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To define biosemiotics

  1. Mar 28, 2006 #1
    Biosemiotics, as described by wikipedia, is:

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Is biosemiotics a plausible perspective or not?

    From what ive read so far, also in other sources, it is not opposed to neodarwinism and they can go hand in hand together. Yet ive also come across this paper which claims that when looked at life from a biosemiotic perspective, it disproves neodarwinism:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2006 #2
    You have energy, matter, information. The "study of signs" falls within the area of study of variety of information, which is well developed via science of cybernetics. A "sign" conveys information, even a blank sign. Linkage between cybernetics and organic theory of evolution is well developed (here I suggest works of W. Ross Ashby). I suspect a link between the mystical ID folks and so-called biosemiotics, especially when I read that biosemiotics claims to falsify mechanism of evolutionary theory--yet offers no scientific theory in return that itself can be falsified.
  4. Mar 29, 2006 #3
    I doubt it has anything to do with ID, not that it matters. The labelling trick isnt a good way to judge what people have to say. First we label creationism as evil. Then we label ID as creationism. Then we label the falsification of neodarwinism as ID. It leads nowhere. Something can be falsified purely by observations, without the need for any new theory to make the falsification true (not that im saying it is the case here, because i dont fully understand what he bases his claims on).

    As for a scientific theory offered, there is "symbiogenesis" and "Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET)".

    Symbiogenesis and SET can be read about here and [Broken]
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  5. Mar 29, 2006 #4


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    "Biosemiotics is an attempt to use the concepts from semiotics to answer questions about the biologic and evolutionary emergence of meaning, intentionality and a psychic world; questions that are hard to answer within a purely mechanist and physicalist framework."

    The perfect solution to a non-existent problem --- smells like a rehashed "god of the gaps."
  6. Mar 29, 2006 #5
    So we already know how 'meaning, intentionality and a psychic world' emerged? I doubt it. Exactly as the quote above says, these questions are rather 'hard to answer within a purely mechanist and physicalist framework'. Calling biosemiotics a "god of the gaps", is the same as calling evolutiontheory a "gap of the gods". Lets just face that the explanatory gaps exist and not bring any god into it.

    What ive gathered so far is that biosemiotics has nothing to do with ID or god, and that it is a respectable and scientific study of signs in living systems which attemps to answer the questions mentioned above. This is why i was surprised to see that this person Witzany talked about biosemiotics and the refutation of neodarwinism.

    Here is a good site with info about biosemiotics:

    http://www.ento.vt.edu/~sharov/biosem/biosem.html#topics [Broken]
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  7. Mar 29, 2006 #6


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    Yes. Graham Hanquack, or some other egotistical, mystic bullsh*tter, intuited that reductionism can't possibly explain his/her superior brain function and intellect, and, "by intention, formed" the hypothesis that everything leading to his/her existence had to have been intentional.
  8. Mar 29, 2006 #7

    One may have great faith in reductionism, but one shouldnt confuse faith with facts.
  9. Apr 5, 2006 #8
    Thank you for links--but neither of these concepts offer a scientific falsification of organic theory of evolution--in fact, both are well explained by evolutionary processes. So, I still look for some information about how Biosemiotics falsifies organic theory of evolution. For example, how does Biosemiotics predict the appearance of the horse on earth--what exactly is the mechanism--and where is the evidence (the signs) of the mechanism ? Of course, organic theory of evolution offers both mechanism and evidence (it calls the signs fossils)--thus I wish to compare suggested sign mechanism of Biosemiotics to well studied sign mechanism provided by organic theory of evolution.
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