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Old 02-21-2013, 06:30   #841
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Originally Posted by ksg0245 View Post
No, atheists examine the evidence and reject the assertion which has none. There is no evidence indicating intelligent design.



Faith isn't required to reject unsupported assertions.
It's perfectly fine with me if you want to believe that. No problem at all.


So you are rejecting abiogenesis too? Or is that theory OK because it "fits".
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:51   #842
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It's perfectly fine with me if you want to believe that. No problem at all.

So you are rejecting abiogenesis too? Or is that theory OK because it "fits".
Is there any evidence for intelligent design?
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:56   #843
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Is there any evidence for intelligent design?
Must it be one OR the other?

Do you believe in abiogenesis? If so, why?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:12   #844
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These medical analogies from laymen rarely fit.
It's not an analogy, it's a question. I was reading about differential diagnosis on a whim, and decided to ask because it sounds a whole heck of a lot like my general approach to everything. Roughly, assign likelihoods to the different possibilities - do further analysis, sometimes picking what to do next based on what is currently thought to be most probable. Rinse, repeat.

I wasn't asking about students. I wasn't talking about 'black and white thinking'. Oh well, I guess you don't use it. I tried. *shrug*.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:16   #845
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Must it be one OR the other?
Nope.
Is there any evidence for intelligent design?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:21   #846
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It's a construct that he admits he made up, the duck, much in the way of the FSM is intentionally ridiculous on his part.
Sure. And that may well *justifiably* increase someone's assessment of the probability that it is in actuality false. And, as Grape noted, how is it any more ridiculous than many of the claims made by various religions?

However, that is not proof that it does not exist. There is some small chance that, no matter that I made it up, no matter that I wasn't intending it to be a true statement, it is actually true.

If you disagree, please prove it is not true. That's the thing with unfalsifiable posits - you can't falsify them.

Yet, you do not have a problem saying it is 'ridiculously false', despite the fact that you have a problem when people look at other unfalsifiable posits, decide it's not likely, and decide to act as though it is not true. Your behavior contradicts your stated worldview. You'll never admit it, but it's plain to see, and I suspect that even you know it.

When people from a particular Christian rooted religious sect came to my door and wanted to talk to me, and I talked to them, and they claimed their last two religious leaders (one of whom was dead) were Jesus and the Holy Ghost (which I'm sure plenty of people think is ridiculous), I did not slam the door in their face after saying 'that's ridiculously false'. I asked them why they thought that, listened to them, considered it, told them it wasn't enough evidence for me to believe it (it amounted to 'it's true because our leader says it's true'), and politely told them to have a nice day. I can't prove what they say is false - but I don't believe it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:24   #847
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It's not an analogy, it's a question. I was reading about differential diagnosis on a whim, and decided to ask because it sounds a whole heck of a lot like my general approach to everything.

I wasn't asking about students. I wasn't talking about 'black and white thinking'. Oh well, I guess you don't use it. I tried. *shrug*.
And I answered, yes, probabilities are used, but it's often more complex than an either this or that scenario. There are usually a lot of different factors that have to be considers.

Still, diagnosing and fixing problems with machines and/or people is a bit different than deciding what to believe happened a long time ago, when the first living cell capable of reproducing came into being.

How did you want to tie in working and differential diagnoses?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:28   #848
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It's not an analogy, it's a question. I was reading about differential diagnosis on a whim, and decided to ask because it sounds a whole heck of a lot like my general approach to everything.

I wasn't asking about students. I wasn't talking about 'black and white thinking'. Oh well, I guess you don't use it. I tried. *shrug*.
And I answered, yes, probabilities are used, but it's often more complex than an either this or that scenario. There are usually a lot of different factors that have to be considered. Ask just about anyone an they will tell you practicing medicine is almost as much an art as it is a science.

Still, diagnosing and fixing problems with machines and/or people is a bit different than deciding what to believe happened a long time ago, when the first living cell capable of reproducing came into being. Whether abiogenesis or intelligent design was responsible for life on the planet hasn't been a significant factor in most diagnostic challenges.

How did you want to tie in working and differential diagnoses?
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:54   #849
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And I answered, yes, probabilities are used, but it's often more complex than an either this or that scenario. There are usually a lot of different factors that have to be considered. Ask just about anyone an they will tell you practicing medicine is almost as much an art as it is a science.
I'm not claiming it's *always* a this or that thing. I asked, is all.

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How did you want to tie in working and differential diagnoses?
So take the example on the wikipedia page. I suspect it's a bit simplified for illustrative purposes, but let's take it.

Basically, they're running through, gathering what data they can gather, making a probability assessment, and that probability assessment changes as they do more tests and gather more data. It appears that the probabilities are sometimes used to determine what other tests to do, or what data to gather.

The final assessment in the example ends up being something like a 97% probability of primary hyperthyroidism, a 0.7% chance it's cancer, a 0.6% chance it's any other condition, and a 1.6% chance there's no disease whatsoever.

Does the doctor say 'well, there's still some uncertainty, we don't know what it is', or does the doctor take some action based on what he currently assesses as the most probable cause?

Basically, are you ever in a situation where you're confident enough to take actions based on those probability assessments even though you are *fully* aware you do not conclusively know what condition the patient has with 100% certainty?

If you have, I suspect you don't see that as religious - and that's really all I'm doing. I am fully aware I can't prove creation didn't happen. It's not a falsifiable posit, nobody can prove it. However, my current probability assessment is that a natural process is more likely, there's some evidence showing that various things required for it can chemically happen, even though it can't be shown right now that they *did* happen, and there have historically been 'deity did it vs. natural process' situations that have turned out to be natural processes, whereas 'deity did it' hasn't reasonably been shown. So I go with that - if there's some evidence that materially changes those probabilities, I'll change them, and go with that instead.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:15   #850
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Nope.
Is there any evidence for intelligent design?
There is only an argument for the possibility. Similarly, there is only an argument for the possibility of abiogenesis.

Both sides claim to have evidence. I haven't seen what I would call evidence from either side. I see a lot of extrapolated supposition from both sides. The creation of amino acids in the lab is neat, but that is far from close to life being created. Amino acids are a very small piece of a much larger and complex machine.

Odds are one of them is right, if so, odds are the other is wrong. Much hangs in the balance for believers both ways. They tend to dismiss each others arguments on sight. So far, it's just not a daily source of worry for me one way or the other which is right.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:18   #851
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There is only an argument for the possibility. Similarly, there is only an argument for the possibility of abiogenesis.
The fact that various chemicals under certain conditions result in protobionts isn't evidence?

I mean, sure, it hasn't been shown that's actually what happened. But you don't consider that a reason to consider that it's more probable a natural process occurred, even if that particular reaction wasn't involved, than that a natural process did not occur?

Especially given that's not the only potential piece of a natural process that's been shown *can* happen in a lab?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:36   #852
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I'm not claiming it's *always* a this or that thing. I asked, is all.



So take the example on the wikipedia page. I suspect it's a bit simplified for illustrative purposes, but let's take it.

Basically, they're running through, gathering what data they can gather, making a probability assessment, and that probability assessment changes as they do more tests and gather more data. It appears that the probabilities are sometimes used to determine what other tests to do, or what data to gather.

The final assessment in the example ends up being something like a 97% probability of primary hyperthyroidism, a 0.7% chance it's cancer, a 0.6% chance it's any other condition, and a 1.6% chance there's no disease whatsoever.

Does the doctor say 'well, there's still some uncertainty, we don't know what it is', or does the doctor take some action based on what he currently assesses as the most probable cause?

Basically, are you ever in a situation where you're confident enough to take actions based on those probability assessments even though you are *fully* aware you do not conclusively know what condition the patient has with 100% certainty?

If you have, I suspect you don't see that as religious - and that's really all I'm doing. I am fully aware I can't prove creation didn't happen. It's not a falsifiable posit, nobody can prove it. However, my current probability assessment is that a natural process is more likely, there's some evidence showing that various things required for it can chemically happen, even though it can't be shown right now that they *did* happen, and there have historically been 'deity did it vs. natural process' situations that have turned out to be natural processes, whereas 'deity did it' hasn't reasonably been shown. So I go with that - if there's some evidence that materially changes those probabilities, I'll change them, and go with that instead.
I was afraid of that. The correct answer is: It depends. Which might sound like a dodge, but it's not. You are correct that the scenario is oversimplified for explanatory reasons, and a lot of information needed to decide what to actually do is missing. Review of systems, vital signs, past medical history, vital signs, meds etc.

You can state generally how you would go about treating an average patient without any comorbidities, allergies or mediacation issues, but not what to do for that specific patient. One tip though, if you even give the patient an inkling that a cancer is in the differential diagnosis, you'd better have a solid plan for how you plan to rule that out. Patients hate the "C" word.

The thing that makes this less applicable to the ID vs Abiogenesis issue is that you are evaluating data in real time, and can observe changes in a fairly well describe system based on your actions.

Abiogenesis or ID? We can see what happened after. Our ability to look back at life before our own existance is very limited.

What exact shade of color were the upper arms of a T-Rex?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:42   #853
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The thing that makes this less applicable to the ID vs Abiogenesis issue is that you are evaluating data in real time, and can observe changes in a fairly well describe system based on your actions.
Why do you consider it 'less applicable' rather than just 'slower'?

It's harder to get data, you have to show a whole lot more when you're talking about something that may have happened in the past rather than something that you're directly observing. So I expect it to be a good long while before there's even an abiogenesis model that is scientifically accepted, if there ever is. There's currently a whole pile of different competing models, none of which has met the bar, but some of which show promise, to greater or lesser degrees.

But why do you consider using an approach like that to be less applicable? It's basically the same thing, just a lot slower, and we're not trying to find and treat a condition, but just gain knowledge.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:45   #854
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One tip though, if you even give the patient an inkling that a cancer is in the differential diagnosis, you'd better have a solid plan for how you plan to rule that out. Patients hate the "C" word.
I wouldn't expect that you'd have to necessarily tell the patient all of the potentials. Especially when there's a big scary potential condition, or the patient doesn't understand that anything in particular being a potential condition doesn't mean they have that potential condition. I wouldn't even necessarily expect the patient have to be involved in every single step of such a diagnosis. It would be reasonable to draw blood once and subject it to multiple tests, for instance, right? (I wouldn't expect that you'd need to poke the patient more than once if you know you need enough to run 5 tests, I'd expect the blood draw would just say 'we need this much', with 'this much' being the minimum needed for each test plus some buffer, and it would be split into whatever vials needed, possibly at the time of the draw, but I suppose I could be wrong. I think I vaguely remember a kind of needle that could be put in once and draw into separate containers, but it's been a while since I've had blood drawn. Edit: technically that wouldn't have been a 'kind of needle', other than being a needle with some sort of valve on the end, if I'm remembering right).

Are blood draws kept for some period of time so additional tests can be performed if needed without having to pull the patient in and get more blood? (I don't know whether this is done or not, I can see reasons to not do that as well, such as potential contamination or difficulties in temporary storage, as well as not knowing how much you'd potentially need so not being able to reasonably pick a default amount to pull for extra potential tests - I'm just asking).
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:25   #855
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So let's take a concrete example. The duck on my shoulder.

There are two alternatives - the duck exists, or the duck does not exist.

Based on current data (basically, the fact that I freely admit it's a made up example, and the fact that even though it's a made up example, there's some small probability I was correct when I chose the description of the duck), the probability the duck exists is an infinitesimal that represents the probability that I was randomly correct. Let's call that infinitesimal P(d) (for 'probability duck'. The probability the duck does *not* exist is 1 - P(d). Since we've assessed, based on current data, that P(d) is very, very small, we can state that 1 - P(d) is a value that is very, very close to 1 (without even being able to compute a specific value for P(d) - we don't need to assign an actual value, we just need to know it's very, very small, and we do, just through the fact that there's an infinite number of made up scenarios that could be true)

Based on that, and lacking further information, I think it's entirely reasonable to consider the posit that such a duck exists as probably false, to the point of treating it as though it were false, even though I know I can't prove that it actually is false (since it is not falsifiable) - at least until there's some kind of evidence for the duck. At which point, I'd change my probability assessment based on that data. I wouldn't say it's impossible for there to be such a duck, but I'm fine with saying I don't believe it.

What's the problem with approaching pretty much everything (except for abstract concepts that do not require a relation to reality, such as pure mathematics or pure logic, and thus can be formally proven), in a like manner?
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Old 02-21-2013, 13:35   #856
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The fact that various chemicals under certain conditions result in protobionts isn't evidence?

I mean, sure, it hasn't been shown that's actually what happened. But you don't consider that a reason to consider that it's more probable a natural process occurred, even if that particular reaction wasn't involved, than that a natural process did not occur?

Especially given that's not the only potential piece of a natural process that's been shown *can* happen in a lab?
Well, that's one side of the argument. A amino acid isn't even a full protein, and a multitude of complex proteins, lipids and electrolytes have to be joined into actual structures that must act in conjunction with relatively distant structures. Even simple structures within a cell aren't so simple when you look really close.

Both sides have their positions. I'm waiting to see who wins.
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Old 02-21-2013, 13:40   #857
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A amino acid isn't even a full protein
A protobiont is more than just an amino acid.

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A protobiont is an aggregate of abiotically produced organic molecules surrounded by a membrane or a membrane-like structure. Protobionts exhibit some of the properties associated with life, including simple reproduction, metabolism and excitability, as well as the maintenance of an internal chemical environment different from that of their surroundings.

...

Nanobes or nanobacteria, being too small to be functional living organisms, may be an example of naturally occurring protobionts.
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Both sides have their positions. I'm waiting to see who wins.
One position is argument. The other position is argument backed by data showing that particular pieces that have to have happened (edit: by this I mean 'had to have happened if that argument were true', not that they objectively had to have happened) could in fact have happened under specific, describable, known conditions. Do you really not think that's a basis for saying 'Hey, right now, it looks like more probable that the second occurred than the first. It might not really be what happened, and there's a whole lot more data that's needed, but it looks like it's probably the case, and at least it's something we can actually investigate'?
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Old 02-21-2013, 14:07   #858
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So let's take a concrete example. The duck on my shoulder.

There are two alternatives - the duck exists, or the duck does not exist.

Based on current data (basically, the fact that I freely admit it's a made up example, and the fact that even though it's a made up example, there's some small probability I was correct when I chose the description of the duck), the probability the duck exists is an infinitesimal that represents the probability that I was randomly correct. Let's call that infinitesimal P(d) (for 'probability duck'. The probability the duck does *not* exist is 1 - P(d). Since we've assessed, based on current data, that P(d) is very, very small, we can state that 1 - P(d) is a value that is very, very close to 1 (without even being able to compute a specific value for P(d) - we don't need to assign an actual value, we just need to know it's very, very small, and we do, just through the fact that there's an infinite number of made up scenarios that could be true)

Based on that, and lacking further information, I think it's entirely reasonable to consider the posit that such a duck exists as probably false, to the point of treating it as though it were false, even though I know I can't prove that it actually is false (since it is not falsifiable) - at least until there's some kind of evidence for the duck. At which point, I'd change my probability assessment based on that data. I wouldn't say it's impossible for there to be such a duck, but I'm fine with saying I don't believe it.

What's the problem with approaching pretty much everything (except for abstract concepts that do not require a relation to reality, such as pure mathematics or pure logic, and thus can be formally proven), in a like manner?
Based on current data, I would have to hold the position that young ace every right to believe in the duck on your shoulder and ascribe any powers to your duck as you would like. You can create special days to pay homage to your duck and study how to become a better friend/subject of your duck in any way that you would like as long as it hurts nonone else. Kind of the same way I approach all other religious stories. I actually yhink the first amendment to the COTUS is a pretty good rule to go by.

I know that like the FSM, invisible dragons in garages, unicorns and fairies that have been previously discussed, I am supposed to declare your duck nonexistent and then you are supposed to argue that I need to apply the same logic to all deities.

I have a tolerant approach to all religions, including atheism. People have a right to believe what they want to believe. If they are wrong, that may be a problem for them or not.

There is no need for me to have an opinion about your duck. Just like Zeus, Shiva or Allah, I've not met your duck. If it wishes to show itself to me, I'll worry about it then.
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Old 02-21-2013, 14:10   #859
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Based on current data, I would have to hold the position that young ace every right to believe in the duck on your shoulder and ascribe any powers to your duck as you would like.
Based on your response, I would have to hold the position that you didn't even bother to read my post, since it implies that I am attempting to hold a position both that I do not hold, and that I explicitly contradicted holding. Which has the not unexpected effect of rendering your response as nonsense in the context of what I actually wrote.

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I am supposed to declare your duck nonexistent and then you are supposed to argue that I need to apply the same logic to all deities.
Now, now - don't misrepresent. I never said you were *supposed* to claim my duck was nonexistent. I claimed that you *did* claim my duck was nonexistent.

Which, in fact, you did.

I don't think you're *supposed* to claim the duck does not exist. I'd much prefer you just admit it's reasonable to provisionally hold that the duck probably does not exist, on the basis that the only reason that a positive assertion the duck does *not* exist is not logically valid, is an unfalsifiable, and infinitesimal, probability that it's actually true.

You don't want to do that, though. You seem to be fine with actually contradicting yourself, as long as nobody points it out. Oh well.
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Last edited by void *; 02-21-2013 at 14:26..
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Old 02-21-2013, 14:18   #860
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Quote:
Originally Posted by void * View Post
A protobiont is more than just an amino acid.





One position is argument. The other position is argument backed by data showing that particular pieces that have to have happened (edit: by this I mean 'had to have happened if that argument were true', not that they objectively had to have happened) could in fact have happened under specific, describable, known conditions. Do you really not think that's a basis for saying 'Hey, right now, it looks like more probable that the second occurred than the first. It might not really be what happened, and there's a whole lot more data that's needed, but it looks like it's probably the case, and at least it's something we can actually investigate'?
Both sides claim evidence, usually rapidly dismissing the evidence claimed by the other side.

http://www.discovery.org/a/9761


I get it. If one version is proven correct, the other side will have an awful lot to reevaluate, and are resistant to consider the other sides merits.

I'm waiting until its settled to pick sides. Both are possible. Even with that heavy burden of considering both are possible, I still picked the ravioli and chicken for lunch without giving any consideration at all of whether the first living cell on earth was made or occurred spontaneously.
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