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g comments on An Alien God - Less Wrong

80 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 November 2007 06:57AM

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Comment author: g 04 November 2007 12:39:35AM 1 point [-]

Douglas, what's the relevance of the fact that you're an independent research and consider your methods not-ordinary to what Pete, TGGP, and I have said to you?

You are extraordinarily reluctant to be specific about either your evidence or your conclusions from that evidence. You say that you want Eliezer to "update [his] thinking re: evolution", but any time you're asked specific questions about what sort of position you think preferable you clam up and offer only vague references to other people's work.

So far, you've offered a pointer to one source that says that horizontal gene transfer has been important in bacterial evolution.and maybe in evolution of other organisms. OK, fine; what's supposed to be the problem here? What reason do you have to think that Eliezer's thinking about evolution ignores horizontal gene transfer?

And you've given a 12-page section of a book that supposedly gives "the original discussion about TB". Well, that's nice, but since you refuse to tell us *what* about TB constitutes *what* evidence in favour of *what* ideas about evolution and *why*, it's not much use. Especially to those of us who happen not to have the book. (Your track record does not encourage me to go to much trouble or expense to find it.)

It appears from some things that you've said that you *actually* want to promote some view radically at odds with the current scientific consensus, featuring the belief that "life can only come from life", some sort of central irreducible causative role for consciousness, etc. Well, all these things could be true. But if you are trying to get people to believe them rationally, you need to offer some actual evidence comparable to the amount of evidence that has led most scientists to think that such ideas aren't helpful. You don't seem to be interested in doing that; rather, you keep asserting without evidence that the consensus view is a matter of "bias".

This is not helpful.

(And I'd still be interested to know your estimate of the probability that human life postdated other life on earth by less than a week.)