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  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
    Open vs. Closed system of Objectivism? I will define a closed system of Objectivism as one that only looks to the words of Rand as its basis. This would be like confining Newtonian physics to the writing of Newton or confining economics to just what Adam Smith said. This is a great basis for a historical society. However, a philosophy that is closed is like a science or mathematics that is closed, it means it is dead. There are always further refinements to study in any non-faith based philosophy, science, or mathematics. I think it is a mistake commonly made in philosophy that we investigate every word of the philosopher and take it as a package deal. If we did this with Newton we would have to take his alchemy ideas, and his determinism. Just because Newton was into alchemy does not mean he was not a genius or his mechanics is wrong. People, even geniuses, make mistakes or refuse to follow the logic of their ideas to their logical end. For instance, Pythagoras rejected the idea of irrational (numbers that cannot be expressed as a ratio) numbers. We see the same attitude in students who state negative numbers or not real or ‘imaginary’ numbers are not real. (Of course they are not ‘real numbers’ but they exist) If we had a closed system of Newtonian physics, we would not know most of what we know today about it. Newtonian physics is not defined by what Newton said, but by the system he defined and whether something is logically consistent with the underlying principles.

    If the philosophy of Objectivism is closed, then it is a dead philosophy. Here are some of my humble suggestions where Objectivism can be expanded or refined. I think it is fair to say that Rand drew upon the ideas of Locke and Darwin, even though she gave them no credit. I think the ideas of Rand can be used to define a system of economics that is consistent with her ideas. (Note I do not believe, nor did she that Austrian Economics or Adam Smith were completely consistent with Objectivism) I think her ideas of ethics can be further refined by our knowledge of the nature of man, evolution, and entropy. I think physics is desperately in need of her ideas. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is in complete contradiction with Rand and 400 years of western science. Whether someone is an Objectivist or an idea is Objectivism has to be evaluated rationally on whether it is logically consistent with the fundamental principles of Objectivism. Gun Control is clearly not consistent with Objectivism, Christianity is clearly inconsistent with Objectivism, global warming regulations are clearly inconsistent with Objectivism, voting for a socialist like Barak Obama is completely inconsistent with Objectivism Other cases may be more difficult to evaluate. If Objectivism is going to be a meaningful philosophy it has to be an open philosophy in the sense that it is not just about what Rand said – it is about the principles she laid out.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
      Do you think quantum mechanics are inconsistent because it predicts probability rather than absolutes?
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      • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
        Not necessarily. Statistics are used to predict card games, coin flips, communication links and many other things because we cannot know all the conditions (usually initial conditions) of a system.
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        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
          >Statistics are used to predict card games, coin flips, communication links and many other things because we cannot know all the conditions (usually initial conditions) of a system.

          Statistics and probability are not quite the same thing, but even so, note the following:

          "It was once thought that probability theory is used when our ignorance or inability prevents us from solving a problem 'exactly'. Many who are unacquainted with probability theory (or who associate it only with dice and cards) still believe this.

          In fact, the precise opposite is true. The 'exact' solution, or more accurately, the 'deterministic' solution, is a special case of the general solution involving random values; it can always be obtained from the probabilistic solution (which is not as easy to obtain). Our ignorance or inability quite often forces us to abandon the probablistic approach and to restrict ourselves to the idealized case of the deterministic solution, thereby neglecting most of the information and risking a misleading answer."

          — Elements of Applied Probability Theory
          Petr Beckmann
          Professor of Electrical Engineering
          University of Colorado
          1968
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          • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
            This thread started with the question of whether the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM is consistent with Rand. Whether you like the book http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/heisenber... or not it clearly showed that the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM is inconsistent with Rand. It denies causality and the philosophers that were cited as the basis are clearly not consistent with Rand’s idea. So I can only assume that you are arguing about whether the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM is correct. Is that right?

            There is continuing and mounting evidence that the Copenhagen interpretation of QM (CIQM) is flawed. Note that the CIQM is not the only interpretation. There is the many worlds interpretation which is causal, but postulates a never ending expanding infinite of universes. This is inconsistent with Rand also.


            This article shows that the CIQM requires faster than the speed of light interactions and other problems
            http://www.nature.com/news/a-boost-for-q...


            Carver Mead:
            "We need to treat the wave functions of our electrons as real wave functions," he said. "I have found personally that I had to go all the way back and reformulate the laws of electromagnetism, starting with the quantum nature of the electron as the foundation." http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/20/...

            Here is another book, Farewell to Reality http://www.amazon.com/Farewell-Reality-F... that is critical of the CIQM. For instance he points on the problems with the point particle interpretation.

            Here is another book, Bankrupting Physics http://www.amazon.com/Bankrupting-Physic... that is critical of CIQM.

            And of course there is Einstein, Schrodinger, Feynman and many other prominent physics who believe the CIQM set us on the wrong track. You are free to disagree and there is no definitive answer yet, but my money is on the fact that we will find everything is a wave and this is more consistent with Schrodinger’s wave equation than the CIQM. It also solves problems with the uncertainty principle, problems with spin, problems of causality and many other problems.
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            • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
              >but my money is on the fact that we will find everything is a wave

              Fantastic. But also nonsense. Whenever there's a wave, there's some physical medium doing the waving: sound waves require air (or some other physical medium) to wave; water waves require water to wave; so-called light waves were presumed to require a super-rigid medium called the "lumineforous aether" (which the Michaelson-Morley experiment proved doesn't exist).

              So with wave phenomena, there can never be just the wave: there must be the physical medium that transmits the wave phenomena, then there must be the wave itself, then there must be the thing or things causing the disturbance in the medium that gives rise to the wave phenomena.

              So if you're trying to reduce all of the physical universe monistically to one thing — "waves" — you haven't quite succeeded.
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              • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                Interesting, but actually that is not true of EM waves. They wave in a vacuum. A vacuum has electrical and magnetic properties.

                Some people have proposed a quantum medium that these waves - wave in. They suggest it explains the problem of dark matter. I don' know if they are right.
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                • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                  >Interesting, but actually that is not true of EM waves. They wave in a vacuum. A vacuum has electrical and magnetic properties.

                  Then, by definition, it's not a vacuum; a vacuum cannot have "properties"; only entities have properties.

                  EM "waves" were originally conceived to be disturbances in the EM aether; then the word "aether" was replaced by the less intuitive (but more mathematically quantifiable) idea of a Maxwellian "field." Then the idea of a field was seen as ultimately superfluous and EM "waves" are no longer thought to be "waves" but quanta: particle-like entities that display wave-like characteristics (like interference) when subjected to measuring devices that measure wave-like characteristics.

                  A "quantum" of something does not require a medium in which to propagate, any more than a baseball requires some medium in which to travel.
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                  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                    Wrong. again.
                    The physical constant ε0, commonly called the vacuum permittivity, permittivity of free space or electric constant, is an ideal, (baseline) physical constant, which is the value of the absolute (not relative) dielectric permittivity of classical vacuum.

                    The permeability constant (μ0), also known as the magnetic constant or the permeability of free space, is a measure of the amount of resistance encountered when forming a magnetic field in a classical vacuum. The magnetic constant has the exact (defined)[1] value µ0 = 4π×10−7 H·m−1≈ 1.2566370614…×10−6 H·m

                    Yes there is no well defined term for what these quantum waves - wave in, but once again you are imposing CI, which is nonsense.
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                    • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                      >quantum waves

                      LOL!

                      First you wrote that everything would be found to be a "wave"; now you qualify that word by adding the important adjective "quantum". Guess what? A "quantum wave" is simply a "quantum" — a particle-like entity — that also has wave-LIKE properties.

                      It's not a "wave."
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            • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
              >This thread started with the question of whether the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM is consistent with Rand

              No, it started with your arbitrary assertion that the CI was inconsistent with 400 years of western science, which you incorrectly believe rests on mechanical determinism — a "clockwork universe."
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              • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                Newton was causal. Chemistry is based on causality, even Relativity is based on causality. You cannot point to a single science before the CI that was not based on causality and A is A.
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                • -1
                  Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                  >Newton was causal. Chemistry is based on causality, even Relativity is based on causality. You cannot point to a single science before the CI that was not based on causality and A is A.

                  (Yawn) The point is that CI is based on hypothesis/experiment. Ergo, it is consistent in that important regard with the last 400 years of western science. Mechanical causality might have been assumed at some point in the past, along with the conceptual metaphor of a mechanical clock symbolizing the smooth running of the universe, in which the state of everything at t=n will allow one to predict with 100% certainty the state of everything at t=n+1.

                  With more observations and more stringent experiments, it was discovered that the universe is not like that, and predictions at t=n+1 can only be approximated, or sometimes, not made at all.

                  None of this denies "A is A", which is, after all, an empty tautology. It does, however deny that mechanical clockwork causality holds supreme over everything. There are, of course, other kinds of causality.
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          • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
            yes, I do not exist randomly. A is not A occasionally. Prof. Beckmann clearly was a fan on the Copenhagen interpretation, which is inconsistent with Rand and 400 plus years of scientific scholarship
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            • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
              >yes, I do not exist randomly. A is not A occasionally. Prof. Beckmann clearly was a fan on the Copenhagen interpretation, which is inconsistent with Rand and 400 plus years of scientific scholarship

              As posted earlier, that's bunk. Whether the Copenhagen Interpretation is ultimately correct or not, it is not inconsistent with 400 years of western science, the essence of which is hypothesis+experimentation+revision of hypothesis (or throwing out the hypothesis); the essence of western science was never mechanical determinism. The idea of a "clockwork universe" was thrown out long ago.

              Now whether or not mechanical determinism is essential to Rand's metaphysics is a different issue from whether or not mechanical determinism is essential to 400 years of western science. If Objectivism really does assume, and rely on, mechanical causality as the only kind of causality operating in the universe, then it is not only over 100 years behind the times, but it is downright anti-scientific . . . and it has been justly accused of these things by a number of scientists who are otherwise sympathetic to other parts of Objectivism.

              And as Petr Beckmann points out, strict mechanical causal laws can always be derived from statistical laws (as an idealized case), the latter including much more information about multiple measurements of phenomena than a simple deterministic function.

              The main point of Beckmann's insight is that probability represents a real metaphysical fact in the universe, and is not some sort of blunt tool to help us out when we lack "exact" information about something.
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              • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                The only point of an experiment is the idea that it is repeatable. The point of a scientific theory is to discover the underlying principles of why it is repeatable. Other than the uncertainty principle their is nothing else in all of science that suggests that things are not causal and repeatable. The whole basis of statistics is a lack of knowledge about a system.

                Prof. Beckmann is just wrong and I will take Einstein, Schrodinger, and Mead over Prof. Beckmann.
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                • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                  >>The only point of an experiment is the idea that it is repeatable.
                  No experiment is precisely repeatable. Even just asking two people to measure the length of the same object with identical rulers will yield slightly different results. The question then becomes, are these differences significant?

                  The point of an experiment is as an attempt to falsify the hypothesis. If the experiment fails to falsify the hypothesis (that is, if the experiment "succeeds"), then the hypothesis can tentatively be held as "true" until a stricter experiment can be devised that would falsify the "true" hypothesis (usually by now called a "theory").

                  Karl Popper is correct: experiments are attempts at refuting a hypothesis.

                  >The whole basis of statistics is a lack of knowledge about a system.

                  As posted previously, statistics is not the same as probability, but in any case, the universe is not a mechanical clock running like a machine (comforting as that metaphor is to Objectivists and other philosophical materialists). The argument of quantum physicist Alfred Landé known as "Landé's Blade" shows in a logically irrefutable way that statistical (or probabilistic) descriptions of many phenomena can only be replaced by other statistical (or probabilistic) descriptions of those phenomena as we descend to ever smaller elements of the system we're trying to describe, and as we employ ever finer measuring instruments. Irrespective of how much knowledge we gain of the system's initial conditions, we never reach a point at which a statistical (or probabilistic) description can be replaced with a single, certain, deterministic function. And this is as true of simple coin tosses as it is of something like radiactive decay.

                  The uncertainty is not something inherent in a coin qua coin. The uncertainty is an inherent property of the *system*: coin+arm+toss+gravity+air-resistance. Even if, hypothetically, we could know the exact mass and center-of-gravity of the coin, the precise force exerted by an arm (including all muscle movements it might involuntarily make), the exact gravitational flux at a precisely located point, and the precise air resistance, the odds of the coin landing heads or tail are still an indeterminate 50/50.

                  Conclusion: statistics and probability give us real knowledge about the real world, and in many cases, gives us the only kind of knowledge made possible by the very nature of the entities interacting with one another in a *system*. Thus, neither statistics nor probability is a poor-man's placeholder for "real" knowledge of a single-value deterministic kind, in which we apply some function (f) to a variable (x) and confidently arrive at one, and only one, predictable answer.

                  That's a fantasy that makes philosophical materialists feel better about themselves ("whew! I'm sure glad I live in a universe that is 100% predictable and knowable! Otherwise . . . who knows? Anything could happen!"), but it just doesn't happen to be the real universe in which we live.
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                  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                    Wrong. You are confusing measurement error with repeatability. If experiments were not repeatable then we could lean nothing about the world.
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                    • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                      >You are confusing measurement error with repeatability. If experiments were not repeatable then we could lean nothing about the world.

                      Grab a box of tissues because this will make you cry:

                      At some point, so-called "measurement error" becomes "experimental unrepeatability."

                      When your measurements eventual become so precise as to fall outside the margins of error you have established for yourself in previous measurement, then the original experiment — using the new, more precise tools — not only cannot be repeated, but will be seen as having led to a mistaken conclusion (or will be seen as being true only with a more limited context than originally thought).

                      In any case, the argument in "Landé's Blade" shows that statistical/probabilistic situations (radioactive decay, coin tosses, weather patterns, economic cycles, etc.) are completely describable by means of statistics and probability, and that no matter how far back you claim to push the causal chain, you can never — short of an impossible omniscience — replace that statistical/probabilistic description with a mechanically causal one of the form y=f(x), in which some function acting in a variable, x, uniquely determines some final value, y.

                      "Landé's Blade" has nothing to do with measurement error. In fact, it assumes, hypothetically, perfect 100% certain knowledge at each point of the analysis.
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        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
          >because we cannot know all the conditions (usually initial conditions) of a system.

          Actually, the reason is that the initial conditions are often themselves statistical in nature, and not absolutely determined. This is built into the identity of the **system**.

          It's philosophically naive to assume that statistics and probability are placeholders allowing us to deal with a presumed lack of knowledge regarding absolutes. In many systems, there are no absolutes. And that's part of the **identity** of the system itself.
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  • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
    >>>I think it is fair to say that Rand drew upon the ideas of Locke and Darwin,

    Darwin? She openly asserted that she knew little of "Darwin's theory" at a Ford Hall Forum lecture she gave. Note the word "theory". She never claimed evolution (specifically as conceived by Darwin) was a fact. Additionally, Darwinism is contrary to Aristotelianism; if Rand sided with the latter, she could not have sided with the former.

    >>>The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is in complete contradiction with Rand and 400 years of western science.

    Bunk. Four-hundred years of western science are founded on the non-Aristotelian principle of hypothesis plus experimentation to test the hypothesis. Aristotelian science is based on logical demonstration: locating the presumed "essence" or "essential characteristic" of phenomena.

    Objectivists will have to accept the idea that randomness (or "chance") is itself a real causal principle in the universe — along with strict mechanical determinism and purposeful goal-directed action — and that their assumption that all statistical explanations can eventually be reduced to, and replaced by, strictly deterministic ones (in which the final state of a particle, or system of particles, at t=n, can be predicted with 100% certainty, by knowing with 100% certainty the state of the particle, or system of particles, at t=0 and some physical law, expressed by a mathematical function that describes the behavior of the particle for any value of "t") is a fantasy. Many statistical explanations can only be replaced by other statistical explanations, **ad infinitum**, and no state is ever reached in which the statistics can be abandoned in favor of a "certain", deterministic law. This is by the nature of things, and not because of a presumed lack of knowledge.

    Additionally, one question asked by an audience member to Leonard Peikoff at one his "Philosophy of Objectivism" lectures in New York City many years ago — with Ayn Rand in attendance (sitting in the audience holding hands with Frank O'Connor) — was whether there can be any such thing as an "Objectivist science." Peikoff said, "No." Science is science. There can be such a thing as "Objectivist art" or an "Objectivist aesthetics," but not an "Objectivist science." There is no "Objectivist physics" vs. "Quantum physics" or "Objectivist chemistry" vs. "Quantum chemistry."

    >>>If Objectivism is going to be a meaningful philosophy it has to be an open philosophy in the sense that it is not just about what Rand said – it is about the principles she laid out.

    If it is to be a philosophy at all, and not a cult or a religion, then Objectivists have to accept the idea that Ayn Rand *might* be wrong on this or that issue, or that her philosophy might be wrong on this or that issue.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
      Economicfreedom,

      I will break up my response between evolution and QM.

      Here is what Rand said (see the lexicon)

      Man’s essential characteristic is his rational faculty. Man’s mind is his basic means of survival—his only means of gaining knowledge . . . .

      In order to sustain its life, every living species has to follow a certain course of action required by its nature. The action required to sustain human life is primarily intellectual: everything man needs has to be discovered by his mind and produced by his effort. Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival.
      “What Is Capitalism?”
      Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 16

      Whether Rand admits it or not this statement is fundamentally consistent with Darwin and evolution. You could find almost the exact same logic in a book on evolution. . She was clearly influenced by the ideas of evolution and incorporated them into her ethics.
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      • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
        >Whether Rand admits it or not this statement is fundamentally consistent with Darwin and evolution.

        Nice digression. The lead post claimed that Rand "drew upon," i.e., made use of, ideas from Locke and Darwin, not that she was simply "consistent with" those ideas. I see nothing Darwinian in Objectivism as expressed by Miss Rand. Doubtless there are many admirers of Rand and Objectivism who adhere to Darwinism, and doubtless they read Darwinism into Objectivism (and Objectivism into Darwinism). But that's their problem.

        As for your Rand quote, note that it is also "consistent with" Sir Francis Crick's view that terrestrial life could have been intelligently designed by space aliens for reasons unknown. That, too, is "consistent with" Rand's statement that reason is man's essential nature and that he requires reason in order to survive. "Requiring reason to survive" does not automatically entail Darwinism.

        >You could find almost the exact same logic in a book on evolution.

        What logic? The idea that living things use their most effective attributes to survive and propagate is perceptually and experientially obvious and pre-dates Darwin by thousands of years.

        You have zero evidence that Rand was influenced by Darwinism. She probably had to read some Darwin in her university studies in Russia but that's about it. You're also a bit weak on intellectual history. Herbert Spencer's ideas on "survival of the fittest" appeared first; Darwin incorporated them into his ideas on biological speciation (so it's not really "social Darwinism," but "biological Spencerism"). What you're really saying, though you appear not to be aware of it, is that Rand was influenced by Herbert Spencer — which I believe she was not.

        >. . She was clearly influenced by the ideas of evolution and incorporated them into her ethics.

        Rational selfishness and egoism have nothing to do with Spencer's "survival of the fittest."
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        • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
          Economicfreedom,

          The idea that “In order to sustain its life, every living species has to follow a certain course of action required by its nature” this is consistent with Crick's is silly. Crick’s fundamental premise is not that all living species have certain needs in order to survive. But that is a basic premise of the selection principle of Evolution. You and Rand can deny it all you want, but that is like someone proving Pythagorean’s theorem, but saying they did not draw upon the ideas of Euclid, or calculating the escape velocity of an object from Earth but saying they did not draw from Newton’s ideas. The slight of hand is yours. The logic is clear.
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          • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
            >But that is a basic premise of the selection principle of Evolution.

            Not Darwinian evolution.The idea that living things use their most effective traits to maximize their survival was observed and appreciated since the Epic of Gilgamesh, 4,000 years ago. There is nothing specifically Darwinian about that observation. To claim that mankind only realized since 1859 (the year Darwin published "Origin of Species") that living things use what they have to survive is, well, silly.

            Furthermore, the basic premise of Darwinian evolution is not "survival of the fittest" but, 1) descent with modification from, ultimately, a universal common ancestor, 2) the modification occurring on its own, without being directed toward any goal or by any purpose, completely random and accidental, and 3) the descent occurring by means of something called "natural selection", in which blind, purposeless, material nature presumably selects a newly appearing trait resulting in a survival advantage (i.e., higher rates of offspring that live) for that particular organism.

            There is also nothing in your Rand quotation that contradicts Crick's statement, or is contrary to it, so while Rand herself might have disagreed with Crick, it couldn't be on the basis of philosophy: there is nothing "non-Objectivist" in hypothesizing that living organisms on Earth were intelligently designed by advanced intelligences. Crick made that statement because as a biochemist he realized that the Darwinian mechanisms (random mutation and natural selection) were inadequate to account for the kind of hierarchical organization life shows at the molecular level. His statement — coming as it does from a biochemist, a Nobel laureate, and a co-discoverer of the code-structure of DNA — is certainly startling, but there's nothing inherently silly or absurd about it. Conversely, Darwinian explanations for the creation of life from chemicals ("chemical evolution"), and the appearance of new forms of life through "descent with modification", ARE silly.

            Silly, as well as unscientific.
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            • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
              Yes there is. You are clearly postulating a deity, you are ignoring that is inconsistent with logic and reason and A is A.

              Also you statement that natural selection is random shows a profound lack of understanding of evolution. Selection is directed to those species best adapted to life. It is not random and is a very powerful optimization routine used by mathematicians.
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              • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                >Yes there is. You are clearly postulating a deity

                Crick's notion of intelligent aliens inventing terrestrial life has nothing to do with a deity. There's nothing irrational about the scenario of Dr. Frankenstein building his monster. Neither the doctor (the creator) nor his monster (the creature) violates "A is A."

                Many Objectivists wrongly believe "A is A" is a license to believe in a pure materialist metaphysics. Nonsense.

                >you are ignoring that is inconsistent with logic and reason and A is A.

                You're confused.

                >Also you statement that natural selection is random shows a profound lack of understanding of evolution.

                Try reading more carefully. At no time did I write that natural selection is random. I said that it was "blind" (i.e., it has no way of seeing what the *next* change will be, nor does it select a modification for the sake of anything in the future; by definition, it always selects for an immediate survival advantage, because natural selection only "knows" the present). I also wrote that it was "purposeless", which is another way of saying that it only selects for immediate survival advantage, not for any long-term goal or purpose.

                Darwinism is: random modification (via mutation of sequences along DNA or RNA), leading to some unpredicted and unpredictable modification in the organism; the modification is then "selected" by natural selection if it confers greater reproductive success than its earlier unmodified form, and greater reproductive success than species competing with it for factors such as food, space, sunlight, etc.

                Although natural selection is presumed to work in a kind of automatic "ratchet-like" mechanism, pole-vaulting the organism up "Mount Improbable" (Dawkins's metaphor), each new evolutionary step is presumed in Darwinism, by definition, to be unpredicted and unpredictable from its previous step: that's why the modifications — not the selection of the modification, but the modification (i.e., the mutations that presumably provide the new material for natural selection to act upon) — are said to be random. And since they are random, they are probabilistically independent from one another. That means each step of a Darwinian process would appear like this:

                [beneficial random mutation #1 : selected by natural selection] x [beneficial random mutation #2 : selected by natural selection] x . . . . etc.

                That the beneficial random mutation in each square brackets is selected is irrelevant. Since natural selection can only select something that first occurs by accident — randomly — there's no way to predict what the second bracket is going to be, based on what the first bracket already is.

                This is already a killer for the Darwinian thesis. If the chances of a positive mutation in DNA/RNA are, e.g., one-in-one hundred thousand, that's expressed as 1/10^5. If it's about the same for each square bracket, the odds of getting just 2 beneficial mutations selected to ratchet an organism up Mt. Improbable are 1/10^5 x 1/10^5 = 1/10^10, or 1 chance in ten billion. To radically alter one organism into another — let's say, e.g., a bear-like terrestrial organism into a whale-like aquatic animal — requires many thousands of mutations, not just 2. If it takes, realistically, 10,000 beneficial changes to turn a bear-like creature into a whale-like one, and if each beneficial mutation has about a 1/10^5 chance of occurring, and since mutation #2 cannot be predicted from the existence of mutation #1, and mutation #3 cannot be predicted from the prior existence of mutations #1 and #2, then the odds of the complete series occurring are (1/10^5)^10,000, which is 1 chance in 10^50,000 — a number that is effectively zero because there are [1 - (1/10^50,000)] chances of the series NOT occurring. That second number is very close to "1"; the first number was very close to "0".

                Also, given the fact that Darwinism is presumed, again by definition, to work incrementally (one random mutation at a time, each independent from the previous one), and gradually (taking many generations of procreation to "fix" the mutation as a bona fide new trait in the population), the theory has simply run out of time: the Earth is about 4 billion years old, that's only 4x10^9. Something with odds of 1/10^50,000 of occurring are not going to occur in a time period that is 41,000 orders of magnitude smaller. To think so would be to believe in mathematical miracles.

                Unlike Darwinist believers, I don't believe in mathematical miracles, nor do I believe in natural physical ones. When left by itself — without intelligent intervention, making things happen that ordinarily would not — nature always plays the odds.
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                • Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 4 months ago
                  Economic Freedom; >>"Crick's notion of intelligent aliens inventing terrestrial life has nothing to do with a deity. There's nothing irrational about the scenario of Dr. Frankenstein building his monster. Neither the doctor (the creator) nor his monster (the creature) violates "A is A." "<<

                  Where did the intelligent aliens come from? 'A = A'

                  >>"Although natural selection is presumed to work in a kind of automatic "ratchet-like" mechanism, pole-vaulting the organism up "Mount Improbable""<<

                  That statement or presumption does not flow from Darwin's Theory. It is dependent upon the 'nature' conditions of natural selection at the time of the particular mutation. Some 99% of all species that have existed on Earth are now extinct and it's estimated that some 10,000 per year go extinct. A ratcheting up to extinction doesn't seem to fit.
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                  • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                    >Where did the intelligent aliens come from?

                    In Crick's scenario, obviously from still earlier intelligent aliens, ad infinitum. "A is A" says nothing about infinite regression.

                    What "A is A" would preclude, however, is the materialist scenario — one that most Objectivists probably have faith in — where matter and energy presumably always existed (even though they are material effects, nothing apparently caused them), and contrary to a supreme natural law known as thermal entropy, they nevertheless contradicted that all-encompassing natural law and started organizing themselves into highly ordered hierarchical systems with multiple information feedback loops known as "biological organisms capable of reproduction."

                    "A is A" says nothing about infinity. It does say something about violation of natural law: it says it can't happen without violating identity.

                    Regarding ratchets:

                    That's Richard Dawkins' term, as well as the metaphor of pushing an organism up Mount Improbable.

                    As mentioned earlier, Darwin's original idea of natural selection exercising some sort of creative power over evolution is bunk. Most biologists today concede that natural selection is a conserving force, not a creative one. It function to weed out organisms whose newly appearing trait or traits (from mutation) cause it to deviate one way or the other from the mainstream of the original species population. It's a weeding-out mechanism to return a species to its norm; not a creative mechanism to maintain new traits that threaten to destabilize a given population by bringing into existence some new species.
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                • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                  EconomicFreedom,

                  Your idea that evolution is random shows that you do not understand the power of an evolutionary program to find an optimum solution. If you applied the same logic to it, they would not be useful in optimizing engineering solutions, but in reality they are one of the most powerful optimization algorithms. You idea also fails to take into account that which genes get expressed can be affected by the environment.

                  But more importantly your Creationist nonsense fails to take into account billion of facts, the explanatory power of evoloution and requires a deity. None of which are Objectivist or Randian.

                  People do not believe in evolution any more than they believe in gravity. They understand evolution.
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                  • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 4 months ago
                    dbh is referring to 'genetic algorithms', a technique making use of randomness (corresponding to mutations) for producing designs. It is very useful on some kind of problems where other known methods are impractical/expensive. One successful application I know of was in designing a large piping network for water supply. As stated it is a mimic of evolution by natural selection.
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                    • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                      >>>As stated it is a mimic of evolution by natural selection.

                      GAs have been around for a long time, and they all suffer from the same problem: to the extent that they "prove" natural selection really does work, their designers have all included some kind of forward-looking, front-loaded coding, which biases the selection process toward a pre-ordained result; conversely, to the extent that the code really does make each modification random, and each selection certain, the results have been gibberish.

                      By the way, most biologists today believe that natural selection is strictly a "weeding out" process: it functions to remove organisms whose random modifications have strayed too far from the statistical norm of the overall population. Thus, natural selection no longer has the "ratcheting up Mt. Improbable" that it had in classical Darwinism.
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                      • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                        You are forgetting all about the mixing function (mating). You are not interested in the truth, you ignore all the evidence in favor of evolution, which is overwhelming and then suggest it has not solved everything so it must be wrong.
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                        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                          >you ignore all the evidence in favor of evolution,

                          There is none. Cite ONE example of evidence in favor of Darwinian evolution.
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                          • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                            To even make that statement is outrageous. All of genetics is overwhelming evidence of evolution. But even the most ardent Creationist does not deny the basic tenants of evolution which are roughly:
                            1) Natural Selection. Even a creationist will not try to plant a palm tree in northern Alaska
                            2) Mixing (mating) that offspring are not exact copies of either parent.
                            3) Mutations. Some offspring have features that are not part of either parent.

                            What creationists don't like is the logical conclusions this leads to.
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                            • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                              >To even make that statement is outrageous.

                              You're welcome!

                              >All of genetics is overwhelming evidence of evolution.

                              Not evolution by any sort of Darwinian process of random mutation and natural selection.

                              1) The key discovery in genetics was that inherited traits are recorded in DNA using an alphabet of 64 codons that symbolically and **sequentially** represent the alphabet of 22 amino acids that are randomly floating around the cell's cytoplasm in a random **unsequenced** way. The codons never physically interact with the amino acids. They represent and "map to" the amino acids, but they never "determine" the eventual polypeptide sequence in any mechanically causal way. The relation between a codon such as "GCA" and the amino acid "alanine" is exactly the same relation that exists between a triplet like "***" and an English alphabetic letter like "S". "***" and "S" don't physically touch or interact; the first doesn't mechanically "cause" the second; the relation is formal code relation called "meaning": In Morse Code, the triplet "***" MEANS "S" in English. Similarly, in the Genetic Code, the triplet "GCA" MEANS "alanine".

                              Physical nature doesn't map symbols from one alphabet to symbols in another alphabet. Mappings between different alphabets are examples of codes, and codes are language-like inventions of mind.

                              Physical nature is entirely governed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics: thermal entropy, which adds randomness — literally "noise" — into any kind of ordered, hierarchical process (like life); noise *disrupts* feedback loops (required by living organisms); it doesn't create them.

                              2) The fossil record also shows evidence of evolution but not Darwinian evolution. In fact, the fossil record shows the opposite of Darwinian evolution.

                              The essence of the Darwinian story of evolution is the so-called "Tree of Life," with a single trunk buried deep in the ground (symbolizing the "Ur-Organism") with gradually diverging branches as we ascend (the height of the tree representing time), and the branches themselves diversifying yet more into branchlets and twigs representing the varies species we empirically find.

                              Unfortunately, the ***great majority*** of the node points — the points where one branch splits off into another branch — are missing; and these nodal-point fossils are assumed by Darwinism to be the "common ancestors" of both branches. Paleontologists used to think this was because the nodal fossils used to be there but were shifted, or destroyed by earthquakes or tectonic movements, etc., but ever since Niles Eldridge and Stephen J. Gould, they generally accept the idea that the missing common-ancestor fossils are missing because they were never there in the first place. This runs counter to what Darwin himself expected would be found, and runs counter to what any committed Darwinist would expect to be found based on Darwinian assumptions of small, incremental modifications over very long periods of time. If those assumptions were true, there would be clear fossil evidence of all those incremental changes between phylum A and phylum B. But these intermediate forms aren't in the fossil evidence.

                              Finally, the so called Tree of Life is, in reality, inverted: the deepest, oldest strata — found in the Burgess Shale in Canada and the Chengjiang formation in China — show lots of diversification among phyla (fundamental body plans) occurring more or less simultaneously in the geological record: a bunch of organisms with widely disparate body plans appear all about the same, with no precursors, and no intermediates between one body plan and another — gradually dying off and converging into fewer and fewer body plans. This "explosion of body plans", occurring in the Cambrian Era and often called the "Cambrian Explosion", runs completely counter to what one would expect with classical Darwinian assumptions. Under the latter, there ought to be a single life-form (or just a few life forms) giving rise to a plethora of many different kinds of life forms later on. Turns out it's the exact opposite. Life started out with wide disparatity, and gradually narrowed to various superficial diversifications among only a few basic body plans.

                              None of this "disproves" Darwinism in a formal, logical sense, but none of it offers any evidential support for it, either.
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                              • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                                EconomicFreedom,

                                Your attempt to support you faith and religion is silly. Why are you wasting your time on this site?
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                                • -1
                                  Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                                  >Your attempt to support you faith and religion is silly. Why are you wasting your time on this site?

                                  Nice little bit of denial there!

                                  The way I figure it, you are the only one expressing a belief in a faith: you believe in mathematical miracles. I don't. I go where the data lead me. Physical nature — enslaved by its identity to the 2nd law of thermodynamics — doesn't produce codes.
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                                  • dbhalling replied 6 years, 4 months ago
                            • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
                              You learned "science" in a publicly-financed government school. EITHER that works OR it does not. See here in The Gulch on Darwin:
                              http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/posts/a8...
                              and here on my blog:
                              http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2012/...
                              The existence of fertile "cross-species" (they claim) hybrids falsifies Darwinian Evolution. See here on the Gulch also about Epigenetics:
                              See here also linked to the Gulch from my blog about "Epigenetics."
                              http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2013/...
                              It is not surprising that we share 98.9% of our genome with chimpanzees. It is challenging to consider that we have about the same number of genes as mice and fish; but we have far fewer genes than plants. It is a high school science experiment to extract DNA from strawberries. Rather than a double helix, their DNA is wrapped in a quadruple helix. Obviously, the chromosomes and genes are only part of the picture.
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                              • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                                Mike, perhaps I don't know what you are driving at. But epigenetics has everything to do with genes. It has to do with what genes express themselves.
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                                • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
                                  Genes do not "express themselves." External switches turn genes off and and on. My point is only that Darwinina evolution is about half of an explanation. As amusing as it may be to trash out religionists, the truth is that they ASK the right questions about the holes in Darwinian evolution.
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                                  • dbhalling replied 6 years, 4 months ago
                                  • dbhalling replied 6 years, 4 months ago
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                            • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                              >1) Natural Selection. Even a creationist will not try to plant a palm tree in northern Alaska

                              And no one knew that until 1859, when Darwin published "Origin of Species"?

                              And thanks for reaffirming a point I've made several times in this thread: natural selection *weeds out* palm trees planted in Alaska; it doesn't create anything new, as Darwin mistaken believed.

                              2) Mixing (mating) that offspring are not exact copies of either parent.

                              But neither are they radically different from their parents, either — a little detail you accidentally-on-purpose forgot to mention. That baby tree tree-shrews differ in small details from their parents in no way means that after a million generations a baby chimp will emerge from a mommy tree-shrew's womb.

                              3) Mutations. Some offspring have features that are not part of either parent.

                              And those offspring with radically different features from their parents — such as mutant baby fruit-flies with an extra pair of wings (which don't function), or an extra set of feet growing out its head where antennae should be DON'T SURVIVE. The important lesson that you're denying is that radically different mutants are evolutionary dead-ends.

                              Can't help noticing that not only is your understanding of classical Darwinism sketchy, but your appreciation of the theory's fundamental inability to explain things like biochemical codes and the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record is utterly non-existent.
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                      • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 4 months ago
                        1. Genetic algorithms are not intended to nor do they prove biological natural selection. This is a technique for producing useful solutions to problems by step by step improvements. There need be no direction setting or bias, if the design team knew what to do they would do it, this technique uses randomness to produce steps and evaluates them as an improvement or not with selection criteria - the evaluation is not a directive.
                        2. 'most biologists', surely this is not given as an argument?
                        3. The environment changes, competitors change via the same process, what was good for the parents will not ensure the survival of the new generation who face new challenges. Some of the individuals who have characteristics far from the previous norm become the basis for the new and different norm that will succeed in the new conditions.
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                        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                          >2. 'most biologists', surely this is not given as an argument?

                          Just stating it as a fact. You can make of it what you want. If you wish to hold onto a notion of natural selection that is many decades out of date out of ideological loyalty to a philosophy of materialism, that's up to you.
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                        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                          &gt;1. Genetic algorithms are not intended to nor do they prove biological natural selection.

                          GAs certainly don't prove biological natural selection because they are always written with "front-loaded" information: the goal toward which the simulation is desired to proceed is written into he steps of the alorithm. A classic case is Dawkins' own simulation of "Methinks it is like a weasel." Conversely, if a simulation does not front-load a pre-ordained goal into its code, and really does generate random variations that are "selected" on some ad hoc idea of fitness, the result is computer gibberish.

                          &gt;This is a technique for producing useful solutions to problems by step by step improvements.

                          "Useful" by what standard? Either it is meant to simulate what purportedly happened in nature millions of years ago (and thus simulate the plausability of something called "natural selection") or it just isn't very useful. As I wrote previously, GAs are, indeed, useful, but not in the way you believe. They prove that evolution can work IF the end-result (the biological goal) is front-loaded into the algorithm from the start, which, of course, requires an intelligent agent to think up, or imagine, the goal. That's a very useful solution to the problem of origins, but it sure doesn't strengthen the case for Darwinism.

                          &gt;There need be no direction setting or bias,

                          No, but when there isn't a direction or bias, there is no useful result; when there is a direction or bias, there is a useful result. THAT is the useful solution to the problem of biological origins and speciation: randomness leads nowhere.

                          &gt;if the design team knew what to do they would do it, this technique uses randomness to produce steps and evaluates them as an improvement or not

                          Thanks for proving my point. There is no way EXCEPT by goal-projection and front-loading a bias and direction into an algorithm that a coder can know what is or is not an "improvement" or a "non-improvement" or what does or does not represent "fitness." We can claim to see it in nature because what nature presents to us is a given — the RESULTS of, presumably, some long series of experiments. Once we see a result, we of course, engage in tautology: "since animal X survived, it must be because it is fit; and how do we know it really is fit? Obviously, because it survived!"

                          Tautologies might be useful in logic and mathematics, but they are empty of knowledge when used in science. To claim "X survived because it was fit" and "X is defined fit because it survived" explains nothing, and adds nothing to our knowledge about X.

                          The fact is, the classical Darwinian notion of natural selection is that it works only at that very instant in which it confronts some mutation (which must be random, and therefore unforessen and unpredictable by natural selection). Thus, natural selection was originally assumed to work in a purely "ad hoc" manner, completely dependent on the environment-of-the-moment and the mutation-of-the-moment. There can be no "fitness function" that natural selection consistently makes use of; yet this is what is assumed by coders when they decide what is or is not biological "improvement".

                          I hope that explains why GAs prove nothing about evolution proceeding by any sort of Darwinian process
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                • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
                  Modifications can happen simultaneously. I never understood why it rules out a deity anyway, why wouldn't the deity provide the ability to respond to the environment? Yes I know that is not an objective statement. I have never seen proof that he does not exist.
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                  • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 4 months ago
                    Apart from thinkers such as humans, individual living creatures do not consciously adapt themselves to the environment. What happens is that offspring are close to but never identical to parents. (Sexual reproduction speeds up the differences). Mutation of genes allows for this inevitable change from one generation to the next. The offspring that are best suited to the environment breed the most. This process may not disprove the existence of all-knowing conscious supervisors but there is no need to call on such for explanation. If you insist on deities, you have to acknowledge the lack of foresight in that members of a generation may be less suited to their environment than their parents were, many individuals die before passing on their inheritance, even species die-out. All the evidence fits a random explanation.
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                    • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                      >This process may not disprove the existence of all-knowing conscious supervisors but there is no need to call on such for explanation.

                      Intelligent designers need not be "all-knowing"; they just need to know enough to counter the inevitable effect of thermodynamic entropy.

                      Life is not "extremely complicated chemistry". If it were just that, it would be completely governed by entropy considerations — which does, indeed, happen, but only after the organism is no longer alive. The chemistry of life, qua chemistry, is straightforward. Life is essentially a system of CODED CHEMISTRY — meaningful sequences of chemicals that specify other meaningful sequences of chemicals even though the two sets of sequences (call them "alphabets") never physically touch or interact in any way that could be called "chemical." The two obvious questions here are: how did each alphabet come into existence in meanigful sequences when the probabilities of forming gibberish sequences are far higher (this is the same question Chomsky and Halle asked about language)? and, how did one alphabet come to specify some other alphabet? I.e., how did the meaningful sequences get formed, and how did the code-relation between sets of sequences get formed? The questions are interrelated because the formation of meaningful sequences (in DNA nucleotides and in proteins) require the prior existence of a code relation; while the existence of a code relation requires the prior existence of sequences that are biologically meaningful, i.e., functional.

                      Code relations between two sequenced alphabets (codons on the one hand, amino acids on the other; or English letters on the one hand, dots and dashes on the other) require intelligence and cannot be accounted for by means of purely material interactions. The creation of a sequence known as "Galt's speech" cannot be explained by reference to the chemistry of ink and the chemistry of paper, despite the fact that Galt's speech is instantiated in ink on paper.

                      >If you insist on deities, you have to acknowledge the lack of foresight in that members of a generation may be less suited to their environment than their parents were, many individuals die before passing on their inheritance, even species die-out. All the evidence fits a random explanation.

                      Only you and dbhalling have insisted that "intelligence" necessarily entails "deity." I insisted merely on intelligence, irrespective of its source.

                      That individual members of a population might be more suited or less suited to a change in their environmental circumstances is a fact of experience known since time immemorial and is not specific to Darwinism. None of that answers the question of how a species originated, let alone how the first living organism originated. One could be an outright Bible-thumping creationist and readily admit (without contradiction) that finches with long beaks survived better in times of drought on the Galapagos Islands than finches with short beaks.

                      On the other hand, I wonder how many Darwinists will admit — let alone even being aware of the fact — that when drought ends on the Galapagos Island and the rains reapper, the "newly evolved" long-beaked finches disappear back into the extreme statistical minority of the overall finch population, and the short-beaked finches reestablish themselves as once again "the most fit." The moral of the story is as clear as it is embarrassing for the Darwinian hypthesis: despite a change in the environment, there has been zero net evolution over time; just a statistical fluctation about a mean.
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                      • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 4 months ago
                        A comment on just one aspect of the very long post of EconomicFreedom above, when I used the word 'dieties' I did so in the context of replying to the post of rlewellen who used the word 'diety'. My argument holds if 'dieties' is replaced by 'intelligent beings'. However, the process of evolution does not require and shows no evidence of intelligence. I read you argument to be the presentation of the hypothesis of intelligent design as independent of religion which takes the discussion too far away from the intent of the thread.
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                        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                          >However, the process of evolution does not require and shows no evidence of intelligence.

                          Huh? WHAT process of evolution? We don't see any such process in a laboratory, we don't see it in nature, and we certainly don't see it in the fossil record.

                          And regarding laboratory experiments, to the extent we see anything interesting — e.g., amino acids formed from reducing gases and electricity — we see it ONLY because (and precisely because) of the intentional, purposeful, intelligent intervention of the laboratory technicians who are helping the whole process along and directing it specifically toward chosen goals.

                          >I read you argument to be the presentation of the hypothesis of intelligent design as independent of religion which takes the discussion too far away from the intent of the thread.

                          Perhaps. My original intent, in any case, was to show that Rand was certainly not influenced by Darwin in her philosophy, and certainly not in the ethics of rational selfishness.

                          It is well known, though seldom pointed out, that laissez faire capitalism not only encourages competition, but it also encourages — and requires, in fact — social cooperationg via the division of labor. Additionally, as Rand pointed out (and economist George Reisman argued), the "less able" under capitalist division of labor profit personally from the productive achievements of the "more able." This is the exact opposite of a Spencerian/Darwinian "survival of the fittest" scenario.
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                      • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
                        That was superb! What are the two alphabets?. I want to be certain.
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                        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                          >That was superb!

                          Thanks, amigo!

                          >What are the two alphabets?. I want to be certain.

                          The genetic code is a mapping between two biochemical alphabets:

                          alphabet 1) 64 combinations of 4 nucleotides (also called "bases"): adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine arranged in groups of three. Each group of three is called a "codon" (a fundamental code-unit, or biochemical code-letter, which maps to an amino acid floating around freely in the cell cytoplasm outside the nucleus). The nucleotides in DNA are the "rungs" or "steps" in the DNA helix (the "banisters" that twist in a helical shape are a simple sugar called ribose) and are usually abbreviated by their first letters, ACGT. Though ACGT pair together in certain ways, the fact remains that any nucleotide can, in principle, be in any position along the helix, which means there are 4 possibilities (A or C or G or T) for the first part of a codon triplet, 4 possibilities for a 2nd part of a codon triplet, and 4 possibilities for a 3rd part of the codon triplet; the total number of possibilities being 4x4x4 = 64.

                          So the first alphabet is a 64-character alphabet of codons — each codon a triplet of bases — comprising the rungs of the DNA molecule.

                          alphabet 2) 22 amino acids used by biological organisms (humans only require 20 of these, but other species need one or both of the remaining two). The amino acids are:

                          1. Histidine
                          2. Isoleucine
                          3. Leucine
                          4. Lysine
                          5. Methionine
                          6. Phenylalanine
                          7. Threonine
                          8. Tryptophan
                          9. Valine
                          10. Alanine
                          11. Arginine
                          12. Aspartic acid
                          13. Cysteine
                          14. Glutamic acid
                          15. Glutamine
                          16. Glycine
                          17. Proline
                          18. Serine
                          19. Tyrosine
                          20. Asparagine
                          21. Selenocysteine
                          22. Pyrrolysine

                          Each of these amino acids floats around in the cell body (if they are "essential amino acids" they come from food, or some outside source; if they are "nonessential", they are manufactured from scratch by the organism's own biochemistry). Think of them as if they were individual letters stamped on wooden blocks; they are potentially words, but not without being connected into a meaningful sequence.

                          Each codon in DNA symbolically represents one of those amino acids (in fact, there's a lot redundancy built into the codon alphabet: several different triplets might symbolically represent one and the same amino acid). For example, a particular codon triplet might be "Guanine-Cytosine-Adenosine" abbreviated "GCA", which would be three rungs (considered as one unit) in sequence along the DNA helix. That triplet — "GCA" — symbolically represents the amino acid "alanine" floating around somewhere in the cell's cytoplasm.

                          The way the genetic code works is like this:

                          The DNA molecule splits down the middle and imprints one side of itself — with all the triplet codons — into a molecular template called "messenger RNA" or "mRNA." mRNA is simply a single strand, not a double one (there's also a slight chemical change to one of the nucleotides, with thymine in DNA being replaced by uracil in RNA). mRNA then literally wiggles out like a snake from the nucleus through a port-hole that opens up, and wends its way to cellular machine called the ribosome. The ribosome is very much like an old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape recorder: mRNA threads itself into one opening in the ribosome (think of the opening as something like the "play head" in those old tape recorders), and the ribosome "reads" each triplet codon symbolically representing an amino acid. Another kind of RNA called "transfer RNA" or "tRNA" attaches to each amino acid, and ***in response to*** each codon in mRNA, hauls the amino acid into another opening in the ribosome where a water molecule is removed and a cellular glue called a "peptide bond" is stuck on one side. The ribosome then "reads" the next codon triplet in the mRNA sequence and the next bit of tRNA hauls the corresponding amino acid into the ribosome, where, again, a molecule of water is removed, and it is stuck onto the tail end of the first amino acid by means of that peptide bond.

                          I'll link to some computer animations showing this process, but in case you were wondering, it all happens QUICKLY.

                          Coming out of the other side of the ribosome is this stuck-together chain of amino acids (technically called "amino acid RESIDUES" because the water molecules have been removed) sort of like a tape coming out of an old fashioned stock-ticker machine. After several hundred amino acid residues have been stuck together, the ribosome eventually "reads" a codon triplet whose meaning it interprets not as a command to retrieve another amino acid but, rather, as a command to STOP reading! At that point, it "snips" the string of residues — now called a "polypeptide" — and sends the polypeptide into another organelle called the Endoplasmic Reticulum where the specific sequence of amino acid residues interact with either water molecules or lipid molecules and folds into a complex 3-dimensional shape. The shape is determined by the sequence of amino acid residues. Once it folds correctly it can be called by its proper name: a protein. The protein molecule is then hauled by enzymes called "chaperones" to specific parts of the organism, depending on the kind of protein (blood, eye, bone, muscle heart, etc.)

                          Bizarre and amazing, no? Yet the really amazing part is this (and it's important to keep this mind):

                          At no time does mRNA (or its parent molecule, DNA) ever physically touch or materially/chemically interact with the amino acids! They are two separate physical realms, each represented by two separate alphabets: the codons by a 64-symbol alphabet (4x4x4); the amino acids by a 22-symbol alphabet (listed above).

                          The sequence of codon triplets along DNA (and mRNA) precisely corresponds to the sequence of amino acids that will be hauled by tRNA into the ribosome and "glued" together with peptide bonds to form polypeptides that will fold and become functional proteins.

                          In sum:

                          The genetic code is a real, true code — just like Morse Code, or ASCII computer code. It is a mapping — a relation — between 64 possible kinds of codon triplets sequenced along DNA inside the nucleus, and 22 possible kinds of amino acids, floating around in the cell body outside the nucleus. The genetic message is sent by DNA through a communication channel called "mRNA", which travels from inside the nucleus to outside the nucleus where its message is literally read off by a tape-recorder-like organelle called the ribosome. The ribosome, in concert with specific enzymes and specific "tRNA's", locate and transfer free-floating amino acids to the ribosome, which then puts them into a functional sequence (like Scrabble letters being tumbled in a rotating drum, with a hand reaching in and grabbing *specific* letters and putting them into functional sequences we call words).

                          Here are some computer simulations you might find interesting (and entertaining):

                          http://www.dnalc.org/resources/3d/Transl...

                          http://www.dnalc.org/resources/3d/16-tra...

                          http://www.wiley.com/college/boyer/04700...
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                    • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                      In addition, some genes are only expressed as a result of a environmental stress. (this might not be exactly how a biologist would say it) But this means there is much more adaptability of species organism than just random changes and more than just mating (mixing).
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                      • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                        >some genes are only expressed as a result of a environmental stress

                        True. But those genes represent genetic information that is already in the genome, even though they are "switched off" until some environmental trigger switches them on. Since they are already part of the genetic operating system, they obviously are not the result of random mutations, and therefore represent a non-Darwinian cause of modification in the organism.

                        And, of course, while latent genetic information can help an organism adapt to some new environmental situation, it always remains the same organism it was before the new information became expressed: latent genes don't morph fruit flies into honey bees, bears into whales, or tree shrews into human beings.
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                  • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                    >>>Modifications can happen simultaneously.

                    So? Whether you toss two coins sequentially or simultaneously, the odds of any particular H/T combination are still the same: 1-in-4. That's because whether the tosses occur one after the after or both at the same time, they are each *independent*, so their respective probabilities still have to be multiplied.
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                  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
                    By"deity" do you mean only a physical entity more complicated than a human; or do you mean the lyrics to Haendel's "Messiah"? (... recognizing that the mystery of the trinity makes Christ the Creator.)
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          • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
            >>.but that is like someone proving Pythagorean’s theorem, but saying they did not draw upon the ideas of Euclid,

            As a matter of fact, there are many proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem that do not rely on Euclidean axioms of point, line, and plane.
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            • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
              Really show me one. A triangle relies on Euclidean axioms as does the right triangle.
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              • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                >Really show me one.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean...

                "The theorem has numerous proofs, possibly the most of any mathematical theorem. These are very diverse, including both geometric proofs and algebraic proofs, with some dating back thousands of years. The theorem can be generalized in various ways, including higher-dimensional spaces, ***to spaces that are not Euclidean,*** to objects that are not right triangles, and indeed, ***to objects that are not triangles at all, but n-dimensional solids.*** The Pythagorean theorem has attracted interest outside mathematics as a symbol of mathematical abstruseness, mystique, or intellectual power; popular references in literature, plays, musicals, songs, stamps and cartoons abound."

                Non-Euclidean Proofs of Pythagorean Theorem, see:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean...

                Scroll webpage and see:

                proof from spherical geometry
                proof from hyperbolic geometry
                proof from differential geometry
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                • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                  Actually if you read the article they are all based on a triangle in Euclidean space. The article clearly states "nd in fact, the Pythagorean theorem given above does not hold in a non-Euclidean geometry"
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                  • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                    >>>The article clearly states "nd in fact, the Pythagorean theorem given above does not hold in a non-Euclidean geometry"

                    If you understood what you were reading you'd grasp that these are non-Euclidean proofs of the Pythagorean theorem (just as the argument states), i.e., proofs that do not rely on Euclidean axioms to arrive at the same truth as one that does rely on Euclidean axioms.
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      • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
        >Whether Rand admits it or not this statement is fundamentally consistent with Darwin and evolution.

        Nice digression. The lead post claimed that Rand "drew upon," i.e., made use of, ideas from Locke and Darwin, not that she was simply "consistent with" those ideas. I see nothing Darwinian in Objectivism as expressed by Miss Rand. Doubtless there are many admirers of Rand and Objectivism who adhere to Darwinism, and doubtless they read Darwinism into Objectivism (and Objectivism into Darwinism). But that's their problem.

        As for your Rand quote, note that it is also "consistent with" Sir Francis Crick's view that terrestrial life could have been intelligently designed by space aliens for reasons unknown. That, too, is "consistent with" Rand's statement that reason is man's essential nature and that he requires reason in order to survive. "Requiring reason to survive" does not automatically entail Darwinism.

        >You could find almost the exact same logic in a book on evolution.

        What logic? The idea that living things use their most effective attributes to survive and propagate is perceptually and experientially obvious and pre-dates Darwin by thousands of years.

        You have zero evidence that Rand was influenced by Darwinism. She probably had to read some Darwin in her university studies in Russia but that's about it. You're also a bit weak on intellectual history. Herbert Spencer's ideas on "survival of the fittest" appeared first; Darwin incorporated them into his ideas on biological speciation (so it's not really "social Darwinism," but "biological Spencerism"). What you're really saying, though you appear not to be aware of it, is that Rand was influenced by Herbert Spencer — which I believe she was not.

        >. . She was clearly influenced by the ideas of evolution and incorporated them into her ethics.

        Rational selfishness and egoism have nothing to do with Spencer's "survival of the fittest."
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        • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
          What seems different in your point is that you hold the view that all species choose to use the trait or characteristic that helps them survive. Logically a bird does not choose it's colors. It is because they have a certain trait or characteristic that they do survive and reproduce. Man has reason therefore he can invent to survive.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
      Quantum Mechanics: A number of books (I can provide you with references) have come out discussing the problems of modern physics. Most physicists (Including me when I was in grad school in physics) never really accepted the Copenhagen interpretation of QM. This book (http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/heisenber...) explains that the Copenhagen interpretation of QM is not even well defined, but he summarizes the best interpretation as:

      “The Copenhagen interpretation leads to the most astonishing set of contradictions that ever existed in science. Those contradictions are usually presented under the name of paradoxes because that expression seems less absurd. In simple terms, the Copenhagen interpretation leads to observations that clearly imply three unsurmountable difficulties,
      a) negation of causality
      b) negation of realism and
      c) involvement of infinite and imaginary velocities or masses.”

      (Note the author was a Phd professor of physics in Canada)

      He points out that Heinsenberg stated:
      “Heisenberg [1.5] states clearly:
      "The law of causality is no longer applied in quantum theory."”

      I will not point out all the absurdities of the Copenhagen interpretation of QM but suffice it to say that many physicists never agreed with the Copenhagen including Einstein and Schrodinger. Feynman also struggled with the Copenhagen interpretation. A number of problems have arisen in QM because of this interpretation including where does spin come from, the infinite electric forces necessary for a point mass, and elephants spontaneously appearing out of thin air.

      My interpretation of QM was that the Heinsenberg uncertainty principle required a statistical interpretation. Note that there have been a number of critiques of the uncertainty principle and the best interpretation as of today is that it just a result of a wave as opposed to the point mass of the Copenhagen interpretation.

      The above cited book shows that the Copenhagen gang drew heavily on the philosophy of Kant, Hegel and Berkley (I do not know of him). The also drew heavily on the philosophical atomists from Democritus on. However, neither the math nor experimental evidence required this interpretation.

      My personal opinion is that we will find that ultimately everything is a wave and not a point particle.

      In conclusion the Copenhagen interpretation of QM flies in the face of 400 years of western science that A is A and that causality exists. In fact a literal interpretation of Copenhagen interpretation leads to the absurd result that there is no causality, so anything can happen. This defeats the whole concept of experimental science and like other proponents of irrationality even the proponents did not take their ideas seriously.
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      • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
        That was fascinating and thought provoking. I have watched experiments and read about experiments where people have reached conclusions and I wasn't convinced. I thought I was being too rigid and in a way I was, but I wanted to find the whole truth, they wanted to find anything something. Edit 1 Thank you.
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      • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
        >>>Quantum Mechanics: A number of books (I can provide you with references) have come out discussing the problems of modern physics.

        A number of books have come out discussing the problems with Newtonian physics. All paradigms, assumptions, and axioms have problems.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
          EconomicFreedom,

          You did not address the argument instead you made an ad hominem attack and then attempted to wash away the problem by saying all scientific theories have problems. Deal with the actual issue of the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM, which does purport that causality does not exist
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    • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
      I can understand why he would say there can be no objectivist science if he thought science must be quantitative to be science, science would stand on it's own.. I have seen many experiments that give qualitative results that I would not call science, I am thinking of Psychology.
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  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago in reply to this comment.
    First of all that is what the term express means, you are talking about the mechanism. Second of all creationists do not ask the right questions, they bury their collective heads in the sand, deny the overwhelming evidence for evolution and then postulate a non-falsifiable solution. It is just religion and faith. Third epigenetics does not disprove evolution, it just modifies it. Just like Einstein's relativity did not disprove Newton, he just modified our understand at high speeds, high gravity. Epigenetics provides an additional path for change. However, the underlying gene has to be available. It would be interesting if by epigenetics you could change a fertilize egg into another species, but I am unaware that this has been accomplished. There have been proposed experiments to do so based the theory of recapitulation, which according to wikipedia is discredited.

    Biology is not my expertise, but science in general is my expertise and I generally know when people (creationists, AGW, Ozone holes, DDT) are spewing BS and pretending it is science.
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    • -1
      Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
      >but science in general is my expertise

      ???

      I was unaware that there's such a subject as "science in general."

      Do you have a Ph.D. in "science in general"?

      Just wondering.
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      • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 4 months ago
        The attempt at put-down is noted but fails as 'science in general' had no capitals.

        Many contributors on this forum get it wrong:
        There is too much of referring to experts, it does not work as I consider my experts are more expert than are your selection.
        Better, back up any assertion with argument rather than by appeal to experts.
        Argument does not mean long boring quotations from other sources.
        If defending a statement cannot be done without a long outside quote or long boring excess of words, let it go, this forum is not the place.
        Insults and bad language are not argument.
        Since it is fun to break my own rule here is a quote from Einstein when told that 100 physicists had said his theory was wrong,
        'But just one would have been sufficient ..'
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 4 months ago
    I don't think any philosophy can exist if it's considered closed, i.e.. no such thing. A philosophy is clearly a set of principles used in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. In order to 'close' a philosophy, one would have to believe, conclude, assume that everything is known that can be known. I can't imagine any rational thinker that could conceive or concede that every question has been asked and then answered.

    Only in religious belief could one possibly find the of such a thing.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
    Generally, the Ayn Rand Institute holds that Objectivism is found in the compiled works of Ayn Rand and those whom she sanctioned, such as Leonard Peikoff. The Atlas Society holds that the foundation of Objectivism established by Ayn Rand leads to questions and answers that she did not consider, or considered incompletely. Rand herself demurred on capital punishment and gun control. In public forum Q&As she said that she had no answer and that it remained for the future to solve the philosophical challenges those problems.
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    • Posted by $ Snezzy 6 years, 4 months ago
      Ayn Rand herself, and Leonard Peikoff in agreement with her, said that Objectivism is HER philosophy.

      Rand opposed those who tried to steal from her. Some people used her books as the basis of their own cinematic productions without permission. "I'll sue you!" was what she said to an acquaintance of mine who tried that.

      Others tried using her name as justification for their own set of ideas that differed from hers. She regarded that as theft, too.

      Peikoff once said that you are free to come up with your own philosophy based on Rand's ideas. But please do not call it Objectivism. "Call it," he said, "Gloopism."

      The "open" versus "closed" argument is a diversion from the actual question: "Is it right to attribute to Rand our own ideas that were not hers, just because we feel she probably would have agreed with us?"

      If by "Objectivism" you mean "the philosophy of Ayn Rand" then anything that is NOT her philosophy is not Objectivism, regardless of whether it is true or not. If (on the other hand) you are using some other definition, then you can try to claim anything at all as objectivism, but please do not try to convince me that it's what Rand would have thought. Indeed, I'd rather you call it gloopism or "non-Randian imitation Objectivism", to avoid confusion.
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      • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago
        Sneezy,

        If I solve a problem using Newtonian physics that Newtonian did not solve am I wrong for saying it is part of Newtonian physics? I understand that Rand was burned and I also understand the frustration of people subverting ideas, however if Objectivism is to mean anything then it has to be about the logical system not about a historical accounting of what Rand said. (Marx purposely made his labor theory of value sound like Locke’s Labor theory of property; Antitrust advocates pretend their ideas are the same as the Statute of Monopolies, Liberals pretend that their ideas are consistent with the classical liberals of Natural Rights because they stole the label liberal)

        Neither Rand nor ARI can control the world and what it will do with her ideas (anymore than Newton or Euclid could control the world). But the appropriate approach is to point out whether the ideas are consistent with Objectivism, not to create a museum around Rand’s ideas.
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        • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
          Newton did not brand, trademark, or market his work. Ayn Rand did. From your writing here, you seem to be an advocate for the current system of intellectual property laws. I once had an article taken by a major publisher who noticed that it lacked a copyright statement. Before the USA joined the Berne Convention, some lawyers insisted that a copyright statement without the proper C-in-circle was not valid and their clients could take the work as uncopyrighted. We know the difference between the letter of the law and the spririt of the law. So, too, here. "The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies" is not called "Different and Perhaps Better Objectivism." (The writer's name is Snezzy, not Sneezy.)
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          • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
            >Newton did not brand, trademark, or market his work. Ayn Rand did.

            Trademark? You mean "copyright", no?

            Newton's "Principia" was doubtless published by the "Crown" and protected by royal copyright decrees.

            Regarding Rand's works:

            They are, of course, copyrighted, but you cannot copyright an idea; you can only copyright a concrete work: a book, an essay, a play, a screenplay, etc. The idea that "concepts subsume units" is not, per se, copyrightable, even though you can copyright a monograph with the title "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" which contains that idea.
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            • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
              I meant specifically a trademark or brand. I meant that Newton did not claim any kind of "Newtonism" as Ayn Rand did indeed claim "Objectivism." In my posts I meant specifically that just because even if you not include a circle-in-a-C or a formulaic prayer of Registered Trademark or whatever, you still have a common law right to your intellectual property. So, "Objectivism" may well be just what Ayn Rand said it was, and nothing less or more.

              If you want to start with her principles and show that this or that is or is not consistent with "Objectivism" that is a different issue entirely.
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          • Posted by khalling 6 years, 4 months ago
            No one is suggesting theft of copyrighted work - so why do you suggest such? Are you accusing those at the Atlas Society of copyright infringement? that would be the only logical conclusion I can come up with from your statement
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            • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
              You are not jumping to a conclusion, but jumping to premise - which is not there. I just spent some time on the Chevrolet website looking for a "Chevy" logo. I also went to this page for General Motors trademarks:
              http://www.gm.com/content/gmcom/home/too...
              You might find a lawyer who will argue your right to make anything you want and call it a "Chevy." Aficianados care about the relationship between Messrs. Rolls and Royce. Most people call the car by the first name - as would perhaps a capitalist - but Mr. Royce was the engineer. Would you build and market one of your own in his name as a tribute or honor to him?

              Read my initial answer to the original question. I understand and appreciate the cogent points made by Snezzy. I also note that Rand herself left some questions open for the future.

              A few years ago, Dr. Peikoff suggested that online forums for discussing Objectivism reward rapid-fire responses rather than integrated writings. I am not advocating anything (or accusing anyone) but only framing a problem.
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              • Posted by khalling 6 years, 4 months ago
                If a problem, start with TAS, since their organisation frame the concept of "open "
                The philosophy is to be lived. That includes testing its premises and working with it. Rand's works are out here for all of us to read and interpret. We can surely publish our interpretations or our applications of Objectivism without diluting its "brand." Dr. Peikoff can reward whatever he likes, but individuals will necessarily integrate a philosophy if it is indeed important, that's reasonable.
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              • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
                >Dr. Peikoff suggested that online forums for discussing Objectivism reward rapid-fire responses rather than integrated writings

                Which make online forums closer in spirit to spoken discussion and debate — something Peikoff has avoided his entire career, preferring contexts in which he can tightly control the discourse.

                Ayn Rand was very much the same way, as her unprofessional (and frankly, immature) reaction to John Hospers' Q&A after her lecture at Harvard.
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      • Posted by khalling 6 years, 4 months ago
        In exploring an area further or looking into new areas using the Principles of Objectivism one acknowledges the work in said area within the framework of Objectivism. To ignore or worse consciously avoid revealing using the principles because Rand said Mine! will entomb the philosophy in my opinion. It was developed, use
        it! There are many areas of study which would benefit! One does not need the sanction of Peikoff or ARI in order to apply the philosophy correctly. Using the philosophy is not theft. It is intellectually honest and important for a scholar to credit
        Where his methods originated. And he is free to pursue using those methods in a new field. The study is his and the philosophical method is Aristotilian or Objectivism for example. Atlas Society does great work - but I will assessed that on my own, I don't need Rand's word on it -she is no longer alive. And when Peikoff is gone -what then? And when his appointee is gone? It sort of reminds me of picking a pope...
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        • Posted by $ Snezzy 6 years, 4 months ago
          Rand never said that you should not use her philosophy. She was, though, ever alert for attacks on her ideas, especially those coming from purported friends. To this day the worst enemies of Objectivism are those who misquote Rand, whether deliberately out of malice, from mere ignorance, or even from misplaced agreement. She was, if I remember correctly, constantly beleaguered by conservatives who told her that Objectivism would be substantially improved if she would base it on God. Many, including people I once respected, interpreted Objectivism as a kind of hedonism, substituting emotion or even drugs for reality.

          These latter "friends" of Objectivism included sponsors of the NBI Lectures long before 1968. They used Rand's good name and good philosophy, with permission stolen from her, to their own perverse ends. How? Well, the use of heroin makes you feel heroic, and can make you feel truly in tune with Rand's heroic characters. Then it kills your mind and your body.

          Rand saw through many (but not all) of the hangers-on who tried to use her. She also likely misjudged some true friends while trying to rid herself of leeches. That's all history now, and Rand herself is gone. The parasites persist, as do those who are truly in fear of Rand and will misrepresent her and her philosophy whenever possible. Think of the number of people you have met who "hate" Rand only because they repeat what someone told them, and who have never read any of her own words.

          If you value Rand's unique philosophy you will not allow yourself to accept a modified or watered-down version. If you have corrections or additions to her thought (and all of us have, don't we?) you will make them your own, claiming your own work as yours, with proper reference to the sources from which you derived them.
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          • Posted by khalling 6 years, 4 months ago
            Of course, however, in the article I cited above, the ARI is highly critical of Kelley, and by extension TAS. In everything I 'be read by Kelley and other scholars attached to the site, this is handled professionally.
            There is much focus on what Rand said outside of the formal philosophy. I assume to explore intent. The philosophy is distinct from Rand and her opinions and it is reasonable to disagree if one believes she made mistakes. Clearly Kelley is one and I think it is immoral for his accusers to assert he simply wanted to CO -opt Rand's name and philosophy to elevate his intellectual standing. We particularly appreciate his work on Rand vs Hayek
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          • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
            It is important to remember she was a human, though intelligent and deep thinking. I would lean toward the closed Objectivism but I live my life myself. I doubt anyone can make every decision based solely on her point of view. She still represents the best person to review since she spent so much time building the foundation. I want to thank my John Galt (khalling) Ragnar,(Dbkhalling) Dr. Akston(EF) Midas Mulligan(Seezy) and .Ellis Wyatt(MikeMoratta and Zepharim) for showing me the Galt. Yes indeed I saved a place for Fransisco.
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            • Posted by $ Snezzy 6 years, 4 months ago
              It is totally impossible to make all your decisions "based on her point of view" because that kind of second-hand living is expressly rejected in her philosophy. Asking yourself, "What would Ayn Rand do?" or "What would John Galt do?" avoids the kind of thought, the non-contradictory indentification, that Rand recommends. It puts "What do others think?" ahead of "What must I know, what do I know, and how do I know it?"

              "What would John Galt do?" might be a guidepost, a temporary assistance to help you find your way, but it is not the highway. As an example, in structural engineering you may learn the principles of bridge design from your professors, but your designs must be based on your knowledge of the strength of materials, not on your beliefs of what your professors might think of your designs. You might enjoy contrasting the methods for bridge design and construction of Sir Thomas Bouch (Tay Bridge disaster) with those of John Roebling (Brooklyn Bridge).
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
    We have Christians here in the Gulch who maintain that collectivism, altruism, and mysticism are OTHER PEOPLE'S Christianities; and that true Christianity is not what most people claim it is. In an essay on what Existentialism is and is not, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that a gossip columnist called himself "The Existentialist" because it sounded sordid. That, of course, contradicted Sarte's intentional works. Karl Marx wrote, "If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist." (Original: Ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste. Marx quoted and translated by Engels (in an 1882 letter to Eduard Bernstein) about the peculiar Marxism which arose in France 1882. Original: "Ce qu'il y a de certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste.")

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    • Posted by Hiraghm 6 years, 4 months ago
      I don't know of these Christians in the gulch; I do know of Christians who maintain that those are not rightly aspects of the Gospel.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 4 months ago
      I have heard Peter described as stubborn by one person and open minded by another. Both are plausible both have morality lessons.
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
        Just to say, I saw the movie "Peter and Paul" with Anthony Hopkins as Peter and it validated everything I always believed about "The Big Fisherman." Not to endorse any of the actual texts, but the subtexts are certainly about a man trying to lift himself one foot above the ground. I think that the actual books of Peter I and II were penned by Paul, but Paul could not submerge the man who was Peter.
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  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 4 months ago in reply to this comment.
    "Their arguments are unconvincing for a number of reasons. Epigenetic inheritance, like methylated bits of DNA, histone modifications, and the like, constitute temporary “inheritance” that may transcend one or two generations but don’t have the permanance to effect evolutionary change. (Methylated DNA, for instance, is demethylated and reset in every generation.) Further, much epigenetic change, like methylation of DNA, is really coded for in the DNA, so what we have is simply a normal alteration of the phenotype (in this case the “phenotype” is DNA) by garden variety nucleotide mutations in the DNA. There’s nothing new here—certainly no new paradigm. And when you map adaptive evolutionary change, and see where it resides in the genome, you invariably find that it rests on changes in DNA sequence, either structural-gene mutations or nucleotide changes in miRNAs or regulatory regions. I know of not a single good case where any evolutionary change was caused by non-DNA-based inheritance."
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/0...
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 4 months ago
    Scientists have bombarded drosophila melangaster with every known radiation and made them grow legs out of their heads -- but never created a new species of fruit fly. It is a tough problem. And Darwinian Evolution only defines it, not solves it.
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    • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
      Yep.

      Additionally — and, I believe, significantly — the modifications that scientists have caused to appear in fruit flies by means of radiation (extra sets of wings, legs growing out of the head, etc.) always made the flies either sterile, or just so butt-ugly that no other fly would agree to mate with it! So these mutants were all evolutionary dead-ends. Obviously, if Darwinian evolution were true, it could not have proceeded in that way.
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 6 years, 4 months ago
        Darwin proposed that evolution was a result of radiation bombardment?
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        • Posted by EconomicFreedom 6 years, 4 months ago
          >Darwin proposed that evolution was a result of radiation bombardment?

          Darwin proposed that randomly occurring modifications in an organism would provide the raw material from which natural selection would select for survival. Radiation was later discovered to be one method of creating modifications in the genetic makeup — the "genotype" — of an organism, especially if it is one that reproduces quickly (such as the fruit fly).
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