User talk:Toffeeman

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
New logo large.png Welcome to RationalWiki, Toffeeman!

Check out our guide for newcomers and our community standards!

Tell us how you found RationalWiki here!

If you are interested in contributing:

Hi and welcome. Sorry you got zapped at CP.--Bobbing up 02:16, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Thanks Bob. I shall wear the zapping as a badge of honour! As a liberal-pinko-fag-loving-rationalist (Critical Rationalism!) I put stuff on Conservapedia in the early days when it appeared to be actually trying to be an encyclopedia. I stopped when, very shortly afterward, it The call for an apology was my first edit for months. --Toffeeman 18:12, 1 July 2008 (EDT)

[1]. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:10, 1 July 2008 (EDT)

AKjeldsen,that's not as good as this ::[2]. --Toffeeman 15:43, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Welcome to the Dollhouse, Tony Lloyd Toffeheadman! ħumanUser talk:Human 20:48, 3 July 2008 (EDT)

User Page[edit]

Nice to see you getting so involved. :-) To that end, you might wish to put a little something on your user page. Even "Hello". Only you are allowed to edit your user page and you can put anything on it. Apart from telling people a little about you, the other advantage is that your name will no longer show as "new user red" whenever you post something. :-) Cheers, and good to see your activity. --Bobbing up 17:09, 5 July 2008 (EDT) Cheers Bob, I've put a little bit in.--Toffeeman 17:23, 5 July 2008 (EDT)

I'd already sussed from your name that you were BS. I'm RS from across the park. :) Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 17:26, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
Err.. I wouldn't put your real name on the wiki. You never know ... SusanG  ContribsTalk 17:36, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
Quite agree Janice Ramsbotham Susan. Jollyfish.gifGenghisIs the Pope a Catholic? 18:12, 5 July 2008 (EDT)
I'm glad you do Marmaduke Fortinbrass Genghis. SusanG  ContribsTalk 18:22, 5 July 2008 (EDT)


I saw a match live this year. Everton was surclassed. The 2-0 result didn't give justice to the other team, a 3-0 would have been more legitimate. Then I saw the return match on TV two weeks later. Everton dominated. The 2-0 result didn't give justice to Everton, a 3-0 would have been more legitimate. I am still firmly convinced that the better team won on penalties - after all goalkeeper Howard had to do some work in both games, the other team's goalkeeper didn't touch the ball at all in the first game. Given the following matches of that other team (a surclassing of PSV Eindhoven and a never more unjust penalty kick loss to Glasgow Rangers in the semifinal), I'm sure both, the other team and Everton, would have deserved at least the final and probably the cup (but Zenit and Russia showed their value this year).

There were two different Evertons! For the rest of the season we wondered whether we'd see "first leg Everton" or "second leg Everton". I saw Everton away at Fulham, and it was the "first leg" Everton that turned up! (1:0 defeat, bloody typical - we always lose away to Fulham).--Toffeeman 19:22, 5 July 2008 (EDT)

I really enjoyed last week's walkover game, but watching today's match on SKY it struck me that Newcastle United look more like Everton Mints than Everton do. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 12:55, 5 October 2008 (EDT)
Newcastle look like Everton Mints but they are, in fact, barcodes. Mind you, it shows how far Everton have still to go if we can't even beat that pile of shite, or Newcastle. --Toffeeman 11:18, 6 October 2008 (EDT)


CONGRATULATIONS Toffeeman, you have been invited to attend the First Annual RationalWiki Olympics! Just follow THIS LINK to sign up for an event of your choosing!

Javascap 06:48, 8 July 2008 (EDT)


Toffers, you may want to correct your typo '0>p<0.05'. It gives away your librul deceits.--Antifly 15:55, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

I would but:
1. I've had too much beer
2: I've been blocked!
(Mind you, Andy never noticed it)--Toffeeman 17:54, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, that he didn't catch an error means he didn't "read" it. But there was no reason to, since it disagreed with him - all he had to do was delete it. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:18, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

Message from the RationalWiki Ministry of Demotion and Personal Impediment[edit]

Dear Toffeeman,

We regret to inform you that you have been demoted to the rank of sysop. You are requested to report to a bureaucrat, at your nearest possible convenience, to be assigned a mop and bucket for the purposes of cleaning up the mess around here. If you have any further questions please refer to the enclosed pamphlet So you are now a sysop.

Your Sincerely,

Sir Reginald Albert Humfildink-Hollingsworth the Third,
Under-secretary of the Chief-secretary of the Personal-secretary of the Minister.

Congrats! You're gonna see the world with new eyes. JJ4EVeritas vincere tenebras 07:19, 20 November 2008 (EST)
(They must be bloody desperate.) I see that "block" button and think......wouldn't that look nice if I was seeing it on CP!--Toffeeman 07:32, 20 November 2008 (EST)

Conversation with Philip J Rayment: Buff Telephone[edit]

Original Red Telephone[edit]

Hello, PJR. Since I know you read this, perhaps you can get on the red telephone and answer this question for me. You consistently harp on about "information" and "genetic information" as if that term were well defined and understood, rather than just a creationist canard. Please, before you ever mention it again, could you answer the following questions about this term:

  1. What is the basal unit of "information" or "genetic information"?
  2. How is it measured?
  3. How much information do some example organisms have, perhaps a fruit fly or a human? 

Now, if you can't answer these questions with a rigorous definition and without handwaving, by what possible means do you assert that, e.g., a fish becoming sightless is a result of a loss of information? By what possible means could scientists demonstrate an increase in "information" if there is no rigorous definition of what "information" even is? --JeevesMkII 13:37, 9 December 2008 (EST)

PJR's Response 1[edit]

I direct interested inhabitants of the sock draw to information, particularly the section on Measuring information. See also this article (referenced in the Measuring information section) and this article. However, I don't intend to have a long discussion on this by red telephone. Philip J. Rayment 09:03, 10 December 2008 (EST)

My Respone 1[edit]

PJR steered us in the way the article on information. Someone tried to tempt PJR over here, but got reverted and banned by Buggers: clearly they are not going to allow a debate on this on their turf. So...

Where information covers the same set of propositions it can be fairly straightforward to rank statements in terms of information content. PJR does it by quoting

   She has a yellow vehicle. 
   She has a yellow car. 

Which is pretty clear. However if one piece of information is different (other than in precision) the comparison in terms of quantity of information doesn't really make a lot of sense. We cannot choose on the basis of quantity of information between:

   She has a yellow car. 
   She is going to vote for the Liberal Democrats 

What matters is 'what' it is saying, rather then how much. The former is a lot of information to a car manufacturer. It means little or nothing to the political researcher, who is far more interested in the latter. Try setting the two statements to levels of precision where you think they are “obejctively” equal in information, say:

   She has a yellow Ford Mondeo. 
   She is going to vote for the Liberal Democrats 

You can then massively increase the information in the former without interesting the political researcher at all. He, frankly, doesn't give a **** whether she owns a 2002 car with 65,000 on the clock and furry dice in the windscreen. And 'tis the same with natural selection. Natural selection will select on the basis of 'what' a trait is, not whatever we can come up with as an “objective” measure of information content. In front of the court of Natural Selection a species cannot plea that its useless growth is a lovely useless growth that took absolutely loads of negative entropy to get just so complex as it is. The species that can run, simply, survives.

So we are after 'new' and 'varied' traits, rather than more information laden traits. We are after 'new information in the genome' Does it arise? Yes, of course it arises. It arises all the time, constantly, without pause. Let us define terms:

   1.Information. Has to have specific entailements, something has to occur because of it or we have to be able to know something because of it. 
   2.Arising. To “arise” this information must not have been around at time T. Post T it must be around. 

Can I give an example? Yes, new information in the genome arose 9 months before PJR's birth. The new information was “PJR”, the unique DNA that entails him (and would be plenty enough evidence to convince a court that Bugler is not his love-child). It tells us something, it didn't exist 10 months before he was born and it did 9 months after he was born.

Right. I'm going to read the Demski paper referenced by PJR. I don't want to do an Andy and rubbish a paper before I've read it. And so I have to see his argument that information “cannot be created by natural (non-intelligent) causes”. Seems like absolute nonsense to me: a river bed give plenty of information of where the river runs, the moraine tells us where the glacier used to be etc. Limiting “information” to “signal” information reduces the quote to a tautology: information someone produced to communicate can only be produced by someone. And, of course, that is not at all necessary for evolution.--Toffeeman 15:37, 10 December 2008 (EST)

PJR's Response 2[edit]

When I was conceived, the information in my DNA was a combination of a subset of each of my parents' DNA. That is, all the information for skin, nerves, marrow, toes, etc. already existed. Nothing new was added when I was conceived (although I wouldn't have minded if I gained the ability to fly, for example!).

As the information article says, "Information is transmitted by means of symbols which are usually arbitrary and only carry information because the receiver of the information understands the conventions of the symbols". DNA is such a code of arbitrary symbols. River beds and moraines are not.

In another call, I'm considered unreasonable simply for ideological reasons: I'm a YEC, so by definition I'm unreasonable, because the people who consider YEC unreasonable have their own view they'd rather believe. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 11 December 2008 (EST)

My Response 2[edit]

“When I was conceived, the information in my DNA was a combination of a subset of each of my parents' DNA.”


“Nothing new was added when I was conceived”

False. A new arrangement of the DNA was added. The arrangement is something, it did not exist before conception, existed after conception and was therefore new.

“Added”, depending on the reading of the word, may be a problem. On a colloquial reading, where if you add something you always get more, it may not be true. Your DNA did not have your arrangement and somebody else’s. So it can be claimed that there is nothing more (it cannot be claimed that there is nothing new). But this is to slip back into a nonsensical quantification of information that differs rather than qualitative differences. In the sense of something not being there at one time then, at a later time, being there the arrangement certainly was added.

Ah, but is it “information”? Well it starts off as a likely candidate, as the Conservapedia article on information states with reference to computer disks (my emphasis):

“Information has been added by rearranging the magnetic particles”

So a new (as with your DNA) arrangement (as with your DNA) adds information.

Many (including PJR) think of “information” as necessarily including a teleological element, broadly that some entity meant the meaning. This is fine and dandy, it merely separates out:

  1. Information
  2. Stuff that has all aspects of information but with no intention on the part of anybody to convey information (let’s call it “information-lite”)

With this understanding of information the evolutionist must agree that the different arrangement of PJR’s DNA is not information. Victory for Creationism? Not quite, they may be able to argue that no new information arises in the genome if they adopt a teleological concept of information, but a teleological concept of information removes the need for “information” from evolution. An arrangement of DNA that resulted in a slightly shorter nose would be (at least) “Information-lite”. It’s “information-lite” as, if it was the result of a decision to create just such a slightly shorter nose it would be information. Now, if that slightly-shorter nose were selective then the…er…slightly shorter nose is selective and selective whether or not the slightly shorter nose was “meant”. Information or information-lite it makes no difference to evolution.

Now, there is clearly a limit to the novelty of the information (or information-lite) that can arise. A question arises as to whether this limit is incremental or both incremental and absolute. By “incremental” I mean that there is merely a limit to the novelty that can arise at each stage. Children do not vary much (with attendant problems in coping with the quantificational language) from their parents. Grandchildren, though, vary a bit more from their grandparents. If you change many things, slightly, and continually change them slightly the differences will increase unless:

  1. The changes are non-random
  2. There is a mechanism to place an absolute boundary around the changes

The difficulty for the Creationist is that (other than certain interpretations of the Bible's use of the word “kinds”) there is no reason to believe that there is an absolute boundary. The “no new information” position seeks to avoid this by:

  1. Relying on the incremental, rather absolute limits and,
  2. Removing the need to show that inter-generational changes are non-random by denying that they happen at all.

Of course it’s nonsense. The very best that they can “show” is that alterations to the genome where non-intentional. But then again, that’s just what evolution claims.--Toffeeman 10:00, 15 December 2008 (EST)


Goat.jpg Barnstar
For your tireless contributions to RationalWiki, I award you this barnstar.


Who were you aiming for? Phantom Hoover 16:39, 1 January 2009 (EST)

Bugler. I can only plead insobriety.--Toffeeman 16:41, 1 January 2009 (EST)