ID est

We have been talking about evolution a bit in the Communication Theory class, largely in the context of Axelrod and social simulation. Ryan took exception to an introduction to one of the chapters in the Kennedy book that is fairly dismissive of “creation scientists,” calling the treatment “borderline repulsive.” Kennedy writes

Incredibly, as the second millennium drew to a close, the State of Kansas Board of Education voted to eliminate evolutionary theory from the state’s elementary school curriculum. Polls showed that only about a tenth of Americans could wholeheartedly accept the premises of Darwinism, that life has evolved to its present state through natural selection. “Creation scientists,” whose conclusions are biblically predetermined and whose arguments are based on the absence of some “missing links,” ignoring the tremendous body of positive evidence that does exist, are cited in the media as if they were real scientists.

Let me begin with a brief exculpatory “this is not my thing” admission of ignorance. I am not a biologist, nor do I play one on TV. Despite a fairly broad range of majors as an undergraduate, I managed to escape organic chemistry completely.

Let me also state that the quote above is inflammatory, and that there are “real scientists” (whatever that means) who dispute evolutionary theory. There are a much larger group who have more subtle objections that have more to do with fine tuning than they do with baby+bathwater tossing.

Of course, there are also scientists — relatively reputable ones — who believe in things like pyramid power, psychokinesis, and a lot of other things. That said, science is a process of consensus, and the consensus is that “creation science” / “intelligent design” is nonsense. Two scientists — reputable or not — do not mitigate crackpottiness. Two hundred scientists may constitute a “movement” but they still haven’t escaped crackpottiness. It’s worthwhile to remember that most of the great scientific paradigm shifts were led by crackpots, but most crackpots don’t shift anything.

Again, my exposure to this area is not deep, and I’ve not read widely enough to give a completely informed opinion. I did hear an interview with Michael Behe, and if he accurately represented his argument, I don’t find it to be at all compelling. (Neither, by the way, do his colleagues.) Basically, it comes down to this: while natural selection is almost certainly a strong, or even dominant, mechanism for adaptation at the macro-organism level, it cannot account for the extraordinary complexity of bio-chemical interactions at the smallest level.

The problem is that ID folks don’t posit a good alternative, and fail to show that evolutionary processes are not at work. Their argument comes down to seeming intuitively wrong. The watchmaker analogy and Behe’s mousetraps are interesting examples. They are, it is claimed, “irreducibly complex,” and therefore clearly designed by an intelligent being and not evolved through some natural process. Of course, neither watches nor mousetraps came into being through a supernatural act. It doesn’t matter that they were designed by humans, if humans themselves were created through evolutionary processes. Intelligence itself is complex. But claiming that complex systems come about through (=”are created by”) complex systems in no way obviates the evolutionary argument.

Intelligent Design often tries to escape from the label of being faith-based science, by positing some intelligent designer. That this is a god of some sort is normally only very thinly veiled, though it may be the Flying Spaghetti Monster or aliens, or any other intelligent thing. But positing the need for intelligence and then saying “ignore the question of what that intelligence or intelligent being is” is intellectually dishonest.

Why? Because when we say that watches are designed by intelligent beings, we mean humans. And when we ask what it means to be intelligent (one of the central questions, for example, for SETI), it often defined by the ability to create something complex or behave in a complex way. Whoa. Say it with me: starts with a taut, and ends in a logy.

It would be different if we didn’t have a long history of attributing the unexplained to the divine. Simply saying “we don’t have an answer yet so the source must be supernatural” is not science. Failing to posit an alternative theory is not science. The aim of science is to explain. That explanation cannot be “because God said so”. Even if that is an interim explanation, the question quickly follows: what made God do that. Science does not accept the idea of an unmoved mover. And creation “science” in its many guises, proclaims just this.

Now, is it possible to be a person of faith and still be a scientist? Of course! My guess is that that a fairly large proportion of scientists are people of faith. But to be a scientist requires the pursuit and destruction of mystery. To the extent that religion requires the maintenance of mystery, it remains in conflict with science. In my experience, most religions rely on faith, on trust without verification. Scientists rely on a sort of leap of faith whenever they induce toward theory. But they also believe (and, as with religion, we can debate whether that belief is based on more than “blind faith”) that they have ways of verifying objectively that their induction represents a true and correct rendering of the world. That is, faith is used as a bridge, as leverage, as something to temporarily lean against rather than stand upon.

I mentioned after class that I am a theosophist most days and an atheist when the wind blows NNW. That is, I see god in the machine. I see no reason that god cannot be revealed rather than reviled in the complexity of evolution. I have difficulty understanding the religious rejection of evolution. The beauty and complexity of the natural world is not, in my opinion, a “creation” of god — it is god. It is pretty easy to believe in a great power and simultaneously believe in evolution. My god makes process, not just product.

The problem quickly comes down to the question of agency, something we have talked about a lot in this class. One of the classic aims of science was (and to a certain extend is) the ability to predict. Predictability suggests determinism, which leaves little room for human will. If “you” consist of the arrangements of your cells, perhaps with some special focus on the arrangements of cells in your brain, then where do you fall in love? If you aren’t making you do stuff, who or what is? Just as understanding the mechanisms of thought does not remove our humanity, understanding the mechanisms of evolution does not remove its divinity. The good news is that the real world is made up of complexity, and that complexity means that it is extraordinarily difficult to predict what the future will bring. Yes, the path of the universe may be spelled out in any instantaneous complete understanding of the world (cf. Laplace’s demon), but since that understanding is impossible, we cannot know what the future may bring.

Human agency exists through a lens, even when that lens is (literally) in the eye of the beholder. Fatalism doesn’t come naturally to most people and raises all kinds of interesting ethical questions. Can we believe either in human consciousness or a powerful, effective god if we conceive of the world as an evolutionary system? My guess is “no,” but the love of our selves and our gods doesn’t do much to undo the observation that the world evolves.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

14 Comments

  1. Posted 10/28/2005 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    You wrote:
    “That is, I see god in the machine.”
    I do too.

  2. Posted 10/28/2005 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Also, I recommend Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind. You will thank me.

  3. gmlk
    Posted 10/28/2005 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    For me, the main problem of evolutionist is that they have never proven that evolution works at all. They all just tend to show bone fragment A then B and then C, and come up which this idear that it all just sorts it self out. They never explain the method by which one goes from A to B to C, just say that it must have happened because how else would it have happend?

    It’s like a kind of Darwin of The Gaps: Have a gap in your theory? Just add evolution and the principle of self-organisation and all the gaps are neatly covered up. No need to proof anything because anyone who does not believe that this works is not really a serious scientist anyway.

    The other side does the same, only they add intelligent designer instead. I have the feeling that neither is really very scientific and that both are more about power then anything else.

    A problem which natural selection is that it’s just not enough: it can only optimise by weeding out the weak. It reduces but can not create anything new. It just optimises the current distribution of the available genetic features in the gene pool of a local group to the local environment. So where does the new stuff come from?

    All evidence show that mutations are in fact nothing more then signal noise. Nature filters out this noise as soon as posible, natural selection is here kind of the last line of defence against it. Mutations are either deadly, weakening or irrelevant. I have never seen any conclusive evidence that (some) mutation are (1) beneficial, (2) are passed on to offspring, and (3) accumulate in time. None!

    Common descent is often proven by pointing to the similarities between the DNA of separate species (definition nearly always unclear?). This however could also be explained by saying that the great programmer in the sky used shared libraries when he wrote that code. Funny things like residual body parts would then be expressions of dead code. Good to know we are in good company with this problem. :) So similarities are no proof of anything.

    To say that a house is build by a builder is true, regardless of the fact if we know the identity, the origin or the motivation of it’s builder. This information is not needed to make this statement. This statement is not even supernatural, unless the house is somehow supernatural.

    To say that a house came to be by a complicated series of more or less natural processes demands much more proof and evidence. It leaves little room for chance of free will: Somehow that house must have been inevitable from the beginning of time.

    Does the same which holds true for a house also hold true for the universe, earth and life? We need to find out — not by politics, religion, or philosophy — but by good honest science and some patience.

  4. Posted 10/28/2005 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Excellent post, by the way.
    Einstein believed in God. Many scientists, after they realize how complex life is and how perfectly natural selection has worked out, or after they see the complexity that the simple atomic model can create, end up being unable to avoid believing in God.
    Check out my URL for more on ID.

  5. alex
    Posted 10/28/2005 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    gmlk: A couple of things. The last three paragraphs leave me with a gap. The process is either natural or it is supernatural, unless you have some third option in mind. Since I don’t believe there is anything supernatural, that leaves me with a natural process. I am open to any natural mechanism that can be explained, including an evolutionary process, but I am unaware of any reasonable natural process besides evolution that accounts for the development of complex living structures.

    Second, every theory has gaps. The nature of understanding demands gaps. If evolution explained everything we would be all done, and science would be over. Not going to happen. Pretty much every scientific theory has restrictions on the way it can be observed. Nothing new there.

    That said, I think you are quite simply wrong when you suggest that mutations and crossover cannot create innovation. I’ll take this a couple of ways.

    The question comes down to something like one million monkeys typing. The idea that they can create Shakespeare’s great works is as obvious as it is improbable. Evolution is, at its heart, a way of increasing Shakespearian odds. Imagine that you have a way of providing feedback and training to the monkeys. Every time the monkeys produce something that “works” as literature, they get some bananas. Within a very short period indeed, you would have monkeys that are capable of typing English words exclusively, then English sentences exclusively. Providing this way of constraining the randomness to things that fit the environment, and then building on that fitness to create greater fitness, the idea that the monkeys, as a whole, will be producing fine literature seems extraordinarily credible. So, as a thought experiment, if monkeys can predictably be trained (given a large enough number of monkeys and a long enough period of training) to produce fine literature, it seems that the designer need not be that intelligent. (If the monkeys are the tripping point, replace them with any animal or machine capable of training.)

    So, if we cannot reject it out of hand, what about duplicating the process in non-biological systems. One of the articles we read in the class was Axelrod’s work on genetic algorithms for playing the prisoner’s dilemma. Note how he came to the evolutionary approach. First, he asked for intelligent designers to submit a set of programs that could most effectively play the PD. A large number of such PD-playing machines came from a number of very smart people™. But it turns out that evolving the machines leads to a better solution than designing them. In the end you end up with the Tit-for-Tat strategy beating out all comers. Coming up with a machine that plays Tit-for-Tat “accidentally” through noise in the DNA is not only possible, it’s pretty inevitable. In walking through the process of defining finite state machines on Wednesday night, we randomly flipped a single bit in the “DNA” of one of our finite state machines and when from another strategy to Tit-for-Tat. So, it seems pretty obvious that innovation can occur as a result of a noisy channel.

    That’s not the only case in which non-biological evolution demonstrates innovation. Take a look at some of the work on robot design (heck, start out by googling “genetic algorithm walking robot”), and you will find that engineers have in many cases accepted that genetics do a better job of controlling particularly complex processes than do the engineers themselves.

    So, I think it’s pretty clear that conceptually evolution works. The question is simply whether or not it explains some or all of the biological processes. I am not a biologist (IANAB), but I do trust that when 99.99% of biologists say they accept the evidence for evolution in biological systems to be compelling that I am going to think this probably has some validity to it.

    The problem seems to largely be one of public relations. Most biologists have no reason to engage the ID debate because it seems entirely irrelevant to them. The scientific literature is replete with examples of evolutionary processes, and there is no alternative explanation, so there isn’t any scientific grounds for even discussing ID.

    If ID is “we should be skeptical of evolution,” then I — and I suspect every biologist — is an IDer. But that’s not what it is, is it? It posits another explanation: that some invisible and immeasurable force, some supernatural force, came in and arranged matter in such a way that it was complex and functional. This is not science, this is literature. Pick your genre: fantasy, science fiction, horror, but not non-fiction. Once IDers have a theory as to how life was “created” then we have something to build on. But as long as they have no alternative explanation, as long as all they are offering is “it’s a mystery” then why even bother countenancing that?

  6. gmlk
    Posted 10/28/2005 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe in anything supernatural. I do believe in God. My God however is not supernatural. I know this position may seem strange. In short: The God I believe in is limited by the laws of nature and will always work within these laws. I don’t consider a tree to be supernatural, making a tree can be done within the laws of nature so you don’t need supernatural powers to do so. The same applies to all of the universe so God does not need to be supernatural. But that is enough theology for now. On with the science.

    I think nearly everyone would agree that natural selection is a very good explanation for the variation between different populations of any specie. If we can generalize it in to an explanation for the development of life and species is still open to debate.

    The process you describe works under situations where there is an external test requirement, in which case it often finds a very good solution to pass the test. I’ve used it myself often enough. It’s also more or less the basic scientific method: Take a educated guess, test if it works, go with what works, repeat until you’re happy with the result, publish your paper.

    Those monkeys of yours get a reward when their solution matches an external test. This test introduces (by defining a problem) external information and this process of evolution is very good at finding a (optimal) solution to a given problem.

    However, when you would alter the test criteria after some time, how long would it take before all traces of the previous solution would be lost and only the new solution would remain? Notice therefor that this evolutionary process clearly has no memory and there is no accumulation of solutions. Only the external test defines the solution.

    In life we see that natural selection is very effective at two things: Optimize the populations to a local environments and defend the specie against genetic defects. For both these things you need no new solutions and no memory.

    Assuming that evolution works then you would be able to start with amoeba and given enough time you could evolve them in to creatures which could solve your test. Notice however that you will need to adapt the test every step of the way… you can not start with the final test/reward, so by which process does the test/reward evolve?

    For the theory of common descent your need a few thing: (1) Life must somehow begin (spontaneous generation), (2) somehow the process of evolution must start and continue without any predefined or external test, without any external direction being given. (3) There needs to be a (continuous) source of new genetic information to produce new solutions. (4) A process of accumulation of fresh working solutions, (5) The test needs to develop with time (be progressive) for there to be any progress. (6) There needs to be some method which protects working solutions against being damaged and (7) apply existing solutions in a coherent way with some variation in timing and usage.

    There is evidence against (1) (Pasteur) but this is usually no considered part of evolution, we have no clue towards the workings of (2) and (5) and we know of no process by which (3) and (4) will work, (6) and (7) are seen at work in nature but will not change the specie. Notice that (6) and (3) are most likely mutual exclusive.

    What would those monkeys produce without your test/reward? What do you have to do if you want them to produce two or more solutions simultaneous? Can you think of a process in which they produce the result without any external information source?

  7. alex
    Posted 10/28/2005 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    First, thank you very much for taking the time to clearly explain your position. I very much value your perspective and willingness to share it.

    That said, I remain unconvinced: :)

    (1) Life must somehow begin (spontaneous generation)

    Depends entirely on what you mean by life. This isn’t a “depends on the definition” cop out, exactly. If you begin with the perspective that there is a fine-line test between the living and the non-living, it seems that you are creating a problem that doesn’t exist. If the living/not is a category we are imposing, it doesn’t surprise me that it is hard to find the difference.

    In other words, this is really just a reduction (I think, I may be reading you incorrectly) of, how do we move from simple to complex. Why would the generalized solution fail at a particular level? At the molecular?

    Barring a clear indication otherwise, it strikes me that a process that works for a system at one level probably works at other levels.

    (2) somehow the process of evolution must start and continue without any predefined or external test, without any external direction being given.

    While, admittedly, the monkey solution is teleological, with a fitness test pre-defined, the fitness test is also defined for “regular” evolution. Survival of the genetic line. This question of teleology is one of perspective. Animals evolve so as to survive within the environment. “External” here, means external to the individual organism.

    If you look at the system from an ecological perspective instead, you have presume an autocatalytic process of some sort. But I have little difficulty with fitness/survival being a goal state inside and outside. I guess I don’t get the objection here.

    I’m not sure why we need an explanation of how it starts or continues. I am happy with “all systems evolve.” We don’t need to know when gravity started or why it keeps going to posit that it exists.

    (3) There needs to be a (continuous) source of new genetic information to produce new solutions.

    Mutation and crossover both provide this. Of course, there are other, more interesting ways in which the genetic material changes, but these two pathways provide all you need for the creation of new genetic patterns. It is not the case that crossover merely yields a subset of existing material. It is one of the many systems found in nature that can yield pretty much anything from the existing code. Now, there are clearly mechanisms in place that shape and restrict the degree to which these genetic materials change, but these mechanisms, too, are evolved.

    Again, perhaps I’m being naive, but both (2) and (3) are pretty central suppositions for evolution, and both are part of the common theory.

    (4) A process of accumulation of fresh working solutions

    “Solutions” could be read as “mechanisms to address a problem.” But as with the mechanisms used by humans, the process by which they evolve need not constrain their use. The telephone had lives as a hearing aid, p2p telegraph replacement, broadcast network, and finally (eventually) a switched network. So yes, there needs to be a way for changes to “stick” from generation to generation, but that piece is pretty thoroughly demonstrated. No, not thoroughly understood, perhaps, but there is no reason to believe that genes do not provide a blueprint for the construction of progeny.

    Besides, I’m still not with you on #3. We conceptually can show that small changes in genetic code can yield significant changes in the development of an organism. Given that, it doesn’t strike me as

    (5) The test needs to develop with time (be progressive) for there to be any progress

    Only if you presume an intelligent designer. Yes, there has been work on “staged” evolution, especially on the GA side, but the test is always the same: survival. That survival may be at a number of systemic levels, but it remains the same test. (4) and (5) occur through the continual testing against that fitness standard.

    (6) There needs to be some method which protects working solutions against being damaged

    But there is no reason to believe that this mechanism cannot also be evolved. Of course, there is a tradeoff here. Organisms fine tune themselves to evolve at a rate that matches the changes in their environment. In organisms (like humans) that face a wide range of fitness landscapes, mechanisms of “ontogenetic evolution” (to borrow from Weiner) evolve that may have limited impact on the genetic structure but ensure survival of the individual organism.

    (Or, if they don’t evolve, which is the most common case, they go extinct.)

    (7) apply existing solutions in a coherent way with some variation in timing and usage

    Not sure exactly what you mean here, but I suspect the answer to #6 applies.

    Going back to #2 and the monkeys: I think it is clear that the monkeys would not be typing without some form of external reward or penalty for doing so! Your question might just as well be “why do humans communicate.” I suspect the answer is the same. Evolution of communication occurs both ontogenetically and phylogenetically (across the span of the life of an individual organism and inter-generationally). Why do we use particular words or phrases? Same reason as the monkeys. The reward system is the social environment in which the individual is raised and lives. As a social animal, a given individual is successful to the degree to which he or she is able to compellingly communicate.

    Does someone or something “set up” this external test? No. History creates and recreates the fitness test. God did not at some point say “Hey, let’s provide more money and social power and (therefore) children to those who are able to use the Internet.” (Hm. I wonder if Internet users actually have more kids. I somehow doubt it.) Yet this part of the fitness landscape has been created by a particular social and biological history.

    Looking at a sub-system of the “everything system” provides an easy escape for the setting of goal states (via fitness tests). It becomes slightly more difficult when you look at the superset and need to think of the test being created internally, but only slightly more difficult. Processes which maintain balance are fairly ubiquitous, and such systems almost always contain the seeds of their own unbalancing within that structure.

  8. alex
    Posted 10/28/2005 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Slashdot has a post up about this.

  9. gmlk
    Posted 10/29/2005 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    I’m not convinced either :) Until we understand how life works we are only guessing at the process by which it adapts to it environment and which limitations there are to these changes.
    We don’t even know how many species there are in this world, we don’t even agree about the definition of the word “species”.

    My preferred definition: “Two individuals are of the same specie when they share a common ancestor”, if one where to replace specie with family it would still work, it even works for viruses and non-sexual reproduction so in some sense this is a universal definition of genetic relationship.

    As far as I understand the current state of knowledge mutation have never been shown to be beneficial in laboratory experiments. That they can chance the outcome does not proves much. Noise changes the signal as well, but one would hardly consider it beneficial.

    Can mutations change a specie in a constructive way into something beter then the previous version and do these changes accumulate over time? Notice that we are talking about the specie and not the individual mutant.

    Currently I’m convinced that mutations will not yield beneficial changes, and that therefor any change that do occur are weeded out by the process of natural selection. Furthermore: All evidence of change we do see in individuals are just minor optimalisations to the environment which are totally reversible and do not change the specie. The reason for this is that there is no process of accumulation of beneficial changes (some of which may prove to be beneficial only in a future environment, so how to know which change is beneficial?).

    Disclaimer: We don’t know how the DNA works, we have some clues, but we are still not really able to program ourselves a new creature. In time we maybe able to do so. So we are looking for answers way before we are able to answer them. So please forgive me (us) when some of the guesses are wrong.

    I also really don’t like the current controversy: Politics, philosophy and religion should stay the hell out of science. Science is about searching for the truth, not bending it to suit you ideology!
    I also don’t care what people teach in schools, most of it is bias and wrong anyway. So be critical of everything people try to tell you and look for what is true.

    We have brought up two questions with regard to evolution (common descent):
    * Are life and non-life just two position on a wide spectrum where all processes in nature are spread out?
    * Is there a process by which progress (not just change) can accumulate and produce new life forms?

    My answer to both:

    Life is very different then other processes. While it’s a natural process, it’s much more complex then cristal growth and other quite complex processes. Given the knowledge Darwin had about the workings of a cell, it’s quite logical that he though it to be simple. We don’t have that excuse. We know that a cell is a complicated system of nano-technology which works together in ways we still don’t fully understand. We have learned that programming a computer is really hard work and not simple. Given this all it’s highly unlikely that this came to be by chance. So no, there is no wide spectrum: Life is more like a really advanced technology.

    Depending on your definition of species, we find more of less of them which makes this all a whole lot more complicated.

    I look at it this way: Every specie is defined by the whole of genetic material available in all the individuals. Every population is a local optimized expresion of this genetic resource. While different populations may differ in appearance (e.g. consider lions and tigers) some populations overlap enough to to produce offspring (ligers, most are sterile, some are not).

    Every population that is isolated for some time will begin to drift as an expresion of the species genetic resource, often in very different directions from each other. Sometimes even leaving no overlap behind (e.g. no breeding being posible).

    However, given enough time and environmental changes they can (will) drift back again as well. These local optimalisations of expresion (by natural selection) are reversible and do not add anything new (this could be testable!). At worst it results in the lost of some genetic material in some populations because it can not filter out (very rare) mutations in non-expressed genetic material.

    So we look at the same process (natural selection) and the same data, and we see different things. For me natural selection is an optimalisation process acting within defined boundaries (the generic resource) which has the side benefit of weeding out mutants and in fact preventing the accumulation of mutations.

    You position seems to be the exact inverse. :) I suggest that future scientific research needs to provide the answer to which of these models is (more) true. Proof to me that beneficial mutation do accumulate (how?) and I will be forced to reconsider my position.

  10. alex
    Posted 10/29/2005 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    OK, so I guess my biggest stumbling block remains that I don’t see an alternative explanation. I guess I am a Churhillian Darwinist. I don’t accept an approach that is a kind of deus ex machina (in the traditional sense, not the sense I’ve used it above). Regardless of what “element X” is, saying that an “intelligent process” of some undefined sort accounts for the morphology of organic systems at any level is a nonstarter, I think. Unless there is a clear indication of the way that “intelligence” works, we end up worse off than we started.

    I’m willing to drop evolution if there is a clear alternative process that accounts for changes. At a gut level, since I know that mutations work in simulations, I have a feeling that they do lead to diversity. Although mutations on a case-by-case basis may not lead to adaptation, more is different. I strongly suspect that any “intelligent process” will eventually reduce to an evolutionary process. That is, I think there are probably some general rules about evolution in systems that account for learning and adaptation, though I agree that these are not entirely clear yet.

    I agree completely that current models of evolution are imperfect in their general descriptions. And even if we come up with an evolutionary model that is more accurate, I have serious doubts that we will be able to show, except via inference, that it is the process by which life evolved on this planet.

    As I commented on another blog, we ought to be teaching students to be skeptics in the schools. It turns out that schools are ill-suited to teaching skepticism, since it also tends to encourage questioning authority on a range of issues. And I am willing to accept that the seeming complexity of the process leads people to question it, and that is a good thing. But I don’t see, in your comments or elsewhere, an alternative explanation that works.

  11. alex
    Posted 10/29/2005 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    > Proof to me that beneficial mutation do accumulate (how?) and I will be forced to reconsider my position.

    I suspect such proof will be really hard to come by. Given the pace of evolution, I don’t think we can do it with biological materials. The only possibility, it seems to me, is in silico simulations. But this always raises validity issues.

  12. gmlk
    Posted 10/29/2005 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this very enjoyable conversation.

  13. Duane Ertle
    Posted 11/2/2005 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    There is an expansion of why the forces that form our world act as they do. The following is one of such concepts found at timebones.blogspot.com.

    THE FOLLOWING WORK CONTAINS A MASS/FREQUENCY CHANGE CONCEPT THAT SOLVES THE QUESTION AS TO WHY MASS MOVES AT ALL. IT ALSO CLARIFIES WHY OUR WORLD IS ONE OF PRESENT TIME ONLY, WITH THERE BEING NO POSSIBILITY OF TIME TRAVEL TO EITHER THE PAST OR FUTURE.

    THE PROBLEM AND REPAIR OF RELATIVITY

    (C) 2004, Duane Ertle

    In order to introduce the problem, I am going to quote a few sentences from a book “The Universe and Dr. Einstein,” by Lincoln Barnett, published in 1960 by Mentor Books. The quotes are from pages 61 and 63 respectively.

    The first concept involves that of mass.
    “In its popular sense, mass is just another word for weight. But used by the physicist, it denotes a rather different and more fundamental property of matter: namely, resistance to a change of motion. A greater force is necessary to move or stop a freight car than a velocipede; the freight car resists a change in its motion more stubbornly than the velocipede because it has greater mass. … But Relativity asserts that the mass of a moving body is by no means constant, but increases with its velocity relative to an observer. In short, energy has mass!”

    Next, we need to look at the reason for this belief.
    “By further deduction from his principle of Relativity of mass, Einstein arrived at a conclusion of incalculable importance to the world. His train of reasoning ran somewhat as follows: since the mass of a moving body increases as its motion increases, and since motion is a form of energy (kinetic energy), then the increased mass of a moving body comes from its increased energy. …”

    Now I am going to quote a paragraph from “The Bones of Time,” copyrighted in 1978 by Duane Ertle, it is from the chapter “Flexible Time.”
    “The reason a fast moving mass is so difficult to stop, or have a direction change in, is due to its becoming frozen in a linear manner so energy cannot pass through its total volume as happens when it is at rest. When a mass moves at one-hundred thousand miles a second, the energy existent and having potential movement at right angles to its direction of travel could be at most a distance of eighty-six thousand miles a second. When moving at the speed of light minus two feet per second, the potential energy existent at right angles to its forward motion would only be two feet in one second. At the speed of light the mass would convert from being a three-dimensional object and would become a single beam of high energy photons streaking through space, all existing in only one dimension. Obviously there would be zero energy potential at right angles to the direction of travel.”

    Moving mass does not acquire additional mass as it moves. Atomic matter is composed of waveform. As electromagnetic energy (a wave) has differing energy values, so, also, does mass at different speeds have an overall differing waveform. The waveform is derived from the moving mass itself, as energy at right angles to direction of travel decreases in line density with movement, and transfers a proportional amount of that frequency toward the direction of travel. In this sense greater mass is being added to the forward motion of the mass at the expense of the energy/mass at right angles to it.

    There is an expression that deals with frequency density and an increase of energy as the lines of frequency increase. The expression in question says that E=hf. The energy of an electromagnetic wave is equal to that of a very small numerical constant times the frequency of the wave. The greater the frequency of the wave, the more energy the electromagnetic wave would have. Radio waves may have very long peak-to-peak distances of thousands of meters, while cosmic radiation is able to have its frequency so compressed that it acts as dimensional mass, and there may be trillions of frequencies, or waves within a single meter. Now consider how the frequency at right angles to direction of movement changes from having great potential in those directions, toward having less, thus giving up mass/energy potential. Energy, in form of greater frequency, converts to an overall change of mass, or as some would say, “… resistance to a change of motion.”

    The concept of E=hf is an equation that works for three different elements of nature:

    1. E=hf, is an equation that describes why electromagnetic energy has greater and lesser energy values. Radio waves have very little energy value, while gamma and cosmic radiation have a great deal. And it all is dependent upon wave frequency and the density of that wave in a particular space.

    2. mk=hf, (mass kinetic energy, equals hf) describes why mass shrinks to an observer as it moves. Because mass is composed of electromagnetic energy, it has the same wave values as electromagnetic energy, but in a very condensed manner. Electromagnetic energy remains in three-dimensional space in form of standing waves, yet having the same linear value of 186,000 mps all the while. Like a runner on a racetrack traveling all the while at that great speed. The same distance is traveled, just not in a straight line. As long as the velocity value within mass maintains the value of “c” it does not matter how small the “race track” becomes.

    The, mk=hf, value demonstrates that the shrinkage of a moving mass is constant with frequency change. There are no sudden changes in mass/energy values. It also explains why the energy transfer takes place as frequency converts at right angles to that of forward motion. Just as sound waves have greater frequency with greater mass speed (thus the lines of frequency shrink, or become compressed) so, also, mass in the direction of travel shrinks in proportion to a greater or lesser internal frequency or energy values.

    3. c=hf, is that for the relationship of a gravitational field and its frequency. It is possible that a “graviton,” a single gravitational wave, has the same frequency as all other gravitational waves, no matter where they form; and what we consider as field of gravity has to do with quantity and not quality. Even though it might be either way, at present it appears that a gravitational field is formed of a quantity of waves (a greater multitude of waves all exactly the same no matter where in earth they formed) and not their frequency; although the c=hf concept would be valid in either sense.

    Dr. Einstein understood moving mass from the perspective of how it related directly to that of energy – and it worked for him. He arrived at E=mc2! But the same result is able to be found by understanding that mass is composed of waves, and the moving mass undergoes a change from being greater in mass in three dimensions toward that of becoming greater in waveform in one direction and less in the other two dimensions.

    In order that the reader may understand the thinking of today concerning the potential ramification of compounding mass, I am going to quote a paragraph found in a book entitled “Asimov’s Guide to Science,” (c) 1972; published by Basic Books Inc..
    “… When Oppenheimer worked out the properties of the neutron star in 1939, he predicted also that it was possible for a star that was massive enough and cool enough, to collapse altogether to nothingless. When such collapse proceeded past the neutron star stage, the gravitational field would become so intense that no matter what, no light could escape from it. Nothing could be seen of it; it would simply be a “black hole” in space.”
    To which concept I would say; Oppenheimer did not realize that the force of gravity is a field of energy, c2=E/m, initiated by the heat energy within a solar mass. No heat – no energy.

    Black holes today are an attempt to explain why so much mass is missing from creation – 90%. The galaxies have been stretched out, and there is not enough mass in empty space to account for distances outward and their being so far apart from each other. But, that condition is not really new news. In the book of Isaiah 45:12 God said 2700 years ago that the heavens had been stretched out. “I have made the earth, and created man upon it, I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” So, then, it is not ‘black holes” that mankind needs to find, but God.

    The conclusion is this. Because moving mass has increased frequency change in direction of movement until it reaches the speed of light, it then converts into radiation; there is no manner by which a black hole is able to form under any condition. There is no manner whereby the mass in question may be anything other than the original mass converted into what it already, intrinsically, was. This means, if it is impossible for a black hole to form, then it is just as impossible for the “big bang” to have happened. Neither of these events ever did exist nor shall they. They both soon shall disappear with a “little poof” into an obscure page somewhere in antiquity.

    Duane Ertle

    73602 6th Ave.
    South Haven, Mich.

  14. Duane Ertle
    Posted 11/2/2005 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    THE FOLLOWING WORK CONTAINS A MASS/FREQUENCY CHANGE CONCEPT THAT SOLVES THE QUESTION AS TO WHY MASS MOVES AT ALL. IT ALSO CLARIFIES WHY OUR WORLD IS ONE OF PRESENT TIME ONLY, WITH THERE BEING NO POSSIBILITY OF TIME TRAVEL TO EITHER THE PAST OR FUTURE.

    THE PROBLEM AND REPAIR OF RELATIVITY

    (C) 2004, Duane Ertle

    In order to introduce the problem, I am going to quote a few sentences from a book “The Universe and Dr. Einstein,” by Lincoln Barnett, published in 1960 by Mentor Books. The quotes are from pages 61 and 63 respectively.

    The first concept involves that of mass.
    “In its popular sense, mass is just another word for weight. But used by the physicist, it denotes a rather different and more fundamental property of matter: namely, resistance to a change of motion. A greater force is necessary to move or stop a freight car than a velocipede; the freight car resists a change in its motion more stubbornly than the velocipede because it has greater mass. … But Relativity asserts that the mass of a moving body is by no means constant, but increases with its velocity relative to an observer. In short, energy has mass!”

    Next, we need to look at the reason for this belief.
    “By further deduction from his principle of Relativity of mass, Einstein arrived at a conclusion of incalculable importance to the world. His train of reasoning ran somewhat as follows: since the mass of a moving body increases as its motion increases, and since motion is a form of energy (kinetic energy), then the increased mass of a moving body comes from its increased energy. …”

    Now I am going to quote a paragraph from “The Bones of Time,” copyrighted in 1978 by Duane Ertle, it is from the chapter “Flexible Time.”
    “The reason a fast moving mass is so difficult to stop, or have a direction change in, is due to its becoming frozen in a linear manner so energy cannot pass through its total volume as happens when it is at rest. When a mass moves at one-hundred thousand miles a second, the energy existent and having potential movement at right angles to its direction of travel could be at most a distance of eighty-six thousand miles a second. When moving at the speed of light minus two feet per second, the potential energy existent at right angles to its forward motion would only be two feet in one second. At the speed of light the mass would convert from being a three-dimensional object and would become a single beam of high energy photons streaking through space, all existing in only one dimension. Obviously there would be zero energy potential at right angles to the direction of travel.”

    Moving mass does not acquire additional mass as it moves. Atomic matter is composed of waveform. As electromagnetic energy (a wave) has differing energy values, so, also, does mass at different speeds have an overall differing waveform. The waveform is derived from the moving mass itself, as energy at right angles to direction of travel decreases in line density with movement, and transfers a proportional amount of that frequency toward the direction of travel. In this sense greater mass is being added to the forward motion of the mass at the expense of the energy/mass at right angles to it.

    There is an expression that deals with frequency density and an increase of energy as the lines of frequency increase. The expression in question says that E=hf. The energy of an electromagnetic wave is equal to that of a very small numerical constant times the frequency of the wave. The greater the frequency of the wave, the more energy the electromagnetic wave would have. Radio waves may have very long peak-to-peak distances of thousands of meters, while cosmic radiation is able to have its frequency so compressed that it acts as dimensional mass, and there may be trillions of frequencies, or waves within a single meter. Now consider how the frequency at right angles to direction of movement changes from having great potential in those directions, toward having less, thus giving up mass/energy potential. Energy, in form of greater frequency, converts to an overall change of mass, or as some would say, “… resistance to a change of motion.”

    The concept of E=hf is an equation that works for three different elements of nature:

    1. E=hf, is an equation that describes why electromagnetic energy has greater and lesser energy values. Radio waves have very little energy value, while gamma and cosmic radiation have a great deal. And it all is dependent upon wave frequency and the density of that wave in a particular space.

    2. mk=hf, (mass kinetic energy, equals hf) describes why mass shrinks to an observer as it moves. Because mass is composed of electromagnetic energy, it has the same wave values as electromagnetic energy, but in a very condensed manner. Electromagnetic energy remains in three-dimensional space in form of standing waves, yet having the same linear value of 186,000 mps all the while. Like a runner on a racetrack traveling all the while at that great speed. The same distance is traveled, just not in a straight line. As long as the velocity value within mass maintains the value of “c” it does not matter how small the “race track” becomes.

    The, mk=hf, value demonstrates that the shrinkage of a moving mass is constant with frequency change. There are no sudden changes in mass/energy values. It also explains why the energy transfer takes place as frequency converts at right angles to that of forward motion. Just as sound waves have greater frequency with greater mass speed (thus the lines of frequency shrink, or become compressed) so, also, mass in the direction of travel shrinks in proportion to a greater or lesser internal frequency or energy values.

    3. c=hf, is that for the relationship of a gravitational field and its frequency. It is possible that a “graviton,” a single gravitational wave, has the same frequency as all other gravitational waves, no matter where they form; and what we consider as field of gravity has to do with quantity and not quality. Even though it might be either way, at present it appears that a gravitational field is formed of a quantity of waves (a greater multitude of waves all exactly the same no matter where in earth they formed) and not their frequency; although the c=hf concept would be valid in either sense.

    Dr. Einstein understood moving mass from the perspective of how it related directly to that of energy – and it worked for him. He arrived at E=mc2! But the same result is able to be found by understanding that mass is composed of waves, and the moving mass undergoes a change from being greater in mass in three dimensions toward that of becoming greater in waveform in one direction and less in the other two dimensions.

    In order that the reader may understand the thinking of today concerning the potential ramification of compounding mass, I am going to quote a paragraph found in a book entitled “Asimov’s Guide to Science,” (c) 1972; published by Basic Books Inc..
    “… When Oppenheimer worked out the properties of the neutron star in 1939, he predicted also that it was possible for a star that was massive enough and cool enough, to collapse altogether to nothingless. When such collapse proceeded past the neutron star stage, the gravitational field would become so intense that no matter what, no light could escape from it. Nothing could be seen of it; it would simply be a “black hole” in space.”
    To which concept I would say; Oppenheimer did not realize that the force of gravity is a field of energy, c2=E/m, initiated by the heat energy within a solar mass. No heat – no energy.

    Black holes today are an attempt to explain why so much mass is missing from creation – 90%. The galaxies have been stretched out, and there is not enough mass in empty space to account for distances outward and their being so far apart from each other. But, that condition is not really new news. In the book of Isaiah 45:12 God said 2700 years ago that the heavens had been stretched out. “I have made the earth, and created man upon it, I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” So, then, it is not ‘black holes” that mankind needs to find, but God.

    The conclusion is this. Because moving mass has increased frequency change in direction of movement until it reaches the speed of light, it then converts into radiation; there is no manner by which a black hole is able to form under any condition. There is no manner whereby the mass in question may be anything other than the original mass converted into what it already, intrinsically, was. This means, if it is impossible for a black hole to form, then it is just as impossible for the “big bang” to have happened. Neither of these events ever did exist nor shall they. They both soon shall disappear with a “little poof” into an obscure page somewhere in antiquity.

    Duane Ertle

    73602 6th Ave.
    South Haven, Mich.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Tweets

  • Archives