Skip to comments.Jonathan Wells Hits an Evolutionary Nerve (over origin of functional genetic information)
Posted on 10/15/2009 8:15:58 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
When intelligent design (ID) proponents press neo-Darwinian evolutionists on the inability of Darwinian evolution to produce new functional genetic information, a common response from evolutionists is that they get angry and engage in name calling. Thats what happened when...
(Excerpt) Read more at evolutionnews.org ...
Evos have no explanation for the origin of complex, functionally specified, digitized genetic information. Interesting discussion on Shannon Information vs. Complex Specified Information (CSI). There is also a link in the article to a very interesting peer reviewed scientific paper by Dr. Stephen Myer on the same subject.
Sorry about that. Thanks for the heads up.
1. Write X
Next, to photocopy the paper (i.e. to produce XX), the necessary commands might be as follows:
1. Write X
2. Repeat last step
Dumb! Everyone knows you have to do a read before fore you can write!
For those not familiar with it, a random 'static' pattern of pixels has more 'information' according to Shannon's definition than a page of text, because it takes more effort to perfectly describe every aspect of the former than the latter. This makes it easy for evolutionists to claim that random processes can generate "information". However this "information" is biologically meaningless and offers no solution to the existence of information within a linguistic structure like DNA.
Shannon's information theory is relevant to other fields like telecommunications, but treating it as relevant to the origin of biological information is just silly.
The mods fixed it. Thanks again :o)
Had to stop and digest for a while.
Did find this:
“The neutral theory of evolution, which, by its own logic, prevents natural selection from playing a role in generating genetic information until after the fact, relies on entirely too much luck.”
Thanks for posting this article. It is one of the most comprehensive lists of the various interpretations of ‘evolution’ I have read. (actually, still reading. It’s pretty lengthy)
I put the wrong link in, and had the mods fix it. Are you reading the Luskin article, or the Meyer’s paper (or both)?
There is really ONLY one logical explanation for the origin of complex, functionally specified, digitized genetic information. GOD CREATED IT — in SIX DAYS when He created the universe. Any other explanation can be torn apart.
It really irks me to know that a lot of tax dollars are wasted in places like government universities on efforts to explain “the origins of life” and the nature of the universe. It’s all there in Genesis — NO CHARGE!
It’s not just evolution we need to take out of schools. We need to address the whole scientific culture that says that we must “seek answers” to questions that we already KNOW the answer to — and spend tax dollars to do it!
GGG - the noob collector for the echo chamber.
A monkey typing on a typewriter creates Shannon information. Thus not a few Darwinist writers have simply dismissed the information problem by asserting that information is generated constantly by mutational changes.
I don't have a link offhand, but Richard Dawkins would be an example. He tried to recover from an interview with Gillian Brown that subsequently became part of the video From A Frog to a Prince, in which he was unable to provide an example of evolution producing information. In his follow-up, he claimed that natural selection 'informs' the genome by selecting out unsuitable mutants.
In other words, if you have a population of black and white moths and natural selection kills off all of one color, then informational gain has occured. In a sense this is true, but it is silly to portray it as a solution to the origin of information in the genome itself - natural selection (by itself) weeds out genomic information, leading to less information in the genome, not more.
I presume that there is more serious thinking going on somewhere among evolutionary theorists who grasp the information problem, but at the popular/propaganda level, they are either not getting it, or pretending not to get it.
Julian Huxley (1887-1975) repeated this analogy to 'prove' that long periods of time could allow impossible evolution to occur. In his analogy, given enough time, monkeys randomly typing on typewriters could eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare. (3)
Stephen Hawking used the monkey story in 1988. He proposed that if there was a horde of typing monkeys, then "very occasionally by pure chance they will type out one of Shakespeare's sonnets." (4)
When all these outlandish statements were made "... no evolutionary scientist or mathematician who knew better raised a single objection." (5) So as a result, these statements have convinced many people that 5 billion years is enough time for life to evolve on Earth.
This ruse has been very convincing because most people have difficulty comprehending very small and extremely large numbers.
Just how logical is this monkey story? In simple terms, if every square foot of the earth's surface was covered with monkeys randomly typing on typewriters, at the rate of ten characters per second (about 5 times the realistic speed) they could not do the job. Even if they typed non-stop for 30 billion years there would not be the slightest chance that one of them would type even a single five word sentence of 31 characters, with spaces and punctuation in the correct place. The probability for them to achieve this is less than one chance in a trillion. (6)
Richard Dawkins also appeals to the monkeys to convince his readers that evolution by natural selection is plausible. He believes that a thousand such monkeys could type Shakespeare's sentence, "Methinks it is like a weasel." However, the probability of them typing this six-word sentence (including spaces), is one chance in 10>39. (7)
It has been calculated that it would be statistically impossible to randomly type even the first 100 characters in Shakespeare's "Hamlet". If the monkeys typed only in lower case, including the 27 spaces in the first 100 characters, the chances are 27100 (ie. one chance in 10>143). (8)
"If each proton in the observable universe were a typing monkey (roughly 1080 in all), and they typed 500 characters per minute (faster than the fastest secretary), around the clock for 20 billion years, then all the monkeys together could make 5x1096 attempts at the characters. It would require an additional 3x1046 such universes to have an even chance at success." (9)
Recently, the reality of this last statement has been so damaging to the support for Darwinian evolution, that many evolutionists have taken up the "additional universes" scenario as a way out. They change the analogy and invent an unimaginably large number of universes that are all full of monkeys. They believe that under these new conditions, sooner or later one of the monkeys will succeed. This is the basis of the Anthropic Principle (see my lecture notes #8, "The Anthropic Principle", for a refutation of this theory).
Returning to the mathematics, Michael Behe estimates the probability of just getting the 30,000 gene pieces required for blood clotting in the right sequence as 10-18. To get the genes plus the clotting activator working together by chance has the probability of 10-36. (13)
Fred Hoyle estimates the following probabilities for chance, random arrangement of amino acids:- (14)
10>19 for a ten amino acid polypeptide
10>20 for a functional enzyme
10>130 for the histone H4 molecule
10>40,000 for all of life's 2,000 enzymes
This last value (10>40,000) shows the probability that a very, very tiny part of evolution could have happened. This probability is more unlikely than the monkey's chance typing (viz 10>143) which have been used to 'prove' evolution.
Bear in mind that Mathematical Zero is 10>50. Any value smaller than this is relegated by mathematicians to the realm of 'never happening'.
shannon theory isn’t about the ‘origin of info’- it’s about the communication of informaiton- you can’t have informaiton without the comunication- info isn’t info until it’s communicated- the rise of info would have to include a way to comminicate that info- otherwise a species could not thrive or survive- Shannon theory is absolutely relevent to the discussion of biological systems
Both Jonathan Wells and Stephen Meyer evidently believe that Shannon Information Theory (not to mention Kolmogorov information complexity) is a theory of functional biological information. Yet it seems to me it is not: "Specified complexity" is not what Shannon deals with.
Functional biological information Complex Specified Information (CSI) is a higher-order type of information than Shannon. Shannon theory in biological systems essentially deals with the communication mechanisms involved in the successful transport of that higher-level CSI.
To refer to an analogy I've suggested before, Shannon is the "camel" that carries the functionally complex biological information; it is not a theory of the generation of complex, specified, functional biological information at all. Shannon theory can carry any and all messages, regardless of their type and meaning, whether they're biological or not. It is the communications medium, not the message being communicated.
To put it very crudely, specified biological complexity "sits on" the Shannon camel, which transports it where it needs to go.
At least this is my understanding, FWIW.