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Author Topic:   What could/would falsify Irreducible Complexity?
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 30 of 72 (456876)
02-20-2008 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by tesla
02-20-2008 12:47 PM


quote:
Carbon is carbon, no matter what it is bonded with.
then the basic carbon atom is the simplest form? can it be reduced?
Not without no longer being Carbon. You can reduce it to subatomic particles (protons, neutreons, electrons) and then those even further (quarks, gluons, etc), but a single atom of Carbon is the simplest form of matter that can still be called Carbon. GO read up on atomic theory - this is basic chemistry.
quote:
It looks like carbon. It looks like nothing.
Atoms are colorless and some would argue that they are shapeless as well. When you are talking about atomic and subatomic matter, you need to stop thinking in term of normal macro matter. Don't think of them as solid objects like we are used to in everyday life.
if i took 1 billion carbon atoms, and took away all other elements it would bond with, would it not have a form you could visually see?
You still wouldn't see anything - billions of Carbon atoms are still too small for the naked eye. But in the spirit of your question, if you had, say, a full kilogram of pure carbon (which, if I remember Avogadro's Number correctly, would be 6.022*10^23 / 12 (the atomic weight of Carbon) * 1000 (for grams into kilograms) = 5.0183*10^25 atoms - that's a LOT more than 1 billion)...Carbon absorbs heat pretty readily, and carbon-rich substances like coal and graphite are basically black. Diamonds, on the other hand, are almost compeltely made of carbon, and they're quite clear (impurities cause colored diamonds). The "form" it would take would depend on the temperature - it could be solid, liquid, or a gas, but you'll never see a full kilogram of Carbon completely un-bonded to anything. Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes (commonly called "Bucky Balls") are structures composed entirely of Carbon bonded to other Carbon atoms, but these are still viewable only under an electron microscope, which does not allw "color" because it's not based on light.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 12:47 PM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 2:29 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 34 of 72 (456881)
02-20-2008 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by tesla
02-20-2008 2:29 PM


very interesting, i wonder if carbon could be isolated and enough put together without anything else to bond with. I'm curios. thanks rhavin, i find your post very informative.
That would be tough. It bonds very well with several other elements - which is the big reason life is Carbon-based, and other organic (meaning carbon-based) compounds are so common throughout the Universe.
do you believe there is a stage of carbon that cannot be reduced any less remaining carbon? and if yes, would that mean it could be considered a "true" definition of "irreducible complexity"?
You're talking about the very definition of an atom, tesla -it's the simplest possible example of any given element that is still identifiable as that element. But that's a human definition - atoms are simply different groupings of electrons, protons, and neutrons, and they have very distinct properties depending on the number of protons they contain - which is why you can't reduce them further and still identify them as a particular element. You can reduce the components into the subatomic particles, and you can reduce those even further into quarks and gluons and such, but the properties of, say, Carbon are not the properties of a collection of quarks and gluons.
How far can you reduce a forest and still call it a forest? Does a human cell have all of the properties of a full human being, able to walk and talk and think?
I hesitate to say that atoms are "greater than the sum of their parts," but I will say that, reduced farther than the atomic level, you can no longer identify the parts as belonging to a given element, because elements are defined by their number of protons.
But this has no relevance at all to irreducible complexity, with is an argument against evolution - a completely separate topic. You're trying to shift the goalposts from the ID argument that "IC means that all biological entities must have been designed" to your own argument, that "well, god designed the atoms because you can't reduce them any further, so he kinda sorta designed life too." Those are very different discussions.
"You can't take anything away from the bacterial flagellum and still have it work as a means of transportation, so it couldn't have evolved" is completely disassociated from "you can't reduce Carbon any further than a Carbon atom and still call it Carbon."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 2:29 PM tesla has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 35 of 72 (456882)
02-20-2008 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by tesla
02-20-2008 2:34 PM


your right about "self replicating". but i wonder what term can be applied to something that is "self evolving" that is: to evolve into a different structure than its initial state, without any outside interactions.
What do you call the change in phase from a solid to a liquid to a gas? It's structure changes, and it has different properties.
What do you call electrical energy becoming heat and light? The energy form changes.
That isn't anything all that special, tesla. The Universe doesn't "decide" to change - its natural properties cause its components to slowly increase in entropy, and we can observe the changes in those components as they do so (stars form, burn out their fuel, explode, etc). It's no different from heating water into steam - the natural properties of the substance make the change in state inevitable.
your words are like venom, the OP is discussing the truth of irreducible complexity, and how it could be tested. I'm looking at biology to its simplest "irreducible" form to determine what "irreducible complexity" truly means, and where it would be truly applicable.
Irreducible complexity is an argument against evolution, tesla, and doesn't deal with atomic theory, which you're getting into. It's biological in nature and scope. Stick to the biology, or you risk shifting the goalposts.
You may also want to read up on these subjects. You can find a lot of information online or at the library, or you can just ask around here - but when you start to make arguments the way you have been, without even understanding the most basic aspects of the field you're discussing, you really only show that you aren't remotely able to reach the conclusions you attempt to draw. Before discussing atoms, for instance, you may want to read just a bit about what they are and how they work before leading into an argument about irreducible complexity.

When you know you're going to wake up in three days, dying is not a sacrifice. It's a painful inconvenience.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 2:34 PM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 3:26 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 39 of 72 (456894)
02-20-2008 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by tesla
02-20-2008 3:26 PM


then as only the currently recognized concept of what "irreducible complexity" was defined as in biological things is not supported, yet unsupported within our current knowledge of evolution, and either option remains a possibility until further data is found, and by current data, irreducible complexity is apparently false, because the biological bodies are composed of the same elements of the universe, and because of evolution apparent in both (what is considered) non living, and living things, the earth not having always been here, it is reasonable to conclude that biological things evolved from the earth's base components by a currently unknown condition that supported the first evolution of a DNA strand. considering IC false by these observations neither proves that God IS, nor God is not. but shows the limitations of current understanding of the universe concerning the start of biological things.
You definitely win the "run-on sentence of the year award," tesla.
It also didn't make any sense whatsoever.
Evolution has a mountain of evidence supporting it, and predicts the type of structures IDists claim are irreducibly complex.
Irreducible complexity is an argument from incredulity, has no evidence for its base, and works by sompletely ignoring all of the evidence counter to its position. Every example of supposedly irrecudibly complex biological systems that I have ever heard of has been soundly refuted by actually looking at the evidence rather than responding from incredulity.
You seem to be saying that you accept evolution as true, and throw in a bit of abiogenesis, chemistry, and cosmology to your concepts as well - you seem to be incapable of discussing a tree, instead insisting that we discuss the whole forest at once. You don't even seem to be able to distinguish one tree from another - all you see is the forest. From a very large distance. Without glasses. Through a frosted glass window.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 3:26 PM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 4:05 PM Rahvin has replied
 Message 47 by Brad McFall, posted 02-20-2008 6:02 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 43 of 72 (456910)
02-20-2008 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by tesla
02-20-2008 4:05 PM


Thanks, i like awards.
You've earned it!
the rest: take away plant life, all dies, take away the earth, all dies, take away bacteria, all dies, take away water, all dies, take away carbon, all dies, take away oxygen, all dies. take away the sun, all dies.
False. Ever heard of extrmophiles? There are some amazing creatures on this planet - some of which don't require plant life, or the sun. A microbe I read about a year or two back actually lives on the heat generated by radioactive decay - it basically lives on radiation. There are many od species of bacteria that live deep beneath the ocean where no sunlight reaches that live off of completely non-biological chemicals and heat streaming out of superheated vents on the ocean floor.
Granted, if you start taking away elements from the periodic table, life as we know it could not exist. That doesn't mean life couldn't exist at all, and it doesn't mean that life itself is irreducibly complex - simply that, given the conditions of this Universe, life can exist.
everything that is has a very delicate balance within the full scope of properties in the earth. i just dont limit myself to a single thing, because thats tunnel vision, and there would only be a tree in a forest.
The problem is that your lack of focus prevents you from remaining on topic in any thread you participate in. When we're talking about evolution, please stick to talking about evolution. When we're talking about Irreducible Complexity as it applies to biology, please do not bring up the Big Bang. When we discuss computers, please don't bring up your bicycle.
do you say you know the tree of man? the full tree of chimp? the full tree of dog? the full tree of anything in the forest of evolution? because you understand how some things will evolve, does that mean you understand all variables to how everything will or has evolved? its a theory of evolution, because no one knows all the things.
That's not what the word "theory" means, and the Theory of Evolution does not require full knowledge of every generation of the entirety of life that has ever existed. The Theory of Evolution is a model of the observed process of changing allele frequencies in biological populations. As such, it has predictive qualities, and those predictions have been confirmed to be extremely accurate. It doesn't pretend to answer all questions, or need to. Of those questions it can answer and that can be tested, it has proven to be extremely accurate.
the topic was IC and if you limit your vision to a current definition and variables pertaining, and ignore the other variables, what hope do you have of ever knowing more than you do now and true discovery of all viewable variables to evolution?
Broadening the scope of discussion does nothing but attract Admin's ire as the topic drifts. Limiting ourselves to current definitions is how we make sure everyone involved knows what is being said - if you start changing definitions because you feel like it (like, say, trying to apply IC to atomic theory, which is way off topic), there's no point in defining anything, and communication breaks down.
Try to stay focused on the topic of an individual thread. It will keep the banstick away, it will help prevent your posts from getting tangled up until only nonsense remains, and it will allow for good, honest debating.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 4:05 PM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 5:08 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 45 of 72 (456917)
02-20-2008 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by tesla
02-20-2008 5:08 PM


quote:
Extremophiles are currently being extensively studied by the Astrobiology program both as possible ancient forms of terrestrial life, and hence as clues about the origin and early forms of life, and also as possible analogues for extraterrestrial life.
fascinating. perhaps this is one step closer to IC.
...that doesn't make sense. In what way, specifically, are extremophiles in general related to Irreducible Complexity? How is current research of extremophiles in any way "one step closer to IC?" IC isn't a goal, tesla, it's a current claim by proponents of (un)Intelligent Design.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 5:08 PM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 5:49 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 48 of 72 (456927)
02-20-2008 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by tesla
02-20-2008 5:49 PM


quote:
the originator of the argument of irreducible complexity, defines an irreducibly complex system as one "composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning".
i may be ignorant, but..doesn't this describe extremophiles?
It's meant to describe all life.
The problem is that it doesn't. All of the structures identified as "irreducibly complex" have been shown to be evolved from ancestor species who simply used the modified structures for a different purpose, or which still worked well enough if not as well as the current structure. Like the eye, or the batcerial flagellum, or the bombardier beetle - all have been used as IC arguments, and all have been utterly refuted. IC has nothing but ignorance and incredulity on its side, with no evidence.
So no, extremophiles are not a "step closer" to IC. A "step closer" would be to identify a structure that flat-out could not have evolved, or which is completely and utterly useless except in its current form. It would also help if the "designer" weren't constantly an idiot, "designing" such structures as the human throat, where the combined breathing/eating tube so easily leads to choking on food, or the human eye, where the nerve connections are backwards. It all works well enough, but you'd fire an engineer who designed such structures.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 5:49 PM tesla has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by tesla, posted 02-20-2008 6:40 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
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