Re: Evolutionary rate

From: Jim Armstrong (
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 13:40:25 EDT

  • Next message: D. F. Siemens, Jr.: "Re: Design up to Scratch? (again)"

    Gary - I started this parallel processing business and it appears that
    it was not the best choice for making my point, which really did not
    have to do with computation speed as much as with executing many
    processes in parallel. My only point was that when there is a huge
    community of similar organisms, each with evolutionary possibilities,
    that a huge numbers of different possible paths will be explored
    ...essentially in parallel. If you have an objective, but that objective
    is the outcome of some probabilistic process and the actual probability
    for the occurrence is low, then you might reasonably do what it takes to
    improve the probability of the desired outcome. That's why neutrino
    detection tanks and photomultiplier arrays are huge. In the current
    context, it occurred to me some time ago that this may also be the
    reason for the universe being so immense.

    Jim Armstrong

    Gary Collins wrote:

    >I have found this thread very interesting but unfortunately I have not had
    >enough time to participate. However, I would like to ask a couple of
    >One was prompted by the discussion on parallel proocessing. If I remember
    >rightly, it was Alan Turing who showed that parallel processing could not
    >achieve anything more than could be done using a single processor, the
    >only difference being in the rate at which something is done. In this case,
    >it would seem to me that an 'irreducibly complex' system which could not
    >arise from a 'single processor' could no more arise as a result of the
    >introduction of parallel processing. Now I know that the analogy is not
    >a terribly good one; I'm not at all sure that it's possible to treat the biological
    >evolutionary process(es) as 'processors' in this sense. But I do, as I say,
    >have a couple of questions.
    >The first is to do with computing. Maybe Iain would know the answer to
    >this one. Does Turing's restriction still apply in the case of quantum
    >computing / quantum processes?
    >The second is to do with ID and irreducible complexity. From what I gather,
    >irreducible means that no component can be removed without the system
    >as a whole failing. But what about components being added? Is it possible
    >that what we see now as an irreducible system in fact became the way it
    >is by loss of components from what was previously not an irreducible
    >I am aware that the biochemical processes talked about are incredibly
    >involved and detailed, and often involve several pathways from 'substrate'
    >to 'end product'. Could there perhaps have been more parallel pathways
    >involved which have since disappeared? Maybe some of these would
    >survive in earlier (ancestral) species? I know nothing of comparative
    >biochemistry, I'm afraid. Perhaps the biochemists on the list could interject
    >some thoughts on this?
    >"By tying up the weak case for a young earth in the same package as the strong case for creation, recent-creationists are almost asking to be defeated."
    >-- Alan Hayward, "Creation and Evolution: The Facts and Fallacies," p.81

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Tue May 13 2003 - 13:40:39 EDT