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Friday, January 23, 2015

Evolution is a random process

Mindstorm wrote:
Selection is not random, because it eliminates what is locally worse and leaves what is locally better. Mutations without selection - that would be pure randomness. Good luck finding a biologist that would believe in such 'evolution'.
This is a point frequently made by the evolutionarily faithful. It is also completely and utterly wrong; one need only consult a dictionary to see that it is, without question, "random" in the primary sense of the word. 

1. proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern 

2. of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen. 

Evolution by natural selection absolutely fits the first definition of random. I should be very amused to see anyone attempt to claim otherwise and cite the "definite aim, reason, or pattern" involved. As for the second definition, it falls to the evolutionist to demonstrate that the probabilities of being chosen are unequal without resorting to circular logic.

That being said, I think it is fair to state that logic indicates evolution by natural selection is not a statistically random process simply because it is not credible to insist that all mutations have an equal probability of being chosen. However, it's not consistent to make such a probability-based argument while simultaneously rejecting a more calculable probability-based argument against the occurrence of the phenomenon.

In my opinion, the correct way to describe TENS in this regard is as a random, hypothetical process that is probably not statistically random. However, it should be noted that the selection process postulated is a logical construction, and a circular one at that, and has not been reliably observed or demonstrated.

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101 Comments:

Anonymous damntull January 23, 2015 12:09 PM  

I find it absurd that anyone thinks that any natural process is random. Randomness is not an objective feature of nature, but is merely in the mind, a product of a lack of knowledge. Natural phenomena like gene mutations obey the laws of nature, and so are not random.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet January 23, 2015 12:17 PM  

VD,

I should be very amused to see anyone attempt to claim otherwise and cite the "definite aim, reason, or pattern" involved

Let's use a metaphor: the environment is a funnel. Which mutations are selected are constrained by the environment. Funnels aim liquid toward a destination, regardless of an agent holding it. So aimed, the process is not random.

Anonymous Alexander January 23, 2015 12:24 PM  

Except when it's not, like when early humans develop hands that can use manipulate tools *before* they recognize they have said ability.

Blogger S1AL January 23, 2015 12:25 PM  

Someone needs to inform Dawkins that evolution is not - in fact - a "random, unguided process." And then we can all move on from the evolution/creation nonsense and theological debates can, once again, be about theology and not evolution.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 23, 2015 12:26 PM  

damntull gets it in the first comment.

Anonymous Nate Winchester January 23, 2015 12:27 PM  

Selection is not random, because it eliminates what is locally worse and leaves what is locally better

But isn't what is "locally worse/better" ALSO dependent on evolution?

That's the other big problem is that evolution (as currently postulated) is inherently circular as most of what is "worse/better" is determined by other life, also evolving.

From some logical precepts, evolution should lead to a stasis of life. That life isn't static is the other great challenge biology has to address in evolution or whatever theory replaces it.

Anonymous Porky January 23, 2015 12:33 PM  

Natural phenomena like gene mutations obey the laws of nature, and so are not random.

That's like saying dice obey the laws of physics, therefore a roll of the dice is not random.

Blogger Booch Paradise January 23, 2015 12:41 PM  

I find it absurd that anyone thinks that any natural process is random.
That's pretty much how sexual reproduction was taught in my school. Things like a child's hair color is generally thought of in terms of probability based on the dominant and recessive genes of their parents.

Anonymous damntull January 23, 2015 12:46 PM  

You're right, Porky, the resting position of the dice is not random, but is dictated by the laws of nature, i.e. dictated by the force and trajectory of the throw, the initial position of the dice, the weight of the dice, the frictional coefficient between the surface and the dice, etc. We don't measure all the relevant variables when we throw the dice, so we don't know what the result will be, and so it appears random to us, because we are ignorant of the relevant facts.

Blogger frigger611 January 23, 2015 12:50 PM  

I think everyone will agree that a single game of chess is less complex than even a single-cell organism.

What are the odds that, without knowing any of the rules at all, you could even set up the board correctly in order to play? Pretty small, but OK - maybe you get lucky and beat the odds. The board gets set up properly within a few million tries. Boy, that was lucky! We now have our starting point.

But now the game has to proceed by a number of moves. What are the odds that the next move will be a proper and legal one? Can I just pull a rook out of its corner and place it on any one of the open spaces? No, of course not. The game can not go on this way.

The metaphor is that, for life to continue, it must continually do the right thing necessary for survival. But (according to evolutionists) it does so with no knowledge of any rules or rule book.

What are the odds that the 2nd move will be a legal and proper move? The 3rd and 4th? The 21st?

Now what are the odds of all these aforementioned steps to have proceeded properly so that the game can continue and come to a conclusion? Now they are so astronomically small that the mind strains to allow for pure randomness.

And this is what we see in life and in nature - many complete games of chess being set up an played out over and over again. Not just a one time event with low probability, (which might be forgivable), but millions of intermittent steps in complex processes, all beating the same astronomically small odds with relative ease.

But of course, once you have the basic self-replicating building block of life, the rest is easy, blah blah blah

Anonymous Daniel January 23, 2015 12:50 PM  

Damntull, what are the definite aims, reasons or patterns of natural events that prevent them from being random? When a tree branch breaks - seemingly at random - who is proven to have aimed, reasoned or established the pattern for the fall?

Blogger David January 23, 2015 12:52 PM  

The process by which speciation occurs appears to me far too complex for the relatively simple theories currently in vogue.

The error today is in thinking that most of important scientific processes have been elucidated. On the contrary, much of what we think we know "just ain't so," and the volume of the Unknown (but knowable) is vast, indeed.

My guess is that an entire science of spontaneous organization has yet to be grasped, and it is in this paradox of the (seemingly) improbable where life's wondrous variety will be understood.

Anonymous Anonymous January 23, 2015 12:54 PM  

That's like saying dice obey the laws of physics, therefore a roll of the dice is not random.

You realize that is the case here though right? It's only seemingly random to us since our brains can't process all of the data needed to end up with correct side landed...

Anonymous Difster January 23, 2015 1:04 PM  

It seems to me that evolution can be dispensed with based on information theory alone. An information system can't design itself. A biological system is clearly an information system.

Anonymous Jody January 23, 2015 1:11 PM  

"evolution by natural selection is not a statistically random process simply because it is not credible to insist that all mutations have an equal probability of being chosen."

Random distributions other than the uniform random distribution exist. Further, non-uniform random distributions are the most common.

Anonymous Soga January 23, 2015 1:11 PM  

Not to mention that from a computer science perspective, an algorithm that selects for local maximums is not always a good algorithm. If you strive to only climb local maximums, there is a good chance you won't hit the global maximum, or even anywhere near there. Greedy algorithms, as they are called, often run into trouble without some sort of higher level planning.

Blogger AmyJ January 23, 2015 1:12 PM  

Makes me think of Mr. Wright's short story "A Random World". Full of ugliness, agony, and totally devoid of meaning...until a guide comes along.

Blogger Krul January 23, 2015 1:16 PM  

Daniel - Damntull, what are the definite aims, reasons or patterns of natural events that prevent them from being random?

The definite patterns of nature are readily observable. People have known this since they first observed the regularity of the seasons and the tides, and that children resemble their parents.

Whether there are aims and reasons involved, except where thinking organisms are concerned, is a separate question.

Blogger Mike Worrell January 23, 2015 1:17 PM  

Whether the natural processes are strictly random or not, the Darwinist's argument is not helped. I draw for a living. If I presented one of my drawings, or even one of my graphite pencils, and insisted that it came about by entirely natural processes, most everyone would be incapable of believing it. Yet many believe just that about the entire universe, and under those terms, the atomic bomb is as much a result of natural selection as the tree frog. If the entire known universe came about by natural processes with no deliberate mind at work, and if everything, including me and the people who manufacture the pencils, is a part of that universe, then the person committed to pure naturalism ultimately does believe that my pencils and my art occur by natural processes. It's absurd.

Anonymous damntull January 23, 2015 1:21 PM  

Daniel,
The laws of nature transform a system from one physical state to the next - so the aim is the "next" state.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 23, 2015 1:23 PM  

Darwin did not invent the theory of Natural Selection, he just stood it on it's head.

Natural Selection was known and acknowledged force of nature long before Darwin boarded the Beagle.

But it was viewed as a conservative agency, one that bred out extremes. It didn't encourage them.

Anonymous Native Baltimoron January 23, 2015 1:28 PM  

The existence of a creator god is orthogonal to the naturalistic universe argument, as is the materialism. It's possible, as Vox has (I think) pointed out, for a god to be made of the same matter as we are, and yet still transcend the limitations of our skill and strength to the same extent we do an ant's. So, sure, your sketch came about by natural processes; it's not like some phantasm made it appear on the paper in contradiction of the laws of the universe. That doesn't, however, touch on the existence of the divine or the improbability of abiogenesis or TENS.

Anyways, even if you take abiogenesis and TENS as a given, the answer for why the very laws of the universe are compatible with life is either teleological or "Fiat lux."

Anonymous Techne January 23, 2015 1:34 PM  

I think the process of evolution can be described as indeterminate and not random. You may ask what is the difference between “indeterminate” and “random”? The way I see it is as follows:
I acknowledge the fact that there is no agreed definition of randomness. However, one can perhaps make sense of the concept as an absence of ALL order or ALL predictability or the opposite of ANY order.

Suppose there is something that behaved in a way that could only be described as random, something that changes in a totally unpredictable manner and acausal mannner. Let’s take an electron with spin Sz=+½ as an example. One moment it is an electron with Sz=+½ around the nucleus of hydrogen in laboratory on earth, the next moment it is moving towards the sun and randomly changes to a proton of carbon and then inexplicably moves back, the next moment it is some gold nugget on its way towards Mars. Suppose you want to measure Sz, you could never in principle know or predict whether it would suddenly change into a gold nugget or a proton or fly to the sun or Mars and back or just be Sx=+½ or Sx=-½ or not change at all etc. One can argue that such an electron behaves in a random manner as there is no way to predict any kind of behaviour. Randomness in this sense also implies acausality and I would argue that we have no observation of randomness anywhere.

Contrast this with an electron that behaves in an indeterminate manner. Let’s take the electron with spin Sz=+½ again as an example. From experiments we know that Sx is indeterminate and that the electron is free to be either Sx=+½ or Sx=-½ upon measurement of Sx. We are able to predict that it will be either Sx=+½ or Sx=-½ even though it is indeterminate before measurement. The freedom is determined by something that is part of the electron, some property of the electron. One can say that the electron has certain dispositions, there is order (either Sx=+½ or Sx=-½, not pure radmoness) in the freedom of an electron. The freedom is not random, it is merely indeterminate. So while randomness entails indeterminism, indeterminism does not entail randmoness. One can have indeterminism and order (and thus causality)and one can have indeterminism and randomness but one cannot intelligibly argue to have pure randomness and order or orderly randomness.

I would argue that evolution from this point of view is not random but merely indeterminate.

Is this incompatible with teleology? I don't think so. Free will is also indeterminate (not random) and it is entirely compatible with teleology.

Anonymous Techne January 23, 2015 1:38 PM  

there is not anything about evolutionary theory that states it is or is not teleological. Anybody that claims otherwise is injecting metaphysics into their empirical science.

The nature of natural and evolutionary fitness is of course hotly debated. Sure, it is a philosophical question but it is important in determining whether evolutionary processes are teleological.

Evolutionary fitness, as far as I understand, appear to play a central role in understanding the concept of natural selection. There appears to be at least two different views about evolutionary fitness:
1) The propensity view of fitness.
2) The statistical view of fitness.

The propensity view, in a nutshell, views fitness is a probabilistic propensity/potentiality and it is a causal factor. This is very much compatible with Aristotelian metaphysics and teleology.

The statistical view, again, in a nutshell, views fitness as a statistical probability and (as Alex Rosenberg argues) "deprives fitness of any causal or explanatory power". (http://www.science.uva.nl/~seop/entries/fitness/#FitSubPro)

The debate between these views are interesting and ongoing. Here are a few articles if you are interested:
Two ways of thinking about natural selection: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/17418/1/two_ways_of_thinking_about_fitness_and_natural_selection.pdf

Selection and Causation (argues against a causal view)
http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/167win10/matthen%20and%20ariew%2009%20-%20selection%20and%20causation.pdf

Fitness and Propensity’s Annulment?
http://members.logical.net/~marshall/AbramsAnnulment.pdf

Fitness (Stanford Encyclopaedia)
http://www.science.uva.nl/~seop/entries/fitness

Matthen and Ariew’s Obituary for Fitness: Reports of its Death have been Greatly Exaggerated (argues for a causal propensity view)
http://www.duke.edu/~alexrose/MAcomment.pdf

What fitness can't be (argues against a causal view)
http://faculty.missouri.edu/~ariewa/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ARIEW-AND-ERNST-What-Fitness-Cant-Be.pdf

Evolution is just change. If change and evolution are causal processes then it poses no problem for viewing them as teleological processes, even if the process is indeterminate. In fact, it fits in very nicely with Aristotelian notions of matter and form, potentiality and actuality etc.

And to top it all of, Darwin was indeed a teleologist:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00857687

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 23, 2015 1:41 PM  

This idea of random mutation should be ridiculous on its face. Haven't any of you realized that if evolution is random that the odds of survival plummet to levels that over a short interval would probably lead to extinction? Random evolution by mutation would not really be governed by fitness at all and would probably result in incoherent and unstable changes that lead to detrimental effects on the organism.
The claim of natural selection would only be life sustaining if the organism was responding to changes in the environment through a feedback loop directed by sensory organs guiding bodily adaptation mechanisms. However, no evidence has been found to indicate or infer that genes are directly affected by environment. therefore the standard for mutation would have to happen through random chance through genetic defects or mutations caused by RNA duplication errors due to background radiation or perhaps chemicals ingested by the organism. This would not be a selection process conducive to positive changes to environment but simply coding errors by DNA when cells are manufactured.
Such a random process would produce weird and strange changes which would probably be more harmful than useful in that the changes are caused by errors instead of guided by direct feedback on environmental conditions. This is by definition dysgenic.

Blogger Doom January 23, 2015 1:42 PM  

When scientists realized they couldn't understand well, many forms of science were turned into forms of art. As art became post-modern, the connection between reason and science was detached. Many fields of science are much more modern art than anything resembling science, not even philosophy. These sorts of results are to be expected.

The only reason evolution is maintained is because it won in a US court. That is all the evidence needed, it is all the evidence they have. Well, and it can be used to keep faithful Christians out of academia. Because the law! It gets wormy in there, but it makes sense once you relinquish the notion that most sciences are looking for anything but the truth, seeking only the truth without God. Even with God, the truth of nature and the world is difficult. Without God it just doesn't exist.

I really think they understand that, the higher ups, the better minds. But admitting such is admitting defeat, nullifying their reason to exist, their work, and their ego. The rest just follow because it's their job and their job requires it. They don't know, and wouldn't know how to begin looking. Most people, academic or otherwise, are essentially stupid and followers.

Academia is just another low-brow union for another branch of useless modern art. To succeed, truth, and God, must be excluded.

I'm not sure why you debate some of these matters. Though, I suppose, those who have been indoctrinated might be helped... maybe. Thought it will most likely end their careers, from the social side if they can't be dropped "professionally". It's a cushy job, once they have tenure. And they are weak already, otherwise they would have chosen a real career, not a petty, bureaucratic, pretty useless one that if they examined they would understand, more as time goes on, is more negative to the world than positive, by far.

Anonymous Porky January 23, 2015 1:52 PM  

It's only seemingly random to us since our brains can't process all of the data needed to end up with correct side landed...

Does each number have an equal probability? Then it's random.






Anonymous Noah B. January 23, 2015 1:53 PM  

"In my opinion, the correct way to describe TENS in this regard is as a random, hypothetical process that is probably not statistically random. However, it should be noted that the selection process postulated is a logical construction, and a circular one at that, and has not been reliably observed or demonstrated."

I think that's a fair summary.

"Randomness is not an objective feature of nature, but is merely in the mind, a product of a lack of knowledge. Natural phenomena like gene mutations obey the laws of nature, and so are not random."

So if there is no randomness, then wouldn't everything be predetermined? Wouldn't that mean that the Calvinists are right?

Anonymous Soga January 23, 2015 1:58 PM  

Porky, think of factors like how hard you throw the dice, which side was up at the time, the density of air between the dice in your hand and the ground, and so on forth. These will affect how the dice lands. We think it's random because we don't know all these factors. I do like the distinction between random and indeterminate that someone upthread came up with.

Anonymous Techne January 23, 2015 1:59 PM  

"So if there is no randomness, then wouldn't everything be predetermined? Wouldn't that mean that the Calvinists are right?"

Or merely indeterminate. Random does not imply indeterminate.

Anonymous Native Baltimoron January 23, 2015 2:04 PM  

That should be "materialism," not "the materialism." Editing on a cell phone is decently tricky.

Anyways, molecular bio is my wheelhouse, so I can confidently say that mutations are absolutely not randomly distributed within cells in the body or the genome of individual cells. A lot of the mechanisms by which mutations occur are related to the mechanisms of replication and of unspooling DNA and unzipping it to actually use it. Single-nucleotide repeat polymorphisms, driven by DNA polymerase "slipping" during replication, are a good example of this.

Too, the organizational changes of the genome are at least as important as the content of the genes themselves. The classic example is the Philadelphia chromosome, which is a cancer-causing translocation. Chromosome number is important for having fertile offspring (which is why mules are sterile) and can substantially change the character of plants (bread wheat's the classic example, there).

The recombination that occurs during sexual reproduction might offer some opportunities for gene duplication and subsequent divergence/neofunctionalization (which could have fewer potential consequences for the organism, but some genes are dose-dependent, as it were) but you still have to answer the question of how all this emerged from a single autocatalytic RNA (they can be pretty small, on the order of 10 nucleotides or so, making them a good candidate for earliest self-replicator), and how the autocatalytic RNA got there in the first place. The metabolism bit is pretty tricky, too. Hopefully people will start doing more experiments, since I'm genuinely curious to see the results.

Anyways, the point is that life is intricately (miraculously?) complex, and even if we knew exactly how we got here, and even if that was by abiogenesis and TENS (which, as most people approach it, is a collection of "just-so" stories), it still wouldn't even address the question of God's existence.

The random/deterministic dice example is a good one. We don't know enough to say whether life as it is now is the end result of a process as deterministic as the rolling of dice, or the formation of crystals. Could be; I don't know. Similarly, though we have no reason to even suspect that this is the case, the characteristics which make our universe hospitable could well be very likely. We intuit that they're not, of course, and, based on our current level of knowledge, it's unsubstantiated to claim they are.

As far as TENS being falsifiable and testable, I'm not sure how you would do it. Tank full of sexually-reproducing microorganisms, maybe? With yeast, the thorough stripping down of their genome offers much less potential for novel and useful mutations to be helpful. Parameciums? Possibly much the same. You might get speciation from perturbation of the culture environment and some form of population separation. Still wouldn't answer the assertion that evolution was guided in some fashion.

I think, ultimately, it comes down to worldview. To Vox, the idea of a divine Creator seems completely natural and correct. To people like Dawkins, the idea of God is abjectly terrifying, so they run around trying to prove the object of their fear can't possibly exist.

Blogger Doug January 23, 2015 2:04 PM  

The dictionary notwithstanding, there is a technical definition of "random process", and Darwinian evolution matches it precisely. The *driver* for natural selection is random mutation, and it doesn't matter if the distribution of that randomness is uniform across the genome or not (pace the dictionary). And it doesn't matter if there are downstream mechanisms that mitigate the effects of that randomness. As long as the driver is random (and I'm sure we all agree that it is), then the process is random. Period.

Anonymous Noah B. January 23, 2015 2:06 PM  

"Random does not imply indeterminate."

You've got it backwards.

Anonymous Techne January 23, 2015 2:09 PM  

My mistake, thanks. I agree, as I said " One can have indeterminism and order (and thus causality)and one can have indeterminism and randomness but one cannot intelligibly argue to have pure randomness and order or orderly randomness."

Anonymous Noah B. January 23, 2015 2:11 PM  

It's a good distinction, though. I believe I will steal that.

Anonymous Porky January 23, 2015 2:12 PM  

We think it's random because we don't know all these factors.

No, we think it's random because we can run trials and see random results.

Anonymous Native Baltimoron January 23, 2015 2:20 PM  

Eh. Coin tosses have already been documented to be non-random. I suspect if you had a dice rolling apparatus that applied the same force each time, and set the die up in the same position each time, you'd get very long strings of the same number coming up.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 23, 2015 2:21 PM  

OT, but: Actually atheism is actually a Satanic Cult. Any pretensions of science are merely obfuscations for uninitiated rubes to think they're being secular when they're really not. Have you ever wondered why these "rational" scientists refuse to acknowledge the possibility of God, but eat up any superintelligent alien theory like candy?
What is the difference between superintelligent aliens and gods? Semantics? When you see the movie 2001 by Arthur C. Clarke where a strange artifact in the form of a monolith appears miraculously in the desert to teach primitive apemen to become omnivores and kill and dominate their enemies, what's the real difference between that and Moses kneeling before the Burning Bush to receive the Ten Commandments?
Morality. The only real difference between superintelligent aliens and gods is some form of Moral Code. Superintelligent aliens merely impart knowledge, which is used to aid in survival, by helping kill and dominate others. This is by definition Luciferian. Lucifer imparts knowledge that bestows power. Ergo: Knowledge is Power. You probably heard that a thousand times in school, right?
These atheists aren't really scientists at all. Science is a cover for their Luciferian Cult of Knowledge is Power. Superintelligent aliens are just gods without morality. Secularism is not about removing God at all, its about destroying morality.

Anonymous Calling Dr. Heisenberg....Dr. Heisenberg January 23, 2015 2:23 PM  

I suspect if you had a dice rolling apparatus that applied the same force each time, and set the die up in the same position each time, you'd get very long strings of the same number coming up.

You suspect wrong.

Blogger Brad Andrews January 23, 2015 2:26 PM  

That's like saying dice obey the laws of physics, therefore a roll of the dice is not random.

Wow, I agree with Porky. I can't recall that happening before.

Blogger IM2L844 January 23, 2015 2:26 PM  

Still wouldn't answer the assertion that evolution was guided in some fashion.

Hey, check out the gelatinous coat on that cyanobacteria over there! Hubba-hubba.

Anonymous damntull January 23, 2015 2:26 PM  

Porky, don't be obtuse. Can you throw the dice exactly the same way with the exact same initial conditions every time? Don't you agree that the forces applied in throwing the dice influence the result?

Blogger frigger611 January 23, 2015 2:34 PM  

Joshua Sinistar, thank you for that insight.

Here is Dawkins (go to 3:20) where he acknowledges the intriguing possibility for intelligent design - (well, as long as it's done by a super race of aliens somewhere....)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t-w26yhZ6M

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 23, 2015 2:36 PM  

You suspect wrong.

Misapplication of Heisenberg uncertainty. I'll call your bluff and raise you a correspondence principle.

Anonymous Porky January 23, 2015 2:38 PM  

Can you throw the dice exactly the same way with the exact same initial conditions every time?

Damntull, what makes you think that it's even possible to create the exact same initial conditions? Or to even know the exact initial conditions?

Anonymous Daniel January 23, 2015 2:40 PM  

The only reason evolution is maintained is because it won in a US court.

Actually, it lost. It won in a Hollywood motion picture by a communist sympathizer, though, and your main point is even more valid because of this.

Anonymous Porphyry January 23, 2015 2:40 PM  

In these conditions I think one's best argument is the fundamental and essential difference between life and physical objects. this is most apparent in teleology, but also in practical statistics.

Blogger Mindstorm January 23, 2015 2:41 PM  

Is not purely random.

Does this version sit better with you? Is alternating trial and error purely random?

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 23, 2015 2:41 PM  

Here's a dice-throwing machine that'll get the same roll every time: a mechanical pincer that holds the dice 1 mm from the tabletop, flat sixes facing the sky, and drops them from rest velocity.

It has now been established that the perfect dice-throwing machine is possible and quite feasible.

Blogger Thordaddy January 23, 2015 3:09 PM  

And yet, the real debate is not evolution as a "random process," but evolution as unable to generate singularities. <--This is what the anti-Supremacist is seeking to obscure. In the blown out and busted materialist paradigm are strictly redundant phenomena (the one "true" universal "equality"). Even Ray Kurzweil's attempt to define his "Singularity" as a "process" whose outcome cannot even be speculated DENIES singularities AND The Singularity.

In short, this whole debate revolves around "white" anti-Supremacists denying the reality of the Singularity and all subsequent singularities; the purpose of which is to CONFINE the white masses to an "equality" of redundant phenomena, i.e., the infinite regress.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 23, 2015 3:12 PM  

@Porky: "Damntull, what makes you think that it's even possible to create the exact same initial conditions? Or to even know the exact initial conditions?"

That's the problem, until you can know and create the same initial conditions, you can't demonstrate the result is random.

"No, we think it's random because we can run trials and see random results."

Except we can't, and we haven't....

Anonymous zen0 January 23, 2015 3:16 PM  

Native Baltimoron January 23, 2015 2:20 PM
Eh. Coin tosses have already been documented to be non-random. I suspect if you had a dice rolling apparatus that applied the same force each time, and set the die up in the same position each time, you'd get very long strings of the same number coming up.


But, are all the dice inflated to the exact same pressure ? :)

Anonymous Soga January 23, 2015 3:18 PM  

Thordaddy is like the homeless guy on the corner that spontaneously yells out non-sequitars in hopes that you'll take pity on him and his apparent Tourette condition and give him alms.

DEM DAMNED ANTI-SUPREMACISTS! THEY MADE US EVOLVE FROM APES!!!

Anonymous Enlightenment January 23, 2015 3:24 PM  

1. The opposite of random is supernatural Sky Daddy Magic

2. The supernatural does not exist

3. Thus evolution is the only valid scientific model

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 23, 2015 3:38 PM  

You should realize the endgame of egalitarianism is White Genocide or blended racialism that renders Whites permanently inferior. White Privilege is simply "Hey, squirrel!" to disguise the end goal of retarding Humanity to the point where they become a deracinated brown mass of subservient slaves to our clearly Racial Supremist Alien would-be overlords.
Eugenics is claimed to be "racist" due to the dead horse beating association to National Socialists under Herr Hitler. However, thats not the real reason it is heresy to egalitarian fanatics. It should be obvious to even people who are unfamiliar to heriditary studies and selective breeding programs that using Eugenic Theory you could devise a selective breeding process through which you could conceivable raise the median I.Q.s of inferior specimens by cross breeding the "talented tenth" of the darker forms of humanity.
The reason this will never be done is because the alien parasites do not want to increase their intelligence or actually make them more independent. The entire Globalist Fantasy, like Communism before it, is actually Neo-Feudalism. Pol Pot and various Communists like Mao, regressed their societies back to subsistence farming for the purpose of reinstituting slavery, where slavery=freedom. Brave New World, just like Feudal Europe. Except with fat bald schmucks as the Robber Barons instead of strong Feudal Knights with Chivalry.
I don't think any of you realize how dangerous and stupid this really is to you and yours. Mao and Pol Pot killed millions with this crap, but if they take this global, the inefficient "organic" subsistence farms would produce maybe 5 or 10 % of the food of today's Agricultural Combines using advanced methods of mass production food sourcing.
The Guide Stone Monument near Atlanta says that the carrying capacity of the Earth is less than now, and that a population of 500 Million is optimal. 7.5 Billion people would need to die to reach this number. However, with subsistence farming using stupid brown slaves and ending Large Agribusinesses to produce the food supply, 500 Million may be a vast over- estimation of how many people could actual be fed and survive. Extinction of Mankind is a possibility under this stupid irrational delusional fantasy.

Anonymous Nietzsche's Ghost January 23, 2015 3:40 PM  

Greedy algorithms, as they are called, often run into trouble without some sort of higher level planning.

Ironically, a 'solution' that's often applied to help hill-climbing algorithms avoid getting stuck in local minima involves the application of.... random noise. (Google 'simulated annealing' for an example).

God may, or may not, play dice (I'm not privvy to his methods). But the Universe sure as hell seems to do so.

Blogger IM2L844 January 23, 2015 3:43 PM  

1. The opposite of random is supernatural Sky Daddy Magic

How can anyone argue with that kind of geniusityness?

Anonymous Daniel January 23, 2015 3:48 PM  

That's the problem, until you can know and create the same initial conditions, you can't demonstrate the result is random.

Huh? That's preposterous. A random act of nature is one that isn't anticipated ahead of time, one whose pattern, aim or reason is not determined. A non-random act is one that has aim, reason or pattern behind it, and those factors have been determined.

That's what evolutionary randomness is about. The fact that a highly calibrated dice setter will still produce unpredictable results (random) is irrelevant. TENS, by definition, relies on random selection, not on planned, anticipated, designed selection.

Blogger Thordaddy January 23, 2015 3:53 PM  

Equality = anti-Supremacy = anti-white Supremacy...

It's crazy how the "right" nerds don't even know their most basic of Equations.

Evolution = redundant phenomena = infinite regress = no Singularity = no singularities = Universal Equality...

It's crazy how crazy are the "right" nerds. How venomously anti-white Supremacy they actually are and how diabolically well-entrenched they are with Uncle Beast as his main yes-"men"-ion. Literally, the dread ilk behind the curtain... The brains that attempt to direct the brawn.

Blogger frigger611 January 23, 2015 4:00 PM  

Well, it was fun, for a while, anyway...

Anonymous patrick kelly January 23, 2015 4:05 PM  

@Daniel:"Huh? That's preposterous."

I was only commenting about Porky's references to the randomness of dice throws. If you can't demonstrate consistent conditions of the throw you can't determine randomness. What's preposterous about that?

Otherwise how do you know a change in the condition didn't predetermine the result?

Blogger Thordaddy January 23, 2015 4:08 PM  

It is much more prophetable to market "self-annihilation" to a mass of billions need of eradication than it would be to actually plan for all out existential war and then attempt to execute said war plan.

"Genocide" is the call of the radical liberationist.

White man desires self-annihilation...

And the randomness or not randomness of Evolution IS STILL A DIABOLICAL DEBATE BETWEEN two variant of "white" anti-white Supremacists WHO BOTH DENY the free will of white man AND HIS ENEMIES.

Evolution, random or not, IS FALSIFIED by the DESIRE OF white man to self-annihilate.

OpenID luagha January 23, 2015 4:21 PM  

"I suspect if you had a dice rolling apparatus that applied the same force each time, and set the die up in the same position each time, "

This is how 'dice mechanics' work. Saw a video on them a long time ago and I am sure some youtubing could show more. There are different methods, but at the most basic level they throw the dice so they only roll and don't yaw, and try to rest them against the back wall as opposed to dramatically bouncing them. By controlling their throw, they dramatically tilt what we see as the 'odds' in their favor.

To counter this, craps tables will have bumps or ledges to introduce yaw, and the croupier is supposed to enforce a vigorous bounce off of the pebbled back surface, designed to catch an edge or corner in such a way that it would be too difficult to throw precisely enough to control that bounce.

Here's a link to someone describing one of the known methods:

http://www.goldentouchcraps.com/introCT.shtml

Anonymous wEz January 23, 2015 4:24 PM  

All the variable previous conditions before human record are all speculative. Hence, we can only specualte on outcomes. Scientific method? Yeah...no. Theoretical bullshit anyone? Random or not random.

Blogger David Awhsome January 23, 2015 4:29 PM  

I guess we should start with the fact that micro-evolution is a scientific fact. Bacteria will develop resistance, birds beaks will change per environmental pressure.

Macro-evolution is another matter. Slime-mold to man macro-evolution is a religious dogma perpetuated by group think. This idea arrived before the molecular revolution. Now we know that biology is really a set of interactions between three dimensional structures- that an angstrom difference in the shape of one protein will destroy the entire organism. The probability calculation would have to include all possible configurations of this three-dimensional system. The chances of a complex system, i.e., life arising out of this makes believing in the virgin birth easy by comparison.

Blogger Brad Andrews January 23, 2015 4:33 PM  

Arguing that cars were designed requires a belief in Sky Daddy Auto Makers. Random chance is a much more realistic assumption than that.

Yeah, right....

Blogger Brad Andrews January 23, 2015 4:34 PM  

Note how evolutionistas often say "Evolution" did this or that. They can't have a god, yet they put "Evolution" in god's position. What a false god!

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 23, 2015 4:36 PM  

@David Awhsome You're not very awesome are you? But then we should know that from the fact that you misspelled awesome. Bacteria do not "develop" resistance. Some bacteria or even most bacteria are killed by anti-biotics. However some have a natural resistance already and survive to produce a strain that is resistant to anti-biotics. That's not evolution, that's selective breeding by culling the weak versions of bacteria through toxins. Where did you learn science? Was it Bill Nye the Science Guy? I hear he's doing Global Warming now. I remember when he was Doc Brown's assistant on the Back to the Future Cartoon Show.

Anonymous Porky January 23, 2015 4:54 PM  

Misapplication of Heisenberg uncertainty. I'll call your bluff and raise you a correspondence principle.

I'll see your correspondence principle and raise you a Boltzmann. If these dice are being thrown in air then they are most definitely affected by the absolute temperature of the air molecules.

That's the problem, until you can know and create the same initial conditions, you can't demonstrate the result is random.

A random result is demonstrated by statistical analysis, not a forensic investigation of the dice throw.

It has now been established that the perfect dice-throwing machine is possible and quite feasible.

That is called cheating. Cheating does not produce random results and would show up in the statistical analysis. Dice, (fair dice), produce random results, by definition.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar January 23, 2015 4:57 PM  

Actually Porky dice throws when analyzed make a nice pattern on a graph. 3d6 actually creates the Bell Curve, the most racist Geometric Figure Evah!

Blogger Mindstorm January 23, 2015 5:39 PM  

If there was a better alternative to greedy algorithms of evolution at work, then I guess this enzyme would be replaced with something more effective:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RuBisCO#Rate_of_enzymatic_activity

Anonymous damntull January 23, 2015 5:56 PM  

I'm beginning to suspect that Porky is just trolling, now.
At issue is whether or not the final resting place of a rolled die is random or deterministic.
Then he says that it is random by definition!
Case closed, I guess! *eye roll

Blogger Phunctor January 23, 2015 7:20 PM  

Ponder the one-electron-at-a-time two slit experiment. Then comes Bell's Theorem, ruling out hidden variables. It's not ignorance, it's randomness. One is forced to conclude that randomness, with consequences*, is how the Universe works.

Oddly, there's more room here for the miraculous than ever there was in the Newtonian clockwork...

To argue "but it can't be, because " is pure Scholasticism. God speaks to us through His works. It's disrespectful not to pay attention.

*Heisenberg's cat was just a thought experiment concretely amplifying a quantum cause to a discernible event, if that's not already obvious.

Blogger Phunctor January 23, 2015 7:22 PM  

eh because leftanglebracket syllogism rightanglebracket

Anonymous damntull January 23, 2015 7:48 PM  

Nothing wrong with Scholasticism, Phunctor.
Bell's theorem doesn't say what you think it says.

Anonymous Harsh January 23, 2015 8:58 PM  

Does anyone else hear the voice of Orson Welles when they read Thordaddy's comments?

Anonymous Porky January 23, 2015 10:08 PM  

At issue is whether or not the final resting place of a rolled die is random or deterministic. Then he says that it is random by definition!

No, the question is whether evolution is random or non-random.

I'm beginning to suspect that Porky is just trolling, now.

That's the typical excuse of a pedant bailing on his pedantry.















Anonymous Discard January 23, 2015 10:49 PM  

I'm not tall enough for this particular ride, but I do enjoy seeing the big kids enjoy themselves.

Anonymous damntull January 24, 2015 2:24 AM  

Pig says what?

Blogger frigger611 January 24, 2015 2:45 AM  

Does anyone else hear the voice of Orson Welles when they read Thordaddy's comments? - Harsh

Actually, no. I hear Aunt Esther, from the Fred Sanford Show

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 5:56 AM  

damntull, do you believe Brownian motion is random?

Anonymous damntull January 24, 2015 10:39 AM  

Porky - No, it isn't, you pedant. I specifically said in the first comment on this post that no natural events are random.

Anonymous Anubis January 24, 2015 12:17 PM  

"The opposite of random is supernatural Sky Daddy Magic"
Many mutations would result in miscarriages (spontaneous abortions). The concept of hybrid vigor only appears to exist because the bad versions are miscarried or culled by breeders. Any argument for randomness in evolution pretends miscarriages and culling don't exist. Before breeders culled animals mother nature did.

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 1:08 PM  

@damntull

So do you think that if we only knew the exact initial conditions of a particular atom of helium that we could predict it's next state?

Anonymous damntull January 24, 2015 2:37 PM  

Porky, I'm not saying anything about our predictive capabilities. I'm saying that the motions of the helium atom are governed by the laws of nature and so are not random.

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 3:10 PM  

Funny then that I can write out a sequence of random numbers on a napkin. I suppose I must not be governed by the laws of nature.

Blogger William Newman January 24, 2015 3:18 PM  

"Google 'simulated annealing' for an example."

Or, to connect to the remarks about Chess before, look up 'UCT search', a randomized algorithm which is a major advance in efficiently finding good moves in the game of Go.

Anonymous damntull January 24, 2015 3:46 PM  

Porky, first of all, it's well known that human beings are crappy random number generators. Second, because you are not merely a physical being, ... well, you finish.

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 4:05 PM  

Porky, first of all, it's well known that human beings are crappy random number generators.

It's not easy, but it can be done. Furthermore, it can be done in such a way that it is indistinguishable from a natural process.

Second, because you are not merely a physical being,

Me? I'm just a bunch of atoms.

But anyhoo..., so far the conversation goes like this...

D: There is no such thing as a black swan.
P: Sure there is. It's a swan that is black.
D: You only think that's a black swan.
P: It fits perfectly the definition of a black swan.
D: You're imagining things.
P: It can be mathematically modeled as a black swan.
D: Nope.
P: Here, I'm holding a black swan in my hands. Want to touch it?
D: Nope. Impossible.
P: Alrighty then.

Blogger William Newman January 24, 2015 4:32 PM  

"It's not easy, but it [i.e., manual generation of streams of highly random numbers] can be done."

So, you figure if we sat you down in a room and had you write out a thousand of your chosen highly random digits, something like the Marsaglia Diehard tests would have difficulty distinguishing the result from the output of, say, repeatedly throwing three twenty sided dice and taking the sum modulo 10? (Or pointing your webcam at the leaves blowing in the wind outside the window, digesting the output into some big integer with something like MD5, and taking that integer modulo 10.)

(I find it amusing that this raises the possibility of the reverse of the Squad Leader cheating that Vox was writing about earlier: if we tried to get you to do this remotely, we'd have to wonder whether you were rolling the dice instead of actually choosing the numbers for yourself.)

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 5:37 PM  

@William Newman

I'd probably just roll the dice and write down the numbers. Similar to what RandCorp did back in the 50's. But of course, there's no conceptual barrier to the painstaking way.

DieHard test? That's neither here nor there, as you've got to know what to look for. I could conceivably hide my phone number in a large set of random numbers and they would remain random.


Anonymous damntull January 24, 2015 6:12 PM  

Porky, you're as dense as they come.
You haven't refuted my initial statement.
The result of a die roll depends on the initial conditions of the system + the laws of nature. Therefore, it is not random (that is, uncaused, or unpredictable given sufficient knowledge, or the like).

OpenID kbswift January 24, 2015 7:32 PM  

How do we know that abiogenesis and TENS is a rare event? So far as we know it's a 100% rate on Earth like planets.

Sure we know a lot more about evolution now than we did during Darwin's time, but we don't know everything, which could make the likelihoods of life much higher.
It would be like trying to explain the universe with Newtonian physics. It would also seem unlikely that atoms and stars form without intervention.

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 8:32 PM  

Porky, you're as dense as they come.
I once debated this girl in high school. She became so flustered and offended that she broke out in insults too. Needless to say she lost. It was funny though.

The result of a die roll depends on the initial conditions of the system + the laws of nature. Therefore, it is not random (that is, uncaused, or unpredictable given sufficient knowledge, or the like).

All that's necessary for randomness of a die throw is equal probability per side. All that's necessary for randomness of brownian motion is a random process. All of this is readily observable.

The rest of your claim is philosophical garbage about causality and initial conditions which are unknowable. So basically all you have said is that your claim depends on incomplete knowledge about something that is technically unknowable.

As someone once said....."it's not even wrong".

Who taught you this hogwash? Some Calvinist theological seminary or UFO website?

Anonymous Porky January 24, 2015 9:14 PM  

In case you're interested, damntull, here's some scientists who are much smarter than me and you who have detected randomness in nature with the help of quantum entanglement. The paper is online if you poke around a little.

The money quote? "Randomness is a fundamental feature of nature"

Enjoy!

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7291/full/nature09008.html

Anonymous damntull January 24, 2015 10:45 PM  

Porky,

I'm no Calvinist.
The idea of you engaging in a debate is laughable, as you are unable to conduct a coherent conversation.
Whether or not a process is random is a question best answered by philosophers, not scientists, as science can only tell us about the mathematical structure of the world. Scientists are notoriously philosophically inept.
Enjoy yourself.
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html

Blogger Thordaddy January 25, 2015 12:01 AM  

Again... The debate between the randomness and/or non-randomness of strictly redundant phenomena is merely to obscure the fact THAT BOTH SIDES STILL REJECT Singularities, i.e., unique one-time universe wide phenomena. The debate is used further to obscure the fact THAT BOTH SIDES are anti-Supremacists ESPECIALLY anti-white Supremacists.

Anonymous Porky January 25, 2015 1:02 AM  

damntull,

It is useless to imagine that random = uncaused as I have already offered you an example of an efficient caused random set of numbers.

Feser is simply trying to put the square peg of quantum physics into his round hole of Thomist philosophy - to no avail.

I'm especially dismayed at Feser's appeal to Aquinas' conception of "spontaneous" and attempting to hijack it as an explanation for an obviously uncaused and random natural event, radioactive decay. It's clear that he is grasping at straws here. The fact is, Aquinas did not and could not have anticipated quantum mechanics and the randomness that is fundamental to it.





Blogger Manveer Claire January 25, 2015 1:26 AM  

No the position the dice lands Is random because we are ignorant of the variables. Knowing the variables and controlling them for your desired outcome would be not random.

Ignorance is what allows it to be random.

And to state that randomness is not of nature, but of the mind, under naturalism, would not make sense, since to them, the mind is of nature.

Anonymous Toby Temple January 25, 2015 3:45 AM  

Definition of random. You are welcome.

Anonymous Porky January 25, 2015 6:49 AM  

Knowing the variables and controlling them for your desired outcome would be not random.

Since it's impossible to know the variables, it is therefore impossible to not be random.

You guys are appealing to medieval philosophy to understand nature. That was great for classical mechanics. But quantum mechanics is spooky. And it underlies everything.

Embrace the spooky. Aquinas would have.

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