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  Topic: Durston v. Shallit, Debate on 10/25/07< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,17:19   

Kirk Durston will be debating Jeff Shallit this Thursday.

What I'd like to ask AtBCers to do in preparation is contribute links here to things that Kirk has committed himself to in writing.

I'd especially be interested in anything approaching a formal statement of his mathematical approach to antievolution.

Edited by Wesley R. Elsberry on Oct. 23 2007,17:19

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker


Posts: 69
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,20:19   

Here's my own experience with Kirk:;f=6;t=000145;p=1

He makes lots of arguments here, and is refuted at every turn. †My own contribution was forcing Durston to confront experimental data that indicated that "information" (aka improbability), when it comes to polypeptide and polynucleotide functionality, was not a function of length of the polymer. †This contradicts every (I repeat - every!) calculation ever done by an IDist.

When confronted with experimental data that refuted a core tenet of ID, he sort of faded into the background.


Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2007,03:04   

I'm sure this is old news but
For any function, if the quantity of functional information required to achieve the
function exceeds 60 bits, then ID is required.

An Introduction to the Concept of Intelligent Design

There's also this gem, on a different ISCID thread to that linked above by Art
Shannon's initial eqn for information does not distinguish between 'meaningful' or 'functional' information and meaningless or functionless configurations. To use Shannon's eqn to calculate the amount of functional information, one must take the difference between the Shannon entropy of a physical system without constraints, and a physical system with constraints added to perform the desired function (i.e., tornado). Assuming all states are equally probable, the eqn for functional information becomes:

I = -log(Nf/N)


Nf = number of functional configurations and,
N = total number of configurations, functional or non-functional.

As for tornados, they occur with constraints on the physical system that are easily attainable within the physical system itself. Thus the amount of *functional* information in a tornado will be close to zero.

As for functional proteins, this is not the case.


I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".

if there are even critical flaws in Gaugerís work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2007,09:19   

That "newscholars" site seems to have a bunch of Durston essays. Thanks for the link.

I especially like how busted the "ankyrin" analysis is in the Durston and Chiu essay. D&C (boy, that's an unfortunate combination) base their "Nf" estimation on 44 sequences from PFAM. I just looked, and PFAM reports almost 57K sequences for Ank. Not content with 48 milli-dembskis of error, they proceed to exclude any amino acid that doesn't appear at a position in at least 3 of the 44 sequences. There's more, but I think I'll wait until after the debate for that.

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: July 06 2008,09:22   

Kirk Durston is back for more at Jeff Shallit's blog, this time once again going on at length about "functional complexity", but using PFAM data related to the RecA protein family instead of "ankyrin". At least, that's what he claims, though the current numbers at PFAM regarding RecA don't precisely match the numbers he gives, and in some cases there's a substantial discrepancy.

So far, it looks like Kirk has thoroughly micomprehended what numbers have to be plugged into Hazen's "functional complexity" equation or his own derivative to handle non-uniform distributions. Kirk was plugging in an estimate of number of mutations for the "total configurations" spot, and the number of proteins in the PFAM database for RecA as the "functional configurations" number. For the first, the number of mutations is not a limit on the diversity of sequences generated, since (1) not all mutations are point mutations and (2) other processes, like recombination, produce sequence novelty. For the second, protein databases generally catalog just one protein per protein family per species, ignoring almost all intraspecific protein variation. That means there's a whole repertoire of functional sequence diversity that goes unreported by the protein databases, and seriously biases any attempt to take database holdings as a compendium of such diversity. Kirk doesn't take any of those into account, which makes his "functional complexity" math an overblown "garbage-in, garbage-out" exercise.

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

  4 replies since Oct. 23 2007,17:19 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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