style="margin-top:40px;" Mind Over Matter: On Mind Over Matter

Thursday, July 28, 2005

On Mind Over Matter

When Darwin first published his book, On the Origin of Species, he did more than present a theory of evolution. Although his theory did not explain the emergence of the original species from which all others allegedly evolved, he presented a mechanism which attempts to explain the origin of all species thereafter. Instead of providing a rigorous account for minor variation within a species, he attempted to provide an account for the origin of the diverse number of species we see today; consequently, from less complex ancestral organisms.

In an attempt to account for diversity, or novel organisms which supposedly descended from pre-existing ones, he ran into a lot of problems. He found that transitional forms were lacking, and that complexity (such as that found in the eye) was a real threat to his theory. Darwin was aware that facile explications were inadequate to account for systems which possessed such complexity:

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
[Darwin C., 252]
Natural selection, working on pre-existing (less complex) systems, is supposed to be the mechanism responsible for the emergence of complexity. Working itself up through small gradual successions (with modification), the eye, Darwin reasoned, could have been formed from crude light sensitive elements. He figured that since the eye varies from species to species, and variations are heritable, then the eye could have become more complex, generation through generation; each grade being useful to its possessor.

This explanation raises more questions than it answers. Indeed, the novel genetic information necessary to evolve and construct complex systems requires far more than gene duplication, mutation, and natural selection. To arrive at such specified complexity, there must be a mechanism for adaptation. Moreover, since environmental tracking has only proven natural selection as a conserving mechanism, the question of evolutionary novelties remains unanswered. Darwinists insist that, given enough time, a minor variation within a species will result in major morphologic change, and thus, account for an innovation of species and their physiological adaptations. This is our point of disagreement. Their contention ultimately rejects teleological conclusions, and in doing so, reject the idea that nature exhibits design; a common archetype (as opposed to common ancestry). To Darwinists "design" is a misnomer because the term implies intelligent agency. This is the crux of the argument: Is natural law capable of producing design without intelligence? In other words, does nature possess a creative ingenuity that is ultimately guided by chance, or does nature's "apparent" design necessitate one to invoke intelligence?

Intelligent Design (ID) advocates propose that nature exhibits design, and that this design is not apparent, but real. They argue that "design" without "intelligence" is absurd, and furthermore, that the idea that nature's intricacy does not exhibit the sort of design which is empirical and attributable to intelligence--can be subjected to critical analysis. ID as a rigorous scientific program, can be the instrument used to scrutinize and infer where design may be present. If design is a measurable condition for which mathematical and scientific parameters exist, then their investigation would be a great contribution to our state of knowledge about our universe. Just as cryptographers attempt to decode the hidden message in a sequence of symbols, Intelligent Design theorists attempt to find the biotic message in systems that are marked by irreducible complexity and complex specified information. ID attempts to resolve the nature of functional complexity and attempts to detect or account for the generating function giving rise to the system's structural complexity.

Mind Over Matter is dedicated to have both camps explore the various available resources of knowledge; and allow the public to decide whether nature is free from the presumptions of Darwinism, or whether it exhibits the sort of design which can only be attributable to intelligence. We want to allow both Darwinists and Intelligent Design advocates to engage in discussions by giving them the platform to present their ideas openly.

This weblog is not intended to promote "anti-evolutionism." Although it is obviously pro-ID; our intentions are to promote a scientific worldview that is free from misleading information and prejudice. We hope that, as each side presents their contentions, people begin to understand both sides clearly enough to make thoughtful decisions about what they believe in regard to our origins.

--Mario A. Lopez

7 Comments:

Blogger ts said...

I suppose that your taking Darwin's comment about the eye out of context has nothing to do with IDists being intellectually dishonest to their cores. Darwin wrote this following that excerpt:

"When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory."

And indeed Darwin's supposition has been borne out, with numerous examples in current organisms of such stages of development. See, for instance,
http://www.maayan.uk.com/evoeyes1.html

Friday, July 29, 2005 2:09:00 AM  
Blogger CRoze said...

Irreducible complexity is not design. IC results from lack of design. Ask any engineer if they would design a system where if one component fails the entire thing goes kaput. They only time a human designer causes that to happen is when they are not paying attention to inter-relationships of the design. My 2 cents.

Friday, July 29, 2005 7:41:00 AM  
Blogger island said...

Is natural law capable of producing design without intelligence?

Yes, but that has nothing to do with chance either, so you've missed a "camp" that doesn't include "Darwinists" and Intelligent Design advocates, who demands to be heard, because, per the usual, the real truth lies closer to the middle than either "side" will ever ever willingly acknowledge.

Friday, July 29, 2005 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

"Irreducible complexity is not design. IC results from lack of design."

So you've never heard of the mousetrap analogy? What about the computer? Try taking out the hard drive and see how it functions. Try taking out the engine from a car.

"Ask any engineer if they would design a system where if one component fails the entire thing goes kaput."

According to what you say, the mousetrap, computer, car and countless other examples belong in the "not designed" list.

Friday, July 29, 2005 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger caerbannog666 said...

So Mr. Lopez hails from Chula Vista.... about a 1/2 hour drive (when traffic's not too bad) from a couple of the world's formost biological research centers, UCSD and the Salk Institute.

Just for fun, let's see what the good folks at the Salk Institute think about evolution.

So I think I'll just wander on over to www.salk.edu and see what they've got....

Well, lookee here, a "search" button -- so let's do a search on the key word "evolution".

Wow -- it looks like we hit the "mother lode". The search returned a couple of hundred links to research papers, research labs, and so forth.

Let's take a look at just this one:

1) http://www.salk.edu/faculty/faculty/
details.php?id=39 (beware of URL-wrap)


Leslie Orgel
Chemical Evolution Laboratory
orgel@salk.edu

Leslie Orgel, professor, studies evolution and how life began on Earth more than 4 billion years ago. His focus is on discovering the chemical reactions that might have occurred on primitive Earth, particularly those that may have led to the origins of life. During its studies, Orgel’s lab came across an economical way to make cytosine arabinoside, a compound that is one of today’s most commonly used anti-cancer agents.

Orgel currently is searching for the precursor to RNA, the molecule that handles much of the information processing of cells and is believed to have been the first molecule to self-replicate and invent protein synthesis, essential to life. His interest is in how the RNA world began.

education
# Chemistry, Oxford University, London
# Ph.D., Chemistry, Oxford University, London
# Postdoctoral fellow, California Institute of Technology

awards and honors
# National Academy of Sciences
# Fellow of the Royal Society of London
# American Academy of Arts and Sciences


So Mr. Lopez, those look like pretty darned impressive credentials. And I just barely scratched the surface.

If you check out some of the other links returned by an "evolution" search at www.salk.edu, it will become quite quite clear that the Salk folks are pretty convinced of the scientific validity of evolution.

So Mr. Lopez, what are *your* qualifications to challenge the good folks at the Salk Institute?

Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Mario A. Lopez said...

ts,

Natural selection does not advance without additional genetic information, additional proteins, or assembly instructions. How is each "grade" accumulated where the necessary components for a more complex eye do not exist? Also, how is each grade useful to its possessor without initially promoting vision?

--MLopez

Monday, August 08, 2005 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger hypnosis said...

Your subconscious mind is a powerful force. It can be an un-defeatable ally or a dangerous foe! It is a powerful force of nature that can be harnessed and made to work for us or it can be a wild beast that runs riot with our lives.
How powerful is 'powerful'?

Take the first Atomic Bomb - it could lay waste to an entire city in seconds. Or the gravitational pull of the Sun which stops our tiny planet from hurtling into space. Imagine the power of a black hole - that region of spacetime from which nothing can escape not even light travelling at 186 thousand miles a second. The Universe is full of powerful forces. Yet, all these wondrous things pale into insignificance when compared to the power of the subconscious mind.

The subconscious part of your mind is that part which regulates your heartbeat, lungs, digestive system and everything else in your body. It directs the inner workings of your body and such things as (what biologists call) 'machines' - tiny living cells that are composed of motors, drive-shafts and propellers - seriously!!! There is mounting evidence that the cells in our bodies have memory and that our very DNA is coded with memories of our ancestors. As well as having full control of all these functions and more your subconscious also retains all the thoughts, experiences and emotions you have ever felt. It regulates the most complicated mechanism in the unknown Universe - your body - and it can calculate the trajectory of multiple moving objects while supplying you with the words necessary to debate an issue while controlling a complex task of activities such as driving a car!
These tasks alone show how powerful the subconscious mind is. But it is much more powerful than that!

The truth is: No-one knows the limits of the subconscious mind's power!

Tell yourself that you will wake up at 6 a.m. and chances are you will awake. Go to a crowed party and through a mass of voices you will hear someone at the other side of the room mention your name! Set a problem aside and miraculously, out of nowhere, the answer comes while you are involved in another task. It recreates situations in your life that correspond to your beliefs. Time and time again you find yourself in the same situations, with similar partners, in almost identical jobs. Like a wheel your subconscious mind creates situations that bring your life back to the same spot.
Likewise it can totally transform your life - even overnight! It can bring you new situations, life experiences, luxuries and even people.

However, it is like a na�ve child or a better analogy is that of a computer. It believes everything that you tell it. Your conscious mind is the gatekeeper. Anything you think with complete faith is immediately past to the subconscious mind - which it then takes as literal fact. There will be no arguments because it has no discriminating capabilities.
Although your subconscious mind is more powerful than you can possibly imagine it is a mere servant. It is at your disposal. YOU are in charge. It acts just like a computer and like every computer it needs software to run. So if you do not program it then someone else will! You are constantly being bombarded with software programs for the mind every minute of everyday. Buy this product and you will look slim, drive this car and you will seem sexy, drink this potion and you will feel more vibrant about life. You are told what to buy and when to buy it, when you are too young to do a thing and when you are too old. You are told what is possible and what is not. Snap out of it!
Take back your control over mind and body. You were born with the most powerful computer system known to man - a bio-computer that regulates a sophisticated, highly flexible, changeable, self repairing vehicle. You are amazing, a true miracle. If you bought a new top of the range diesel Mercedes would you let Joe or Sue down the road fill it up with petrol?
Begin to think for yourself. Who told you that you could not achieve your dreams? Do you believe it? Who told you that you were too fat, too skinny, too stupid, too smart, too young or too old?

Does it matter?

No! Because you are and always have been in total control. Change your thinking and you will change your subconscious beliefs. Change your subconscious beliefs and you will change your life. self hypnosis

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 5:55:00 PM  

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