorithm for measuring CSI, or for ruling out natural causes generally; and if those algorithms showed that natural causes could be ruled out for living organisms; then the absence of a known designer shouldn't prevent us from concluding that living organisms were designed. (These are of course super-colossal "ifs".) Suppose life on earth goes extinct, but some skyscrapers remain standing. An alien civilization visiting earth might not know that Homo sapiens was the designer, but they would still conclude the skyscrapers were designed, simply by knowing that steel and concrete aren't compounds that form naturally: wouldn't they?
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
I earlier said:
Of course not. If we found such a hole on Mars it could be designed, but in the absence o a known designer, we would be far more likely to conclude it was natural.]
Then you let ignorance win. To rule out intellligent design just because....is ignorance.
It is an interesting point.

Here is an artefact that we cannot explain by nature, but there is no known intelligent agent.

I would conclude "we do not know" and we need to do more research.

ID would conclude "design" and declare no need for any further research.

In my view, it is the IDists who has let ignorance win. The Giant's Causeway or the Rosetta Stone would be great examples here. The IDist would conclude "design", and no further research gets done in both cases. To me, that is ignorance winning.

Meanwhile, the real sciences are doing real science, and come up with a natural explanation for the Giant's Causeway, and learn all they can about the Rosetta Stone, leading to further insights into ancient cultures.


I see you have abandoned the thread topic. I will assume you are unable to imagine any way to measure specificity. I will also note that Cisco Qid had nothing to offer either. Scratch beneath the surface, and ID has nothing there,
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
I'd say that if ID folks ever produced a reliable algorithm for measuring CSI, or for ruling out natural causes generally; and if those algorithms showed that natural causes could be ruled out for living organisms; then the absence of a known designer shouldn't prevent us from concluding that living organisms were designed. (These are of course super-colossal "ifs".) Suppose life on earth goes extinct, but some skyscrapers remain standing. An alien civilization visiting earth might not know that Homo sapiens was the designer, but they would still conclude the skyscrapers were designed, simply by knowing that steel and concrete aren't compounds that form naturally: wouldn't they?
I never said design should be ruled out, only that it becomes much less likely if there is no apparent designer.

When deciding the origin of something, you have to consider the likelihood of all possible scenarios, and if one is a clear winner, go with that. You do not just consider one scenario, and if the probability is low, claim your pet theory wins by default.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I am not aware of any IDist doing such calculations, they always seem to omit natural selection.

However, I have done a simple calculation which does include natural selection. Unsurprisingly, the time to evolve a protein is a lot shorter, reducing from 6.35 x 10^130 years for the non-selective model to 2,096,000 years for the model including natural selection.

See The Evolution of Boojumase for the calculation. Unfortunately Google decided to display it in a proportional font rather than a fixed width font, so the tables do not look as they should.
Kudos for the effort, that’s awesome! The forums needs more posts like this versus, “My Bible says…so it must be so.”
 

CrowCross

Super Member
It is an interesting point.

Here is an artefact that we cannot explain by nature, but there is no known intelligent agent.

I would conclude "we do not know" and we need to do more research.

ID would conclude "design" and declare no need for any further research.

In my view, it is the IDists who has let ignorance win. The Giant's Causeway or the Rosetta Stone would be great examples here. The IDist would conclude "design", and no further research gets done in both cases. To me, that is ignorance winning.

Meanwhile, the real sciences are doing real science, and come up with a natural explanation for the Giant's Causeway, and learn all they can about the Rosetta Stone, leading to further insights into ancient cultures.


I see you have abandoned the thread topic. I will assume you are unable to imagine any way to measure specificity. I will also note that Cisco Qid had nothing to offer either. Scratch beneath the surface, and ID has nothing there,
Abandoned? You never really answered post 9.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
Abandoned? You never really answered post 9.
See post #17 - most of which you just ignored.

How do we decide if information is CSI? We determine if "it is complex and specified to accomplish a designed purpose"! If it is complex and specified, we can be sure it is complex and specified!

And then we get the probability calculations.... Except, of course, no one has actually done any, either for evolution, where selection is being modelled, or for design. So where do you get your probabilities from?

Face, CrowCross, your post #9 got ripped to shred and you had no comeback.
 

CrowCross

Super Member
See post #17 - most of which you just ignored.

How do we decide if information is CSI? We determine if "it is complex and specified to accomplish a designed purpose"! If it is complex and specified, we can be sure it is complex and specified!

And then we get the probability calculations.... Except, of course, no one has actually done any, either for evolution, where selection is being modelled, or for design. So where do you get your probabilities from?

Face, CrowCross, your post #9 got ripped to shred and you had no comeback.
YAWN...try again. You didn't sell me on that last post.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
YAWN...try again. You didn't sell me on that last post.
Whether you are sold on it on not does not matter. Your post made no attempt to say how specificity is measured. it claimed we can tell if something is designed by determining if it is designed. It claims we can calculate probabilities, but you have no clue how to actually do that.

You claims got exposed as nonsense. No wonder you are not sold!
 

evoguy313

Active member
Okay, so specificity is a measure of it functionality and meaning, that is fair enough, but how are these things being measured?
What I find intriguing is that the specificity of a DNA sequence cannot be 'measured' unless the IDC is informed of the sequence's actual function, so the notion that CSI is a measure of functionality is a bogus claim, IMO.
 
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