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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Information, please? Don't ask a Darwinist, they apparently do not have it.

A totally ridiculous and completely erroneous comment from the last post demands a thorough and devastating response:

I remember you gave up on information and yielded the point to me because "my definition was too narrow" when I used the dictionary definition. (radar)

Your memory is faulty. I simply stopped bothering to attempt reasoned discourse with a cinderblock wall. Your definition of "information" is still exactly what it was: logically flawed and therefore useless, because you tried to beg the question. Also simply wrong, because information can and does enter the genome without any intelligence being involved. (Jon Woolf)

Readers, what "exactly wrong" definition of information did I use?   Did I use the "Creationist Dictionary" (is there one, I don't know?) or find some obscure tome?  My short version = "Information is intelligence transmitted for a specific purpose."  But what does a normal dictionary say? (that hangout for nasty old creationists)


[in-fer-mey-shuhn] Show IPA
knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance; news: information concerning a crime.
knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.; factual data: His wealth of general information is amazing.
the act or fact of informing.
an office, station, service, or employee whose function is to provide information to the public: The ticket seller said to ask information for a timetable.
an official criminal charge presented, usually by the prosecuting officers of the state, without the interposition of a grand jury.
a criminal charge, made by a public official under oath before a magistrate, of an offense punishable summarily.
the document containing the depositions of witnesses against one accused of a crime.
(in information theory) an indication of the number of possible choices of messages, expressible as the value of some monotonic function of the number of choices, usually the logarithm to the base 2.
important or useful facts obtained as output from a computer by means of processing input data with a program: Using the input data, we have come up with some significant new information.
data at any stage of processing (input, output, storage, transmission, etc.).

1350–1400; ME: instruction, teaching, a forming of the mind <>See inform1, -ation


noun \ˌin-fər-ˈmā-shən\

Definition of INFORMATION

: the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence
a (1) : knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction (2) : intelligence, news (3) : facts, data b : the attribute inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something (as nucleotides in DNA or binary digits in a computer program) that produce specific effects c (1) : a signal or character (as in a communication system or computer) representing data (2) : something (as a message, experimental data, or a picture) which justifies change in a construct (as a plan or theory) that represents physical or mental experience or another construct d : a quantitative measure of the content of information; specifically : a numerical quantity that measures the uncertainty in the outcome of an experiment to be performed
: the act of informing against a person
: a formal accusation of a crime made by a prosecuting officer as distinguished from an indictment presented by a grand jury
So, Mr. Woolf, not only I but apparently the entire English-speaking world is dead wrong about what information is.   Let's repeat the first definition of and Merriam-Webster:

knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance (DDC)
the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence (MWO)
Both of which are good definitions and I think they will suffice for the English-speaking world.  So it is Woolf versus the sum of academics and scientists and historians and linguists who have established the meaning of the word.   You cannot run away from that. Remarkably, dictionaries often offer up DNA as a source of information.   I want you to try one more time to try and back up your ridiculous statement and give us an example of new information entering the genome.  You have, for the last 18 months, totally failed to do this.

Meanwhile, for those of you not utterly blinded by your religion, a reprise of recent posts concerning information and living organisms. You will find that Darwinists first try to redefine information and then try to squirm out of the "narrow and arbitrary" (in other words, standard Merriam-Webster) definition of information.   Do they ever figure out a way information could enter an organism?   No.   Is there any way a simple form of life could evolve into a more complex form of life without adding vast amounts of information?  No.  I invite you to review the discussions and try to help the poor Darwinists out if you can?  Remember, loss of information or transfer of information is not a case of new information.  A change in function does not mean an information increase.  I can cut the back off of a chair and it becomes a stool.  I take it entirely apart and pick up one leg and I have a rudimentary baseball bat or a club.   Things like this happening within organisms, when mutations take functions or parts away, are the primary examples Darwinists present to the unknowing world as "evolution in action" such as the citrase-munching bacteria. 

Feb 13, 2009
"Tax said - (me)You will have to show us evidence of multi-mutation evolution that adds rather than subtracts from or simply utilizes preexisting information within the DNA.(end me)

(tax)Why does IAMB have to do this? Seelke's article (to which IAMB replied), nowhere states that it's necessary for evolution to 'add information'. It's only about adding functions, and IAMB clearly showed that multi-mutation evolution IS indeed possible and DOES occur.

But if you insist; could you please explain WHY it's necessary for evolution to 'add information' within the DNA to be possible?
Also, could you clearly define the term 'information'?

I previously posted three articles concerning bacterial studies. The studies as a group are evidence that evolution has been observed NOT to occur. I already explained why in a previous comment.

1) Multiple thousands of generations of bacteria have failed to evolve into anything other than bacteria.
2) The relatively few mutations that were not deadly to the organisms were usually deleterious in nature and often could not be passed on.
3) Some mutations gave the organism abilities not normally possessed as a result of a loss of an ability or system functionality. This would make the specific organism less viable in a wide variety of conditions but more viable in one specific situation.
4) Mutation mistakes never occurred in tandem. One mutation at a time might survive but multiple mutations that combined to act together were never found.
5) No new systems were produced. The gene pool would either be altered or decreased rather than increased. .."
Feb 15, 2009
"If we received a single intelligent signal containing information from space then we would conclude that there is intelligent life out there. Each cell in the human body contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the ...
Mar 14, 2009
Those who prefer not to believe that God created have a lot of unexplained problems, but three words represent three massive problems they must deal with: Life, Information and Energy. They do make a very nice acronym, no? ...
Apr 12, 2009
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 ...

Mar 14, 2010
How odd is has been to try to nail down Darwinists on the subject of information. They will not answer the question, "where did information come from?" They know what the question means and therefore dodge it in various ways. ...

Mar 16, 2010
I gave any and all Darwinists a chance to answer the question of information within organisms. After several posts and dealing with their continual evasions I can say with conviction that they do not know. ...

Jun 17, 2010

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN................................ Ten million generations later.........Drat! Darn! Now for a few words from a genius greatly admired in non-Darwinist circles: David Berlinski ...

Jul 03, 2010

Notice how the commenters do, in fact, run away like mad from what is a big problem for them while calling me names and deriding dictionary definitions and ignoring the explanations of a guy with a doctorate in information theory. ...

Jul 10, 2010

When you read this blog, you know a human mind had to produce the words as a thought first, then that thought (intelligence) was transmitted (information) via a medium (blogspot) so that a recipient (you) could receive that information. ...

I was going to do a parody song to the tune of "A Question of Temperature" by Balloon Farm, but I doubt if more than two or three readers have ever heard it so I will just sing it to my self...I do recommend that you find that MP3 if you can, as the song is one of the classics of the short and eclectic era of psychedelic rock.  Everybody has heard Strawberry Alarm Clock, but how about Bubble Puppy?  Ah...


Anonymous said...

"Readers, what "exactly wrong" definition of information did I use?"

The one that failed to quantify information. You conceded this, and therefore were unable to back up your claims re. information gain/loss.

-- creeper

WomanHonorThyself said...

thinking of u this Sept 11th.God bless you my friend>:)

Jon Woolf said...

Radar, your definition of "information" as applied to DNA has two problems. One is Creeper's point about quantifying information: if you don't know how much information was present before a mutation, or how much was present after a mutation, then how can you say whether the mutation added or removed information?

The second problem is that you're assuming the conclusion you want to prove. Your claim is that DNA contains information, therefore DNA must have been intelligently designed. To prove that, though, you have to prove that intelligence is the only possible source of whatever information exists in DNA. But you don't prove this; you assume it, by writing it into your definition of "information." Mathematicians and logicians are well-acquainted with this tactic. They call it "arguing in a circle" or "assuming the conclusion." And it's one of the classic logical fallacies.

Jon Woolf said...

To demonstrate further, I'm going to counter your obscure reference with one of my own.

"Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for October 24th, 1944, CinCPac HQ, Pearl Harbor."


"OK, we're here, Mr. Peabody!"

Now, what do Mr. Peabody and Sherman see? Admiral Nimitz is in his information center, following the progress of the Battle of Leyte Gulf half an ocean away. He has just received word that Japanese surface ships are attacking the American unit called Taffy 3, off the coast of Samar island. This Japanese force must have come out of San Bernardino Strait. But San Bernardino Strait was supposed to be guarded by Task Force 34, part of Admiral William Halsey's Third Fleet. So Nimitz snaps at a subordinate, "Find out where TF 34 is!" This order is turned into a radio signal and sent to Halsey's flagship, USS New Jersey.

Now, during WW2, as part of its signals security the US Navy added randomly-chosen padding phrases to every signal, just before it was encoded and transmitted. These pad-phrases were set apart from the main message by an easily-recognizable symbol, a double letter. Thus, the signal that is actually sent from Radio Pearl reads as follows:


"Very good, Sherman. Now set the Wayback Machine for Flag Bridge of Halsey's flagship."


A harassed and unhappy signalman hands a message form to Halsey, who takes it, reads it, and blows his top. Why would he react so to a simple query for information?

The answer, as any student of the Pacific War knows, is that he didn't. The signalman had made a mistake in decoding the message. He removed the first pad-phrase, but not the second. Thus, the signal handed to Halsey read:


Do you see what had happened? By an unhappy coincidence, the trailing pad-phrase (randomly chosen, don't forget!) appeared to be an actual part of the message. This additional material communicated additional information to Halsey: namely, that his superior officer was so angry that he was criticizing publicly and in a highly sarcastic tone, something that good admirals don't ever, ever do. Since Halsey believed he'd done nothing to warrant such treatment, he lost his temper.

"But I don't understand, Mr. Peabody. What does all this mean?"

"Well, Sherman, it shows several things. In particular, it shows how a message can be mutated by random chance into a very different message with a very different meaning."

"But creationists say that can't happen, Mr. Peabody! How can they say that, when we've just seen it happen?"

"The world wonders, Sherman. The world wonders."

radar said...

Should I take the comments and make another post to put the cherry on top? Seriously, thank you, commenters, for demonstrating the difference between reasoning and believing. Your desperation is showing. But tonight I am taking time off to watch football.

Anonymous said...

Poor Radar. You're almost crying, aren't you?
Well, who wouldn't after taking to many hits on the chin...

Anonymous said...

"Seriously, thank you, commenters, for demonstrating the difference between reasoning and believing."

If you deigned to provide a way of quantifying information to back up your assertions re. information loss, you'd be reasoning.

Simply repeating your religiously motivated claims without backing them up in any way shows that you are believing.

Can you tell the difference?

-- creeper