Re: Evolution of proteins in sequence space

From: Bert Massie (
Date: Sun Aug 12 2001 - 17:09:35 EDT

  • Next message: Vernon Jenkins: "A Question of Legitimacy (was: The Wheel of God)"

    > > What do I look for with my neat new 8 meter space based telescope that
    > > would support your views?
    > Bert, you would do exactly as astronomy has done for a good part of the last
    > century. Example: You discover empirically that stars come in different
    > varieties -- main sequence, red giant, white dwarf, etc. You also see
    > evidence that stars are forming from globules of gas and dust embedded in
    > large interstellar nebulae. You model the formation and subsequent
    > development of stars and compute what sort of history stars might have. You
    > discover that the computational model predicts that stars would first fall
    > along the main sequence region of the H-R diagram, arranged according to
    > mass value, consistent with earlier observations. You then discover that the
    > model predicts that when medium mass stars complete their main sequence
    > phases they become red giant stars, then shed their outer portion to form a
    > planetary nebula, finally leaving behind a white dwarf star. You conclude
    > from evidence of this sort (and _much_ more like it) that this computational
    > model for stellar formation and development has the attractive feature that
    > it not only accounts for the diversity of stellar types but also
    > demonstrates that these diverse types are related to one another as members
    > of a temporal sequence. The systematic interrelatedness of stellar types
    > with the formational history of stars has an aesthetic quality that is
    > highly valued in scientific theory evaluation.
    > > You "fully gifted formation economy" is not very scientific,


    Howard, I will get into some of your more serius writing this coming week I hope.
    But, I still think you are not answering the fundamental question I pose. To ask
    this, I don't have to become expert on your views nor do I have to engage on the
    debate between progressive and other creationist perspectives.

    Yes, in my view, the creation came with an endowment. We discover that Plank's
    constant, the form of general relativity, the number of dimensions of space, and
    the rate of expansion of the big bang, all turn out to be "just right" for life
    such as us to exist. Clearly, the universe is a finely tuned vessel for us.

    BUT, the universe is not just a vessel. If we were to postulate, as some have
    done, that we are but one realization of a large ensemble, then we could ask how
    many realizations would lead to man as we know it. This is a question that we
    cannot answer from emperical investigations.

    Gould even argues that if you run the tape of life again and again that we would
    get different animals and man would not likely be an outcome.

    The issue is that the universe not only has to have the gravitational constant
    just right but the unlikely has to happen. See for example the arguments of the
    recent book Rare Earth.

    So, it is an issue of boundary conditions or, if you will, initial conditions OR
    God manipulating the dice after they have been thrown.

    So your concept of God setting it all just right from the beginning requires that
    the dice be preset.

    IF this is true, then how could I emperically detect the difference bewteen this
    and God helping the dice along the way?

    Certainly, albeit though I am not completely educated as to your ideas, you have
    heard this challenge before.


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