Peer Review Process (was Evolution Stuff (was What is Religion, exactly?))

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AuthorTopic: Peer Review Process (was Evolution Stuff (was What is Religion, exactly?))
BoE Posse
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I may regret coming back here for this. I am almost certain to be massivly outposted, and I may have real life force me out of the discussion at any time, but what the hell.

To keep things marginally on topic I'll start by saying that my definition of religion is much the same as Ash's (surprise, surprise).

quote:
The problem with your definition, Ash, is that it makes the word "religion" less useful. If absolutely everybody who has thought enough about "the spiritual realm" (whatever the heck that term means) to come to have some opinion about it counts as having a religion, then calling somebody religious no longer says anything meaningful.
Not really. You can say everyone has a religion (however poorly thought out it might be) without saying everyone is religious. In fact I would say many christians are not religious. In this use, the word "religious" has to do with how prominently a person's religion affects their behaviour, not whether they have a religion in the first place.

Also, it appears that a number of people here think that rules are part of religion, but I disagree. A religion does not necessarily impose rules on behavior. For example "God created the universe especially for me so that I can do whatever I want." Would be a religious belief that does not impose rules. Also, I'm not sure about Buddhism, but I would say that it doesn't have rules so much as advice on how to become spiritually better off.

quote:
Your definition, by the by, is completely useless. It presumes a concept of a 'spirit realm', specifically one radically linked to your own belief system (disqualifies most isolated native religions, incl. Shinto, due to the fact they don't regard the spiritual and the material as separate).

The definition is not 'belief in the nature of the spiritual realm' but 'belief about the nature of the spiritual realm. It does not presume anything about the spiritual realm, or even that it exists. It simply means the belief 'The spiritual realm does not exist' is as religious as 'the spiritual realm is not separate from the material'.

quote:
Even if we allow presumption of that concept, it also seems to posit that any sort of presumed knowledge constitutes belief, which is wholly absurd. Presumed knowledge only becomes belief when it is based on gnosis and as such will not be trumped failing the intercession of new gnosis.

Example: I presume to know gravity is an immutable constant.

If new experiments with, say, the lunar ranging array produce results inexplicable by my current understanding - and I still presume to know, in full knowledge of those experiments, that gravity is an immutable constant - that is belief.
Your definition of belief is different from mine. My definition of belief would actually be 'presumed knowledge'. You have not demonstrated why that definition is absurd. Your definition of 'belief' would be more like my definition of 'blind faith'.

Now on to the evolution debate.

First I had better say that no-one sensible disputes micro-evolution.
Secondly, beneficial mutations do happen. The superbugs are an example, and there are others. There is a type of beetle on a windy island that has no wings. It's unmutated brethren on the mailand do. The mutation is beneficial on the island because flying beetles tend to get blown out to sea and drown. It doesn't take a genius, however, to see that losing things will never get you from beetles to baboons. (I just know someone is going to say "but baboons aren't desended from beetles.") Information losing mutations can, and do, cause micro-evolution, but in that case micro-evolution cannot be used as evidence for 'goo-to-you-via-the-zoo' macro-evolution. Evidence for macro-evolution would be a mutation that created new genetic information. Since evolution is supposed to still be going on, we should be able to find one of the mutations that causes it. (For the reasons why superbugs aren't an example of an increase in genetic information see here.)

I may not have time to continue this later, but I will try.

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What is this argument about information and evolution?

There's probably something very interesting to be said (which probably has already been said by lots of people and I just haven't heard yet). But what I have heard so far elsewhere, in the way of arguments against evolution from information, has been based on gross ignorance of both information theory and thermodynamics, and hasn't been interesting at all.

The basic problem is, that "information" as it was quantified by Claude Shannon, and as it is related to thermodynamic entropy via statistical mechanics, has nothing whatever to do with meanings of signals, or with causal consequences of signals. It is simply a measure of how long the string of symbols would be, if it were efficiently compressed. The human genome is a fraction of the size of the onion genome, so if evolution with information loss is okay, then humans can evolve from onions.

The point of course is that genome size is not the point. It is obvious that in some important sense humans are vastly more complicated than onions. The trouble is that nobody has ever succeeded in saying much more than that. Whatever this crucial kind of complexity may be, we know of no natural laws that forbid it to increase spontaneously. The difference between humans and onions does not seem to be a matter of entropy, and it is only entropy that tends to increase.

And, of course, it is only the total entropy of a closed system that is forbidden to decrease by thermodynamics. There is no trouble whatever, from thermodynamics, in having a subsystem lose entropy by expelling it into its environment.

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quote:
Originally written by The Creator:

Also, I'm not sure about Buddhism, but I would say that it doesn't have rules so much as advice on how to become spiritually better off.
I don't entirely disagree with your point, but Buddhism definitely has rules -- the Eightfold Path comes to mind. I know there are Westerners who take a general Buddhist philosophy and don't pay attention to specific directives, and call themselves Buddhist, but that seems a bit akin to self-professed Jews or Christians who ignore the Commandments. Should they still count as Buddhist, and as being religious? Sure, but they don't have a complete overlap with what is traditionally thought of as being Buddhist.

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You might find Werner Gitt's In the Beginning was Information interesting. A basic summary of his arguments can be found here. A Scientific Critique of Evolution is a reply to an article on TalkOrigins, but it addresses bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and measuring information content of mutations. You may also be interested in the reply to a letter which asked How is information content measured?.

In regards to thermodynamics, you are absolutely correct. However, an open system is not sufficient to provide a decrease in entropy. It requires a mechanisim to harness the incoming energy. An exapmle of undirected energy would be a bull in a china shop. A lot of 'work' may be done, but it only increases disorder (entropy). The same bull, however may be harnessed to a machine to spin the potters wheel, and so help create a localised decrease in entropy, but this requres a mechanisim. To read the argument in more depth see Thermodynamics Vs. Evolutionism .

Sorry I'm not answering your questions myself, but I don't really have time do much more than post links, especially when it's so technical.

Re Buddhism: I stand corrected.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 03:14: Message edited by: The Creator ]

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quote:
Ever heard of the Miller-Urey experiment?

Didn't that experiment also produces a lot of toxins?

I also find it interesting that it cannot be proven in an experiment that order comes out of chaos. Like many scientists claim happened.

And by order I don't mean a part of something ordered or something that appears ordered, I mean something truly ordered. And I also mean true chaos, not something involving something as structured and orderly as fractals.

Edit: I just noticed, does anyone here has any idea how much work it takes to create a stable orbit. The best that could occure without a lot of course correction would be very elliptical and even very unstable. Something ain't it.

Another edit: I also don't claim to know what conciousness is. But I do know that brains make up the interface with the outside world, also that they are quite important for things like memory and automated functions. And sending electrical impulses to various places voluntarily. And math. Come to think of it, A human brain can do all the things a computer can. But can a computer ever truly think the way a human should. It can have the illusion of thinking if programed to carry on a certain way, but what I mean is redefining the pattern of thought itself to respond to new problems on its own. A computer is really just an overly fast version of certain parts of the human brain. Maybe better in some cases too.

Or maybe all any brain is is a computer that operates along unusual nonlinear lines with a different operation system and, what it is that really makes anyone or thing alive in a way other than an insect is a creature within taht controls these neurons.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 06:15: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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I'm afraid the first link starts well, but when it reaches my point about the inadequacy of Shannon information to measure biological complexity, it tries to defy my assertion that nobody has done anything useful to provide the relevant substitute. I think it fails, in that it goes on for some pages, but none of this further content is any good.

The article pulls a dozen "theorems" out of the air, without proving them. They are all based on using the term "information" in the context of human communication. But as the article has just noted in criticizing the Shannon formula, the term "information" can mean many things, ranging from mere length of a random signal, to conscious intent. When everyone agrees that life forms are full of information, they do mean something more sophisticated than Shannon information, but they do not necessarily mean anything as anthropomorphic as the "information" that is discussed in this article. The only link this article provides between the "information" referred to in its "theorems" and the "information" in biology is the fact that the same word can be used for both. But this is mixing up codes, in a way that the article's author ought to know enough to avoid.

The second article also uses "information" in a funny way. There is an assertion that random mutations could not produce an enzyme that never existed before on Earth. My reaction is, Why the hell not? There is no reason at all to say this; a brand new enzyme would be perfectly possible. And if you use a definition of information, whereby the appearance of a new enzyme constitutes new information, then information can certainly increase.

The error here seems to me to be like one a gambler might make. The gambler reads a theorem that random shuffling can never increase the information content in the order of a deck of cards. But the gambler also knows that, if he does get dealt a full house, the chance of an opposing hand beating his goes down dramatically. And he knows enough information theory to quantify this advantage; it can be expressed precisely as an increase in information, and this is a reasonable thing to do if you are technically sophisticated gambler. So the gambler concludes that it must be impossible to get dealt a full house, no matter how many bazillions of hands you play. But this is ridiculous. The gambler's error is that the information content of the full house hand, as a product of dealing, is a completely different concept from its information content as a basis for poker strategy. Both are reasonable, but confusing them is not.
Spetner makes the same kind of confusion when he estimates, reasonably enough, the information value of the specificity of an enzyme, but then concludes that random production of the enzyme would be impossible.

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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

And by order I don't mean a part of something ordered or something that appears ordered, I mean something truly ordered. And I also mean true chaos, not something involving something as structured and orderly as fractals.
This makes no sense. At all. You're going to need to define what you mean by "truly ordered" and "true chaos" -- it's not apparent.

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Edit: delete this post. Quite horribly pressing the tab button makes things post prematurly.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 06:05: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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As in what the first chemicals on the earth supposedly did to form some of the structures necessary for life according to the experiment I mentioned earlier. Chaos on a non-mathematic level such as randomly pressing the keys on a typewriter. You will get letters, they will be in a horizontal line, but what do they say if anything at all? You did all the right moves, you pressed the buttons, But without a set of guidelines.

I meant true order as in a reasonable, coharent sentance.

And by true chao I meant total chaos. No rules. Although I think that experiment might have been quite biased in that regard although it was still just a mess. So I don't consider that experiment to be actual chaos but it was close enough despite being a hightly controled experiment.

A certain amount of elecricity for so long in such a place. Certain chemicals in unchanging proportions. These all prevent it from being total chaos, but there is no real control over the process.
And no truly orderly result occured. Only some of the many necessary components occured but with many toxins. This is only getting the appearence of a successful result, if you ignore the things that make it a failure but nonetheless, it just looks like it worked. If you look at all the evidence together though it looks like proof that the earth didn't form anything this way. And maybe couldn't.

Edit: Boy I wish I could explain things better, I used to be better at it you know. Somewhere in there is my criteria for order and chaos. I think of order at all as a structured thing. And true chao is total as opposed to confined.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 06:10: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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quote:
Originally written by Come On Pilgrim:
Track 4:
quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

And by order I don't mean a part of something ordered or something that appears ordered, I mean something truly ordered. And I also mean true chaos, not something involving something as structured and orderly as fractals.
This makes no sense. At all. You're going to need to define what you mean by "truly ordered" and "true chaos" -- it's not apparent.

This makes no sense. At all. If you are going to repeatedly bang your head up against a brick wall, kindly don a crash helmet.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


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Oh, he'll be fine.

Edit: Dang, I forgot the comma.

Edit Again: Unless I misunderstand you. Could you please be more specific?

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 06:17: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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*facepalm*

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


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I think you meant organized rather than ordered, GremlinJoe.

“‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content ... Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’” [Jeffrey S. Wicken, The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 77 (April 1979), p. 349]

quote:
The article pulls a dozen "theorems" out of the air, without proving them. They are all based on using the term "information" in the context of human communication. But as the article has just noted in criticizing the Shannon formula, the term "information" can mean many things, ranging from mere length of a random signal, to conscious intent. When everyone agrees that life forms are full of information, they do mean something more sophisticated than Shannon information, but they do not necessarily mean anything as anthropomorphic as the "information" that is discussed in this article. The only link this article provides between the "information" referred to in its "theorems" and the "information" in biology is the fact that the same word can be used for both. But this is mixing up codes, in a way that the article's author ought to know enough to avoid.
As I said earlier, that was just a basic overview. In his book In The Beginning was Information he explains where he gets his theorems from (short answer: observation, the same place we get the laws of thermodynamics), and why his definition applies to genetic systems as well as human languages and computer codes. I have to ask, however, why exactly do you think the theorems only apply to human communication?

quote:
The second article also uses "information" in a funny way. There is an assertion that random mutations could not produce an enzyme that never existed before on Earth. My reaction is, Why the hell not? There is no reason at all to say this; a brand new enzyme would be perfectly possible. And if you use a definition of information, whereby the appearance of a new enzyme constitutes new information, then information can certainly increase.

Where exactly does it say that "random mutations could not produce an enzyme that never existed before on Earth"? I think you will find that what he is actually saying is not "it can't happen" but that it would be neccessary to show a mutation that produced a new enzyme with a higher information content than it's unmutated version in order to provide evidence for (macro)evolution.

quote:
Spetner makes the same kind of confusion when he estimates, reasonably enough, the information value of the specificity of an enzyme, but then concludes that random production of the enzyme would be impossible.
From the article in question:
"I shall emphasize again: There is no theorem requiring mutations to lose information. I can easily imagine mutations that gain information. The simplest example is what is known as a back mutation. A back mutation undoes the effect of a previous mutation. If the change of a single base pair in the genome were to change to another and lose information, then a subsequent mutation back to the previous condition would regain the lost information. Since these mutations are known to occur, they form a counterexample to any conjecture that random mutations must lose information. An important point I make in my book, and which I emphasize here, is that, as far as I know, no mutations observed so far qualify as examples of the kind of mutations required for Evolution A."
He is not saying they must be impossible. He is saying they have not been observed.

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No, Salmon is right.

It sounds like GremlinJoe is interested in an arbitrary definition of order. Randomly pressing typewriter keys will create a result with some kinds of order, as he observes, but "true order" according to him comes from forming a coherent sentence. What makes one flavor of order truer than another? A sentence is coherent because its components follow certain arbitrary rules of language and logic. A sentence is horizontally lined up because its components follow certain arbitrary rules of typography. Neither logic, nor grammar, nor parallel lines have any special claim to "true order."

"Total chaos" with "no rules" sounds implausible. If there are no rules at all, then that means no rules governing how different substances act or interact, right? Hydrogen and oxygen could react to produce water or uranium or anything under the sun. Relationships between the different parts of the world cannot exist, by definition. Then you have no coherent world to speak of, just random noise in the form of matter.

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Gee, sir you are getting philisophical on me. What have I done to deserve that other then have missing vocabulary? And use an abstract concept to describe something else?

Unlike the language I used to describe them there is no arbitrarity to anything I've said about the real world. You will obey the laws of physics and chemistry at all times. Failure to comply will result in you immediate deportation to a place more suited to such flamboyant outbursts.

And you Don't seem to have understood what I meant by chaos. I said total chaos was a mathematical concept didn't I? I must've forgotten to.
I know that with real total chaos you would never even see such a thing as uranium or oxygen. Those are Very complex elements. Lots of critical structuring. I just brought that up because people are always using that as evidence against what I say about this subject in arguments in the non internet world.

I hoped people would know I was down to earth enough to realize that if the entire planet was a mix of chemicals that it still wouldn't really be total chaos. It would still be confined chaos however.

Thank you one known as "The Creator" for correcting that, I am missing words a lot now days.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 07:09: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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quote:
Originally written by ef:

quote:
There's also a city in Germany called Worms. Yummy.
Ah yes, but that doesn't have anything to do with worms. That name goes back to celtic "Bormotomagus=Land of the many waters"; when "B" changed to "W" and germanic tribes settled in the region, the name was partly translated to "Wormazfeld" = "Wormatia" in its latinised version and finally got abbriged to "Worms".

Wormazfeld: Garzahd's cousin. :P

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 08:15: Message edited by: Robinator, #034 ]

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As I understand religion you need (a ) a belief in a sacred dimension (something that goes beyond everyday, mundane stuff) (b) distinctive religious practices or behaviours that conform to (a), above and (c)rituals of religous practice that bond individuals to the sacred dimension. Together, the three items above can work to bind a community (of like minded believers) together and make it unique.

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Religion is necessarily a system of rules. In explaining things that are not understood - seemingly without rules - people create a hierarchy. While some religious traditions may avoid attaching a value to a particular phenomenon, most are categorized as pure (or holy or good) or profane (or taboo or bad). Where a particular phenomenon falls among these categories can vary from religion to religion, but generally they all fall into this binary framework, and once this occurs, PRESTO! you have rules.

Creator, even in your example, you've created a rule. "God created the universe especially for me so that I can do whatever I want." The rule here is the "I can do whatever I want" part, because it establishes some form of sanctioned order, and here, one that is conveniently in the practitioner's interest.

This is Anthro 101 stuff here, folks.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 09:23: Message edited by: Drew ]
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quote:
As I understand religion you need (a ) a belief in a sacred dimension (something that goes beyond everyday, mundane stuff) (b) distinctive religious practices or behaviours that conform to (a), above and (c)rituals of religous practice that bond individuals to the sacred dimension. Together, the three items above can work to bind a community (of like minded believers) together and make it unique.
I guess you don't understand religion.
quote:
Creator, even in your example, you've created a rule. "God created the universe especially for me so that I can do whatever I want." The rule here is the "I can do whatever I want" part, because it establishes some form of sanctioned order, and here, one that is conveniently in the practitioner's interest.
You know, I just don't see how you got that out of his post. Could you show me where you got that from in his post?
(Ok, I am trying to get out of this debate.)

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Top of the page, his third paragraph.
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quote:
Originally written by Major:

quote:
I am stating an opinion.
I guess your opinion is wrong.
quote:
Creator, even in your example, you've created a rule. "God created the universe especially for me so that I can do whatever I want." The rule here is the "I can do whatever I want" part, because it establishes some form of sanctioned order, and here, one that is conveniently in the practitioner's interest.
You know, I'm not interested in expanding my thought processes to include new things. Please rephrase so that what you think fits well within my realm of understanding.
(Ok, I am trying to troll.)

So many typos, so little time...

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


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Ah, I see about Spetner. Thanks for the correction.

I remain puzzled by the role information plays in his argument. If his point is only that macro-evolution has not been observed in nature, I don't see why he should bring up enzymes and information. He can surely just observe that nobody has seen a giraffe evolve. It seems to be the same point, if all he's saying is the observations haven't been made; the whole deal about information would be an irrelevant digression. And if he's saying more than that, if he's trying to find an information theoretic theorem against macro-evolution, then I don't see how his case can be sound, because whatever has actually been observed, there is no known natural law against the spontaneous appearance of new enzymes having abitrarily high Spetner information. Certainly the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not about that.

I don't remotely have the time to read Spetner's book; but I bet I don't need to. His book probably spends most of its time explaining stuff with which I am quite familiar. I would be interested in a succinct summary of his argument. These links seem to be commentaries, rather than expositions.

As to the other: observations are not theorems; if you call something a theorem, you should be proving it by logic. The only arguments provided in the article linked were observations about human communication. The claim that the "theorems" apply to forms of information relevant to biology was unsupported, as far as I could see.

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I haven't read all of that article about information, but I've had a reasonable look at it.

It cheats.

It takes a reasonably good outline of information as defined in maths (although I'd still recommend reading about it from a textbook or something if you really want to understand it)

It then adds five "hierarchical levels" of refinements to what counts as information. If you want to use a definition of information that isn't Shannon's, fine. However, if you do invent your own, you can't use your definition interchangably with the mathematical one.

It appears that information as per Shannon doesn't really have anything to do with the point of the article, even though it takes up almost half the space.

It's at his second level that it starts getting dodgy. Shannon's chains of symbols are not the information, they are just one way of transmitting information, a way which is easy to work with and prove theorems about (by which I mean mathematical theorems, not the "theorems" used in the article, the naming of which is an abuse of the term). However, the article conflates this representation of information transmission with the actual information, leading to the whole hierarchy of syntax, semantics, purpose and whatever.

He writes:
quote:
Theorem 4: A code is an absolutely necessary condition for the representation of information.

Theorem 5: The assignment of the symbol set is based on convention and constitutes a mental process.
I don't know why he calls these theorems. You prove theorems from axioms, not derive them from observations, or assume them. For convenience, I'll go along with that terminology for now.
Anyway, theorem 4 is wrong. If you want to write some information down, a code is rather useful, but most information doesn't get written down. If I want to tell you how long a piece of string is, I could encode it using numbers and established conventions of length, and say "4.5 inches". Alternatively, I could give you the piece of string, and you could see for yourself how long it was, without using any kind of code.
Theorem 5 looks to me like the crux of the argument. People aren't likely to argue against a claim that DNA uses a code and contains information, so saying that the assignment of a symbol set constitutes a mental process is pretty close to saying "God created life", which is what the guy is trying to prove. This "theorem", therefore, requires actual justification, and some of the irrelevant stuff about information in mathematics could maybe have been cut out to make room for something that really has to be the central point of the argument.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah, skip to the end, or nobody at all will read this post. The article helpfully provides a summary.

quote:
1. No information can exist without a code.
Wrong. Most information exists without a code. Examples include the temperature of the sun, the number of ants under my house and whether or not a lion is trying to eat you.
quote:
2. No code can exist without a free and deliberate convention.
Wrong. A code can be formed in an arbitrary and ad-hoc way. (Fun fact: A code chosen at random will almost certainly be able to transmit information over a lossy channel with better transmission rate and error rate than the best codes a human can design)
quote:
3. No information can exist without the five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics.
Well, if you make up your own definition of information, you can say all sorts of things about it.

quote:
etc...
etc...

Quick summary
The article defines the mathematical concept of information, which to avoid confusion I'll call information1. It then shows that life stores and transmits information1.

It then redefines information using his own criteria. I'll call that definition information2. Then, it shows (rather shakily) that information2 requires intelligence.

It then acts as if it has shown that life requires intelligence. However, even accepting that information2 requires intelligence, the whole thing falls apart because information1 is not the same thing as information2, and because the definition of information2 is more restrictive than that of information1, it is not the case that having information1 implies having information2.

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Barcoorah: I even did it to a big dorset ram.

desperance.net - Don't follow this link
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 1814
Profile #99
Does anyone still have a problem with what I said about Christianity making no sense at all because the wisdom of God is different than the wisdom of man?

Because I can post what it says in the New Testament to show where I got this notion from. 1Cor 1:18-25.

I'm just wondering, how many people here actually know that the other dimension mentioned in this topic exists or has any insight into how it works?

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The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

Neither twenty-one nor forsaken any longer, I now stand in freedom through Jesus Christ.
Posts: 215 | Registered: Friday, August 30 2002 07:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #100
Major -- You may be studying science, but you have a LOT of catching up to do. I mean years of rigorous study judging by your comments on these boards.

A simple search turns up examples of "beneficial" mutations can occur:

http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html
http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoHumBenMutations.html

Also, you should know that the concept of beneficial has no absolute meaning in terms of evolutionary biology. Something that is beneficial in one scenario may be harmful in another. One needs to consider both the mutation and the environment to determine if a mutation is "beneficial" or not.

quote:
In regards to thermodynamics, you are absolutely correct. However, an open system is not sufficient to provide a decrease in entropy. It requires a mechanisim to harness the incoming energy. An exapmle of undirected energy would be a bull in a china shop. A lot of 'work' may be done, but it only increases disorder (entropy). The same bull, however may be harnessed to a machine to spin the potters wheel, and so help create a localised decrease in entropy, but this requres a mechanisim. To read the argument in more depth see Thermodynamics Vs. Evolutionism .
I read the article and remain unimpressed. There is no such thing as undirected and directed energy in an absolute sense, only in human terms. The mechanism is the atomic bonding properties of atoms. Many chemical reactions occur spontaneously decrease entropy locally, the only condition is that the Gibbs Free Energy be negative. The mechanism is a natural one and it's a good thing or our bodies could never function.

The bull argument is, pardon the pun, a load of bull. It's a strawman. You are correct on the surface, but you have failed to address why it applies to the second law. Also, entropy is more than just classic order and disorder. You must define it rigorously to be useful.

quote:
But simply adding energy to a system doesn’t automatically cause reduced entropy (i.e., increased organized complexity, or “build-up” rather than “break-down”). Raw solar energy alone does not decrease entropy—in fact, it increases entropy, speeding up the natural processes that cause break-down, disorder, and disorganization on earth (consider, for example, your car’s paint job, a wooden fence, or a decomposing animal carcass, both with and then without the addition of solar radiation).
This quote sums up your argument. Too bad it's wrong. The answer is that it depends on the chemistry and the atomic properties of what the photons interact with. Plenty of examples of where entropy increases, but never mind things like photosynthesis which causes a local decrease in entropy.

I'm not even going to waste my time responding to the rest. Quotes (especially ones out of context) are not valid arguments in the scientific sense. Give me a rigorous mathemetical article on why the second law does not work.

Also, in my experience, the definition of information used by ID proponents such as Dembski is not very well defined, unlike entropy, making it a useless concept.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00

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