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.
To clarify, I agree that it is relevant 'to the discussion of biological systems'. It is just not helpful to explaining the origin of genomic information (that is, information that exists within the context of an independently existing linguistic code.) That's not to say there aren't interested aspects of gene info transmission upon which Shannon's work has bearing. Meyer's article, like my comments, was focused on the question of mechanisms for the origin of genetic information.
==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.
The more I read about the subject, the more I have come to realize that it is the evos who want to limit the study of biological information to Shannon-type information. But as Wells, Meyer, Williams, Gitt and many others point out, if Shannon information cannot tell the difference between mere statistical complexity and CSI, then it is not up to the task...which does not take away from what Shannon information was designed to describe and explain in the least IMHO.
All the best—GGG
I read everything at this link
Thats not crude at all.. but maybe its axiomatic..
I wish I had time to go into this in more detail, but I must post and run and so will copy here my reply to GodGunGuts' question from a previous thread. He asked:
Again, complex systems theory - which is the domain of these ID/creationist arguments - has to do with the message itself, not the communication of it (Shannon, information.)
Shannon's model is mathematics. The title reads Mathematical Theory of Communications.
Complex systems theory is inter-disciplinary.
The letter in your mailbox is of no effect until you read it and your uncertainty is reduced - you become "informed."
Major clue: DNA survives death. It is a message much like the letter in the mail box. In the dead person, the DNA message is no longer being transmitted.
Information (Shannon, successful communication) is the reduction of uncertainty in the receiver (or molecular machine) as it goes from a before state to an after state.
It is the action, not the message.
More importantly, Scriptures illuminate the relevance of communication. God's word becomes active or actualized once communicated (emphasis mine:)
For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast. Psalms 33:9
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard. Psalms 19:1-3
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: - John 10:27
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. - Romans 10:17
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. - Genesis 1:20
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life. - John 6:63
Jesus' Name is Word of God.
The verse from Scripture:
That is to say, life in itself biologically living things. (I strongly recommend Rosens book Life Itself to see how first and final cause are entailed in biological life.)
The link between water which is non-life and living things which are characterized by their autonomously communicating a message, DNA (Shannon, information) is the hydrogen bond.
The hydrogen bond is what gives the DNA its geometry, the double helix, and binds the message the living thing communicates within itself, ergo be alive in itself ("hath life.") (For more, I strongly recommend reading Myers thoughts on the geometry of biological information content.)
Every thing which is biologically (physically) alive is autonomously communicating a message that constitutes what it is a particular daffodil, a particular dog, a particular human.
There is no biological life without the communication of that message. That is why the Urey/Miller experiments could get no further than amino acids, their experiments were blind to information theory (communication, Shannon.) And that is why Wimmer succeeded in creating the polio virus in the laboratory. Wimmer started with the message itself, e.g. polio RNA off the internet which he structured geometrically by synthesizing it and then upon introducing the message to cell-free juice, the virus replicated itself, i.e. transmitted the message.
Complexity issues particularly Williams inversely causal meta-information are extremely persuasive in the crevo debates.
But the poison pill to abiogenesis in my view is the communication itself, Shannons mathematical theory of communication.
In other words, there is no naturalistic explanation for how or why communications would arise spontaneously in a physico-chemical environment.
Our new Spiritual life is also a communication directly from God. We are biologically and spiritually a message being communicated.
In biological life, that communication is autonomous. In Spiritual life, that communication is not autonomous.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: - John 10:27
Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. John 8:43
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. - John 15:4-5
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. - Romans 8:9
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. - Colossians 3:3
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? - I Corinthians 6:19
Well, whatta surprise! /sarc.
That only tells me that evos don't understand Shannon any better than Wells and Meyers do!
In short, Shannon Information theory is NOT a theory of functional biological information at all.
But then many evos are disturbed about the very idea of biological function in the first place. For the idea of "function" involves a kind of (seeming) "causal pull from the future" (as we see with Alex Williams' very interesting model of inversely-causal metainformation) a/k/a a "final cause" which is the sort of thing that the Newtonian model of physico-mechanics forbids.
Newtonian causation proceeds only from past to present, in irreversible serial time. The future (when we get there) is merely the sum total of past events. There is no idea that past events conduce towards a pre-existing, specified goal (i.e., biological function), that there can be any "guide to the system"; for evos, random mutation + natural selection in serial time explains everything biological. Adherents of the Newtonian paradigm will only concede that something may well "look like" a function; but that in fact if we think we see a "function," what we are really seeing is just an illusion.
Moreover, the evos evidently understand that, at some level, the idea of a specified biological function is inimicable to a theory based on "random mutation + natural selection." They want to find that increases in biological complexity result from a "blind," material process. One gathers they may be quite at a loss to integrate the idea of biological information which is not physical or mechanical into the Darwinian model. And so one imagines a tendency to denigrate it, or perhaps even to misrepresent what biological information is.
Whatever the case, biological information isn't described by Shannon Information Theory. Maybe this is why evos like Shannon theory. In the information hierarchy, it is very "low order," and applies to physico-mechanical systems as well as to biological ones. :^)
[[It is just not helpful to explaining the origin of genomic information]]
It was never meant to- Betty Boop and AlamoGirl’s posts will clear this up
[[Meyer’s article, like my comments, was focused on the question of mechanisms for the origin of genetic information.]]
for that, the mechanisms for origin of informaiton- William’s articles on ‘life’s irreducible structures’ is excellent- GGG will have a link to htose articles- Basically, dirty chemicals are simply not capable of evolving the4 complex info needed to sustain life- Complex info and metainfo needs to be present first, and the only way it can be is via an intelligent designer
[[Thats not crude at all.. but maybe its axiomatic]]
Not only thqat, but aromatic
Thank you for your wonderful essay-post, dearest sister in Christ!
Excellent reply, BB! I like your casaul pull from the future...aka forward planning. To this day, in all my reading, the evos have never come up with a satisfactory answer for that...no will they ever IMHO. Unless you consider trillions of mindless pre-adaption miracles as a satisfactory answer, Creationists and IDers have the best explanation for inversely causal meta-information by far.
LOLOL GGG! But you know, evos evidently don't object to "miracles" in principle, only those which come from God.
Thanks for your kind words, GGG!
After my last to you, I had a further thought (will wonders never cease!). It was this:
Unquestionably, Darwin's evolution theory is squarely within the Newtonian paradigm. That paradigm has itself had to be modified, in light of relativity theory and quantum theory. But evolution theory hasn't changed much in substance since the middle of the 19th century.
The mathematical physicist/theoretical biologist Robert Rosen has argued (convincingly to my mind) that no advances can be made in theoretical biology on Newton's paradigm. Newton's paradigm for all its excellence in the physico-chemical world simply is not up to the job of explicating the phenomena of biology. Within our ordinarily perceived 4D world (that is, where relativistic and quantum effects are marginal), Newton's paradigm is still unexcelled when it comes to mechanical ("simple") systems in nature. But it hits the wall on questions pertaining to biological ("complex") systems.
The reason for this, according to Rosen, is that, among other things, the presuppositions of the Newtonian system with respect to causation past to present, future just the sum total of past events, no final causes is simply "too impoverished" to account for the organizational complexity of living systems. That's where information comes into the picture for which there is at present no known natural source, no matter how hard Darwinists twist themselves to show "information" as the spontaneous product of the random burping of dumb matter. (Talk about miracles!)
In other words, the Newtonian paradigm admits only formal, material, and efficient causes: Evidently in honor of Francis Bacon, final causes are strictly banned!
But it is the final cause what Alex Williams has illustrated with his very interesting model of inversely-causal metainformation that alone can account for biological organization, which is all about the functions the organization is geared toward instantiating and coordinating in living systems. (I could have said "designed" instead of "geared," but why be controversial? LOL!!!)
I have spoken of final cause as a kind of "pull from the future." Another way to put it and Rosen makes this very clear with his relational diagrams (which explore the causal organizational structure of complex, that is living systems) a final cause is a supervening cause, in that it correlates and duly integrates in time the other three Aristotelian causes. It "closes the causal loop" and you can't get to the idea of biological function if you can't do that.
I love the two Rosen books I've read so far Life Itself and Essays on Life Itself. He's not proposing a detailed theory, as Williams has done. Rather, he is getting down to the most basic questions that modern science needs to ask/consider, if they want to get anywhere with a theoretical biology that actually looks at biological systems themselves, not just how they speciate once they're here. If you ever need fresh ammo to go after evos, you'd not find better source material anywhere....
When copy/pasting a bunch of paragraphs from other creationist sites, it’s usually best to cite them.
i did- further up
woops- no i didn’t- I copied it from another thread I had posted in- forgot thel ink- You’ll find the link in the other thread
Thank you so very much for your wonderful insights, dearest sister in Christ!
Does he say what is "up to the job"? Does he offer a methothodology that produces better theories to explain the fossil record, consistent with the physical evidence?
I don't have a link offhand
You could just select one of the false propaganda creation sites at random.
Words mean things, but the above means what?
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When at first we practice to deceive." Sir Walter Scott
I know exactly what it means. Why don’t you give it some thought and take a guess as to what it means yourself. Who knows, you might get lucky. But if you don’t, I give you my word that I will set you straight :o)
Rosen suggests that mathematics can give us insights into the structure of reality. IMHO, he like Einstein was a mathematical physicist of the Platonist type. His main mathematical tools were number theory, set theory, and category theory. His aim was to explore and understand complex living systems in nature by reasoning according to the logical dicta of these mathematical structures.
At least that is the basic understanding I have of his work, though I haven't read all his books yet.
Does he offer a methothodology that produces better theories to explain the fossil record, consistent with the physical evidence?
Jeepers, tacticalogic, but I don't think Rosen gave a tinker's dam about the fossil record. That type of evidence is simply irrelevant to understanding what makes biological organisms tick.
Just thought this bears repeating!
Beautifully said, dearest sister in Christ!
Final Cause does not make sense without Original Cause..
If the third human on this planet DID NOT come from the original two..
Then; a bodacious tale must be constructed.. a far reaching Yarn must be promulgated.. a humugous story must be..... (well you know)..
His main mathematical tools were number theory, set theory, and category theory. His aim was to explore and understand complex living systems in nature by reasoning according to the logical dicta of these mathematical structures.
Mathematical structure, completely removed from and unrelated to the reality of the physical structure of what it purports to explain?
I found the following in Wikipedia. Is it true?
However, according to Elsberry and Shallit, "[specified complexity] has not been defined formally in any reputable peer-reviewed mathematical journal, nor (to the best of our knowledge) adopted by any researcher in information theory."
Of course not. Sooner or later, the "reality test" must be engaged.
Evidently Rosen proposes a direct correspondence exists between the structures of mathematics and the real world. As Einstein did, by the way.
We all know how fruitful that presupposition was to Einstein even though it took many years before proper experiments could be framed and finally tested. Which, when they could finally be performed, showed that Einstein's theory was correct.