Skip to comments.The AP Model and Shannon Theory Show the Incompleteness of Darwin’s ToE
Posted on 01/27/2009 6:59:07 AM PST by betty boopEdited on 01/27/2009 7:16:52 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
The AP Model and Shannon Theory Show the Incompleteness of Darwins ToE
By Jean F. Drew
The commonly cited case for intelligent design appeals to: (a) the irreducible complexity of (b) some aspects of life. But complex arguments invite complex refutations (valid or otherwise), and the claim that only some aspects of life are irreducibly complex implies that others are not, and so the average person remains unconvinced. Here I use another principleautopoiesis (self-making)to show that all aspects of life lie beyond the reach of naturalistic explanations. Autopoiesis provides a compelling case for intelligent design in three stages: (i) autopoiesis is universal in all living things, which makes it a pre-requisite for life, not an end product of natural selection; (ii) the inversely-causal, information-driven, structured hierarchy of autopoiesis is not reducible to the laws of physics and chemistry; and (iii) there is an unbridgeable abyss between the dirty, mass-action chemistry of the natural environmental and the perfectly-pure, single-molecule precision of biochemistry.
So begins Alex Williams seminal article, Lifes Irreducible Structure Autopoiesis, Part 1. In the article, Williams seeks to show that all living organisms are constituted by a five-level structured hierarchy that cannot be wholly accounted for in terms of naturalistic explanation. Rather, Williams model places primary emphasis on the successful transmission and communication of relevant biological information.
Note here that, so far, science has not identified any naturalistic source for information within the universe, biological or otherwise. And yet it appears that living organisms remain living only so long as they are successfully communicating information. When that process stops, the organism dies; i.e., becomes subject to the second law of thermodynamics the consequences of which the now-deceased organism had managed to optimally distance itself from while alive.
Evidently Williams finds Michael Behes irreducible complexity arguments insufficiently general to explain biological complexity and organization, and so seeks a different explanation to generically characterize the living organism. Yet his proposed autopoietic model of the self-making, i.e., self-maintaining or self-organizing and therefore living system itself happens to be irreducibly complex. That is to say, on Williams model, any biological organism from microbe to man must be understood as a complete, functioning whole, transcending in the most profound way any definition of a particular organism as the mere sum of its constituting material parts.
Further, the idea of the whole must come prior to an understanding of the nature and function of the constituting parts. Williams terms this idea of the whole as inversely causal meta-information; as such, it is what determines the relations and organization of all the parts that constitute that whole of the living organism a biological system in nature.
Just one further word before we turn to Williams autopoietic model. To begin with the supposition of wholeness flies in the face of methodological naturalism, the currently favored model of scientific investigation, and arguably the heart of Darwinist evolutionary theory. For methodological naturalism is classical and mechanistic (i.e., Newtonian) in its basic presuppositions: Among other things, it requires that all causation be local. Given this requirement, it makes sense to regard the whole is merely the sum of its parts as a valid statement those parts being given to human understanding as the objects of direct observation of material events. The presumption here is that, given enough time, the piling up of the parts (i.e., of the material events) will eventually give you the description of the whole. Meanwhile, we all should just be patient. For centuries if need be, as a collaborator once suggested to me (in regard to abiogenesis. See more below).
Yet subsequent to classical physics came the astonishing revelations of relativity and quantum theory, both of which point to non-local causation. The transmission of information across widely spatially-separated regions (from the point of view of the biological organism as an extended body in time) so as to have causative effect in the emergence of biological life and its functions is decidedly a non-local phenomenon. Indeed, non-local causation seems ubiquitous, all-pervasive in the living state of biological organisms, as we shall see in what follows.
Williams Autopoietic Model
Williams lays out the five-level, autopoietic hierarchy specifying the living system this way (parenthetical notes added):
(i) components with perfectly pure composition (i.e., pure elements)
(ii) components with highly specific structure (i.e., molecules)
(iii) components that are functionally integrated (i.e., components work cooperatively toward achieving a purpose or goal)
(iv) comprehensively regulated information-driven processes (DNA, RNA)
(v) inversely-causal meta-informational strategies for individual and species survival (well get to this in a minute)
Pictorially, the model lays out like this:
Figure 1 summarizes the five-level, hierarchical specification of any living organism, microbe to man. But how do we get a handle on what this hierarchy actually means?
An interesting way to look at the problem, it seems to me, is to look at the available potential information content of each of the five levels or manifolds of the hierarchy.
Youll note that Figure 1 depicts an ascending arrow on the left labeled complexity. For our present purposes, well define this as algorithmic complexity, understood as a function that maximally yields information content. If we can find complexity measures to plug into the model, we might gain additional insight thereby.
Fortunately, algorithmic complexity measures have been obtained for certain levels of the hierarchy; i.e., Level (i) and Levels (iv) and possibly Level (v). For the latter two, the measures were taken with respect to the living human being. Figure 1 can thus be expanded as follows:
Notes to Figure 2:
1 Gregory Chaitin: My paper on physics was never published, only as an IBM report. In it I took: Newtons laws, Maxwells laws, the Schrödinger equation, and Einsteins field equations for curved spacetime near a black hole, and solved them numerically, giving motion-picture solutions. The programs, which were written in an obsolete computer programming language APL2 at roughly the level of Mathematica, were all about half a page long, which is amazingly simple.
On this basis, Chaitin has pointed out that the complexity we observe in living systems cannot be accounted for on the basis of the chemical and physical laws alone, owing to the paucity of their information content.
2 George Gilder: In each of the some 300 trillion cells in every human body, the words of life churn almost flawlessly through our flesh and nervous system at a speed that utterly dwarfs the data rates of all the worlds supercomputers. For example, just to assemble some 500 amino-acid units into each of the trillions of complex hemoglobin molecules that transfer oxygen from the lungs to bodily tissues takes a total of some 250 peta operations per second. (The word peta refers to the number ten to the 15th power so this tiny process requires 250 x 1015 operations.)
A Word about Abiogenesis
Darwins evolutionary theory does not deal with the origin of life. It takes life for granted, and then asks how it speciates. Moreover, the theory does not elaborate a description of the constitution of the individual living organism, such as Williams irreducibly complex/autopoietic (IC/AP) model proposes.
Its important to recognize that neither Darwins theory, nor Williams model, deals with the origin of life. It seems to me that evolution theory and ID are not necessarily mutually-exclusive. One deals with the species level, the other the biological structure of living individuals, the building blocks of species, as it were.
Yet there is tremendous hostility towards intelligent design on the part of many orthodox evolutionary biologists, which has gotten so bad in recent times that the more doctrinaire Darwinists have run to the courts for protection of their cherished beliefs (and interests personal and institutional), insisting that ID is not science. Judges are not scientists; in general they are ill-equipped to make judgments on the merits of scientific controversies. Yet they render judgments all the same, with profound implications for how science is to be taught. I fail to see how this redounds to the benefit of scientific progress.
If science is defined as materialist and naturalist in its fundamental presuppositions the currently-favored methodological naturalism then ID does not meet the test of what is science? For it does not restrict itself to the material, the physical, but extends its model to information science, which is immaterial. The problem for Darwinists seems to be that there is no known source of biological information within Nature as classically understood (i.e., as fundamentally Newtonian materialist and mechanistic in three dimensions).
The problem of abiogenesis goes straight to the heart of this issue. Abiogensis is a hypothesis holding that life spontaneously arises from inert, non-living matter under as-yet unknown conditions. Although evolution theory does not deal with the problem of the origin of life, many evolutionary biologists are intrigued by the problem, and want to deal with it in a manner consistent with Darwinian methods; i.e., the presuppositions of methodological naturalism, boosted by random mutation and natural selection. That is, to assume that life emerges from the bottom-up from resources available at Levels (i) and (ii) of the IC/AP model.
There have been numerous experiments, most of which have taken the form of laboratory simulations of lightning strikes on a properly prepared chemical soup (e.g., Urey, Miller, et al.). At least one such experiment managed to produce amino acids fundamental building blocks of life (at the (ii) level of Williams hierarchy). But amino acids are not life. On Williams model, to be life, theyd need to have achieved at least the threshold of Level (iii).
For it is the presence of functionally-integrated components that makes life possible, that sustains the living organism in its very first duty: That it will, along the entire extension of its complete biological make-up (whether simple or highly complex), globally organize its component systems in such a way as to maximally maintain the total organisms distance from thermodynamic entropy. An organism that couldnt do that wouldnt last as an organism for very long.
And so in order for the materialist interpretation of abiogenesis to be true, the chemical soup experimental model would have to demonstrate how inorganic matter manages to exempt itself from one of the two most fundamental laws of Nature: the second law of thermodynamics.
From cells on up through species, all biological organisms by virtue of their participation in Levels (i) and (ii) are subject to the second law right from creation. Indeed, they are subject to it throughout their life spans. A friend points out that the second law is a big arguing point for Macroevolutionists, who try to argue that the second law is irrelevent, i.e., doesnt apply to living systems, because it only applies to closed systems and not to open ones. Thus they say that living systems in nature are open systems. But what this line of reasoning does not tell us is what such systems are open to.
And yet we know that every cell is subject to the second law simply by needing to fuel itself, it subjects itself to the effects of entropy, otherwise known as heat death. And although it can and does stave off such effects for a while, doing so requires the cell or species constantly to deal with maintaining distance from entropy in all its living functional components, organized globally. Entropy plays a big part in all life from cells to completed species.
When the successful communication of meta-information begins to slow down and break down, cells and species then begin to succumb to the effects of entropy, to which they have been subjected all their entire life. This is because they can no longer combat, or stay ahead of the entropy curve, due to inefficient communication processes and, thus, degradation of the maintenance procedures communicated to the cells via the meta-information system that is specific to each particular biological entity and to each particular species. After all, any species description is necessarily an informed description.
Yet another origin-of-life approach the Wimmer abiogenesis experiment is highly instructive. He managed to create a polio virus. He did so by introducing RNA information into a cell-free juice, and the polio virus spontaneously resulted.
Wimmer used actual DNA to synthesize polio RNA based on information about the polio virus RNA which is widely available, even on the internet. The RNA information was truly pulled from the DNA, which resides at the next-higher level. He could not synthesize RNA directly; he first had to synthesize the DNA from the raw information and then synthesize the polio RNA from the synthetic DNA.
Yet RNA information, like all information, is immaterial. In terms of the Williams hierarchy, clearly Wimmer had obtained an organism functioning at about Level (iii) because it had sufficient information to propel it to that level, as pulled by the information available at the next-higher level where DNA information resides Level (iv).
Unlike biological organisms expressing all five levels of the Williams model, the polio virus, though fully autonomous as an information processor (leading to its successful communication in Wimmers laboratory), somehow still doesnt have everything it needs to be fully autonomous as a living being. A virus, for instance, is dependent on a living host in order to execute its own life program. As such, it is a sort of quasi-life. Shannon Information Theory helps us to clarify such distinctions.
Before we turn to Shannon, its worth mentioning that, according to H. H. Pattee and Luis Rocha, the issue of autonomy (and semiosis the language and the ability to encode/decode messages) is a huge stumbling block to abiogenesis theory. For that kind of complexity to emerge by self-organizing theory, in the RNA world, the organism would have to involuntarily toggle back and forth between non-autonomous and autonomous modes, first to gather, and then to make use of information content as an autonomous living entity. The question then becomes: What tells it how and when to toggle? Further, it appears the source of the information content that can toggle non-life into life remains undisclosed.
Shannon Information Theory
The DNA of any individual life form is exactly the same whether the organism is dead or alive. And we know this, for DNA is widely used and proved reliable in forensic tests of decedents in criminal courts of law. And so we propose:
Information is that which distinguishes life from non-life/death.Information, paraphrased as successful communication, is the reduction of uncertainty (Shannon entropy) in a receiver or molecular machine in going from a before state to an after state. It is the action which facilitates any successfully completed communication. Thus Shannons model describes the universal mechanism of communication. That is, it distinguishes between the content of a message and its conduit: The model is indifferent to the actual message being communicated, which could be anything, from Dont forget to put your boots on today its snowing, to Shakespeares Hamlet. The value or meaning of the message being transmitted has no bearing on the Shannon model, which is the same for all messages whatever. Pictorially, the Shannon communication conduit looks like this:
Information is further defined by its independence from physical determination:
I came to see that the computer offers an insuperable obstacle to Darwinian materialism. In a computer, as information theory shows, the content is manifestly independent of its material substrate. No possible knowledge of a computers materials can yield any information whatsoever about the actual content of its computations. In the usual hierarchy of causation, they reflect the software or source code used to program the device; and, like the design of the computer itself, the software is contrived by human intelligence.Referring to the Shannon diagram above, we can interpret the various elements of the model in terms of biological utility, as follows:
The failure of purely physical theories to describe or explain information reflects Shannons concept of entropy and his measure of news. Information is defined by its independence from physical determination: If it is determined, it is predictable and thus by definition not information. Yet Darwinian science seemed to be reducing all nature to material causes. George Gilder, Evolution and Me, National Review, July 17, 2006, p. 29f.
Note the head, noise. Biologically speaking, with respect to the fully-integrated, five-leveled biological organism, noise in the channel might be introduced by certain biological enigmas, which broadly satisfy the requirements of Williams model and, thus, are living organisms. Shannon Information Theory describes such enigmas as follows:
Bacteria typified by autonomous successful communication; bacteria are single-cell organisms. Because they are autonomous entities, communications follow the normal flow in Shannon theory source, message, encoder/transmitter, channel, decoder/receiver. The bacterias messages are not broadcast to other nearby bacteria but are autonomous to the single-cell organism.
Bacterial Spores typified by autonomous successful communication. Bacterial spores, such as anthrax, are like other bacteria except they can settle into a dormant state. Dormant bacterial spores begin regular successful communication under the Shannon model once an interrupt has occurred, for instance the presence of food. Anthrax, for instance, may lay dormant for years until breathed into a victims lungs, whereupon it actively begins its successful albeit destructive (to its host) communication, which often leads to the death of its host; i.e., the bacteriums food source.
Mycoplasmas typified as an autonomous bacterial model parasite successfully communicating. Mycoplasmas are akin to bacteria except they lack an outer membrane and so often attach to other cells, whereby they may cause such events as, for instance, the disease pneumonia. In the Shannon model, mycoplasmas are considered autonomous in that the communications are often restricted to the mycoplasma itself; e.g., self-reproduction. But because they also act like a parasite, they might alter the hosts properties and thus result in malfunctions in the autonomous communication of the host by, for instance, interfering with the channel.
Mimivirus typified as an autonomous virus model parasite successfully communicating. Mimiviruses are gigantic viruses. They are viruses because they are parasites to their host, relying on the host for protein engineering. But the mimiviruses (unlike regular viruses) apparently do not need to be a parasite, and thus they are autonomous with regard to the Shannon model. But like the mycoplasmas, the presence of mimiviruses can alter properties of the host and thereby result in malfunctions in the autonomous communications of the host by, for instance, interfering with the channel.
Viroids typified as non-autonomous virus-like noise/mutation contributing to successful/failed communication. Viroids have no protein coat. They are single strands of RNA that lack the protein coat of regular viruses. They are noise in the channel under the Shannon model; i.e., messages only that are not communicated autonomously within the viroids themselves. They can also be seen as broadcast messages, because viroids may cause their own message (RNA) to be introduced into the host.
Viruses typified as non-autonomous virus noise/mutation contributing to successful/failed communication. Viruses feed genetic data to the host. They are strands of DNA or RNA that have a protein coat. Viruses are parasites to the host, relying on the host for communication; e.g., reproduction. In the Shannon model, viruses are either noise or broadcasts that are not autonomous in the virus and appear as noise messages to the host. It is possible that, unlike the polio virus which is destructive, there may be some viruses (and viroids) whose messages cause a beneficial adaptation in the host.
Prions typified as non-autonomous protein noise/mutation contributing to successful/failed communication (protein crystallization). Prions are protein molecules that have neither DNA nor RNA. Currently, prions are the suspected cause of bovine spongiform encephalopathy Mad Cow Disease. In the Shannon model, prions would be incoherent in the channel because they have no discernable message; that is, neither DNA nor RNA. Thus the prion would lead to channel or decoding malfunctions.
So far there is no known origin for information (successful communication) in space/time. This should be visualized as activity represented by the arrows on the above illustration. Possible origins include a universal vacuum field, harmonics, geometry.
Shannons mathematical theory of communications applied to molecular biology shows genuine promise of having some significant implications for the theory of natural selection in explaining the rise of information (successful communication), autonomy, and semiosis (language, encoding/decoding). S. Venable, J. Drew, Shannon Information and Complex Systems Theory, Dont Let Science Get You Down, Timothy, Lulu Press, 2006, p. 207f.
It seems worthwhile to note here that, under Shannons model, the thermodynamic tab is paid when the molecular machine goes from the before state to the after state. At that moment, it dissipates heat into the surroundings. Level (v) meta-information successfully communicated to the organism provides it with strategies to counter and compensate for local thermodynamic effects. Ultimately, when the organism reaches a state in which it is no longer successfully communicating, the entropy tab must be paid by ordinary means. And so eventually, the living organism dies.
Putting Williams IC/AP Model into Context
So far, the autopoietic model though it provides an excellent description of the information flows necessary to establish and maintain an organism in a living state seems to be a bit of an abstraction. Indeed, in order to be fully understood, the model needs to be placed into the context in which it occurs that is, in Nature.
Each living entity as described by the model is a part and participant in a far greater whole. Niels Bohr put it this way: A scientific analysis of parts cannot disclose the actual character of a living organism because that organism exists only in relation to the whole of biological life. Including the species-specific meta-information unique to any particular species, which also controls and dictates how the entire biological system works as a whole; i.e., at the global level. And arguably, not only in relation to the entirety of biological life, but to the physical forces of nature, to inorganic entities, and to other biological beings, including the enigmas described above, which appear to be a sort of quasi-life. For even though they may be autonomous communicators, some of these quasi-life examples suggest an organic state that is somehow not sufficiently informed to stand on its own; i.e., they exemplify a state that needs to latch onto a fully-functioning biological entity in order to complete their own program for life the very definition of a parasite.
The single most telling point that Williams model makes is that information is vital to the living state; that it flows downward from the top of his model Level (v), meta-information and not from the bottom of the model flowing upwards by the incremental means characterizing Levels (i) and (ii) not to mention orthodox Darwinist expectation. On this model, Levels (i) and (ii) do not know how to fit themselves into the biological picture. For that, they need the information available at Levels (iii) to (v).
Many questions relevant to our exploration of the fundaments of biology have not been touched on in this article e.g., what is the meaning of emergence? What is the manner in which complexification takes place in nature? What do we mean by open and closed systems? What do we mean by self-ordered or self-organizing systems in nature? (And what does the prefix self mean with respect to such questions?)
But since were out of time, we wont be dealing with such problems here and now, though I hope we may return to them later. Instead, Ill leave you, dear reader, with yet another depiction of Figure 1, this time elaborated to show the total context in which the irreducibly complex, autopoietic model is embedded:
Note the model now sits, not only with respect to its natural environment, but also with respect to the quantum domain of pure potentiality, and also with respect to a (proposed) extra-mundane source of biological information.
I think for the biological sciences to actually progress, a model such as Williams IC/AP model is worthy of serious consideration. Remember, Darwins theory is wholly classical, meaning dimensionally limited to 3-space, to local, mechanical, largely force-field-driven material causation. Relativity and quantum theory have both moved well beyond those precincts. Its time for the Darwinian theory of evolution to catch up with the current state of scientific knowledge and especially with the implications of information science.
©2009 Jean F. Drew
bump for a good paper. Thanks for the read. 8-)
"Au contraire, mon ami. They cannot be identified as "life," only as the necessary preconditions of life."
Life is a configuration of energy. Those configurations exist according to the physics and give rise to all and every instance of life in this world.
"See Chaitin, Yockey, Grandpierre et al. Not to mention Williams."
"On this basis, Chaitin has pointed out that the complexity we observe in living systems cannot be accounted for on the basis of the chemical and physical laws alone, owing to the paucity of their information content."
Obviously the complexity of his simple scratch pad program did not model life. Evolutionary algorithms can be used to do so, and generate info as they progress.
"The single most telling point that Williams model makes is that information is vital to the living state; that it flows downward from the top of his model Level (v), meta-information and not from the bottom of the model flowing upwards by the incremental means characterizing Levels (i) and (ii) not to mention orthodox Darwinist expectation.
As I pointed out, Williams model doesn't represent reality. There's no real distinction between levels 1&2, and the levels above are built upon the simple physics contained in 1&2. All that's needed is to analyze the interactions of the components of the appropriate complex configurations. That's done in medicine for instance, to know and understand human life and to provide for intelligent and deliberate curative, or corrective affects.
Also, Williams idea that info proceeds down is never seen in reality. Biological development,and evolutionary progression are observed to progress from the simple to the complex, never the other way around. That's because, the info contained in the fundamental physics is all that's needed to result in the physical configurations recognized, known and understood as life. There's no life form, or part of, that can be shown to be irreducibly complex. The contrary is true, indicating the info arrow goes up, not down as with IC(omplexity).
Hubert Yockey apparently thinks otherwise:
The reason that there are principles of biology that cannot be deduced from the laws of physics and chemistry lies not in some esoteric philosophy but simply in the mathematical fact that the genetic information content of the genome for constructing even the simplest organisms is much larger than the information content of those laws. Chaitin has examined the complexity of the laws of physics by actually programming them. He finds the complexity amazingly small. [i.e., Chaitin estimates it at 103 bits.]"
Quoted in #55
Folks only have archeological evidence that indicates a spiecies transition occurred in a rough time frame and maybe in a particular place, or region. They also have contemporary related species to examine. That evidence is supported by knowledge and understanding of the underlying biochemistry.
This fella continues to insult and malign those he’s arguing with with comments such as the following
[[Application of the nonsense that IDers use will do nothing but perpetuate their mental masturbation and define their inability to grasp basic precepts of science, logic and reason.]]
"The reason that there are principles of biology that cannot be deduced from the laws of physics and chemistry lies not in some esoteric philosophy but simply in the mathematical fact that the genetic information content of the genome for constructing even the simplest organisms is much larger than the information content of those laws.
This statement is illogical. Any measure of "information content" of any physical constuction does not preclude the fact that it's built upon the underlying physics.
"Chaitin has examined the complexity of the laws of physics by actually programming them."
No he has not. He simply created a do nothing program that contains a very simple, limited, incomplete set of representative laws, has a trivial length and the program halts. Nevertheless, it has no bearing on whether, or not complex physical entities are composed of simpler physical entities.
" He finds the complexity amazingly small. [i.e., Chaitin estimates it at 103 bits.]" Quoted in #55"
103 bits? What's that mean? A string 1000 bits long?
An old truism among lawyers about closing arguments is that if the facts are in your favor, argue the facts. If they aren't, argue the law. If neither, pound the table.
[[Evolutionary algorithms can be used to do so, and generate info as they progress.]]
mmm not so much- at least NOT without intelligent intervention acting as a species metainfo- You should know htis if you’ve objectively investigated computer algorithms that assert they are standins for naturalism- Computer programs have been exposed as intelligent manipulation time and time again.
[[As I pointed out, Williams model doesn’t represent reality. There’s no real distinction between levels 1&2,]]
and htere has to be a clear distinction why again? When chemicals give birth to acids, there really is no real discernable difference in the info, and so a large gap that you apparently think must exist, wouldn’t be seen- it’s not until we start itnroducing lower levels of biological info that things start to really take off differences wise.
[[and the levels above are built upon the simple physics contained in 1&2.]]
Yup- they do CONTIAN the basics, however, they also contain somethign the basics coudl never provide, the info necessary for the foundations of life, but htey still are not life until level V when all the self sustaining info is present and accoutned for- up to that point, the examples had to be artifically kept alive by soem unknown outside force of metainfo system which understood al the mechanics of these lower levels, and knew how to sustain the examples by controlling small changes that affect the hwole system- it needed forward looking life support that somehow managed to anticipate changes
Wil lrespond more later.
[[This statement is illogical. Any measure of “information content” of any physical constuction does not preclude the fact that it’s built upon the underlying physics.]]
Of course not, it can and does include simpler constructs from simpler proerties, however, this fact does not preclude hte fact that the more complex contents of information and structures are able to arise simply from simpler ones without some intelligent direction and severe biological and chemical changes that nature is incapable of producing.
[[Nevertheless, it has no bearing on whether, or not complex physical entities are composed of simpler physical entities.]]
See above- Again, computer models that assert that they duplicate evolution start with what again? Yup- info that is already present, and they manipulate this info intelligently, to aquire hte desired outcome, and as such they in no way represent the mechanics of nature.
It is the action, the reduction of uncertainty. It is not the message to be sent or the information content in the channel or the information content of noise in the channel or the message received.
For example, the data recorded on one's hard drive is not information under Shannon - it is merely information content, a message received or to be sent. Ditto for a file cabinet full of records or any record in the file cabinet. Ditto for things you have on your mind before you pick up the phone to call someone.
Like the DNA remains of a deceased person is inactive, the data recorded on one's hard drive does not become "information" until it has been communicated, reducing the Shannon entropy of the receiver.
Over the years, in casual conversation, "information" has developed a very broad meaning and is thrown around in our discussions here as if it is equivalent to the information content or message itself. And that can cause a great deal of confusion.
Or to put it another way, one risks looking at an element of the model and thinking he is talking about the model itself when he is not.
[[All that’s needed is to analyze the interactions of the components of the appropriate complex configurations.]]
And do what with htese complex configurations? Design computer programs that manipulate that intelligently designed info that is already available to them? Guess what? There’s an intelligent metainfo system already inplace that analyses those reactions and can thus manipulate those reactions and hte resulting info in order to maintain fitness of hte species. All those scientists you point to do is mimic this system of annalyzing, by creating designer drugs that mimic hte lower levels of info and reactions- levels that lie below the metainfo. They are playing hte part of metainfo- analyxing and understandign htose reactions in order to intelligently design info they can add to the system without negatively affectign the fitness (of course they get htis wrong a lot, and negative effects do occure, to which they haven’t got answers- but htey do try to mimic metainfo at least)
[[Also, Williams idea that info proceeds down is never seen in reality.]]
Sure it is- info degrades- however, this isn’t hte point- info doesn’t increase without intellgient direction, and the metainfo in species is absolutely needed BEFORE change in info can occure- ruling out an upward stepwise process of evolution of info
[[Biological development,and evolutionary progression are observed to progress from the simple to the complex,]]
The complexity you are appealing to is a FAR far simpler complexity than metainfo- change introduces minor complexity changes- but guess what? These changes NEED to be cotnrolled, once again, by higher completed metainfo, otherwise, these changes are nothign but chaos and owuld muck the whole system up- Change isn’t some neat little process that ONLY affects one tiny aspect of a cell, and can be ignored by the rest of the billions of systems and subsystems. Change affects many aspects of life’s systems, and htere NEEDS to be a conductor conducting hte whole orchestra, or else everythign goes haywire- just as it woudl if you introduced change into an orchestra’s symphony spontaniously- one small seemingly insignificant change affects the whole.
[[That’s because, the info contained in the fundamental physics is all that’s needed to result in the physical configurations recognized, known and understood as life.]]
Time for poker game- but briefly, Swell- you’ve described life AFTER all the necessary elements and systems and infromation are present- You’ve not shown how all this necessary stuff arosde naturalistically- you’ve just come in after the party is over and claimed credit for what others did.
[[There’s no life form, or part of, that can be shown to be irreducibly complex.]]
Sure htere is, you’re simply denying IC exists without showing how IC can arise- you’re just making unsupported claims that fly in hte face of the evidnece presented here and in william’s paper.
[[The contrary is true, indicating the info arrow goes up, not down as with IC(omplexity).]]
Pretty broad claim- mind showing us how the controlling metainfo can arise from chemical arangements? Or from any step in hte 5 steps needed for life? (Well, I shoudl say any of the first 4- the 5’th is life compelted)
[[Like the DNA remains of a deceased person is inactive, the data recorded on one’s hard drive does not become “information” until it has been communicated, reducing the Shannon entropy of the receiver.]]
Bingo! like hte letter instructing a specific someone to do somethign specific that only that person can do, that sits sealed in an envelope on a desk, is not informaiton until it is received and acted upon- it is just content without a purpose until received. Intelligent agents MUST direct the letter to the appropriate person in order for the content to be useful.
chemical information sitting inside a container can not instruct itself to repair, draw fuel, or maintain itself. The container itself, with it’s own set of instructions, can not instruct itself to receive, utilize or control info unless there is higher info from outside conducting it. higher info o nthe outside can not do anythign without yet higher info instructing it how to instruct lower info. All these infos on their own are useless content without a conductor conducting the symphony, and any changes itnroduced will simply end up in chaos and death and dissappearance for the container and info contained inside
Clay may have sparked an amino acid, but it couldn’t arrange chemicals in such a manner as to give it the isntructing powers of higher info- and if nothign else existed before the ‘creation’ of htis first simple building block, there woudl be nowhere fro mwhich to draw this info from- and nature playing a game of ‘hot cold warm colder’ (accordign to Demski) woudl be entirely worthless to a simplistic arrangement of basic building blocks that had no way of ‘discerning’ what ‘hot cold, warmer colder’ meant- those ‘instructions’ from nature are meaningless to simplistic chemical structures.
But the lowest levels of the AP model do not have that kind of intelligence, e.g. to anticipate the need for maintenance and repairs.
The article calls it inverse causality - I think of it as temporal non-locality. In other words, the anticipation or awareness or foreknowledge of what has not yet happened is not knowable autonomously at the level which must obtain that insight to advance.
Indeed, without a receiver there is little point in sending a message.
" The great stumbling block to many in discussing Shannon's Mathematical Theory of Communication is that "information" is the reduction of uncertainty (Shannon entropy) in the receiver (or molecular machine) in going from a before state to an after state. ...the data recorded on one's hard drive does not become "information" until it has been communicated, reducing the Shannon entropy of the receiver."
The KISS principle applies. An examination always requires communication.
And a good example of the phenomenon is Wimmer's success v. Urey/Miller's lack of success.
Thank you so very much for sharing your insights!
What a wonderful insight, dearest sister in Chirst and so marvelously well put!
But all the "evolutionary algorithms" we (objectively) know of have been written by human beings.
If you know of any others, please do let me know.
Actually, I have some interesting stories about the "peer review process" as close to first-hand as possible without the "subject author" being me. Please don't tempt me.... [though that could be fun....]
bookmark for later
I was hoping for yes or no.. not dis-information..
And now you also bring up the fact that you are a AIDS ‘truther’ as well. Nice. Going for double score on the whacadoo scale.
Basically I agree with this. It appears to be a rule of thumb rather than a law of nature, and it has some interesting implications, if true.
I call it the law of invention (lowercase "law"). It means that there can be new things under the sun, things that cannot be planned, foreseen or designed except by evolutionary algorithms and through incremental, cut and try methods.
Now an omniscient and omnipotent designer could see all posibilities arising from chemistry, but any lesser entity could not. So we can't rule out God as the designer of life. (Of course, you can't rule out anything as being the result of ans all-powerful entity.) But humans, and by extension, space aliens, do not qualify.
There's another implication, and that is humans cannot look at chemistry and declare that object X cannot arise from undirected chemistry. Particularly if you have observed an instance of object X.
Let's see how that implication works. Let's say object X is the cell of a sponge. Right away we can reasonably assert that such a complex object could not have self-assembled through unguided chemistry. The reason for this assertion, however, has less to do with first principles than with experience. We have hundreds of years of observational data and have not seen anything like that happen.
But we observe less complex cells, and even molecules that replicate and participate in living systems without having such fundamental components as cell walls, proteins or metabolism. A reasonable person might ask whether it is possible for a self-replicating molecule to arise from chemistry without intervention.
My "law of invention" says it is not possible to prejudge this case. An omniscient being could declare the answer, but we are not omniscient. The law of invention says there can be properties of assemblies that cannot be deduced from the properties of the component parts. Our investigation must proceed via cut and try. Which is precisely what investigators of abiogenesis are doing.
The law of invention says that really new things can arise only through omniscience or through incremental change followed by feedback. As I started out saying, it's a rule of thumb.
I believe I've pinged you asking for observed instances of foreknowledge.
Ring species are examples of species formation in progress. It's an illustration of one of the fundamental processes in evolution.
I'm rather surprised by this question. You've been around these threads for years and could not possibly be ignorant of this topic. Evolution is change. It is not progress in any commonly used sense of the word.
Why does the 2nd law of thermodynamics only apply to organisms after they die? Can their information content still be communicated? And why or why not?
The author cites Michael Ruses example of stegosaur plates, that they begin forming in the embryo but only have a function in the adultsupposedly for temperature control.
Off the top of my head, I would put antifreeze proteins on the table - or perhaps drought adaptation in wheat.
Such things occur at the highest level in the AP model.
Achieving autopoiesis from the lower levels remains the best and most important example.
Autopoiesis means automatic creation. The key element in autopoiesis - according to Maturana who coined the term - is autonomy, that an autopoietic system is self-contained or local.
A biological cell is autopoietic, it is self-contained. Wikipedia describes it as follows:
Self-organizing systems are not autonomous, i.e. autopoetic.
I usually put it this way: that order cannot rise out of chaos in an unguided physical system. Period. There are always guides to the system. Even at the lowest level, space/time and physical laws are guides to the system. Self-organizing systems have guides. Cellular automata has guides, etc.
Therefore, autopoiesis in a biological cell which is autonomous and yet obtains for such temporally non-local insight (anticipating, foreknowing or being aware of the need for maintenance and repair) is the best example.
Or to put it another way, at the lower level there is no local (autonomous) capability to be aware, anticipate or foreknow and thus attain autopoiesis. Temporally speaking (timewise) - that insight is not local.
Thats a stretch... for an example of how scales became feathers.. How gills became lungs.. or even flowers became eggs.. The simplest explanation is probably the one most closely resembling the truth.. the Adam and Eve metaphor..
However Donkeys, Horses and Zebras may be related.. Metamorphosis is real.. but evolution may be a tall tale.. A yarn masked as Satans Gospel.. You know Satans gospel.. That God helps those that help themselves.. i.e. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil..
True.. belief that they are is a belief in "magic"..
Evolution(generally) is a belief in "magic"..
That feathers evolved from scales.. for insulation or flight purposes.. Evolution theory is like a scientific cartoon.. You just suppose(think up) that something happened and it "probably did".. they suppose..
People that believe nothing can believe in anything..
I admit, believing that God created creatures is simple..
But surely as rational as evolution is.. since literally NO ONE can ever know for sure.. What actually happened.. At least in this realm of understanding..
Evolution(generally) is a fairy tale for grown-ups..
It appears that "atoms" are NOT little balls revolving around some nucleus.. at all.. No one seems to know WHAT matter is.. or even energy.. exactly.. What life(and death) is, is totally up in the air..
Genetalia also begin forming in embryos. How is this an example of foreknowledge?
I admit that the simplest explanation for everything is goddidit.
All of the historical sciences - evolution theory, anthropology, archeology, Egyptology - deal with a very spotty historical record. Moreover, they fit individual finds into a blueprint theory which is in effect more of a paradigm than a theory as compared to physics, etc.
If complete remains of every creature that ever lived were available to the investigators, sequenced serially, then the underlying paradigm could be subjected to rigorous tests on a confidence par with physics.
As it is, belief is required. For some, belief in the paradigm. For some, belief in God - with of course, a wide range of understanding of both Scripture and the paradigm. Some one, some the other, some both.
Why not try phrasing this with reference to the video I linked earlier in the thread?
On just about every single example you have ever used to establish common descent. Whenever I have taken the trouble to look into the matter, it would turn out that you had no clue what you were talking about. And then when the evidence demonstrating that you are clueless is presented, you plagiarize certain elements of the same without acknowledging your error in order to save face. That's why I have concluded that you are a snot-nosed kid who dropped out of grad school before you had a chance to mature into a self-aware adult. You have no business being in science. But again, I'm sure you would fit right into Bob Gallo's lab.
I’m rather surprised by this question. You’ve been around these threads for years and could not possibly be ignorant of this topic. Evolution is change. It is not progress in any commonly used sense of the word.
Evolution is just change for change’s sakes without purpose or progress?
Or, one could investigate how self replication could arise via chemistry, as more and more researchers are doing. Anything written on the subject that is more than a couple of years old is not authoritative.
All quite interesting and we could run this thread up to ten thousands of posts addressing specific biological anticipations. That would be a waste of bandwidth.
The point of the AP model is autopoiesis, or to put it another way "you can't get there (autopoiesis) from here (lower level in the model.)"
Autonomony is on the table.
Being so hard of hearing has its advantages though - I'm not easily distracted. LOL!
Most people will take even that over there's simply no explanation at all and then shrugging your shoulders and taking a nap.
Here’s a current discussion on whether evolution is foresightful. Unfortunately, most evilutionists have been banned from the site, but it’s still a good place to acquaint yourself witht he latest ID thinking.