Search This Blog

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Information = IT


Thanks to P e r ∙ C r u c e m ∙ a d ∙ L u c e m for the visual above. My personal recommendation is to choose to drink and ignore the naysayers.
~~~~~~~
Information is one of the three topics this blog is currently discussing, along with the beginning of life and the process of evolution. Other issues may be addressed later on but let us deal with that which is at hand thoroughly rather than be all over the map.
I made the following statements in more than one way:

1) Naturalistic Materialists have no coherent explanation for the advent of information.

2) They also have no explanation for where life came from, and in fact science has "proven" that life only comes from life.

3) They have also failed to demonstrate evolution in action, despite long years with short-life/quick generating organisms like bacteria and fruit flies.

Today I am responding to commenters who were dissatisfied with dictionary definitions of information. Being an information technology professional, I am qualified to speak to this subject in detail.

First, let me say that information is NOT material and one must be careful not to confuse the container with what is contained. The human mind is used to dealing with and understanding the material world and it is harder to conceive of supernatural concepts.

If I hand you a glass of milk, you would recognize the glass as a container and the liquid within as the milk itself. You wish to receive and drink the milk, but milk requires some kind of container in order to transfer it to your possession. This is a simple example and hopefully everyone recognizes that both milk and glass are material, having mass and taking up space within the Universe.

In the world of IT, I might describe my computer in ways that are related to information. For instance, I have a Vista 64-bit OS running with a 1.8 gig AMD quad processor and 4 gigs of RAM and a 250 gig hard drive. I have described numbers relative to information but those numbers are qualitative. They represent rates or quantities of information represented materially as bits. Those bits, the smallest unit of information represented materially in the world of IT, are part of the material world.

You can discuss Shannon's law/theory concerning amounts of information and the speed of the transmission of information but, when you do, you are merely discussing the movement of tiny containers. The information itself is not actually addressed. I can have a hard drive stuffed full of old files left over from downloads and just a bunch of random junk. I could be opening Word documents and put a rock on one of my keyboard keys and fill up my harddrive with documents consisting of nothing more that long strings of the letter "a" or "n" and not actually be transmitting information itself.

You see, information is not the bits or bytes or kilobytes or gigabytes or terabytes. It is the message contained within.

MARSHALL MCLUHAN WAS WRONG


The guy who coined the phrase, "global village", McLuhan recognized that the rapid growth of new methods of communication would revolutionize the world. He sought to quantify and identify the growth, to analyze the effects of such growth and recognize patterns within the process. He came to several conclusions based upon the idea that information was part of the material world. He was wrong, even though many of his conclusions were pretty accurate. The medium is NOT the message. Information is intelligence transmitted. What we commonly call information is actually the translation of a message into a material form. One must not confuse the medium or the method for the message itself. A message is a transfer of intelligence and information is that intelligence which is being transmitted from one entity to another.




I will use an example I presented previously in greater detail. Suppose I have a notepad and a pen. I show you the items. Nothing has been written upon the notepad. I put them on a scale and weigh them. I put you on a scale and weigh you. I weigh myself.




Now I take the pen and draw a bunch of quick scribbles and lines on the pad in a random way. I show it to you. You do not perceive a message from me on the notepad. I weigh the pad and paper and the weight is unchanged. You stand on the scale and your weight is unchanged. I weigh myself and my weight is unchanged.




Now I take the pen and write "Jesus rose from the dead on Easter." You are able to read this message. I have transmitted information to you. I now weigh the notepad and paper and the weight remains the same. You get on the scale and you weigh the same. I get on the scale and I weigh the same. But now you and I both agree that something has passed between you and I. I have transmitted information to you without passing anything material to you. Maybe you already know that Jesus rose from the dead and when. Maybe you didn't know it, or maybe you don't believe it. But you know that I transmitted that message to you whether you agree with it or not.




Back to information technology. I can add items to my harddrive that are nonsensical and they will still take up space. The amount of space taken up by the bits and bytes will not tell me whether they represent actual information or just "white noise."




As you read this blog now, you are receiving information from me and you can do so because you can understand the code I am using and the method of code transmission. I am using the Engligh language and transmitting it using the alphabet typed into this website. Blogger is using bits and bytes organized in such a way that you read my words as if they had been printed upon a page. Do you understand that the bits and bytes, the letters themselves, they are not the message? They are simply the medium by which the message is transmitted. Even the code itself is not the message, it is simply a method I am using by which I can transmit intelligence and that you are able to translate into thoughts within your mind.




In our daily lives, we easily recognize information and differentiate the transmission of information from random noise.




Perhaps I see a utility pole, a metal one, and it has a small smudge of paint. I examine the paint and using logic and forensic reasoning I determine that the paint came from an automobile that scraped against the pole. Perhaps I can determine the make and model of automobile from the composition of the paint and perhaps I can sift through all the local examples of that particular auto and identify the specific auto with a scratch in the right place that actually collided with that pole. Now there is information being transmitted in the form of evidence. We can determine as best we can what event was represented by that smudge. However, the car itself was not attempting to communicate with us. We have reasoning powers that enable us to translate the language of evidence into an understanding of an event. But, again, understand that the automobile was not trying to pass us a message nor was the driver. We may be able to figure out where it came from but it was not an attempt to pass a message to me or anyone else. It is simply an accidental random mark left as a reminder of an event that was almost certainly unintended. It is not a transmission of an intelligent thought.




But if that same pole has a crown and a few letters and symbols painted upon it, that might well be a sign from a gang member that is telling all who understand that this is marked territory, that in the opinion of that gang member this area belongs to him and his gang and other gang members should stay away lest they be attacked. Hmmm. Both cases involve paint on a utility pole. One is just a smudge left over from an accident that we can study and perhaps even find a way to recreate in our mind's eye what that accident may have been. The other is an attempt to transmit a message using a code understood by the target audience/receivers.




Elsewhere on the pole is a message that appears to have been spray painted on using a template so that it appears to be neatly printed, "Post No Bills." We may not have any desire or ability to identify the smudge and it may be difficult to do so. We may not understand gang symbols and therefore can't really get the message the gang is sending. But we are able to read the message that was posted specifically for us that tells us not to put up any "bills", which is an archaic way of telling people not to put up posters and signs. If I happen to be a gang member of a rival gang, I am going to be able to understand the gang signage and now I can decide whether to be warned away by or to ignore it or whether it actually is some kind of welcome to me.




Paint on a utility pole. It could be meaningless, it could be evidence, it could be code intended for a limited audience or code intended for a general audience.




dklsaotguuslnhous is a series of letters of the English alphabet. It is meaningless, simply a bunch of letters I randomly typed. Even though it is using symbols commonly used to transmit information it does not convey any message. Green side up, on the other hand, is a message that has meaning. It might be an instruction for laying sod, for instance.




I conclude that the medium is not the message at all. Containers that commonly carry a message must be filled with intelligence before a message is actually conveyed. It takes an intelligent entity to input the message.




You see, a gang member designed and painted the symbols that made a territorial statement. A worker for the utility company painted the warning, almost certainly because he was directed to do so by a supervisor. The automobile did not purpose to strike the pole, nor did it have a message to transmit.




Now let us apply this to the Universe. There are many ways of transmitting information within this material universe and we find that we must use a material means to convey the message and yet the message is not the medium or the method itself. So when you consider DNA, you find that you have a medium (organic material) and a method (a code using combinations of adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine) used to convey intelligence. Wikipedia describes DNA thusly:




"Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and some viruses. The main role of DNA molecules is the long-term storage of information. DNA is often compared to a set of blueprints or a recipe, or a code, since it contains the instructions needed to construct other components of cells, such as proteins and RNA molecules. The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information.



Chemically, DNA consists of two long polymers of simple units called nucleotides, with backbones made of sugars and phosphate groups joined by ester bonds. These two strands run in opposite directions to each other and are therefore anti-parallel. Attached to each sugar is one of four types of molecules called bases. It is the sequence of these four bases along the backbone that encodes information. This information is read using the genetic code, which specifies the sequence of the amino acids within proteins. The code is read by copying stretches of DNA into the related nucleic acid RNA, in a process called transcription."


Please note the language used above. "Instructions. Purposes." So now I will add to our definition. Information is intelligence transmitted for a specific purpose.


When I make a blog post, when you speak with your friends, when you write a letter, you are transmitting intelligence and you have a purpose in mind. You also have a recipient in mind and a specific result in response to your message. Dr. Werner Gitt identifies five basic levels of information concept as represented by the illustration.









RUBBER MEETS ROAD




I insist that it is great foolishness to suppose that intelligence has ever been transmitted accidently and with no purpose. Yet a naturalistic materialist will say that intelligence simple developed and that DNA evolved from a series of accidents and the working of natural selection. Have you not learned anything from your time here on Earth? Accidents break things, not fix things. If I drop the glass of milk I will break the glass and spill the milk. By the reasoning of the naturalistic materialist, one of these times I will drop the glass of milk and produce ice cream.




In our world heat transfers from hot things to cold things rather than the reverse. Energy is converted to entropy. Order becomes disorder. There is no place found in the Universe in which these operations are not observed unless an intelligent source brings energy and information into a system to alter the system. Futhermore, throughout the known Universe we have found that matter obeys certain laws that can be understood logically. Gravity operates under an apple tree and five million miles out in space. E=MC2 is true on Earth and on Mars.




The entire Universe is ordered and logically functioning by a set of laws and composed of building blocks that we are able to study and attempt to understand. Matter is composed of molecules which are composed of atoms which are composed of subatomic particles and we can study and predict the behavior of the molecules and the atoms and even, to an extent, the subatomic particles although at the moment mankind has come to the outer limits of his intellect in attempting to comprehend the behavior of subatomic particles.




~~~~~~~




It puzzles me that a man can see an automobile and recognize that said automobile had to have been designed and manufactured by intelligent beings and yet, upon discovering that a simple human cell is more complex than a Rolls Royce that same man will accept the idea that said cell came about by a series of accidents. It is not simply the ridiculous odds against the material composition of a cell having happened by a series of chance events, it is the magical appearance of the intelligence/instruction contained within the DNA. Naturalistic materialists must believe that instructions and codes and intelligence just came from nowhere and no one. It is absurdity in the extreme.




Some commenters laugh because I contend that God created the Universe and all contained within it. But my contention is logical and conceivable. If you do not believe in God, you believe in magic because intelligence transmitting instructions via coding for a purpose is simply not going to just happen. I dare you to even begin to explain this logically.




Today is Easter, the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He was seen after his death by over 500 witnesses in at least ten different locations and times. It would have greatly benefitted both the Romans and the unbelieving Jews to find a dead Jesus body or refute the witnesses to his reappearance on Earth but they were quite unable to do it.




Was Jesus raising from death a miracle? Yes, and so was His conversion of water into wine, His raising Lazarus from death and His healings of the lame and blind and demon-possessed. God created the Universe and has authority over it and its laws and systems. He is the owner and according to Colossians chapter one He actually sustains the Universe at every moment by His will.




You can continue to be a grasshopper on the rail, shaking your fist at the oncoming train while claiming to believe that said train does not exist. Or, you can have your free ticket, climb on board and ride the train with the rest of us. My naturalist materialistic friends, you have no logical explanation for the presence of information in the world other than by a creation by a higher entity. I say that the Creator God wants us to know and understand Him and what He has done and thus made sure the Bible was available for man to read and begin to comprehend God within the constraints of our limited abilities.




PS - I would recommend reading this chapter excerpt from Werner Gitt's book.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

- Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

radar said...

The pigeon being the evolutionist, it is presumed...

radar said...

debating evolutionists about creation is like playing chess with Garcon (re: Beauty and The Beast, the Disney version)- you frustrate their strategy and prepare to checkmate them, at which point they overturn the board and storm off.

Anonymous said...

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

- Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

David said...

It would appear through the post(s) by "Anonymous" that radar's analogy holds true: rather than contemplate the article and offer any kind of counterpoint, the commenter instead simply re-posts a quote describing his utter inability to do so and walks away from the argument. You may find trolling a more enjoyable pastime than engaging in an actual debate, sir, but I wonder if you do so because you have nothing reasonable to offer in argument?

Anonymous said...

"David", if you read through the archives of this blog, you'll realize how ironic radar's reply about how 'evolutionists overturn the board and storm off' exactly is.
Indeed, if there is anyone here that is known for running away from arguments only to revive them when he thinks no one is looking, or has forgotten, it's Radar.
It is indeed hilarious how Radar posts before he thinks, not realising that by doing so he proves the quote to be correct.

And by the way: yes, there ARE plenty of reasonable objections to be made against Radar's article. The point is that there is no point.
The fact that you think that an actual debate with Radar is actually possible proves that you are not quite familiar with Radar's ways. As said: read the archives. You'll understand.

chaos_engineer said...

I'm worried that this is going to turn into another semantic argument, but maybe we can avoid that if we define our terms carefully enough.

Information is intelligence transmitted for a specific purpose.We can use that definition if you like, but we have to be careful to remember that we're not using the common-sense definition of the word.

Here's what I'm talking about: Suppose I look up and notice that the Sun is overhead. I've gained "information" under the common-sense definition...but of course that's not real information as you're defining it, because the Sun isn't intelligent. Even if it were intelligent, then it might not be trying to tell me where it was. It might be shy, and quite embarrassed that it has the misfortune to be so visible!

Since we can't say "The Sun is overhead" is "information", let's call it an "observable". I'll define an "observable" as "a thing that can be known, and that is not communicated as an intentional act".

Now, sometimes it's hard for people to tell the difference between "observables" and "information".

Back in the olden days, people would observe that they'd have a good harvest in some years and a bad harvest in others. Today we know that "we had a bad harvest" is just an observable. But people back then thought that the bad harvest was information, that some god or spirit was signaling that it was unhappy about something. They wasted a lot of time trying to figure out why the spirits were unhappy and what they could do to fix it. They were awfully silly, but I guess people do things that are just as silly today.

Now that we've got the definitions in place we can start looking at the question: Is the structure of DNA "information" or just "an observable"?

We can't just say, "Well, it looks like information to me!" If everybody had that kind of attitude then we'd still be sacrificing people to the rain gods.

What we need to do is ask, "If this is information, then what's the message and how effectively is it being communicated?" If we come up with a good answer then we can assume that there's an intelligence behind it; otherwise we have to assume that it's just random observable data.

I'm going to agree with this letter from Charles Darwin:
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance.

highboy said...

Hey anonymous, the fact that you assert that discussing the posts with radar is a waste of time yet continue to post clap trap in some childish attempt at sticks and stones doesn't reflect on radar. It reflects on you.

scohen said...

Radar,

You said this:

In our daily lives, we easily recognize information and differentiate the transmission of information from random noise.I contend that you cannot differentiate between information and random noise. You've pretty much ignored my questions, so I present the following test:

One of the following ten strings contains information, while the rest were created with a cryptographically secure pseudo-random generator.

Being a domain expert in Information Technology, it should be very easy for you to pick out the information.

Ready? Here they are:

1. AiiNEPSwIftkc56op+I0nM==
2. K0rf8K2u1jfQZjki8OgZQd==
3. FpgfTNT8IEJ9G3vn/5rvbO==
4. 7gX3ZDy2QHIkrvgUWUefQU==
5. RRPKc12TjnxcDZUOeET0JF==
6. Xb3ek9MqmR1jr0yTfZJF3g==
7. +3SN8JXYj8oKKFCF7OtQf6==
8. xH42TtUfPzlOadWIBl7A4+==
9. 153bPXr7GK1n1zxiDEgv+p==
10. hwalWXd6Ry8SOYq/CdqDPq==

Have fun!

highboy said...

Use the force radar.

scohen said...

Sorry about the poor formatting from above, there should be a break between the quoted text and my response.

Of course, since Radar states that the medium isn't the message, I'll also need to know what the information is in order for me to say that you've passed the test.

And yes, Tim, he'll need the force.

Anonymous said...

"Hey anonymous, the fact that you assert that discussing the posts with radar is a waste of time yet continue to post clap trap in some childish attempt at sticks and stones doesn't reflect on radar. It reflects on you."This is genuinely funny. Apparently you are so concerned about how my statements reflect on me that you dedicate a comment to it, yet you are not the least bit concerned about how Radar's behaviour (running away from discussions, claiming he has answered questions while he hasn't) reflects on him.

I can see why you're Radar's biggest fanboy. No doubt he is very proud of you and the way you have contributed to the discussion here with very insightful and intelligent comments, LOL! Please do continue; it's very entertaining.

By the way: not that it was needed, but thanks for proving me right: like David, you attacked the form, but not the content. The content being that it's no use having a debate with Radar because he'll always run away from it in the end. But of course, he could prove me wrong by accepting Scohen's challenge and show he REALLY knows what he's talking about. Let's wait and see, shall we?

scohen said...

"Order becomes disorder. There is no place found in the Universe in which these operations are not observed unless an intelligent source brings energy and information into a system to alter the system"Really?!? You can't think of a single instance of something becoming more ordered with the application of energy without 'intelligence'?

Hint: Your wife probably is wearing one on her ring finger right now.

That argument is weak sauce, Radar.

Anonymous said...

(eagerly awaits the next post that will most likely ignore or miscontrue scohen's comments)


lava

scohen said...

Radar,
We're coming up on two weeks since I posted my challenge, have you made any progress? I'm an optimist, but somehow I doubt your computer has been working overtime on this problem.

I'd much prefer if you'd engage the other commenters and I in the comments section rather than making another post. I think you must admit that there are quite a few open questions that are both fair and cut right to the core of your claims.

Also, I've identified several more instances where order is produced without intelligence. Perhaps a good exercise would be for you to try and think of a few examples to demonstrate that that line of thought is specious.

highboy said...

"I can see why you're Radar's biggest fanboy. No doubt he is very proud of you and the way you have contributed to the discussion here with very insightful and intelligent comments, LOL! Please do continue; it's very entertaining.

By the way: not that it was needed, but thanks for proving me right: like David, you attacked the form, but not the content. The content being that it's no use having a debate with Radar because he'll always run away from it in the end. But of course, he could prove me wrong by accepting Scohen's challenge and show he REALLY knows what he's talking about. Let's wait and see, shall we?"

Nice dodge. I realize its hard for you to wrap your head around this, but I DID address the content. And since its a waste of time having a debate with radar, I won't look forward to seeing anymore of your retarded posts that use a lot of words and say practically nothing. Unless of course you have no life other than that of blogging from your mother's basement getting your jollies from trolling websites under a cowardly anonymous username. I bet you could list me the name of every major pornstar as well.

radar said...

Well, so far we have no one at all that has addressed the issue directly. scohen has presented me with a test that is obviously NOT consistent with the statement that follows:

"In our daily lives, we easily recognize information and differentiate the transmission of information from random noise."

Very few people have reason to write strings of code for computers in their daily lives, so that comment is a rabbit trail.

scohen, what you presented is code, my friend. Normal IT guys, even with Cisco certs who work on networks and firewalls and so on every day don't deal with that stuff.

I am a specialist in the IT field. Some of us write code, some do hardware, some security and so on. I took the MCSE track and have a few certs in the security aspects of IT. I have never been a code writer nor do I need to do so in my business. But clearly the "test" is designed to take everybody's eye off the ball. So boo to that fake test, come up with something that addresses the issue.

Another commenter resorted to Charles Darwin complaining about cats playing with mice. This is not relevant to the question at all. We could go off on the tangent of God and the matter of sin but that isn't what this post is about.

Furthermore, looking up at the Eun and observing it is there is fine, but how do you explain how you can understand the concept of "up" and "sun?" By what means did you have the ability to consider abstract ideas? Do rocks "observe" the Sun? Is the Sun an intelligent entity giving you a message. No. But the more interesting question is how do you understand that there is a Sun, that it is not some close-by heat source but actually far away?

chaos_engineer is hopefully not an actual engineer. The logic of your comment is twisted like rope. Good grief!

Are all of you deliberately missing the point because you cannot begin to answer it? Because up to this point not one of these comments has answered the question. A few of you claim I run away from debate as you run away from this debate.I am still waiting for the first comment that begins to answer the post reasonably.

scohen said...

Two weeks and that's the best you can do?

Very few people have reason to write strings of code for computers in their daily lives, so that comment is a rabbit trail.
Strings of code for computers? What the heck are you talking about? I really hope you don't think computer code looks like that. In this very post, you defined information thusly:

Information is intelligence transmitted for a specific purpose.There is intelligence in one of those strings. It has been transmitted with a purpose. Do not blame me if your definition gets you in to hot water. The rest of the strings are random characters with no purpose and not a stitch of intelligence behind them, and you have failed to tell them apart. None of them are 'code' in any way, and in fact, one of them is plain english. It is also something that someone who deals with firewalls handles *every day*.


You make a lot of claims about your supposed expertise in IT security, but one of the core tenets of modern encryption is that you *cannot* tell the difference between encrypted text and random noise. How could someone with expertise in security not know that? That fact alone blows both your definition of information and the reasoning behind this entire post out of the water. Every day, people transmit information to each other, and it's undetectable as information.

Also, you've completely ignored the other issues. There are places in the universe where entropy decreases without intelligence (many here on earth). Do you not admit this, or is every diamond made by God?

chaos_engineer said...

I've lost track of which definition of "information" we're using.

The bit about cats playing with mice was based on the idea that DNA is "intelligence transmitted for a specific purpose".

I was wondering if that sort of complex feline behavior was intentionally choreographed for a reason, or if it's an accidental random mutation caused by human sinfulness, or if it came about through some other method. But if we've started using a different definition of "information", then I guess the question isn't relevant.

Moving on to the new definition that's been introduced:

Furthermore, looking up at the Sun and observing it is there is fine, but how do you explain how you can understand the concept of "up" and "sun?" By what means did you have the ability to consider abstract ideas? Do rocks "observe" the Sun?Rocks can't, but sunflowers can turn to face the Sun, and butterflies can use the Sun to migrate. Of course that's purely mechanical and doesn't involve abstract thinking.

But higher mammals seem to have the ability to think abstractly, in the sense that they can learn things about the Sun instead of just reacting to it.

What's unique about humans is that they can engage in "meta-cognition", that they can have "ideas about ideas". So a dog can learn, "If something doesn't appear to get bigger when you move towards it, then it's really far away". But only a human can figure out the mathematics that explain why that happens, and generalize them to figure out exactly how far away the Sun is.

That's a pretty impressive ability, but on the other hand it's a fairly obvious improvement to the simpler abilities we see in the animal world. I don't think there's anything inherently miraculous or supernatural about it.

All that said, if we're talking about the position of the Sun, then I think we're back to using the common-sense definition of information.

In that sense, "information" is just a property of matter. Every bit of matter has attributes like position, and velocity, and mass. Saying "the Sun is overhead" is a very simple summary of part of the information carried by a vast number of different particles.

If you're asking why information is a property of matter, then that's really hard to research. We could guess that the cause is intelligent and call it "God", or we could guess that the cause is not intelligent and call it "Natural Law". But there's no compelling evidence either way, and right now I don't see a consensus.

radar said...

to be clear, the gibberish scohen has posted was supposed to be part of some string of computer coding by his own words. I did not see any windows code in those ten sets and neither did my security team head. We both work in the business. He is trying to mislead anyone who reads this blog by deliberately presenting those characters as some kind of computer coding so that I would try to encode them as such.

A code works when transmitter and receiver know the code. schohen has deliberately misled us by pretending to present a choice between information and noise but he has missed the point on purpose. The reason is because he cannot face this question honestly.

scohen, this is the most deceptive act you have accomplished on this blog. Bad form.

I would not write English to a bunch of Chinese and expect them to understand it unless I let them know it was in English. This would give them the ability to translate.

I can easily present a bunch of nonsense strings of numbers and letters and then put one coded string within them and make it very hard for anyone to decipher without using decryption software of some kind. I was not going to resort to that. Why would I take the time? I am not a statistics analyst nor a cryptographer.

scohen made it appear that he was presenting a string of computer code along with a bunch of nonsense but, as it turns out, in the world of computer coding all of it was nonsense. It looked like nonsense to me and my highly credentialed engineer buddy said the same thing. Garbage.

Also, your idea of how firewalls work is nonsense. Firewalls don't read strings of code and try to decode them. Firewalls read the reputation, if you will, of incoming information, in order to decide whether to pass the information through. As they pass the information through they inspect the packets of information being transmitted using algorythms that identify anything that has been determined to be harmful so that the message can be quarantined or denied. Deep inspection firewalling is capable of looking within zipped and rezipped files for keywords, number strings, etc. Firewalls are not designed to encode messages, they are designed to identify anamolies that could be considered threatening and to identify known phrases, words, and strings of characters that are not allowed by the administrator of the firewall.

Some firewalls read packets "on the fly", looking at the packets from the side in a manner of speaking, and some take the throughput directly through their filter before passing it along.

Firewalls are not simply concerned with anamolies within the message but also the senders and receievers of the messages. They are also looking for attachments, java, numbers of things within streams of information pouring through them.

But what a firewalls does NOT do is decode and read everything passing through. It would make the firewall a bottleneck that would slow network traffic to a crawl. Firewalls are designed to detect something that is amiss within the transmission, not decipher it!

A smart company not only uses a strong firewall but has URL filtering and monitors/manages the SMTP and HTTP traffic coming into the network. They will have anti-virus and anti-spyware set up as well as a firewall and certainly some form of spam filtering. They are going to be using HIPS and NAC to lock down the network further.

scohen is dodging the question by posting nonsense. Hopefully the thinking people amongst you will ignore his post entirely, as will I.

scohen said...

"I did not see any windows code in those ten sets and neither did my security team head"

Why would you see windows code? I haven't used windows since '98. What precisely *is* windows code?

"supposed to be part of some string of computer coding by his own words."

I would never use the phrase 'string of computer coding'. It makes no sense. One string contains information which you defined earlier. The others do not. That is all I have said. You have been unable to figure out which is which. Demonstrating, among other things, that you lack basic knowledge of modern encryption and that your original premise is fatally flawed.

"Also, your idea of how firewalls work is nonsense. Firewalls don't read strings of code and try to decode them."

Oh please. I said that encryption is something that *someone who works with firewalls deals with every day*. This is utterly true. You're telling me a network engineer doesn't understand basic encryption techniques and *what* firewalls are capable of seeing?

"scohen made it appear that he was presenting a string of computer code along with a bunch of nonsense but, as it turns out, in the world of computer coding all of it was nonsense. It looked like nonsense to me and my highly credentialed engineer buddy said the same thing. Garbage."

You are wholly unqualified to comment on this. For anyone who is interested, I can provide source code to decrypt the string in question, and you will be able to see the message contained within. It is *not* garbage by any stretch of the imagination. Your friend's credentials are irrelevant here --just because *he* could not decipher the above messages does not mean they are garbage, it means he couldn't do it.

The closest you've come to making a cogent point is this:


"I would not write English to a bunch of Chinese and expect them to understand it unless I let them know it was in English. This would give them the ability to translate."

Would you like to know the exact algorithm I used? If so, I have no objections, since It won't help you, but I'd be more than glad to relate it. The fact is, all the strings are statistically identical, yet one contains information. You stated that information is distinct from randomness, yet here we have a glaring counter example.

"scohen is dodging the question by posting nonsense. Hopefully the thinking people amongst you will ignore his post entirely, as will I."

Another example of you refusing to admit error and running away from the debate. Very well, we'll just add it to the long list.

Still waiting on the diamond point. Is every diamond designed by God?

radar said...

scohen you are deliberately deceptive. I recognize what you are trying to do. It is disappointing to know that you will resort to this kind of party trick when your point of view is threatened.

I have stated clearly that when information is transferred using a code that the receiver knows the code, otherwise the information is nonsense to the receiver and therefore not transmitted. Your idiotic "test" has nothing at all to do with the post and your deceptive comments that you left with it made it appear that you were presenting a string of computer coding in some weird format.

But your gibberish was not recognizable as computer code for windows or linux. No matter, as I said, your test is irrelevant and has not addressed the issue. You have no clue where information came from and cannot face the issue, so you try to change the subject. You must be afraid to try.

As to diamonds, God made the original material from which diamonds have formed but that doesn't mean he "makes" diamonds. Diamonds occur naturally and can also be produced manually.

No one says entropy has to be happening as a result of intelligent acts. Plenty of systems are working away converting energy to entropy all over the Universe. What does that mean to you? How does that impact the discussion?

~

Now, to the commenter chaos_engineer who thinks that intelligence is just a natural component of matter, I assume you have a nice big rock you like to converse with? Are you kidding me? You are going to assert that intelligence just "is" within material things?

You need to go back and read the post again. Information is required in order for any living being to exist and it had to be in place with great complexity and it is not a material thing. Either you don't get this simple concept that my high schoolers are able to grasp or you just don't want to get it. But for mercy's sake don't say anything if you don't even understand the argument.

chaos_engineer said...

Now, to the commenter chaos_engineer who thinks that intelligence is just a natural component of matter, I assume you have a nice big rock you like to converse with? Are you kidding me? You are going to assert that intelligence just "is" within material things?This is what I was talking about when I said, "I'm worried that this is going to turn into another semantic argument..."

I never said that rocks possess "intelligence". I said that they contain "information", by the common-sense definition of the word. A rock has a location in space, and it's able to keep other rocks from having the same location. There's no obvious intelligence involved; this is just a basic property of matter.

If you want to go back to defining "information" as "intelligence transmitted for a specific purpose", then I'll go back to saying that DNA does not seem to contain information by your re-definition of the word.

The reason I gave was:

We can't just say, "Well, it looks like information to me!" If everybody had that kind of attitude then we'd still be sacrificing people to the rain gods.

What we need to do is ask, "If this is information, then what's the message and how effectively is it being communicated?"

Anonymous said...

Radar says, "But for mercy's sake don't say anything if you don't even understand the argument". This has to be one of your best lines ever Radar. I mean, how can a Blogger who clearly doesn't understand most of the topics about which he posts, turn around and tell someone else to be quiet because they don't get it. Oh the unintentional humor of Fundies. It's pretty much impossible for you guys to avoid, isn't it?

Radar, this Blog post, like pretty much all of your posts, is just terrible. In both form and content. Can't you just figure out what it is you want to say in a concise manner, before puking a crap-load of words onto your computer screen, leaving everyone else to figure it out? You realize that no one that agrees with you actually reads the stuff you write, hey? And mostly because of your unreadable posting style. Maybe you can give us a break and shorten up/proof read/edit those posts of yours. Heck, if you did, maybe, just maybe, someone that supports your point of view might actually read what you write and comment on it (that said, I guess you do have highboy, although we all know that what highboy does on this blog can only be loosely described as "reading").

Finally, I have to also point out the utter silly-ness of your comments above, asking your "readers" to "ignore his (scohen's) posts entirely" followed by a remark about how you will do the same. Oh - My - Science, that is funny. As I mention above Radar, the only people that "read" your drivel are us dissenters, who merely scan your retardedly long posts for the most glaring errors and hypocrisies to highlight in the comments section. Sorry to break it to you but any "readers" you do have are here for scohen (or creeper, or Tax or Chaos, or Lava, or Cranky), or to put it more accurately, we're here to watch you be cornered by logic, or science, and then run away, change the subject or whatever it is you decide to do in order to flee the scene. That said, I do appreciate your attempt at honestly, in that you admit that when things get a little difficult, you are perfectly cool with digging a hole in the sand and then quickly jamming your head into it.

- Canucklehead

radar said...

canucklehead,

You have, to my knowledge, never made one point or presented any logical arguments in any comment, you just stand on the sidelines and call names. Just because you cannot understand something, calling it stupid won't correct the situation.

Here in this post I have clearly defined information and challenged those who do not believe in a supernatural source to present a logical alternative and they have failed miserably. Some did give it a go. Some tried to change the subject and then one or two just stuck out their tongues. Maybe that was what passed for an argument in third grade but not amongst adults.

Suppose you present an idea for a change? Where did information come from, eh?

scohen said...

"Here in this post I have clearly defined information and challenged those who do not believe in a supernatural source to present a logical alternative and they have failed miserably."

I believe I've shown that your definition of information is useless. If your definition can't differentiate between information and randomness, then how is it useful to anyone?

I have *clearly* shown that information can hide inside of randomness --and have offered through the use of genetic algorithms to prove to you that information can spring forth from chaos, yet all you do is claim deception.

I ask you, where is the deception? Where have I been dishonest? Come to think of it, what are these 'computer codes' you keep speaking of?

I've offered to tell you exactly how I encoded the information, yet I have a sneaking suspicion that it's easier for you to claim umbrage rather than admit error or try to see the problems inherent in your definition of information. But hey, I've been here for years, this is how you operate. It's not like I expected you to suddenly say "Oh, I see, if I can't differentiate between information and randomness, maybe they're just both aspects of the same thing. Or, perhaps my definition is intentionally bad. Thanks scohen!"

scohen said...

"No one says entropy has to be happening as a result of intelligent acts."

You're right, no one says that, and unfortunately for that strawman argument, I never said that you did. In fact, you said the exact opposite (that any decrease in entropy is the result of intelligence):

"Order becomes disorder. There is no place found in the Universe in which these operations are not observed unless an intelligent source brings energy and information into a system to alter the system"


That's clearly *not* the same as "entropy happening as a result of intelligent acts".

Where's the intelligent source that makes coal into diamonds? A diamond is more ordered than coal, yet there is no intelligent source bringing energy into the system --just heat and pressure. The same goes for crystal formation, ice, planet formation, nuclear fusion in stars, etc.

Nowhere in the Universe? Hardly.

radar said...

I have waited for some reasonable answers. For schohen, you know I did not say that entropy is caused by information.

Furthermore, as to your rabbit trail...you implied you were presenting some kind of computer coding but, no, you did not directly state it. Nevertheless, as Werner Gitt himself said,

"In a work of Gregory J. Chaitin (Argentina) [C2] he showed that there is no algorithm for determining whether a sequence of symbols is random or not. One must be informed of the fact if a random process has been involved (e.g., that a sequence was produced by a random number generator)."

Information can be gobbledygook to the viewer unless the viewer knows that it is information and has the code necessary to define what is being transmitted. Your lists of symbols may or may not be random and, if you didn't generate them yourself you wouldn't know, either.

If I knew which string was information, I would still need to know the code. I can stand on a street corner in a foreign land and have difficulty knowing what the signs mean and, if someone speaks to me, probably will not understand them. Yet I will know that the signs and words have meaning.

Again, schohen, your strings of symbols prove nothing and do not address the post. I am ready to post this weekend and explain to one and all why this is.

radar said...

As for forming coal, by chance it can be formed by natural processes, but an intelligent source can make the mechanism to apply heat/pressure to a substance and produce diamonds. Industrial diamonds are being produced every day. But not without intelligence designing the systems and producing them and operating them accordingly.

scohen said...

"As for forming coal, by chance it can be formed by natural processes"

Are you being intentionally obtuse? I said coal turns into *diamonds* by natural processes. Where's the intelligence there? Do you think that the only way for coal to turn into diamonds is by way of an artificial process?

"implied you were presenting some kind of computer coding but, no, you did not directly state it."

You had two weeks to ask any questions you liked, but you asked none. Furthermore, I implied no such thing. I said one string contained information and the rest were random. Nothing more.

"In a work of Gregory J. Chaitin (Argentina) [C2] he showed that there is no algorithm for determining whether a sequence of symbols is random or not."

This kind of puts to rest your statement about differentiating randomness from information, doesn't it?

"If I knew which string was information, I would still need to know the code"

You could have asked, no? I would have told you if you did. In fact, you still can ask, and I'll be more than happy to tell you the encoding.

highboy said...

You guys are weird.