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  #1071  
Old 20th March 2012, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

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The 'DNA is a code' argument seems a newish development in creationist apologetics. I've encountered several people who seem to be trying this argument out, and not quite getting to grips with it - as indeed Jireh completely failed to do.
Probably a variation on the "Look - information!" argument so ably fumbled by that uber-thinker and sometime sports star, Gary Ablett...

...or at least, by the creationist source he shamelessly plagiarised for the article within that thread.

Well, whaddaya know... Gary Ablett plagiarised, so did jireh, and with somewhat related arguments. You don't suppose...

Perhaps it's an inevitable regression of the "god-of-the-gaps" bollocks, as scientific advance reduces those available gaps. Creationists and their fellow travellers might necessarily revert to claiming that, despite science being able to investigate physical entities right down to their component parts, the entity is greater that the some of its parts, this definitely can't be explained by science, therefore information/code/spirit/designer/creator/god yada yada yada...

Yet another fallacious claim that within ignorance is divinity.
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  #1072  
Old 20th March 2012, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

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... Perhaps it's an inevitable regression of the "god-of-the-gaps" bollocks, as scientific advance reduces those available gaps. Creationists and their fellow travellers might necessarily revert to claiming that, despite science being able to investigate physical entities right down to their component parts, the entity is greater that the some of its parts, this definitely can't be explained by science, therefore information/code/spirit/designer/creator/god yada yada yada...

Yet another fallacious claim that within ignorance is divinity.
Yeah, I think you're right Lp. These things are always multi-pronged as well, as pointed out - if one thrust doesn't hit home there's always another attack to distract you with.

I think it is also a variation on the argument from biological specificity dressed up for a night on the tiles (no different from assertions that the eye, or the kidney, or the tooth, etc, is too marvellous not to have been created), and in this respect it's also the teleological fallacy in mini-skirt and high-heels staggering home from the pub.

The 'code' part is a wobbly ass which distracts the attention while the proponent picks your pockets and slips in a implicit claim; that a code is a subjective categorisation of information which in this case somehow seems to exists objectively. This is an attempt to force us to the position where we must acknowledge there is, or at the very lest there must have been, an ultimate subjective catergoriser to begin with - a prime coder, as it were. And there we have Aristotlian causality dancing on the table while Anslem's ontological argument holds its handbag.

I don't know if this is exactly what Jireh was reaching for here - he was so jumbled about it and his point relied on linked-to bollocks rather than his own - but I think that might be in the general ball park of what's going on at least.

I think it's particularly interesting is because when the proponent uses DNA/RNA as the anvil of their argument they are also accepting (accidentally so perhaps) evolution for the sake of argument, and this might be used as a wedge to break open their assumptions.

Having said that, I'm not that sure about all this. It's a bit garbled, but it's a start.
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  #1073  
Old 20th March 2012, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

And strangely, as the door closed on this sad affair

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How can we justify science?: Sokal and Lynch debate epistemology

I’m not a philosopher, though I’ve read a fair amount of philosophy and took courses in it in college. And I respect the discipline, at least insofar as it helps clarify our thinking—especially about ethical problems. But sometimes philosophical lucubrations seem pretty useless, and that’s the case in a recent exchange between Michael P. Lynch and Alan Sokal in The New York Times.
Lynch is a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, while Sokal is a professor of mathematics at University College London and of physics at New York University. Sokal is also, as you know, the author of the most famous satire of postmodernism, a phony but convincing-sounding paper paper on “postmodern physics” published in Social Text in 1996.
Their debate, “Defending science: an exchange,” is based on an earlier essay by Lynch in the NYT, “Reasons for reason.“ In both pieces, Lynch bemoans the fact that we don’t seem to have any first principles that can justify the use of science to attain knowledge as opposed to other methods, especially religion. The discussion is motivated by creationists who reject science in favor of scripture (I’ll use Lynch’s quotes from both of the pieces):
. . . the public debate over evolution isn’t just about evolution. It is also about which sources or methods we should trust — science or scripture — when it comes to the history of life on this planet.
And the problem, says Lynch, is that we can’t justify using science to understand the world any more than we can justify using scripture:
Full article at Why Evolution is True
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  #1074  
Old 20th March 2012, 11:49 PM
Sir Patrick Crocodile Sir Patrick Crocodile is offline
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Talking Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

What is the difference between a hardcore christians and a stoner?
One thinks they will go to paradise and the other actually has.

Last edited by Sir Patrick Crocodile; 20th March 2012 at 11:51 PM.
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  #1075  
Old 21st March 2012, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

Good points, THWOTH. I suspect that your historical perspective on the *evolution* of these types of apologetics is pretty accurate.

And your characterisation of the *attempt at argument* having "a night on the town" is both accurate and entertaining, IMHO.
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Originally Posted by THWOTH View Post
I think it's particularly interesting is because when the proponent uses DNA/RNA as the anvil of their argument they are also accepting (accidentally so perhaps) evolution for the sake of argument, and this might be used as a wedge to break open their assumptions.
Perhaps they implicitly and unintentionally do accept evolution, but you'd have to pry their fingers out of their ears long enough to have the point conceded. And IIRC, jireh's creationist sources appeared to try to skip around this by falsely claiming DNA/RNA as the chosen tool of design, on the alleged spurious basis that no "codes" occur in nature.

As you say, that still attempts to paper over the underlying assumption to be challenged - DNA = code = information storage mechanism. Not.
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I don't know if this is exactly what Jireh was reaching for here - he was so jumbled about it and his point relied on linked-to bollocks rather than his own - but I think that might be in the general ball park of what's going on at least.
Methinks that jireh certainly doesn't know what it was reaching for, so no use asking jireh for clarification, is it?

Others may have different perspectives on this, and for myself, I'd be interested in them.
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  #1076  
Old 21st March 2012, 02:03 AM
stevebrooks stevebrooks is offline
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

Strange, after weeks of getting updates while following this thread my email program suddenly started throwing it in junk mail, my computer has obviously developed a sense of self awareness and choked on Jireh's arguments, goood computer!
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  #1077  
Old 21st March 2012, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

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Originally Posted by THWOTH View Post
The 'DNA is a code' argument seems a newish development in creationist apologetics. I've encountered several people who seem to be trying this argument out, and not quite getting to grips with it - as indeed Jireh completely failed to do.
It's been around for about 7 years. I remember seeing it first in 2007, but the originator's website claims 2005: http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/dna-atheists/

Quick recap:

Quote:
1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

If you can provide an empirical example of a code or language that occurs naturally, you’ve toppled my proof. All you need is one.
What gets me most heated about this is that we all run off looking for examples to prove his first premise wrong - but (as I pointed out way back to Jireh) even though we can, we don't need to do any such thing.

All we need to do - the only thing we need to do - is point out the logical fallacy in his argument, as highlighted in bold above: His his second premise contains his conclusion, which is circular reasoning/begging the question, which makes his argument invalid.

DNA is a natural process known to science that creates coded information. A second example is not required to prove the case for the first, for the same reason we don't need to discover a second species of black swan to prove the first occurs naturally.

None of us should be running around looking for other examples of naturally occurring code - all that needs to be said is that the argument is invalid because it's circular, and not worthy of further comment.

End of discussion.
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  #1078  
Old 21st March 2012, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by stevebrooks
Strange, after weeks of getting updates while following this thread my email program suddenly started throwing it in junk mail, my computer has obviously developed a sense of self awareness and choked on Jireh's arguments, goood computer!
I think that sums this thread up beautifully
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  #1079  
Old 21st March 2012, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Please present a compelling explanation why naturalism is true

Thanks for that Inedifix. Guess it was just newish to me then.
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