The "logic" meme

From: Dace (
Date: Sat Aug 18 2001 - 04:48:22 BST

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    From: "Dace" <>
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    Subject: The "logic" meme
    Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 20:48:22 -0700
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    Joe Dees:

    > > > Appeal to Authority is another one of those 2500 year old Greek
    > > > logical fallacies. In fact, my reply was logical, rational,
    > > > reasonable, coherent, cohesive and cogent, and specifically
    > > > addressed the referent conditions rather than someone else's opinion
    > > > of them.
    > >
    > > Appeal to Authority is a fallacy only when the "authority" turns out
    > > to have no expertise on the issue under discussion. If I appeal to
    > > the authority of a plumber on my leaky faucet, that is not a fallacy.
    > > But if I make my appeal to the authority of an electrician, this would
    > > then be a fallacy.
    > >
    > > Yes, your reply was logical. That's the problem. You're trying to
    > > argue against facts with logic. It won't work. This is what I mean
    > > about banging your head against a wall.
    > >
    > One argues logicallly based upon the facts;

    Not necessarily. One can argue illogically from facts or, in your case,
    logically from falsehoods. You can't overcome facts with logic. You
    can't assume protein-folding follows deterministically simply because
    it seems logical to you. When the evidence fails to support your thesis,
    your sense of its innate validity is meaningless.

    > > > > > > DNA does not code for locks and keys to govern protein
    > > > > > > assembly. The folding of protein remains a mystery, as any
    > > > > > > biochemist can tell you.
    > > > > > >
    > > > > > If it codes for protein construction, then lock and key
    > > > > > configuration, being an aspect of overall configuration, is
    > > > > > necesarily a part of the whole.
    > > > >
    > > > > This statement is absolutely correct. *If* genes code for protein
    > > > > construction, *then* they would necessarily provide a lock and key
    > > > > configuration. However, genes do not encode for any such thing.
    > > > > They "encode" for a simple, linear sequence of amino acids.
    > > > > That's it, Joe. Bang your head against the brick wall all you
    > > > > want, it's not going to change the facts.
    > > > >
    > > > If DNA encodes for "simple, linear sequence(s) of amino acids", then
    > > > these themselves can only lock-and-key into proteins in ways
    > > > predetermined by their configuration.
    > >
    > > Do you realize you're making this up out of thin air? [snip]

    > Reread the above to see why your response does not address my
    > contention; if genes code for amino acid sequence construction,
    > then the locks and keys inherent in those configurations constrain
    > linkage possibilities; nothing has to be forced, just alternatives
    > excluded by being rendered configurationally impossible.

    The chemical "locks and keys" in a sequence of amino acids do not confine the folding process into one set of linkages in particular. Given the chemical properties of an amino acid chain, there are numerous possible configurations that could result. This was my original point. You're still avoiding the facts because they don't seem "logical" to you.

    > > Invoking Occam here is a big mistake. The whole point of field theory
    > > in biology, all the way back to the 20s, was to reduce the number of
    > > "entities." Field theory is far more elegant than germ-plasm theory.
    > > All the complexity involved in storing blueprints in our chromosomes
    > > and somehow translating them into actual bodies is washed away with
    > > the concept of a holistic field governing development. This is not to
    > > suggest, of course, that elegance constitutes proof.
    > >
    > We already know that the genes are there;

    That we do. What we don't know is that they contain instructions for
    the creation of a transcomputational structure known as an "organism."

    > we actually modify them, on occasion.

    And we've begun learning to create technology from this modification. As
    Francis Bacon once said, "Truth and utility are the same thing." This is a caricature of science.

    > To add another mechanism, whose existence
    > and efficacy have not even been demonstrated, to one actually
    > proven to exist and that has not ben proven to fail to account for the
    > observed phenomena

    That it hasn't been disproven is indeed its only "evidence."

    > is indeed to violate Occam's Razor. "God
    > made it all" would be simpler than evolution, I suppose, but that
    > wdoesn't make it correct.

    That God created the universe has never been disproven either. Some
    statements can't be "falsified" and are therefore unscientific. "DNA
    made it all" is no different from "God made it all." It's the same assertion
    in different guises. The meme adapts, Joe. When you outgrow one of
    its forms, it takes on a new one and sucks you right back in.

    > Kenneth Van Oost wrote:
    > > Hi Joe,
    > > You wrote,
    > >
    > > > Ted has mentioned both configurations (such as fish scale colors)
    > > > and actions (such as the opening of milk bottles by birds) as
    > > > possible examples of morphogenetic resonance. I consider the first
    > > > to be genetically determined and the second to be learned behavior,
    > > > but in no way can I conceive of such disparate examples as issuing
    > > > from a common cause.
    > >
    > > << Ok, I can agree on the first, but with the example of the birds,
    > > you gonna ran into serious trouble if the notions which Dace provided
    > > us are true. I know of that specific example, and if indeed birds took
    > > up the habit after four years, and all the previous birds were long
    > > dead, how do you explain than that the new generation got hold of such
    > > a habit !? There weren't any birds left from where young ones could
    > > possibly learn how to open milk bottles !
    > >
    > I think that they have a life span exceeding four years.

    Well, the ornithologists who studied this case disagreed. But then the
    logic in your hand is worth more than a few experts in the bush.


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