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92 comments

Other fields... (3, Funny)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068774)

Other fields like ID/creationism have been evolving their arguments over time?

Re:Other fields... (2, Interesting)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068874)

Hmmm, I wonder what parameters give a mutation of ID/creationism an advantage.... A higher degree of logical circularity maybe?

Re:Other fields... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069048)

Religions don't appear to be common at all in present species, though there are strong hints for the presence of them in Neanderthals. And, of course, homo sapiens sapiens. Granted, there's not a lot of data points in one of those subsets but, taking all things into consideration, there are strong hints that religions are memetic contructs. ;p A bit out of scope of genetics and mutations (as commonly understood, regarding genes; even if there might be some that contributed to particular structure of society in our line of primates)

Re:Other fields... (4, Funny)

Jakeva (1429603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069616)

Hmmm, I wonder what parameters give a mutation of ID/creationism an advantage.... A higher degree of logical circularity maybe?

If creationists are right, then God created circular logic............. ohmygod! I just proved nothing!

Happy Veteran's Day (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068956)

For those veterans who served their country by fighting pointless wars in third-world countries against people who weren't a threat to us (no WMDs after all), in order to expand American imperialism, I say: HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY! We sure were getting distracted by domestic issues until we had another pointless war to fight. Hey, war's good for the economy right? It's especially good for companies that get no-bid contracts for reconstruction in the war-torn areas.

Vets, I hope it was worth it. Remember, "Iraq" is Arabic and it translates to "Vietnam". Was that freedom you thought you were fighting for? HA HA HA it'd be funny if it weren't such a sick joke. If it was freedom then why was it an offensive war and not a defensive one? Now go beat the drum of patriotism and tell us the terrorists hate us because of our freedoms. Nevermind that we use our intelligence services to overthrow their elected governments and install ruthless dictators who are favorable to our economic interests. Not like that might be why they're so pissed at us especially when they think our government represents us (oh, right, you signed up for military service, so in your cases it does). Nevermind that Saddam Hussein was a CIA-trained asset and so was Osama bin Ladin, your short memories won't permit that. Nevermind that the Arabs don't want us to conduct the socioeconomic warfare against them (what Theodore Roosevelt called Dollar Diplomacy) that we used against most of South America (but hey, Pepsico got a cheap plant out of the deal so that makes it okay!). It's our great freedoms they hate us for. Yeah. Just keep telling yourself that so you can sleep at night and keep wondering why something just doesn't feel right. So sign up for the military and fight some sand niggers today! After all, we need all the useful idiots we can get!

"Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder." - Thomas Paine. Guess what? That means if you voluntarily sign up to go overseas and kill a bunch of people for political purposes who were never a threat to you, that makes you a murderer too. But they won't call you that, they'll call you a hero and that'll make it okay. Right?

The only thing sadder is that you will read this and know it is true, or maybe you'll use a search engine and figure out that it's true, and your only reaction will be to get annoyed at me for saying it and you'll mod me down ASAP to try and shut me up. If it's true, what's wrong with saying it? Oh right, it might upset someone, and God knows that's more important than facing reality. God knows that not offending anyone is so much more important than being honest about the decay of a nation and its rot from within.

Re:Happy Veteran's Day (1, Insightful)

Xanavi (1197431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070300)

Most truth I have heard all day. The real pandemic going around is apathy and people lying to themselves to feel better.

Re:Other fields... (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070244)

Just remember, both sides are evolving their arguments over time, its not the exclusive domain of the religious.

Re:Other fields... (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072628)

The greatest miracle would be if God designed a universe where natural selection could result in such wonders. I for one believe that is exactly what happened.

Re:Other fields... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073970)

as do i. i'm pleased others are finally catching on.

Nature is haphazard and random (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068866)

Although Nature is random and haphazard in its designs, it still has to follow the laws of physics. So large structures like trees, termite hills, and basalt cliffs are structured to be very strong.

Structures that must hold their form like honeycombs and coral reefs have interesting geometric structures.

And things that must be flexible, lightweight, and resistant to breakage like spider webs use multiple methods of increasing tensile strength.

If they didn't, physics would force them to break. So for each iteration of Nature, you get some strong and some weak structures, but due to the constant barrage of forces only the most adaptable survive. If genetically controlled, these traits get passed down to subsequent generations.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (1)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068902)

Not sure about your example of a basalt cliff... How exactly does a cliff evolve?

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068940)

I never said it evolved. I simply said that large structures must have strong structures.

The hexagonal "honeycomb" structure of basalt cliffs gives it resistance to landslides.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069102)

The hexagonal "honeycomb" structure of basalt cliffs gives it resistance to landslides.

That's not what I see when I look at a columnar basalt structure. Instead I see an avenue for more rapid destruction than would be present in a monolithic structure that didn't fracture that way. Water and ice can penetrate through these flaws in the structure and break it up.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069168)

Consider the time required to create either of those "solutions" though. The basalt quickly solidifies into its columnar shape while granite may take many multiple times that amount to become monolithic in the same scope.

Are there points of weakness in columnar basalt? Undoubtedly. But the rapid development and reasonable lifespan of these is a pretty good tradeoff.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069016)

Not sure about your example of a basalt cliff... How exactly does a cliff evolve?

Look at his nick: BadAnalogyGuy. What did you expect from him, a car analogy?

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069264)

Look at his nick: BadAnalogyGuy. What did you expect from him, a car analogy?

Um, yes. That is what we have come to expect of him.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (2, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069608)

I'll take a shot at it!

See, it's like this: I see strong structures like basalt columns as volkswagons, which as you know, are arch-shaped and therefore strong. Weak structures on the other hand, such as grasses, are more like smart cars: easily crushed and, well, no where to go from here. I got nothin'. Sorry. Ask BadAnalogyGuy.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069984)

Have you ever seen a smart car in a crash test? They are very far from easily crushed. If you had said a Lada...

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069056)

You can see mostly cliffs that survive the elements for any significant amount of time? (owing to their structure - in this case, specific materials)

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069326)

At level 25 Basalt Cliff evolves into Andesite Cliff and will evolve into Granite Deathdrop when you trade it.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (3, Insightful)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069954)

I wouldn't catgeorize nature as random or haphazard. Although in quantum mechanics particle movements are intrisically random, as soon as you get to thermodynamically significant ammounts of 'stuff'', physics acts very regularly. Even for non-living things, nature is often produces very regularly and mathematically precise objects from the spiral arms of a galaxy to the pattern of snowflakes.

---

Materials Science [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073972)

In other words, we can make use of the fruits of billions of machine-hours on a huge supercomputer that's been running Evolution software for a long time. The results are quite solid, having been run through the equivalent of millions of test-driven development [wikipedia.org] cycles. There's an environment that will only give a passing result to designs which meet its strict criteria, and millions of designs thrown at it, with only a small number passing. And then the tests change, with new designs having to pass the new tests.

Re:Nature is haphazard and random (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074030)

Although Nature is random and haphazard in its designs

These are not designs, they're results.

Design implies a conscious, driving force. As you say, it's merely the laws of physics ending up with results we didn't think of.

Cheers

Biomimetics (4, Interesting)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069000)

Regardless of ones theological views i've always found the field of biomimetics fascinating. Looking at systems in the world around us to find better ways of doing human things creates novel solutions for oftentimes complex problems. Personally i believe in an intelligent Creator, and to me i cannot help but marvel at the inherent wisdom in these complex systems and the incredible harmony they share. Again for the sake of the hypersensitive evolutionists out there, i'm not trying to change beliefs here, but from my perspective this is an especially interesting subject.

Re:Biomimetics (4, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069098)

It doesn't take a "hypersensitive evolutionist" to see that this argument is incredibly weak. If an intelligent designer was constructing clever solutions and using them for life then it seems incredibly strange that solutions don't get used multiple times. A material can be incredibly strong and yet it will show up only in a handful of generally related lineages. Moreover, if one looks at a scale beyond the details of exceptional materials the designer made some really strange decisions. The recurrent laryngeal nerve for example which goes from the brain to the voice box feels a need to loop already down around the heart and back up. This makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective given the essentially segmented form that vertebrates arose from (and hence that mammals were forced to work with). Yes any reasonable engineer would just have this use the direct path. This is even more glaring in other animals: The giraffe for instance has the exact same thing. That means that there are about 15 feet of extra nerve tissue. It seems pretty clear that if there is a creator, the creator was either very stupid or simply hasn't involved itself in the design of life. Which of those do you prefer?

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Alphanos (596595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069240)

Also, tonsils and the appendix are useless. Since we've figured everything out, we could design much better humans! Oh wait...

Re:Biomimetics (3, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069262)

Your argument seems to be "look! Here are things we thought we're useless and now they aren't. Therefore we should conclude that everything falls into that category even if we have no good reason to think so and no hypothetical mechanism for what it is doing usefully." That's great. Because after the laryngeal nerve I've got dozens of other examples. And your point doesn't deal with the primary issue raised which is that the mysterious designer seems oddly unwilling to use his clever solutions. And as long as were positing inherently untestable claims with no basis why not just posit that there was a designer but that the designer is a colossal dick who likes to mess with biologists. So the designer made sure to make things look just like everything had evolved without any intervention. Makes about as much sense. Indeed, that actually makes slightly more sense because the "designer is a dick" hypothesis also explains why so many nasty things like malaria seem to be so wonderfully made.

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071876)

...why not just posit that there was a designer but that the designer is a colossal dick who likes to mess with biologists.

Applied a bit more generally, this philosophy indicates that there could be a god who deliberately tries to organise the universe to conceal his existence. So he doesn't want people to believe in him - and the people who do probably annoy him a bit.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

baKanale (830108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072782)

Because after the laryngeal nerve I've got dozens of other examples.

Honestly I'd love to hear more of those. They're super-interesting, and it's always good to have more ammunition against the ID crowd.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30080592)

Other examples include the structure of the human eye. There's a blind spot because the nerve connections go in front of the cells that receive light and then go through a hole, the "blind spot" to meet up with the optic nerve. Creationists have tried to claim that this is actually optimal design but fail for the simple reason that many other living beings such as the octopus don't have their eye set up this way.

Another example is the human appendix. Not that the appendix does nothing. But that for what it does seem to do, it seems pretty badly designed for it. There are a number of major hypotheses at this point including that it acts as a reserve for bacteria to repopulate the digestive system if they get wiped out for some reason in the rest of the system (say by a large scale immune response). However, not a single use for the appendix would make the appendix at all optimal for what it is doing. Thus, it is either a completely vestigial cecum or a cecum that has been coopted to provide certain benefits. But it isn't doing a great job as either.

Another example is the twisted nature of the major veins and arteries around the heart. Paths are longer than they need to be. Among other results this makes it harder to perform some forms of surgery. The blood supply for the heart itself is also complicated much more so than if there were short direct paths. So if there's a designer, the designer really doesn't like surgeons and is willing to add a convoluted design to get there.

There are also many classical examples. The presence of goosebumps on humans as a legacy of when we actually had a useful amount of hair has been known for some time. If I'm not mistaken this was actually recognized first by Darwin.

These are all if we restrict ourselves to humans. If we move outside to other species we get all sorts of fun stuff. Some snakes have internal bones for legs that they don't have. Lots of flightless birds have wings or partial wings. Some of them even have instincts that can make them try to fly. Kakapos for example are very cute flightless parrots found in New Zealand. They generally don't try to fly, but they may attempt it if they get really scared. This can include throwing themselves off cliffs and flapping their wings furiously or running up a tree and jumping off. This is sometimes fatal. (Note that until very recently kakapos had no serious predators so there was no strong evolutionary incentive to remove these bad instincts).

Re:Biomimetics (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30081606)

It would seem you don't understand the perspective that the average ID/creationist comes from. As convenient as it sounds, the average ID/creationist believes that the world is in a fallen state. A state of disrepair and disarray. If you've read the bible then the passage that speaks of the world 'waxing old like a garment' springs to mind.

Unfortunately, the bible doesn't document in detail (to a scientists satisfaction) the changes that the known universe went through when humanity 'fell'. Suffice to say, it moots many of the points you try to make - if that's what they believe.

Have you ever considered yourself as a 'believer' taking 'leaps of faith'? It seems you look at the partial work of other people, that while awesome, doesn't explain the purpose (or full purpose) of a given function or material and can only speculate and postulate on its true purpose and its full functional qualities - and then take what they're saying as the undeniable, complete truth. The amount of times we as humans get things wrong, or miss something that helps explain something else is innumerable. This will continue into the near infinity.

Agh, let me give some examples of what I'm talking about:

But that for what it does seem to do, it seems pretty badly designed for it....There are a number of major hypotheses at this point...However, not a single use for the appendix would make the appendix at all optimal for what it is doing.

Logic jump. You've gone from explaining that we don't know exactly what it does to saying that its terribly designed for its purpose.

The presence of goosebumps on humans as a legacy of when we actually had a useful amount of hair has been known for some time.

You've got to be kidding. Have you ever been so scared of a critter (spider, bee, wasp, etc) that your hair has stood on end and you've gotten huge 'goosebumps'? I have, and when that happens, every outside forces interaction with my body is intensely magnified. Its a useful mechanism that works extremely well. Oh, and I'm not a monkey, I'm not covered in large hairs and it still works extremely well.

The rest of your arguments that I haven't quoted? I'm at work, I picked the low hanging fruit to illustrate my point. Come at it from the perspective that the universe we're in was designed, is 'fallen' because of man's sin and that as a consequence things aren't nearly as good as they used to be and you'll see it all a bit differently.

Re:Biomimetics (2, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30082550)

I'm familiar with the notion of a fallen world. I didn't address it above for the simple reason that the individual wanted more examples. If we want to discuss that bit of apologetics we can. First of all, the whole notion of a fallen world really only makes much theological sense in Judaism and Christianity not for Islam or the Ba'hai. So we need to narrow the set of discussion a lot if we are going to use that particular argument.

The entire claim has much less theological justification in either Judaism or Christianity than one might think otherwise. In particular, the general pointer made is to the "fall" after Adam and Eve eat from the tree. Yet the Biblical text itself has very little to say about this. Eve is cursed in childbirth and Adam is cursed that the ground will be hard to work. There's no broad "fall" that makes everything worse. There's no claim in the text that the world as a whole has fallen. That's very late claim being read into the text. The verses that talk about waxing old really don't help matters at all. The two verses that do so are in Psalm 102 and in Isaiah 51. (There's another verse in the New Testament in Hebrews but it is a paraphrase of Isaiah. I don't know much Both those verses talk about the world falling apart in the indefinite future in contrast to God's eternal nature. That's not claiming that the world has fallen apart but that eventually all things come to an end but God.

This should be a serious problem for Protestants who emphasize the direct Biblical text. Less of an issue for Catholics, Orthodox and liberal Protestants, but they generally aren't shouting about ID. Jews actually have a slightly better position here theologically in that they can point to the larger body of tradition, the midrash, and note how it has elements that support the notion of a more general Fall or at least that things have gotten a lot worse since Adam (they use a phrase that translates as "the decline of the generations"). However, they are minor elements. Moreover, there are sections of midrash which only make sense if the Earth is flat, others seem to think that the phoenix is a real bird, and still others tell of Alexander the Great fighting the Amazons (not kidding. This is in one of the later sections in Tamid). So the Jews don't really have a great defense of this either. Better than the Christian one, but it takes a lot of picking and choosing from various texts.

Even if one did grant the notion of a fallen world, it really doesn't help with most of these sorts of examples. The notion of a fall as it is generally described is that things are getting worse due to the presence of sin. But the sort of examples we are discussing aren't just things getting worse due to decline or problems. The laryngeal nerve example used elsewhere is a good example. It isn't even inconvenient to humans. It is just freaking weird and unnecessarily complicated. Doesn't seem to be part of the punishment of Adam or anything like that. Contrast this for example with the human tendency to occasionally have babies born with a small, non-functional tale. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#atavisms_ex2 [talkorigins.org] . Some sort of explanation akin to the Fall might actually work here if one posited that Adam and Eve had tales and that we've lost most of the ability to have them. Indeed, that would fit in some interesting ways with the Biblical text about their curse. But most of the major examples don't fit this mold unless you believe that at the Fall the entire world got redesigned more or less from the ground up, and that you had a seriously deceitful redesigner.

It is an odd coincidence that the bad things from the fall exactly mimic what evolution actually explains in detail. The fall is theologically unsound, Biblically unsupported, philosophically untenable, and scientifically useless. It is an ad hoc argument to preserve faith in a view directly counter to reality in the face of overwhelming evidence. Moreover, many Jews, Christians and Muslims are completely fine with evolution and get along just fine.

Now as to the replies to the earlier examples:

Logic jump. You've gone from explaining that we don't know exactly what it does to saying that its terribly designed for its purpose.

No. The point is that we have a few hypotheses about what the appendix might still do if it isn't completely useless (as many biologists still suspect is the case). However, every single one of those uses would be much better served by a very different

You've got to be kidding. Have you ever been so scared of a critter (spider, bee, wasp, etc) that your hair has stood on end and you've gotten huge 'goosebumps'? I have, and when that happens, every outside forces interaction with my body is intensely magnified. Its a useful mechanism that works extremely well. Oh, and I'm not a monkey, I'm not covered in large hairs and it still works extremely well.

I know what you are talking about (I haven't had this happen with little guys. I'm not generally afraid of them. But I have had this experience in other circumstances). However, I suspect that most if not all of what you are experiencing is due to adrenalin not due to the goosebumps. Moreover, the primary experience where most people get goosebumps is due to low temperature. In this case, the reaction is completely useless. Makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective though.

Re:Biomimetics (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069352)

It seems pretty clear that if there is a creator, the creator was either very stupid or simply hasn't involved itself in the design of life.

I believe what you are referring to is called a "false dichotomy."

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Pezistential (1444245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069386)

In nature there are many examples of solutions that get used time and time again (e.g. DNA replication: used by all life) ... and there are the unique solutions too (niche anyone?). Neither fact does much to prove or disprove ID or evolution. Seems pretty non-sequitur to me... comes off a bit hypersensitive too.

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069462)

Umm, DNA is your example?

If all life started from a single organism (evolution), then all life would inherit a rough copy of how that organism worked (DNA).

If there was a creator, why keep using DNA for all life? The Creator seems to use all sorts of diffrent approuches, but why keep using DNA?

Really, if you want to use that argument, pick a better example then DNA, which logically seems to bend towards supporting evolution rather then ID.

Re:Biomimetics (2, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069468)

No. There's a big difference. DNA replication is used by all life because all life has common descent and the code used for DNA is very fundamental to how life functions so tampering with it isn't going to create viable offspring. The type of solutions that don't get reused are precisely the sort of clever biological structures that TFA is talking about. These are exactly what you would not expect to be duplicated if evolution is correct. Moreover, the niche example is again an argument for evolution rather than design. Why would a designer stick functionally identical life forms in the same niches and not use the same species? Why for example fill all the niches in Australia with marsupials while filling those same niches generally with mammals elsewhere? (See for example the Tasmanian wolf as opposed to the wolf or the tiger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_wolf [wikipedia.org] ). Or why in New Zealand are so many ground niches taken by birds that became flightless or in some cases lost their wings outright? See here the kiwi and the kakapo (a fascinating flightless parrot and oh so cute). This makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective. From a design perspective it seems downright deceitful.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Pezistential (1444245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069828)

If an intelligent designer was constructing clever solutions and using them for life then it seems incredibly strange that solutions don't get used multiple times.

an example in evolutionary terms is convergence (don't know/care what it would be in ID)... whether evolution or the flying spaghetti monster is the driving force, your statement above is fallacious.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069944)

Please read the rest of this thread. Convergence is not an example of that at all. If you had an engineer then they wouldn't construct almost identical solutions to the same problem repeatedly. Convergence aren't the same thing. They are examples of evolution finding very similar solutions to the same problem in different contexts. Thus for example, in Australia one has all sorts of marsupials that converge to what mammals do in most other continents. A designer would presumably just use the same species for the same niches. But evolution can't do that. See the difference?

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072588)

>Thus for example, in Australia one has all sorts of marsupials that converge to what mammals do in most other continents.

Thus for example, in Europe White People converge to [do] what humans do in most other continents.

These sentences sound stupid if White People are humans, or in fact, marsupials are mammals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsupial [wikipedia.org]

Re:Biomimetics (2, Interesting)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069500)

It seems pretty clear that if there is a creator, the creator was either very stupid or simply hasn't involved itself in the design of life. Which of those do you prefer?

The former doesn't really make sense, especially when it is evident that there are a bunch of immutable laws (physics) that govern the behavior of things and he is both too stupid to design things properly and at the same time too clever to allow his immutable laws, er, not to be. If the latter, perhaps those laws were designed along with the rest of the universe, as an experiment. Evolution would be an emergent property of the initial distribution of matter, the physics of the system, and possibly a random function. Kind of like Blizzard not intentionally designing the evolution of battle tactics in Starcraft, but creating a system where it will happen. (If this sort of creator is in existence, we might expect periodic nerfing of exceptionally successful forms of life, and buffs applied to the losers of life.)

Looking at astronomy porn like those NASA milky way galaxy pics earlier, my mind boggles at the sheer vastness of the scale involved. To think that anything could compute such a thing in simulation would be very difficult to believe. It might be easier if outside the solar system was a light show, somewhat like the Truman Show on a larger scale. But still, the patience of the creator involved would be amazing, as supernovas have been occurring throughout history, and each would have to have been planned. So I suspect that, while technically it could be possible that the universe is a simulation or experiment of a "god", I think it is unlikely. A micromanaging god much moreso.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070204)

Kind of like Blizzard not intentionally designing the evolution of battle tactics in Starcraft, but creating a system where it will happen. (If this sort of creator is in existence, we might expect periodic nerfing of exceptionally successful forms of life, and buffs applied to the losers of life.)

Like for example, causing the temperature of the planet to drop for a period of time to nerf cold-blooded animals?

Re:Biomimetics (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070274)

>>Like for example, causing the temperature of the planet to drop for a period of time to nerf cold-blooded animals?

Yeah, God took out Velociraptors in the 1.2 patch. They were too OP.

Reptile players kind of bitched about it on the forums, but the introduction of flying units in 1.3 gave them a strong advantage that only late game mammal players can counter.

Re:Biomimetics (2, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069532)

>>It doesn't take a "hypersensitive evolutionist" to see that this argument is incredibly weak. If an intelligent designer was constructing clever solutions and using them for life then it seems incredibly strange that solutions don't get used multiple times.

Good thing birds and bats evolved from the same lineage, or you'd have a problem with your argument, eh? (You may want to start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_examples_of_convergent_evolution [wikipedia.org] )

Besides, intelligent design is not creationism (though creationists tend to use it as a sort of disguise, hence the confusion). ID simply says that an intelligent wossname helped guide evolution. Depending on how you formulate it, it's either the weak form: a nice thought but not really provable either way (the approach the Vatican takes, FWIW), or the strong form, which says evolution couldn't happen without a guiding hand.

I do find it interesting though that even the strongest evolutionists can't get away from the design mentality. I remember a fierce evolutionist sitting in front of me during a bio lecture, and the professor was lecturing about how things pass through the intestine walls... essentially the whatever would get packed, then unpacked, then packed again. The guy in front of me wrote this down, then wrote "WTF" and circled it, since it didn't make sense to him for the process to work that way. (He later asked the professor why, and there was actually a reasonable explanation for it.)

Re:Biomimetics (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069692)

Convergent evolution is an example where it isn't the same thing at all. Why would an intelligent designer redesign the same thing for multiple lineages instead of using the same lineage? That's precisely what makes sense under evolution. It doesn't make sense for an intelligent designer to go through all the work again. It makes perfect sense for these to evolve. And note the original context we were discussing about really clever biological materials that aren't reused. This actually provides a perfect example; despite bats converging similarly to birds (albeit with very different muscle and skeletal structures you would expect from evolution), bats still don't get feathers. And nocturnal birds don't get the whole sonic radar system.

Besides, intelligent design is not creationism (though creationists tend to use it as a sort of disguise, hence the confusion). ID simply says that an intelligent wossname helped guide evolution. Depending on how you formulate it, it's either the weak form: a nice thought but not really provable either way (the approach the Vatican takes, FWIW), or the strong form, which says evolution couldn't happen without a guiding hand.

People may use "intelligent design" to mean something other than strict young earth creationism, but the term was made specifically to disguise to get creationism into the American public schools. In 1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the US Supreme Court ruled that "creation science" was the same thing as "creationism" which couldn't be taught in public school biology classes because it violated the First Amendment. Then the creationists decided to start talking about intelligent design. Indeed, the very next draft "Of Pandas and Peoples", a creation science textbook that was in the works did a search and replace for every single use of "creationists" or "creation scientists" or "creationism" and replaced them with the correct form of "intelligent design." However, in a truly ironic step, they screwed up in the next draft and actually left a transitional form of "cdesign proponentsists". This strange hybrid of "creation scientists" and "design proponents" was corrected in the next draft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdesign_proponentsists#Pandas_and_.22cdesign_proponentsists.22 [wikipedia.org] However, this draft, which remained unpublished, was disclosed during the Kitzmiller v Dover trial where it was decided that intelligent design really was just a cheap disguise for creationism. The decision in the Dover trial is really worth reading. The text can be found at http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf [uscourts.gov] . It includes a lot more very clear evidence that ID was made solely as a term to disguise creationism and get it into our public schools.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070184)

>>In 1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the US Supreme Court ruled that "creation science" was the same thing as "creationism"

Yes, because the supreme court is the ultimate source of definitions in America. Is it chaired by Emanuel Lewis, too? Do they carry a golden dictionary from which they make pronouncements from upon high? These are the same people that ruled the obscene is that which is without any redeeming social value.

And I agree, by and large the ID movement is, as I said, YEC's using it as a disguise, even though it is completely contradictory to YEC. And yeah, Intelligent Design (the notion that God or whoever influenced evolution) is completely incompatible with the notion that the earth is only 20 years old, or whatever.

If you'd like to propose a new term to encompass the variety of theories about guided evolution, I'd like to hear it. Actually... I like that term. GE.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070210)

It doesn't make sense if the creator's objective is to fill the niche, but what if the objective is to occupy himself by creating a creature that fills the niche?

Re:Biomimetics (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30081674)

It doesn't make sense for an intelligent designer to go through all the work again.

This is part of the problem of critiquing the intelligent designer thing. If the Creating Entity is all-powerful or God-like or whatever, non of the standard concerns of human creators need apply. When I want a particular goal accomplished, I have to deal with all sorts of constraints, like energy, resources, enthusiasm, motivation. Some projects are vital, like maintaining a decent job, and without doing it well enough, I suffer. Some projects, like eating or drinking, will result in my death if not carried out. An all-powerful being need have none of these concerns -- though it may; it *need* not.

So arguing that a Creator wouldn't do something because "it's a lot of work" or "it's repetitious" is stupid. Playing music is a lot of work, and it's dreadfully repetitious, but it's a blast! Maybe an intelligent creating God just gets a kick out of doing a lot of things in a variety of different ways -- he's not slavishly working hard and efficiently to some goal.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069724)

Besides, intelligent design is not creationism (though creationists tend to use it as a sort of disguise, hence the confusion).

Despite how you try to slant it, ID only exists as a facade that the creationists put up to try and present a "theory" to throw at evolution. It is of little use except as an example of quackery.

ID simply says that an intelligent wossname helped guide evolution.

Which is an entirely useless statement, especially in the context in which those who promote it try to pitch it. However "strong" or "weak" you pitch it, it's still irrelevant.

I do find it interesting though that even the strongest evolutionists

Bold mine. The -only- people who use that phrase are those who, for some reason, have a bone to pick with those who oppose creationism and fight against attempts to introduce ID into schools.

I do find it interesting though that even the strongest evolutionists can't get away from the design mentality. I remember a fierce evolutionist sitting in front of me during a bio lecture, and the professor was lecturing about how things pass through the intestine walls... essentially the whatever would get packed, then unpacked, then packed again. The guy in front of me wrote this down, then wrote "WTF" and circled it, since it didn't make sense to him for the process to work that way. (He later asked the professor why, and there was actually a reasonable explanation for it.)

This of course proves that he was an "evolutionist" and that there was obviously some "design" that went into the means by which things pass through the intestinal walls. Of course, if he was a believer in Intelligent Design, he'd have assumed that it was an example Irreducible Complexity and stopped all thought and inquisition there.

Re:Biomimetics (2, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070242)

>>Despite how you try to slant it, ID only exists as a facade that the creationists put up to try and present a "theory" to throw at evolution. It is of little use except as an example of quackery.

While I agree it is probably often used as a facade, it is a testable (and therefore a scientific theory) that someone rigged the dice during evolution. You can make statistical tests for loaded dice - gaming commissions do this sort of testing all the time, in fact.

Of course, it's not really very popular to say as such here on Slashdot, where everyone is supposed to just go along with the atheist-anarchist sheeple and be followers who are so proud of themselves for their individuality.

>>Bold mine. The -only- people who use that phrase are those who, for some reason, have a bone to pick with those who oppose creationism and fight against attempts to introduce ID into schools.

I use the term 'evolutionist' only to describe people who, for some reason, have a bone to pick with Christians who propose God could have had anything at all to do with evolution. Usually because they can't handle the notion if it was true.

Read up on Hoyle and the development of the big bang theory. You might find it illuminating. People like Hoyle rejected the big bang theory out of what you might call an atheistic faith, because he couldn't handle the notion of a finite universe, because it would imply God was real. These 1940s versions of Richard Dawkins attacked the theory as 'closet creationism' and spewed quite a fair amount of vitriol in the process.

There's a close parallel between it and the modern evolutionists. If you want to watch a temper tantrum, propose testing ID as a scientific theory to your average Slashdot Dawkins clone.

Re:Biomimetics (2, Insightful)

TeethWhitener (1625259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070730)

How is intelligent design testable? I really am curious. Keep in mind that 'testable' is equivalent to 'falsifiable.'

Here's a simple example, simplified: DNA analysis shows that human and chimp DNA is about 99% identical. I hypothesize that DNA is the mechanism by which genes are inherited and evolution happens. By this hypothesis, I should be able to look back in the fossil record and see human and chimp ancestors becoming more and more similar until there is no distinction. My hypothesis is falsifiable: If I look at the fossil record and this is not the case, I'd better think of a different explanation. If, however, it is the case, then I'm safe...for now (cue scary music).

This is how science works--it's an unfortunate misconception that scientists simply look at data, make bold pronouncements which all the gullible sheeple swallow, and go home to sleep with their supermodel girlfriends (okay, maybe not that part). But the reality is that any theory is always on the brink of being proven wrong. And I understand that Kuhn said that scientific revolutions take time/are strongly resisted at first, blah, blah, but the fact remains that eventually the falsifiability of an incorrect theory catches up with it. That's the beauty of it.

I'm no expert in intelligent design, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't offer up any simple cases (like the example above) in which statements entailed by the intelligent design hypothesis succeed where modern evolutionary theory fails.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070830)

>>How is intelligent design testable? I really am curious. Keep in mind that 'testable' is equivalent to 'falsifiable.'

Suppose Jurassic Park was real, and you could get a complete DNA record of every generation of an animal going back however many millions of years. You examine the mutation pattern and see if it corresponds to how mutations should occur, and see if there's any bias in the distribution pattern. That's the simplest way, I'd imagine.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072996)

Your suggestion is impossible to implement so it doesn't constitute an example of a method of falsifying Intelligent Design. I've spent a moderate amount of time looking into Intelligent Design and haven't found anything that I understand to be a legitimate proposal for falsifiability. Are you aware of any other tests?

Re:Biomimetics (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30154992)

With the same rationale, evolution is impossible to falsify as well, since like most things in science, it happened (or didn't) and we have imperfect knowledge of past events. It's the best match for the data, but the premise of Strong ID is that while evolution happened, some entity interfered in the process. If this happened, then there should be some evidence of the interference that should show up statistically.

Likewise, if intercessionary prayer works (frequently enough to be detected), then statistical measures can reveal it. There's interesting results both ways in this area, but the results are (as one could expect) disputed quite heavily.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Victa (186697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069764)

IF there is an intelligent creator, and he/she/it is capable of creating universes/planets/life out of nothing...

What makes you think that you could possibly understand his/her/it's design decisions?

For the record I do not beleive in such an entity...

Re:Biomimetics (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069950)

Right. So it makes decisions that are absolutely indistinguishable from what one would expect from no designer? It is a good thing you don't believe that because that seems to be such a bad example of special pleading that it isn't funny.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070220)

But would you expect them from no designer or have we constructed a theory that causes us to expect what we already know exists?

Re:Biomimetics (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069110)

Oh, yes the amazing designer. Who for some reason gave whales hips and leg bones, fused inside their bodies. He/she gave flightless birds wings with light weight bones. He/she gave us eyes with the nerves and blood vessels in front of the retina instead of behind, what a designer. At least the dude who invented the octopus got the eye thing right.

So much wisdom and love went into the design of cancer, MS and typhoid, the designer loves us so much he prefers us to painfully die so we can be closer to him. /sarcasm

You sir are and moron.

Re:Biomimetics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069290)

No, you see, we were put into this world of suffering and death so we can grow and learn! I mean, sure, God is omnipotent and omniscient and all and created us directly and presumably could've done all this growing and learning of us himself much more easily. But somehow this is different and magic and I'm totally not desperately trying to prop up my beliefs no matter how nonsensical my justifications may be at all!

Re:Biomimetics (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30081746)

Funny, but not quite right. =)

Put it more like this and you'd be closer to the mark:

We're created creatures with the sole purpose of honouring the person who created us. It doesn't matter what situation God has put you in, that's his right. This is his game after all. Here's a classic example from the bible its self; what right does the clay pot made by the potter have to say, "why did you make me like I am? I want to be blabla". The answer given? No right whatsoever. Sounds harsh, I know - but that's not where the story ends.

Re:Biomimetics (4, Funny)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069312)

You sir are and moron.

you sir, made my day. ;)

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30071174)

You sir, are a noob. That quote is intentionally misspelled (it's a meme from 4chan).

(not the GP AC)

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30074552)

"you sir, made my day. ;)"

If a spelling error "made your day", your life must be truly pathetic.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30078236)

"you sir, made my day. ;)"

If a spelling error "made your day", your life must be truly pathetic.

Or he's been having a bad day and this was the highlight.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30080716)

You sir are and moron.

you sir, made my day. ;)

"You sir, are a mormon" is also an accepted variation.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069554)

I think the biggest stroke of ingenious design was giving male terrestrial mammals external gonads. Must have been the same day MJ was created.

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073642)

There's really no need to drag microsoft into this discussion.

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069242)

I cannot help but marvel at how you think that after walking into a site you evidently know is full of people who strongly disagree with you and calling them all "hypersensitive", offering a half-assed 'oh but I'm not trying to annoy you all' makes you any less of a blatant troll.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069300)

cry me a river. i'm not trolling i'm expressing my own ideas. i have just as much a right to do that as you. at worst i can understand being labeled "flamebait" thats why i went the extra mile to try to avoid an argument/discussion/conversation about creation/ID/evolution; that wasnt my point. my point was to help people to see that a different prespective gives me a heightened appreciation for this subject. if you cant gather that you need to work on your reading comprehension. really, the only ones on this site that would fall into what i consider "hypersensitive" would be those that feel compelled to make some kind of sarcastic, highly caustic remarks. apparently some people thought my statement was at least "interesting" which means i feel fairly justified in sharing my thoughts here as i have done for quite some time. i'm sure there are many hundreds of thousands of readers here who strongly disagree with my beliefs, thats cool. at least the overwhemling and vast majority of them have the common decency to respect a difference of ideology. ACs like yourself prove only that intolerance is not proof of intelligence.

Re:Biomimetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30069376)

Replying as AC cause I'm too lazy to log in. I agree with this the rant on people attacking other people just because they present a different opinion. How is the general public beating you down different from an institution beating you down? Seems they can both cause the same level of censorship. I am also somewhat on the fence about the whole creator thing. I don't believe that everything on earth was created, but I have nagging doubts about the big bang. Where did all the energy come from? Maybe it was God who blew up and created everything? Im sure that sort of theory provides interesting insight into my character... Why are the laws of physics the way they are? Could they be different and still support life? Are there really an infinite number of universes out there, and if so, are the laws of physics the same in all of them? I think all of these are good questions that have yet to be answered. Maybe there is room for a creator in there somewhere.

Anyway, that's the end of my rant. I think discussion is always good, even if some noob comes in an wants a flame war.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30082256)

i suppose if you believe in an infinite number of universes where everything that can happen does happen, then God necessarily *must* exist.

either way it requires belief.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

RianDouglas (778462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069444)

my point was to help people to see that a different prespective gives me a heightened appreciation for this subject.

How does that work then?
I'd think you could have the same level appreciation for this subject whether you posited a designer without sufficient evidence, or whether you accepted it as being far more likely to have been the result of mindless natural processes ;-)

Actually, seeing these amazing structures and materials as being the result of mindless processes would likely lead to a far greater level of appreciation than seeing this as the result of some hyper-intelligent being tinkering around. After all, if you're that smart, making some incredibly complex material or structure is dead simple, right?

Re:Biomimetics (2, Insightful)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069588)

perhaps heightened isnt the best adjective there. i suppose more appropriate would be "a different value of appreciation" that is, not comparable in terms of value or worth merely in frame of reference.

sort of like art. "you see a priceless french painting, i see a drunk naked girl" you know that whole analogy...

Re:Biomimetics (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069602)

"a different value of appreciation" that is, not comparable in terms of value...

yeah i know that didnt make sense like i wanted it to, but i'm thinking you're smart enough to get what i meant ;)

Re:Biomimetics (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070022)

What's most fascinating is how most of the earth's "elements" are a mix of a few base elements in varied densities and forms, and one has only to study the "work" nature does to recreate them. Clay, for example, is a result of carbonic acid 'weathering' (dissolving) silica (sand) based minerals... so if clay is rare and sand is abundant, why not do all the "work" ourselves?

We have the chemical composition of most everything on this planet mapped - as a layman, I don't at all understand why we don't have the technology to simply re-create a chemical mix, and bonding, at will.

Petrol, for example... oh, wait, if we made it ourselves it would be worthless.

Re:Biomimetics (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 4 years ago | (#30071122)

Looking at systems in the world around us to find better ways of doing human things creates novel solutions for oftentimes complex problems.

... and then patent them. Never mind the fact that people have been using them for thousands of years and/or nature for millions or billions of years - it's "intellectual property", baby! >:-|

Re:Biomimetics (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074490)

i cannot help but marvel at the inherent wisdom in these complex systems and the incredible harmony they share

Others have pointed out what a weak argument this is, to no good effect because obviously you aren't interested in anything that contradicts your faith (by definition: it wouldn't be faith otherwise).

But I'm entirely unsure what you mean by "inherent wisdom" and "incredible harmony" of complex natural systems.

There are some pretty clever hacks, but so many amazingly stupid kludges and disgusting inefficiencies that it is hard to see any wisdom or harmony unless one takes a ridiculously narrow focus. These stupid kludges and disgusting inefficiencies don't change the reality of the clever hacks, but they are so common that they put the lie to any overall claim of system elegance.

Pointing out "Some X are Y" does not prove "All X are Y". It only takes one "X is not Y" to prove "Not all X are Y", and that's what people here have been point out. No number of cases where "X is Y" disproves that, and any claim that natural systems were the result of any kind of caring, omnipotent being is logically incoherent on that basis. Kindly old mother nature kills off vast numbers of completely innocent beings, often in horrible ways, simply because evolution is all too frequently a "race to the bottom".

If an omnipotent being was responsible for this they have some serious explaining to do, because (being omnipotent) they could have got exactly the same effect through far more efficient and humane means. So anyone who believes natural systems were the result of an omnipotent being has a choice between being logically incoherent (the preferred solution) or admiting that that being was a prick, because (again, being omnipotent) they could have created a kinder, gentler universe that was exactly like this one in every respect (being omnipotent.)

Nature has hard more time (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069014)

Humans are really quite bright and can think. Evolution has one serious advantage over humans: Evolution has had millions of years to try stuff out. When you've got millions of years of mutation and natural selection you are still going to do better than humans who've only been thinking about these things for a few centuries. The one serious advantage of intelligent entities is that we can look at the solutions used elsewhere and adopt them to our purposes. Nature doesn't have that option.

Re:Nature has hard more time (2, Interesting)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069316)

The one serious advantage of intelligent entities is that we can look at the solutions used elsewhere and adopt them to our purposes. Nature doesn't have that option.

That's the basis behind Primer:

No one would say that what they were doing was complicated. It wouldn't even be considered new, except for maybe in the geological sense. They took from their surroundings what was needed and made of it something more.

:)

The soylent nature of /. --- is people! (1)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069274)

Though not strictly a physical material, this got me thinking.
What would be the underlying metaphorical model for /.
  ?

Ants, piranha, beavers, jellyfish, cats?

Leave It to Beaver, The Honeymooners, Star Trek?

The school lunch room, D&D party, After work at the pub, French salons on hypnotics?

Logical / illogical anarchy at its finest?

?????

Re:The soylent nature of /. --- is people! (3, Insightful)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069622)

Ants.

the suggestion made me laugh, it reminded me of a Radio Lab episode where they were discussing patterns of life. they interviewed a researcher of some nature (pun) that examined the behavior of ants and she marveled at how frustrating it was to watch them try to move a leaf or a twig "one would tug it a millimeter this way, the other would tug it that way, still another a different direction and it would go on for weeks" yet out of all that seemingly thoughtless effort a working community managed to sustain itself.

at the best of times, when i'm feeling optimistic, i feel that /. is a colony of ants.

Re:The soylent nature of /. --- is people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30073876)

It gets worse, humanity is a colony of aunts.

Re:The soylent nature of /. --- is people! (1)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30081808)

My initial gut reaction was also ants.
But ants are unconsciously programmed to create a huge feeding mechanism for their queen and her progeny. They throw themselves on the metaphorical sword in its defense. I don't see that in /.
More like piranha at times.

Maybe some kind of hybrid ? Or ants on LSD? I remember reading some time ago they somehow dosed a spider with LSD and the resulting web was pretty bizarre and unsymmetrical.

This is /. after all -- free your mind. I've had my fill of the Bickersons.

Ask Nature (4, Interesting)

axlrosen (88070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30069372)

Check out the bio-mimicry database: http://asknature.org/ [asknature.org]

Here's the really interesting TED talk where the founder introduces it, and describes some examples of nature's engineering at work: http://www.ted.com/talks/janine_benyus_biomimicry_in_action.html [ted.com]

Re:Ask Nature (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30074336)

Check out the bio-mimicry database

Awesome. Please post this as a reply to every story on /. that introduces the "new" idea of engineers looking to nature for solution ideas, which has been a "new" idea for over a century.

After a couple of decades of posting this database link ever couple of months when we get stories on this "new" idea maybe, possibly, people will learn that engineers have been looking to nature for inspiration for over a century.

The notion that this is a new idea or phenomenon is one of the most curious anomalies of human society, and the mean-time-between mentions on /. may be usable as some kind of measure of the time it takes for average people to completely forget something that they were told was new and interesting a few weeks or months before.

Chaos + Entropy = Design? .....? (1)

Xanavi (1197431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070308)

Name an example where chaos and entropy designs something..... Evolution is a sick joke.

Re:Chaos + Entropy = Design? .....? (1)

XSpud (801834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30070444)

I think your equation's wrong. It should be:

random mutation + natural selection = something that appears to be designed to some people

Re:Chaos + Entropy = Design? .....? (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 4 years ago | (#30077756)

Have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? The water falls from a high energy position to a low energy position. There is certainly a "design" created. The trip from high to low energy doesn't have to be linear.

Thesis Title,"Space Elevator Construction Methods" (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073192)

I'm reminded of the movie, "The Last Mimzy", not the short story. There was a scene of a group of spiders building a bridge, together. Talk about communicating to an alien intelligence. What a Thesis to read, something about mimicking spiders in space to create a tether for space elevator applications.

Copying nature? Uh oh... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30073912)

You thought the MAFIAA was bad. Just wait until Mother Nature sues you in a natural court of law for copying her works without compensation...
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