Search This Blog

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where does information come from? Darwin? Dawkins? Bueller?

It is amazing to me that anyone still believes in Darwinism now that we have entered the information age, have some understanding of the vast amount of information that is within the cell and the wondrous ways in which this information has been coded to transmit.  Information will be the primary topic of this entry.   We'll present two pairs of youtube videos and then a semi-technical treatise concerning information written by Dr. Werner Gitt.  I will clue you in to the conclusion of this article and after you have viewed the videos for your entertainment and amusement as well as knowledge we will then present the argument that concludes as follows:

"The grand theory of atheistic evolution must attribute the origin of all information ultimately to the interaction of matter and energy, without reference to an intelligent or conscious source. A central claim of atheistic evolution must therefore be that the macro-evolutionary processes that generate biological information are fundamentally different from all other known information-generating processes. However, the natural laws described here apply equally in animate and inanimate systems and demonstrate this claim to be both false and absurd."  Dr. Werner Gitt

So those of you who do not bother to read the articles and have automatic boilerplate responses on hand needn't read any further.  For those who are interested in learning and reasoned discussion, we go forward...

These topics are especially uncomfortable for Darwinists - the question of the origin of the Universe, the question of the origin of life and the question of the origin of information.    They are hardly the only topics, for in fact Darwinists usually resort to gobbledygook when pinned down on almost any subject.  First here is a two-part question and answer series after a Dr. Jxn presentation.  

"Evolutionist all have in their minds somewhere ... the assumption that somehow, somebody ... must have ... proved that mutations have the ability to create new genetic information written into the DNA of "new life forms" as they "evolve" from older ones. But there is no logic to this being able to happen -- only a "it just does" mentality. Nor is there any documentation of it ever happening -- just assumptions that currently existing genes "just must have" arisen ... in only this way. The mechanism is never discussed in any detail.

Evolutionists love to tell you "what" happened ... in their story of the history of life on Earth. They just never get around to answering the "how" part -- and they pretend to be shocked or offended, if you bring that up to them." - Dr Jxn

Watch and listen as the Darwinist wriggles off every hook while giving no actual answers after he tries to take over the discussion started by the young man in the audience.  This is a two-parter...



and



If you pay attention, the Darwinist is giving credit when pressed to mutations as the agent for producing information after his first attempts at gobbledygook are turned aside.   Duplicating information doesn't make new information and "sister taxa" so-called do not qualify as transitional forms.   Since mutations are copying errors what we see in the real world is organisms surviving in spite of rather than because of copying errors and that the information in the cell is prepared to deal in advance with some mutations.   You would know this if you read my posts on facilitated variation and genetic redundancy.  But still mutations are happening and they are causing organisms to lose information, not gain it.   Information loss is what we observe.

On the other hand, an actual scientist such as Dr. Jonathan Sarfati can have an intelligent conversation with you and answer questions plainly as asked...




and part two




Now comes the more technical aspect of the post.  Remember to look back to this section and consider Dr. Gitt's well-supported claims before considering the strident claims of ill-informed self-proclaimed experts like "anonymous" and "Anonymous."

Scientific laws of information and their implications—part 1


The grand theory of atheistic evolution posits that matter and energy alone have given rise to all things, including biological systems. To hold true, this theory must attribute the existence of all information ultimately to the interaction of matter and energy without reference to an intelligent or conscious source. All biological systems depend upon information storage, transfer and interpretation for their operation. Thus the primary phenomenon that the theory of evolution must account for is the origin of biological information. In this article it is argued that fundamental laws of information can be deduced from observations of the nature of information. These fundamental laws exclude the possibility that information, including biological information, can arise purely from matter and energy without reference to an intelligent agent. As such, these laws show that the grand theory of evolution cannot in principle account for the most fundamental biological phenomenon. In addition, the laws here presented give positive ground for attributing the origin of biological information to the conscious, wilful action of a creator. The far-reaching implications of these laws are discussed.

Figure 1. The five levels of information. To fully characterise the concept of information, five aspects must be considered—statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics. Information is represented (that is, formulated, transmitted, stored) as a language. From a stipulated alphabet, the individual symbols are assembled into words (code). From these words (each word having been assigned a meaning), sentences are formed according to the firmly defined rules of grammar (syntax). These sentences are the bearers of semantic information. Furthermore, the action intended/carried out (pragmatics) and the desired/achieved goal (apobetics) belong of necessity to the concept of information. All our observations confirm that each of the five levels is always pertinent for the sender as well as the receiver.
Figure 1. The five levels of information. To fully characterise the concept of information, five aspects must be considered—statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics. Information is represented (that is, formulated, transmitted, stored) as a language. From a stipulated alphabet, the individual symbols are assembled into words (code). From these words (each word having been assigned a meaning), sentences are formed according to the firmly defined rules of grammar (syntax). These sentences are the bearers of semantic information. Furthermore, the action intended/carried out (pragmatics) and the desired/achieved goal (apobetics) belong of necessity to the concept of information. All our observations confirm that each of the five levels is always pertinent for the sender as well as the receiver.

In the communication age information has become fundamental to everyday life. However, there is no binding definition of information that is universally agreed upon by practitioners of engineering, information science, biology, linguistics or philosophy.

There have been repeated attempts to grapple with the concept of information. The most sweeping formulation was recently put forward by a philosopher: “The entire universe is information.”1 Here we will set out in a new direction, by seeking a definition of information with which it is possible to formulate laws of nature.

Because information itself is non-material,2 this would be the first time that a law of nature (scientific law) has been formulated for such a mental entity. We will first establish a universal definition for information; then state the laws themselves; and, finally, we will draw eight comprehensive conclusions.

What is a law of nature?

If statements about the observable world can be consistently and repeatedly confirmed to be universally true, we refer to them as laws of nature. Laws of nature describe events, phenomena and occurrences that consistently and repeatedly take place. They are thus universally valid laws. They can be formulated for material entities in physics and chemistry (e.g. energy, momentum, electrical current, chemical reactions). Due to their explanatory power, laws of nature enjoy the highest level of confidence in science. The following attributes exhibited by laws of nature are especially significant:
  • Laws of nature know no exceptions. This sentence is perhaps the most important one for our purposes. If dealing with a real (not merely supposed) natural law, then it cannot be circumvented or brought down. A law of nature is thus universally valid, and unchanging. Its hallmark is its immutability. A law of nature can, in principle, be refuted—a single contrary example would end its status as a natural law.

  • Laws of nature are unchanging in time

  • Laws of nature can tell us whether a process being contemplated is even possible or not. This is a particularly important application of the laws of nature.

  • Laws of nature exist prior to, and independent of, their discovery and formulation. They can be identified through research and then precisely formulated. Hypotheses, theories or models are fundamentally different. They are invented by people, not merely formulated by them. In the case of the laws of nature, for physical entities it is often, but not always,3 possible to find a mathematical formulation in addition to a verbal one. In the case of the laws for non-material entities presented here, the current state of knowledge permits only verbal formulations. Nevertheless, these can be expressed just as strongly, and are just as binding, as all others. 

  • Laws of nature can always be successfully applied to unknown situations. Only thus was the journey to the moon, for example, possible. 

Due to their explanatory power, laws of nature enjoy the highest level of confidence in science.

When we talk of the laws of nature, we usually mean the laws of physics (e.g. the second law of thermodynamics, the law of gravity, the law of magnetism, the law of nuclear interaction) and the laws of chemistry (e.g. Le Chatelier’s Principle of least restraint). All these laws are related exclusively to matter. But to claim that our world can be described solely in terms of material quantities is failing to acknowledge the extent of one’s perception. Unfortunately many scientists follow this philosophy of materialism (e.g. Dawkins, Küppers, Eigen4), remaining within this self-imposed boundary of insight. But our world also includes non-material concepts such as information, will and consciousness. This article (described more comprehensively in ref. 1) attempts, for the first time, also to formulate laws of nature for non-material quantities. The same scientific procedures used for identifying laws of nature are also used for identifying laws governing non-material entities. Additionally, these laws exhibit the same attributes as listed above for the laws of nature. Therefore they fulfil the same conditions as the laws of nature for material quantities, and possessing, consequently, a similar power of inference. Alex Williams describes this concept as a “revolutionary new understanding of information”.5 In an in-depth personal discussion with Dr Bob Compton (Idaho, U.S.A.), he proposed to name the laws of nature on information the “Scientific Laws of Information (SLI)” in order to distinguish them from the physical laws. This positive suggestion is to be taken seriously since it takes account of the shortcomings of the materialistic view. I have therefore decided to use the term here.

What is information?

Information is not a property of matter!

The American mathematician Norbert Wiener made the oft-cited statement: “Information is information, neither matter nor energy.”6 With this he acknowledged a very significant thing: information is not a material entity. Let me clarify this important property of information with an example. Imagine a sandy stretch of beach. With my finger I write a number of sentences in the sand. The content of the information can be understood. Now I erase the information by smoothing out the sand. Then I write other sentence in the sand. In doing so I am using the same matter as before to display this information. Despite this erasing and rewriting, displaying and destroying varying amounts of information, the mass of the sand did not alter at any time. The information itself is thus massless. A similar thought experiment involving the hard drive of a computer quickly leads to the same conclusion.

Norbert Wiener has told us what information is not; the question of what information really is, then, will be answered in this article.

Because information is a non-material entity, its origin is likewise not explicable by material processes. What causes information to come into existence at all—what is the initiating factor? What causes us to write a letter, a postcard, a note of congratulations, a diary entry or a file note? The most important prerequisite for the construction of information is our own will, or that of the person who assigned the task to us. Information always depends upon the will of a sender who issues the information. Information is not constant; it can be deliberately increased and can be distorted or destroyed (e.g. through disturbances in transmission).

In summary: Information arises only through will (intention and purpose).

A definition of universal information


Technical terms used in science are sometimes also used in everyday language (e.g. energy, information). However, if one wants to formulate laws of nature, then the entities to which they apply must be unambiguous and clear cut. So one always needs to define such entities very precisely. In scientific usage, the meaning of a term is in most cases considerably more narrowly stated than its range of meaning in everyday usage (i.e. it is a subset of). In this way, a definition does more than just assign a meaning; it also acts to contain or restrict that meaning. A good “natural-law” definition is one that enables us to exclude all those domains (realms) in which laws of nature are not applicable. The more clearly one can establish the domain of definition, the more precise (and furthermore certain) the conclusions which can be drawn.

Example—energy: In everyday language we use the word energy in a wide range of meanings and situations. If someone does something with great diligence, persistence and focused intensity, we might say he “applies his whole energy” to the task. But the same word is used in physics to refer to a natural law, the law of energy. In such a context, it becomes necessary to substantially narrow the range of meaning. Thus physics defines energy as the capacity to do work, which is force x distance.7 An additional degree of precision is added by specifying that the force must be calculated in the direction of the distance. With this, one has come to an unambiguous definition and has simultaneously left behind all other meanings in common usage.

Information: namely an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose.

The same must now be done for the concept of information. We have to say, very clearly, what information is in our natural-law sense. We need criteria in order to be able unequivocally to determine if an unknown system belongs within the domain of our definition or not. The following definition permits a secure allocation in all cases:
Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics.
If this applies to a system in question, then we can be certain that the system falls within the domain of our definition of information. It therefore follows that for this system all four laws of nature about information will apply.

The five levels of universal information (figure 1)

 

  1. Statistics. In considering a book, a computer program or the genome of a human being we can ask the following questions: How many letters, numbers and words does the entire text consist of? How many individual letters of the alphabet (e.g. a, b, c … z for the Roman alphabet, or G, C, A and T for the DNA alphabet) are utilized? What is the frequency of occurrence of certain letters and words? To answer such questions it is irrelevant whether the text contains anything meaningful, is pure nonsense, or just randomly ordered sequences of symbols or words. Such investigations do not concern themselves with the content; they involve purely statistical aspects. All of this belongs to the first and thus bottom level of information: the level of statistics. The statistics level can be seen as the bridge between the material and the non-material world. (This is the level on which Claude E. Shannon developed his well-known mathematical concept of information.8)
  2. Figure 2. The first five verses of Genesis 1 written in a special code.
    Figure 2. The first five verses of Genesis 1 written in a special code.
  3. Syntax. If we look at a text in any particular language, we see that only certain combinations of letters form permissible words of that particular language. This is determined by a pre-existing, wilful, convention. All other conceivable combinations do not belong to that language’s vocabulary. Syntax encompasses all of the structural characteristics of the way information is represented. This second level involves only the symbol system itself (the code) and the rules by which symbols and chains of symbols are combined (grammar, vocabulary). This is independent of any particular interpretation of the code.
  4. Semantics. Sequences of symbols and syntactic rules form the necessary pre-conditions for the representation of information. But the critical issue concerning information transmission is not the particular code chosen, nor the size, number or form of the letters—nor even the method of transmission. It is, rather, the semantics (Greek: semantikós = significant meaning), i.e. the message it contains—the proposition, the sense, the meaning.
  5. Information itself is never the actual object or act, neither is it a relationship (event or idea), but encoded symbols merely represent that which is discussed. Symbols of extremely different nature play a substitutionary role with regard to the reality or a system of thought. Information is always an abstract representation of something quite different. For example, the symbols in today’s newspaper represent an event that happened yesterday; this event is not contemporaneous; moreover, it might have happened in another country and is not at all present where and when the information is transmitted. The genetic words in a DNA molecule represent the specific amino acids that will be used at a later stage for synthesis of protein molecules. The symbols of figure 2 represent what happened on Creation Day 1 (Genesis 1:1–5).
  6. Pragmatics. Information invites action. In this context it is irrelevant whether the receiver of information acts in the manner desired by the sender of the information, or reacts in the opposite way, or doesn’t do anything at all. Every transmission of information is nevertheless associated with the expectation, from the side of the sender, of generating a particular result or effect on the receiver. Even the shortest advertising slogan for a washing powder is intended to result in the receiver carrying out the action of purchasing this particular brand in preference to others. We have thus reached a completely new level at which information operates, which we call pragmatics (Greek pragma = action, doing). The sender is also involved in action to further his desired outcome (more sales/profit), e.g. designing the best message (semantics) and transmitting it as widely as possible in newspapers, TV, etc.
  7. Apobetics. We have already recognized that for any given information the sender is pursuing a goal. We have now reached the last and highest level at which information operates: namely, apobetics (the aspect of information concerned with the goal, the result itself). In linguistic analogy to the previous descriptions the author has here introduced the term “apobetics” (from the Greek apobeinon = result, consequence). The outcome on the receiver’s side is predicated upon the goal demanded/desired by the sender—that is, the plan or conception. The apobetics aspect of information is the most important of the five levels because it concerns the question of the outcome intended by the sender.

In his outstanding articles “Inheritance of biological information”5, Alex Williams has explained this five-level concept by applying it to biological information. Using the last four of the five levels, we developed an unambiguous definition of information: namely an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose. We term any entity meeting the requirements of this definition as “universal information” (UI).

 

Scientific laws of information (SLI)


In the following we will describe the four most important laws of nature about information.9

SLI-110

A material entity cannot generate a non-material entity

In our common experience we observe that an apple tree bears apples, a pear tree yields pears, and a thistle brings forth thistle seeds. Similarly, horses give birth to foals, cows to calves and women to human babies. Likewise, we can observe that something which is itself solely material never creates anything non-material. The universally observable finding of SLI–1 can now be couched in somewhat more specialized form by arriving at SLI–2.

SLI-2

Universal information is a non-material fundamental entity

The materialistic worldview has widely infiltrated the natural sciences such that it has become the ruling paradigm. However, this is an unjustified dogma. The reality in which we live is divisible into two fundamentally distinguishable realms: namely, the material and the non-material. Matter involves mass, which is weighable in a gravitational field. In contrast, all non-material entities (e.g. information, consciousness, intelligence and will) are massless and thus have zero weight. Information is always based on an idea; it is thus also massless and does not arise from physical or chemical processes. Information is also not correlated with matter in the same way as energy, momentum or electricity is. However, information is stored, transmitted and expressed through matter and energy.

The distinction between material and non-material entities

Necessary Condition (NC): That a non-material entity must be massless (NC: m = 0) is indeed a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient to assign it as non-material. To be precise, the “sufficient condition” must also be met.

Sufficient Condition (SC): An observed entity can be judged to be “non-material” if it has no physical or chemical correlation with matter. This is always the case if the following four conditions are met:
  • SC1: The entity has no physical or chemical interaction with matter.
  • SC2: The entity is not a property of matter.
  • SC3: The entity does originate in pure matter.
  • SC4: The entity is not correlated with matter.
Photons are massless particles and they are a good contrast to the SC because they do interact with matter and can originate from and be correlated with matter.

Information always depends on an idea; it is massless and does not originate from a physical or chemical process.11 The necessary condition (NC: m = 0) and also all four sufficient conditions (SC1 to SC4) are also fulfilled, and therefore universal information is a non-material entity. The fact that it requires matter for storage and transportation does not turn it into matter. Thus we can state:
Universal Information is a non-material entity because it fulfils both necessary conditions:
  1. it is massless; and,
  2. it is neither physically nor chemically correlated with matter.
Occasionally it is claimed that it is a physical (and thereby a material) entity. But as presented under SLI-1, information is clearly a non-material entity.

There is another very powerful justification for stating that information cannot be a physical quantity. The SI System of units has seven base units: mass, length, electric current, temperature, amount of substance, luminous intensity and time. All physical quantities can be expressed in terms of one of these base units (e.g. area = length x length) or by a combination (by multiplication or division) of several base units (e.g. momentum = mass x length / time). This is not possible in the case of information and therefore information is not a physical magnitude!

SLI-3

Universal information cannot be created by statistical processes

The grand theory of evolution would gain some empirical support if it could be demonstrated, in a real experiment, that information could arise from matter left to itself without the addition of intelligence. Despite the most intensive worldwide efforts this has never been observed. To date, evolutionary theoreticians have only been able to offer computer simulations that depend upon principles of design and the operation of pre-determined information. These simulations do not correspond to reality because the theoreticians smuggle their own information into the simulations.

SLI-4

Universal information can only be produced by an intelligent sender

The question here is: What is an intelligent sender? Several attributes are required to define an intelligent sender.

Definition D1: An intelligent sender as mentioned in SLI-4
  • is conscious
  • has a will of its own12
  • is creative
  • thinks autonomously
  • acts purposefully
SLI-4 is a very general law from which several more specific laws may be derived. We know the Maxwell equations from physics. They describe, in a brilliant generalization, the relationship between changing electric and magnetic fields. But for most practical applications these equations are far too complex and cumbersome and for this reason we use more specific formulations, such as Ohm’s Law, Coulomb’s Law or the induction law. Similarly, in the following section we will present four more specific formulations of SLI-4 (SLI-4a to 4d) that are easier to use for our practical conclusions.

SLI-4a

Every code is based upon a mutual agreement between sender and receiver

The essential characteristic of a code symbol (character) is that it was at one point in time freely defined. The set of symbols so created represents all allowed symbols (by definition). They are structured in such a way as to fulfil, as well as possible, their designated purpose (e.g. a script for the blind such as Braille must be sufficiently palpable; musical symbols must be able to describe the duration and pitch of the notes; chemical symbols must be able to designate all the elements). An observed signal may give the impression that it is composed of symbols, but if it can be shown that the signal is a physical or chemical property of the system then the fundamental “free mutual agreement” attribute is missing and the signal is not a symbol according to our definition.13

SLI-4b

There is no new universal information without an intelligent sender

The process of the formation of new information (as opposed to simply copied information) always depends upon intelligence and free will. A sequence of characters are selected from an available, freely defined set of symbols such that the resulting string of characters represents (all five levels of) information. Since this cannot be achieved by a random process, there must always be an intelligent sender. One important aspect of this is the application of will, so that we may also say: Information cannot be created without a will.

SLI-4c

Every information transmission chain can be traced back to an intelligent sender14
 
It is useful to distinguish here between the original and the intermediate sender. We mean by the original sender the author of the information, and he must always be an individual equipped with intelligence and a will. If, after the original sender, there follows a machine-aided chain consisting of several links, the last link in the chain might be mistaken for the originator of the message. Since this link is only apparently the sender, we call this the intermediate sender (but it is not the original one!).

The original sender is often not visible: in many cases the author of the information is not or no longer visible. It is not in contradiction to the requirement of observability when the author of historical documents is no longer visible—in such a case he was, however, observable once upon a time. Sometimes the information received has been carried via several intermediate links. Here, too, there must have been an intelligent author at the beginning of the chain. Take the example of a car radio: we receive audible information from the loud speakers, but these are not the actual source; neither is the transmission tower that also belongs to the transmission chain. An author (an intelligent originator) who created the information is at the head of the chain. In general we can say that there is an intelligent author at the beginning of every information transmission chain.
The actual (intermediate) sender may not be an individual: we could gain the impression that, in systems with machine-aided intermediate links, that the last observed member is the sender:
  • The user of a car auto-wash can only trace the wash program back to the computer—but the computer is only the intermediate sender; the original sender (the programmer) is nowhere to be seen.
  • The internet-surfer sees all kinds of information on his screen, but his home computer is not the original sender, but rather someone who is perhaps at other end of the world has thought out the information and put it on the internet.
  • It is by no means different in the case of the DNA molecule. The genetic information is read off a material substrate, but this substrate is not the original sender; rather, it is only the intermediate sender.
It may seem obvious that the last member of the chain is the sender because it seems to be the only discernible possibility. But it is never the case in a system with machine-aided intermediate links that the last member is the original sender (= author of the information)—it is an intermediate sender. This intermediate sender may not be an individual, but rather only part of a machine that was created by an intelligence. Individuals can pass on information they have received and in so doing act as intermediate senders. However, they are in actuality only intermediate senders if they do not modify the information. If an intermediate changes the information, he may then be considered the original sender of a new piece of information.

Even in the special case where the information was not transmitted via intermediaries, the author may remain invisible. We find in Egyptian tombs or on the obelisks numerous hieroglyphic texts, but the authors are nowhere to be found. No one would conclude that there had been no author.

SLI-4d

Attributing meaning to a set of symbols is an intellectual process requiring intelligence

We have now defined the five levels (statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics) at which universal information operates. Using SLI-4d we can make the following general observation: these five aspects are relevant for both the sender and the receiver.

Origin of information: SLI-4d describes our experience of how any information comes into being. Firstly, we draw on a set of symbols (characters) that have been defined according to SLI-4a. Then we use one symbol after another from the set to create units of information (e.g. words, sentences). This is not a random process, but requires the application of intelligence. The sender has knowledge of the language he is using and he knows which symbols he needs in order to create his intended meaning. Furthermore, the connection between any given symbol and meaning is not originally determined by laws of physics or energy. For example, there is nothing physically about the three letters “d, o, g” that necessarily originally caused it to be associated with man’s much loved pet. The fact that there are other words for “dog” in other languages demonstrates that the association between a word and its meaning is mental rather than physical/energetic. In other words, the original generation of information is an intellectual process.

Finally, we make three remarks that have fundamental significance:
Remark R1: Technical and biological machines can store, transmit, decode and translate information without understanding the meaning and purpose.

Remark R2: Information is the non-material basis for all technological systems and for all biological systems.
There are numerous systems that do not possess their own intelligence but nevertheless can transfer or store information or steer processes. Some such systems are inanimate (e.g. networked computers, process controls in a chemical factory, automatic production lines, car auto-wash, robots); others are animate (e.g. cell processes controlled by information, bee waggle dance).

It is important to recognize that biological information differs from humanly generated information in three essential ways:
  • In living systems we find the highest known information density.15
  • Even though information requires a material substrate for storage/transmission, information is not a property of matter.
  • The programs in living systems obviously exhibit an extremely high degree of sophistication. No scientist can explain the program that produces an insect that looks like a withered leaf. No biologist understands the secret of an orchid blossom that is formed and coloured like a female wasp … and smells like one, too. We are able to think, feel, desire, believe and hope. We can handle a complex thing such as language, but we are aeons away from understanding the information control process that develop the brain in the embryo. Biological information displays a sophistication that is unparalleled in human information.
  • No matter how ingenious human inventions and programs may be, it is always possible for others to understand the underlying ideas. For example, during World War II, the English succeeded, after considerable effort, in understanding completely the German “Enigma” coding machine which had fallen into their hands. From then on it was possible to decode German radio messages. However, most of the ingenious ideas and programs we find in living organisms are hardly, or at best only partly, understood by us at all. To make an exact replica is impossible.
Remark R3: The storage and transmission of information requires a material medium.
Imagine a piece of information written on a blackboard. Now wipe the board with a duster. The information has vanished, even though all the particles of chalk are still present. The chalk in this case was the necessary material medium but the information was represented by the particular arrangement of the particles. And this arrangement did not come about by chance—it had a mental origin. The same information could have been stored/transmitted in Indian smoke signals through the arrangement of puffs of smoke, or in a computer’s memory through magnetized domains. One could even line up an array of massive rocks into a Morse code pattern. So, clearly, the amount or type of matter upon which the information resides is not the issue. Even though information requires a material substrate for storage/transmission, information is not a property of matter. In the same way, the information in living things resides on the DNA molecule. But it is no more an inherent property of the physics and chemistry of DNA than the blackboard’s message was an intrinsic property of chalk.

Conclusion

All these four laws of nature about information have arisen from observations in the real world. None of them has been falsified by way of an observable process or experiment.

The grand theory of atheistic evolution must attribute the origin of all information ultimately to the interaction of matter and energy, without reference to an intelligent or conscious source. A central claim of atheistic evolution must therefore be that the macro-evolutionary processes that generate biological information are fundamentally different from all other known information-generating processes. However, the natural laws described here apply equally in animate and inanimate systems and demonstrate this claim to be both false and absurd.

Acknowledgments

I thank Bob Compton, Jorge Fernandez, Harvey Nimmo, and Carl Wieland for their helpful comments and the discussion of various ideas related to the manuscript.

Related articles

Further reading

References

  1. Gitt, W., In the Beginning was Information, 3rd English ed., Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung, Bielefeld, Germany, 2001. Gitt, W., Am Anfang war die Information, 3. überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage, Hänssler Verlag, Holzgerlingen, 2002. Return to text.
  2. Gitt, ref. 1, pp. 47–49. Return to text.
  3. Gitt, ref. 1, pp. 128–131. Return to text.
  4. Eigen, M., Selforganization of matter and the evolution of biological macromolecules, Naturwissenschaften 58:465–523. Return to text.
  5. Williams, A., Inheritance of biological information part I: the nature of inheritance an of information, Journal of Creation (TJ) 19(2):29–35, 2005. Williams, A., Inheritance of biological information part II: redefining the ‘information challenge’, Journal of Creation (TJ) 19(2):36–41, 2005. Return to text.
  6. Wiener, N., Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, Hermann et Cie, The Technology Press, Paris, 1948. Return to text.
  7. Energy can exist in various forms (e.g. mechanical, electrical, magnetic, thermal). These are, however, equivalent to each other and are thus expressible in the same units (e.g. Joules). Return to text.
  8. Gitt, ref. 1b, pp. 170–180. Return to text.
  9. Gitt, ref. 1b, pp. 131–150. Return to text.
  10. We abbreviate the individual laws of nature about information to SLI. Return to text.
  11. Information can direct, steer, control and optimize the running of material processes. These processes are carried out by programs that are freely thought out and designed. They are not based on physical or chemical correlations between matter and information. In contrast, there is a definite chemical correlation between hydrogen and oxygen that under certain circumstances will combine to produce water. Return to text.
  12. “Will” here does not mean a decision that a computer makes following a particular algorithm; rather; it signifies a personified will that is able to reach a free and arbitrary decision that cannot be predicted in advance. Return to text.
  13. By contrast, the triplet code carried on DNA can easily be shown to meet the criterion of being freely chosen in the sense of being arbitrary. In other words, there is no physical/chemical reason why the biomachinery of cells has to assign to the triplet GAC, for instance, the meaning of the amino acid “leucine”. In fact, in some yeast species it is translated as “serine”? This underscores the point—since the code is not the inevitable outcome of the physics and chemistry of the system, it was at some prior time freely chosen. Return to text.
  14. Intelligent Source always refers to an individual who is equipped with a will and consciousness. It is not in contradiction to SLI-4c if the author of the information cannot always be specifically identified, but, rather, sometimes only identified generally, as in the following examples: texts in Egyptian Pharaoh’s tombs (Egyptians), historical documents (unknown author), secret radio messages (the military), computer viruses in the internet (criminals), graffiti (graffiti artists), information in biological systems (creator). Return to text.
  15. Gitt, ref. 1b, pp. 311–313. Return to text.

64 comments:

Jon Woolf said...

Doesn't matter how many times you repeat drivel, Radar. It's still drivel.

"A material entity cannot generate a non-material entity."

Your material brain generates non-material thoughts.

Thus I refute it.

Anonymous said...

Some law, huh? They make a simple, untested assertion, but the moment they call it a scientific law, they think they're dealing with actual science.

As for science being "materialistic" - science has to deal with things that can be independently verified in order for it to function. That's the exact opposite of knowledge through revelation, the religious paradigm. That is why no matter how much you would like it to be thus, mere insistence is not a useful scientific approach. The reason scientists use the scientific method is because it works, not because the scientists hate God.

Anonymous said...

It's really something when a creationist attempts to present scientific writings with an air of respectability, but then comes out with something like this:

"The grand theory of evolution would gain some empirical support if it could be demonstrated, in a real experiment, that information could arise from matter left to itself without the addition of intelligence. Despite the most intensive worldwide efforts this has never been observed. To date, evolutionary theoreticians have only been able to offer computer simulations that depend upon principles of design and the operation of pre-determined information. These simulations do not correspond to reality because the theoreticians smuggle their own information into the simulations."

First of all, would the author - or any creationist - care to define an experiment that they would not in hindsight claim was "intelligently designed"? The whole point of experimentation (as opposed to observation) is that experiments are controlled and designed intelligently, but that they model reality in a way that is clearly defined and agreed at the outset.

Denying this simple principle for rhetorical purposes is what makes creationists such intellectually dishonest outcasts in the scientific arena. No need to whine about creationists being treated unfairly or being the victims of some bizarre conspiracy. The creationists' blatant and embarrassing dishonesty and inconsistency earn them their pariah status.

Second, could the author provide actual proof of his assertion that "the theoreticians smuggle their own information into the simulations"? That's quite a blanket accusation to level at someone, which no doubt is why Gitt saw fit to be so vague.

I was willing to give this Gitt fellow the benefit of the doubt to see what he would come up with, and in part he does talk a good game, but unfortunately I didn't get very far to discover blatant intellectual dishonesty - and this when he was attempting to propose so-called "scientific laws" no less. (To avoid confusion, these are actually not "scientific laws" in any established sense of the term. They are unfounded assertions, in part even based on lies.)

Poor Christians, all of you, that so easily cast aside God's commandments for minor and ill-gained tactical advantage. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

radar said...

Gobbledygook. Derision. But no answers. Woolf you refute nothing but only support the idea that you are a religious zealot. You do not accept any scientific evidence that refutes Darwinism even though Darwinism is completely unscientific from the very beginning. Your link is ridiculous and is not pertinent.

Let's explore this. If my brain produces non-material thoughts, what do you call those thoughts? Would we call that information? If it is, then fair enough, I think non-materially. But my brain doesn't work if I am not alive. The same brain with the same structure and chemical composition ceases to think when life is gone. I therefore say that the supernatural life within me generates the non-material thoughts using the intermediate material brain to not only hold the thoughts but in concert with other body parts to speak and write the thoughts.

Supernatural life within me produces thoughts. Material brain and throat and mouth or hands then transmit thoughts orally or on paper or on the blog. The thoughts are within the symbols I speak or write but the symbols themselves are only the means of transmission of information and not the source of it.

All organisms contain vast amounts of non-material information and they act on that non-material information in material ways. I have many times challenged Darwinists to come up with a source for this information and they always fail to answer. You can stomp on the ground and throw a fit for all I care but your logic is flawed and you are dodging the issue.

What is the source of information in the material world, Jon Woolf?

radar said...

Respecting this quote from the typical anonymous source:

"The grand theory of evolution would gain some empirical support if it could be demonstrated, in a real experiment, that information could arise from matter left to itself without the addition of intelligence. Despite the most intensive worldwide efforts this has never been observed. To date, evolutionary theoreticians have only been able to offer computer simulations that depend upon principles of design and the operation of pre-determined information. These simulations do not correspond to reality because the theoreticians smuggle their own information into the simulations."

We see this with the Weasel program and we also see it with genetic algorithms. A program is written by an intelligent source and designed to try to prove that information can arise by random chance? Of course that is a rigged system! If you want to find information being generated randomly you will not do it by writing a computer program.

What is the source of information in the cell? Mutation has failed to do it. Natural selection only acts upon the genetic information available to it. Duplication only replicates already existing information. You are all like the guy in the youtube who just could not come up with one example of new information being generated within the gene, nor could he identify the notorious "node", that mythical missing link between man and ape that scientists have sought since Darwin's day.

The advance of technology has taught us that the design within organisms has a more sophisticated coding mechanism that we use in computing and it is still not completely understood. We now have branches of science like biomimicry and biomemetics in which we humans are studying and seeking to use or copy the superior design of organisms! The information within the cell is still more advanced than the human brain!

And you people like to believe the Universe poofed into existence, life was mud zapped by lightning and mutations add rather than subtract information?! You call it science, I call it a religious cult. I hope Richard Dawkins doesn't offer you any Flavor-Ade!

Jon Woolf said...

"The same brain with the same structure and chemical composition ceases to think when life is gone."

No, it doesn't. Keep "the same structure and chemical composition," that is.

"What is the source of information in the material world, Jon Woolf?"

Which information are you talking about?

Last time this topic came up I thoroughly scrambled your brains with an example of how information can come from random chance, and also how the same string of symbols can carry different meanings in different contexts. There's nothing new here, Radar. You're repeating the same old fallacies over and over again. As long as you keep doing that, I'm going to keep giving you the same answers.

radar said...

Woolf, you are the one with scrambled brains. There is information in the cell. Where did it come from? You completely failed to answer this before and pretending that you did will not avail you.

Either give us the natural source for information or admit that you do not know. I am waiting.

Also, when death takes place, at that moment, the composition of the body chemically and organically is the same. Right after death processes begin to break the body down but at the moment of death you cannot show a material difference in a body, for the body does not go into an immediate transformation other than the loss of that life. You cannot measure or account for that life either, can you, Jon? It doesn't seem to be material in form either so that is another problem for you.

radar said...

Is there no Darwinist in the blogosphere that will give an honest answer? Either provide a material source for information or admit that they do not know?

Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
More good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

(:D) Best regards...

Jon Woolf said...

"Right after death processes begin to break the body down but at the moment of death you cannot show a material difference in a body, for the body does not go into an immediate transformation other than the loss of that life."

"Other than the loss of that life," eh? Interesting. Are you defending your position, or mine? What is life? How do you tell for certain when it's gone?

"There is information in the cell."

How much information? Where is it stored? How is it stored? What is it used for?

You don't know any of that, do you? Your definition of 'information' is the same as Justice Potter Stewart's definition of porn: you don't know what it is, but you (think you) know it when you see it.

That's not good enough, Radar. Not for a scientific discussion.

In the genome, new genetic information originates through random mutation of existing genetic material. Examples of this abound throughout nature, from the odd hair shape of the American Wirehair Cat, to the mutant mosquitoes that can digest insecticides, to the unique cardiovascular enzymes that make residents of Limone sul Garda virtually immune to heart disease.

radar said...

"A material entity cannot generate a non-material entity."

So Woolf finally admits that information is not material? At last! Now let's hear you explain, as a naturalistic materialist, how you will back away from that assertion because you just brought the supernatural into the discussion.

Anonymous said...

"So Woolf finally admits that information is not material? At last! Now let's hear you explain, as a naturalistic materialist, how you will back away from that assertion because you just brought the supernatural into the discussion."

Nice try, but no cigar. You're bringing a logical fallacy into the discussion: a false dichotomy. Information is abstract. That makes it non-material, yet not supernatural.

Anonymous said...

"Is there no Darwinist in the blogosphere that will give an honest answer? Either provide a material source for information or admit that they do not know?"

This has pretty clearly been answered on your blog more than once, and I'm sure elsewhere ad nauseam. Do you not accept the answer or do you not understand it?

The answer is variation plus natural selection.

Information is organized data. Variation provides data, natural selection "organizes" the data.

Anonymous said...

"A program is written by an intelligent source and designed to try to prove that information can arise by random chance? Of course that is a rigged system! If you want to find information being generated randomly you will not do it by writing a computer program."

All you do here is demonstrate that you do not understand the concept of modeling.

The author made the following claim:

"The grand theory of evolution would gain some empirical support if it could be demonstrated, in a real experiment, that information could arise from matter left to itself without the addition of intelligence"

I asked:

"would the author - or any creationist - care to define an experiment that they would not in hindsight claim was "intelligently designed"?"

Do you have an answer to that or don't you?

We can add this to the stack of evidence that creationists are simply not interested in science. At all. Only rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Regarding "rigged system", how exactly is it rigged? That implies that something in the design of the experiment is put in place to lead to a certain result, which - surprise surprise - you're unable to identify, even though the design of the experiment is clearly laid out.

So instead you're merely arguing against the very principle of scientific experiments to begin with - you who accuses others of being "anti-science".

Re. the author's accusation that "theoreticians smuggle their own information into the simulations" - I'm not surprised you have nothing to back that up either. It is simply vile slander based on nothing at all.

NASA used a genetic algorithm to design antennas. At the beginning, there was a basic design of an antenna. At the end, there were a number of antenna designs that were completely different and that, according to the engineers, they would not have thought of. There was information there that had not been there before.

Where did that information come from?

You want to claim it was smuggled in? Based on no evidence at all?

Better creationists please.

Or more to the point:

Ethical creationists please.

Anonymous said...

"You do not accept any scientific evidence that refutes Darwinism"

You haven't found any yet. Look back on your posts, and it's a pile of logical fallacies and poor understanding of science. One big one with you seems to be the misconception that any kind of complexity is automatic proof of God. Since an alternative explanation is available, your logic fails.

Anonymous said...

"And you people like to believe the Universe poofed into existence,"

Genesis 1:1

"life was mud zapped by lightning"

Genesis 2:7

"and mutations add rather than subtract information?!"

When filtered through natural selection, yes.

"You call it science, I call it a religious cult."

I suppose, yes, if someone did posit such things, that means they could be part of a religious cult. Too bad for you that the strawmen you've presented here have nothing to do with actual science, and two out of the three are indeed a part of your own religious cult.

"I hope Richard Dawkins doesn't offer you any Flavor-Ade!"

Seeing as Dawkins doesn't subscribe to the above nonsense, we can only hope that YOU won't walk around any time soon offering some poor nitwits Flavor-Ade.

Anonymous said...

"The same brain with the same structure and chemical composition ceases to think when life is gone. I therefore say that the supernatural life within me generates the non-material thoughts [...]"

What the...? Curiouser and curiouser.

Riddle me this, Radar: when you turn off your computer, does "life" cease in its CPU? According to what you're saying here, the CPU would still have the same structure and chemical composition. Yet one moment it's processing information, the next it's not.

And yet, when I turn the computer back on, the CPU springs back to life, processing information.

Question: did my act of turning the computer on suddenly activate something supernatural?

radar said...

Jon, a computer is not "alive" and the information contained in the computer is entered into it by an intelligent source. It is an intermediary that stores and transmits information and even can be programmed to do calculations but get back to me when you discover one that is sentinent...Anyway do you not understand that a computer is useless unless it has a BIOS and an OS and they have been designed by intelligence? Can you not comprehend that even a simple organism has been packed with information and resembles a computer in that it is hardware and software and information in organic form? Free your mind from the programming!

radar said...

As to the Genesis references. A First Cause requires a Cause Agent. God, who is eternal and supernatural, exists without beginning or end. He INVENTED beginnings and ends when He created the Universe. This is logical. The idea that the Universe created itself somehow is certainly NOT logical.

That God input the spark and breath of life into organisms again makes sense. Life itself is non-material but it is observable. Information is non-material but also observable. Life was made supernaturally and is not material in form or substance. Information was input supernaturally and is not material in form or substance. Yet both life and information exist in material organisms or machines.

Can you not see that supernatural life and intelligence/information can be transmitted or held within material media but they are not material? This is so easy if you put aside the brainwashing for a moment, for you are not so far from understanding if you dare...

Anonymous said...

"Jon, a computer is not "alive" and the information contained in the computer is entered into it by an intelligent source. It is an intermediary that stores and transmits information and even can be programmed to do calculations but get back to me when you discover one that is sentinent...Anyway do you not understand that a computer is useless unless it has a BIOS and an OS and they have been designed by intelligence? Can you not comprehend that even a simple organism has been packed with information and resembles a computer in that it is hardware and software and information in organic form? Free your mind from the programming!"

No idea why you think it was Jon saying this. But it appears you miss the point of the analogy.

I refer you back to the crucial question: did my act of turning the computer on suddenly activate something supernatural?

And I'll follow it up with another one: is there any evidence that the information stored in the human brain can survive past the demise of that human?

Anonymous said...

"As to the Genesis references."

Which you then duly ignore in the rest of your comment. Not surprising. Your projection is blatant:

You pretend that scientists say that the universe was created out of nothing with a poof when scientists say no such thing, yet the Bible does.

You pretend that life was created from mud with a spark when scientists say no such thing, yet the Bible does.

Yeah, if I were in your shoes I'd run away from that nonsense too. Pity you're married to it. Don't envy you.

"A First Cause requires a Cause Agent."

What necessitates a first cause exactly?

"God, who is eternal and supernatural, exists without beginning or end. He INVENTED beginnings and ends when He created the Universe."

Yet this entity is entirely hypothetical.

Plus your claims aren't even supported by the Bible. Where does it say that God invented beginnings and ends when he created the Universe?

"This is logical."

Since it is the "answer" that was freely invented to explain a number of different puzzling questions a few millennia ago, it's perfectly logical that this would be somehow logical. It's also entirely hypothetical, untestable and of course unconfirmed.

"The idea that the Universe created itself somehow is certainly NOT logical."

And, yet again, not something posited by scientists. You really should get out more. You're thoroughly uninformed on science-related matters.

Anonymous said...

"That God input the spark and breath of life into organisms again makes sense."

Sure it makes sense. Doesn't mean it's the right answer. Keep in mind that it's untestable and untested and that deities and pantheons were created many centuries ago because people were seeking explanations for natural phenomena that they did not yet have.

Of course at one point it "made sense" that there was a deity to ensure bumper crops come harvest time, and that there was another one who split the sky with lightning and thunder and so on.

Still make sense today? Not so much. We got over it.

Well, most of us.

Of course the same goes for what you are saying about your god.

"Life itself is non-material but it is observable."

Non-material? Really? Pull the material "plug" and that life is gone. Life is an observable group of physical and chemical processes. Interrupt one of those processes (rip out a heart, smash a liver, stick a baseball down someone's throat) and LIFE ENDS.

How can it get more material than that?

Anonymous said...

"Yet both life and information exist in material organisms or machines."

You say that like it's a big mystery, completely ignoring some stunningly obvious explanations - but oh no, that would be mainstream science! Yes, life and information exist in material organisms and machines. Because they are a part of physical/chemical processes.

Everything we've observed supports exactly that conclusion. Nothing we've observed supports the conclusion you're trying to tack on top: that life continues after its physical basis is crushed, that information lives on after its physical container ceases to be.

"Can you not see that supernatural life and intelligence/information can be transmitted or held within material media but they are not material?"

No, I can see you being confused about the word supernatural. Which is why you couldn't answer the previous question about computers being turned on and off.

Anonymous said...

"This is so easy if you put aside the brainwashing for a moment, for you are not so far from understanding if you dare..."

It's so easy to rearrange that so that it says what you really mean:

"This is so easy if you put aside the understanding for a moment, for you are not so far from brainwashing if you dare..."

Radar, there are some perfectly simple questions on the table. You're not being very persuasive if you can't answer them:

1. Can you define an experiment that you would not in hindsight claim was "intelligently designed"?

2. Where did the added information in the NASA genetic algorithms come from?

3. When you turn on yout computer, are you suddenly activating something supernatural?

4. Is there any evidence that the information stored in the human brain can survive past the physical demise of that human?

Don't worry, I'm not actually expecting an explanation. You're an unethical creationist, after all, and your continued evasions and misrepresentations will only serve as further proof of that..

radar said...

Tell you what, Chief, when you can answer my one question that you guys always dodge, I might start going down the rabbit trails you start to try to avoid the answer.

What is the source of information in the cell?

Until you either answer it or admit that there is no material means to create the information all your rabbit trails will just have to sit there.

Anonymous said...

"What is the source of information in the cell?"

Answered many times, including in this very comment thread.

Now stop evading the questions. Just because you find them challenging doesn't make them rabbit trails.

Anonymous said...

1. Can you define an experiment that you would not in hindsight claim was "intelligently designed"?

2. Where did the added information in the NASA genetic algorithms come from?

3. When you turn on your computer, are you suddenly activating something supernatural?

4. Is there any evidence that the information stored in the human brain can survive past the physical demise of that human?

Jon Woolf said...

Really kind of pathetic, Radar. You restrict yourself to such a limited repertoire: the origin of genetic information ... selective quoting ... distortion of the known evidence ... and when all else fails, plain outright denial and lies. The same flawed, failed tools and arguments that creationists have been using for a hundred and fifty years. No originality at all.

I, right now, could make a better argument for design than you do. And I don't even believe that life was designed! What does that say about the quality of your arguments, eh?

radar said...

Reposting rabbit trails in bold and claiming to answer the question is not answering the question.

Answer the question. Or waste your time repeating gobbledygook that I will not deal with. Your choice.

radar said...

"Jon Woolf said...

Really kind of pathetic, Radar. You restrict yourself to such a limited repertoire: the origin of genetic information ... selective quoting ... distortion of the known evidence ... and when all else fails, plain outright denial and lies. The same flawed, failed tools and arguments that creationists have been using for a hundred and fifty years. No originality at all.

I, right now, could make a better argument for design than you do. And I don't even believe that life was designed! What does that say about the quality of your arguments, eh?"

Jon,

You do not make an argument for design so that is just an amazing statement. The rest of your comments are just complaints.

God is my First Cause for the Universe. You have an appeal for a random chance happening that you cannot explain or defend.

DNA is a highly complex and wonderful coding mechanism that was obviously designed by intelligence because it is packed with information. The coding is still beyond our comprehension or at least we are still learning more about how it works in concert with the cell. A Designer had to design the software and hardware of organisms and input the information, including meta information so that organisms replicate properly. You have no explanation for where such information comes from.

You deny the law of biogenesis by claiming tests were not done to detect simple life but that is wrong. You deny it because it is against your worldview but it is testable and repeatable and falsifiable so you are without excuse.

Not one Darwinist can explain how a bee could have algorithms preloaded into it so that complex flight information can be conveyed to the hive by means of complex dances.

No Darwinist has a good argument to explain irreducibly complex designs or complex symbiotic relationships without resorting to just-so stories that would make Rudyard Kipling spit. Do not tell me how remarkable your science is and denigrate mine, instead how about making a reasoned argument using evidence?

Anonymous said...

"Reposting rabbit trails in bold and claiming to answer the question is not answering the question."

As I said, the answer was already answered, including in this thread. It's not a terribly long thread.

The questions are not rabbit trails, and merely calling them rabbit trails doesn't answer them or make them go away.

"Answer the question."

"What is the source of information in the cell?"

The answer is variation plus natural selection.

Information is organized data. Variation provides data, natural selection "organizes" the data.


"Or waste your time repeating gobbledygook that I will not deal with. Your choice."

That choice clearly doesn't exist. You will not deal with questions that make you uncomfortable. Some might call that cowardice.

Anonymous said...

I call it a lot of different things, Anon, and "cowardice" is definitely one of them. But hey, as most of us know already, the truth can be a pretty scary thing sometimes.

Radar says to Jon,
"You deny the law of biogenesis by claiming tests were not done to detect simple life but that is wrong." Please explain how this "is wrong" Radar. You've been told the same answer over and over on this topic yet you keep asserting the same thing. Please explain how and why you think early experiments in biogenesis were applicable to all life on earth, even the most simple forms of it. Give us some real proof that Jon is wrong, don't just state something like that as fact, and expect anyone reading to believe you. You are the one arguing against the consensus here not us. As always.

- Canucklehead.

Anonymous said...

And again brave sir Radar runs away...

Anonymous said...

"[the law of biogenesis] is testable and repeatable and falsifiable"

Really? How?

You might want to think about that.

Unlike a scientific law, the law of biogenesis is none of these things. Which is why it happens not to be a scientific law.

The same goes for the proposed "scientific laws of information" proposed by the ethically challenged Mr. Gitt in the post above. When he talks about the scientific laws he asserts, there is no science there. Only rhetoric. Jon Woolf falsified the first one with ease, and the fourth one has already been falsified by genetic algorithms and observations of natural selection.

And needless to say, Mr. Gitt doesn't sully his hands with a demonstration of how these "scientific laws" are testable and repeatable and falsifiable.

Which is why they are not "scientific laws". Just assertions and rhetoric.

radar said...

The following is BS -

""What is the source of information in the cell?"

The answer is variation plus natural selection.

Information is organized data. Variation provides data, natural selection "organizes" the data."


Why is it BS? Because this statement is talking about preexisting data or information being operated on by natural selection. It has NOTHING at all to do with where the information came from in the first place. So try again. Variation is the RESULT of natural selection of information that is within the cell. So this "explanation" has nothing to do with the question.

Where does the information within the cell come from?

radar said...

That "Law of Biogenesis" was peer-reviewed and declared a law back in the 1800's after scientists tested it on and for every kind of life, including microbes. Not one of these Darwinist commenters can show an example of the law of biogenesis being overturned. Therefore the law stands until a scientist manages to falsify the law and it is a simple straightforward law.

Testable, repeatable, falfisfiable science. You commenters supposedly stand for this and yet in the case of biogenesis you become hypocrites in denying the law that meets the criteria.

No one has ever found a way to not just allow life to happen but to cause it to happen from non-life in the last 150 years of trying. So the law of biogenesis has been consistently upheld despite every possible experiment and test that Darwinists have tried.

radar said...

As to origins, God as First Cause is logical and meets the requirements of a cohesive and logical explanation for existence. God as First Cause also explains the existence of both life and information.

Darwinism has no explanation for any of this, it boils down to "some lucky accident" in which the Universe creates itself, life happens by some lucky chance and the incredible luck continues on as information spontaneously comes from nowhere and design and complex coding mechanisms all just happen to happen in direct violation of the laws we observe actually operating in the Universe. The laws of thermodynamics are also laws that have gone unchallenged since they were established. But yet again Darwinists ignore testable, repeatable and falsifiable science to assert that matter can assemble itself into more complex forms and can generate information without an intelligent source for that information.

You can bold statements and make grand claims but you are frankly anti-science by tossing aside long-tested and proven laws of science in favor of fairy tales.

radar said...

Also, I can see why the anonymous commenter who denied that the law of biogenesis was not a law does not give a name. Were he a scientist he would be identifying himself as a fool and if he is not then his ignorance would be noted and any future assertions would be ignored.

I suppose you deny the laws of gravity and thermodynamics and the works of Kelvin and Maxwell and Joule and Newton and Einstein as well? Your opinion versus testable and repeatable science? It would be well if you would go hunt down Canucklehead and buy him a beer and commiserate together over your failure to pay attention in science classes in your youth.

radar said...

So who is going to show us when and where the law of biogenesis was overturned?

When will someone give me a natural source of information, as Woolf's answer is obviously completely wrong.

Anonymous said...

"It has NOTHING at all to do with where the information came from in the first place."

It would be useful for this particular discussion if you could answer this question, even if perhaps you do not yet understand how it's relevant:

"NASA used a genetic algorithm to design antennas. At the beginning, there was a basic design of an antenna. At the end, there were a number of antenna designs that were completely different and that, according to the engineers, they would not have thought of. There was information there that had not been there before.

Where did that information come from?"

Anonymous said...

"That "Law of Biogenesis" was peer-reviewed and declared a law back in the 1800's after scientists tested it on and for every kind of life, including microbes."

Any evidence of this? I'm starting to smell a rat here. Can't quite put my finger on it yet, but...

Radar, you seem awfully sure of this. I also note that you've skipped answering my question about how the LOB is testable and repeatable and falsifiable.

Please provide evidence that the LOB was peer-reviewed before it was declared a scientific law. And even that it WAS declared a scientific law. (Can we assume you're not talking about a political law here...?)

And if you can (though that is now doubtful), please explain how the LOB is testable and repeatable and falsifiable.

How would you test the LOB?

How would you repeat those tests?

How is the LOB falsifiable, yet not falsified?

(BTW, I suspect the reason some of your commenters highlight certain parts is because they suspect you skim over the comments, not an unreasonable conclusion given some of your reactions.)

Anonymous said...

"were he a scientist he would be identifying himself as a fool and if he is not then his ignorance would be noted and any future assertions would be ignored."

Ah, that constant whiff of desperate projection...

"I suppose you deny the laws of gravity and thermodynamics and the works of Kelvin and Maxwell and Joule and Newton and Einstein as well?"

No, because those happen to be scientific laws. If you read up on them, you'll find that they are testable repeatable and falsifiable.

Unlike the LOB.

"Your opinion versus testable and repeatable science?"

A strawman. How original. No, I am not arguing against the actual scientific laws, which actually have been tested and confirmed. The LOB does not fall into the same category for this reason.

"It would be well if you would go hunt down Canucklehead and buy him a beer and commiserate together over your failure to pay attention in science classes in your youth."

If I may quote your own good self from upthread: "Gobbledygook. Derision. But no answers"

Radar, do you really only have gobbledygook and derision... no answers? Questions are being very clearly spelled out for you. You put up a smokescreen of rhetoric that is skin-deep. If what you say is true, then you can do much better.

For starters, please explain how the LOB is testable and repeatable and falsifiable.

I predict that you will fail this challenge.

Jon Woolf said...

"Variation is the RESULT of natural selection of information that is within the cell. "

Flatly wrong, Radar. Variant genes are not re-sorts of existing genes. They're entirely new genes, or new alleles of existing genes. Simple examples include the Scottish Fold and American Wirehair cat breeds. Both breeds' distinguishing features are the results of completely-dominant autosomal alleles. That means that one copy of the variant allele is all you need to have the variant trait appear. It's biologically impossible for a completely-dominant allele to exist in the population, but not be expressed. Those two alleles did not exist prior to their first appearances. They were new alleles -- new genetic information.

radar said...

"Flatly wrong, Radar. Variant genes are not re-sorts of existing genes. They're entirely new genes, or new alleles of existing genes. Simple examples include the Scottish Fold and American Wirehair cat breeds. Both breeds' distinguishing features are the results of completely-dominant autosomal alleles. That means that one copy of the variant allele is all you need to have the variant trait appear. It's biologically impossible for a completely-dominant allele to exist in the population, but not be expressed. Those two alleles did not exist prior to their first appearances. They were new alleles -- new genetic information."

Source information, please. You will be the first man in history to find new information entering the gene pool if you have it...or this is just another faulty claim. Give me your source and we will talk.

radar said...

My research shows that the cats mentioned by Woolf are a result of genetic defects/mutations and both are a result of information loss. The Scottish Fold is particularly prone to problems because it is a mutation and breeders have had to add other types of cats into the breed to produce consistently viable animals. Woolf is equivocating when he styles the genetic information in terms of alleles because he is assuming. A mutation that removes the genetic information that forbids or precludes a feature from being expressed is not an addition, it is a subtraction. The Scottish Fold would be extinct if not artificially sustained by breeders using other breeds to try to breed out the weaknesses of this mutated organism.

radar said...

By the way, Woolf's cat claim still does not answer the question. It is like answering "where does color come from" by saying "Viennese Magenta." It is kind of a rabbit trail but it is at least interesting enough to cause me to do some research.

I am going to check out what I can find on the cats but the question of how natural processes can produce new information remains entirely unanswered.

radar said...

Oh and please do not gloat about that stupid computer question...

Where does the light go when the lamp is turned off?

Where did the words go when the book is shut?

Seriously? How far will you guys go to avoid answering the information question?

What is the natural source for information is an easy question.

As for Biogenesis, it was declared a scientific law after experiments by Louis Pasteur and Rudolf Virchow confirmed earlier findings by Francesco Redi and Lazarro Spallanzani.

"It was Virchow who documented that cells do not arise from amorphous matter, but instead come only from preexisting cells. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states concerning Virchow that "His aphorism ‘omnis cellula e cellula’ (every cell arises from a preexisting cell) ranks with Pasteur’s ‘omne vivum e vivo’ (every living thing arises from a preexisting living thing) among the most revolutionary generalizations of biology."

That scientists today question this is totally metaphysical in nature. Biogenesis is one of the most retested and therefore proven laws of science.

radar said...

I did a little research on cats. Naturally in genetic research today discussing the allele level is almost useless. It is like asking a mechanic to diagnose a problem with an automobile by just popping the hood and looking at the engine. One has to go down to the DNA level to identify where changes are really coming from, just as a mechanic would do a computer diagnostic check of the vehicle to "see" what is going on inside.

http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/science/documents/031708/sciencedirect2.pdf

Seems these cats of Woolf's are simply variations from other variations on the same genetic pool used by all cats.

Jon Woolf said...

You're squirming, Radar.

"As for Biogenesis, it was declared a scientific law after experiments by Louis Pasteur and Rudolf Virchow confirmed earlier findings by Francesco Redi and Lazarro Spallanzani."

Yes, that's what they said. Doesn't mean they were right to say it. Once upon a time, science recognized a a law of conservation of mass, and no law of conservation of energy. Scientists can make mistakes too.

radar said...

You're squirming, Radar.

"As for Biogenesis, it was declared a scientific law after experiments by Louis Pasteur and Rudolf Virchow confirmed earlier findings by Francesco Redi and Lazarro Spallanzani."

Yes, that's what they said. Doesn't mean they were right to say it. Once upon a time, science recognized a a law of conservation of mass, and no law of conservation of energy. Scientists can make mistakes too.


Astonishing!

Now you are missing the point so far you are shooting in the wrong direction. Biogenesis was proven in lab experiments and has NEVER been falsified under any circumstances so it is not a mistake. It is testable, repeatable science that is falsifiable but not falsified. Honest scientists would admit this and be forced to admit that the concept of abiogenesis is wishful thinking in comparison.

Macroevolution? Never observed. Yet "scientists" act as if it was a fact. "Scientists" who deny the laws of biogenesis and thermodynamics should just change their labels to "science fictionalists" and leave real science to those not sold out to unrealistic fairy tales.

Anonymous said...

"Macroevolution? Never observed. Yet "scientists" act as if it was a fact."

Because to the extent that the theory of evolution would predict macroevolution to be observable over the span of a human lifetime, it has been observed. Google something like "observed instances of speciation" and you'll find them easily enough.

Oh and before you make up your own self-serving definition of speciation again, do consult a dictionary. Speciation is evolution at the species level - literally the origin of species. As such it's part of macroevolution, which is evolution at the species level and above.

Anonymous said...

"As for Biogenesis, it was declared a scientific law after experiments by Louis Pasteur and Rudolf Virchow confirmed earlier findings by Francesco Redi and Lazarro Spallanzani. "

Source please re. the impossibility of abiogenesis being declared a scientific law.

"Biogenesis was proven in lab experiments and has NEVER been falsified under any circumstances so it is not a mistake. It is testable, repeatable science that is falsifiable but not falsified."

What was tested and repeated was life arising from life. That's quite a different thing from testing and repeating experiments that prove that life can not arise from non-life.

Anonymous said...

The way in which you attempt to use the Law of Biogenesis as some kind of bludgeon against abiogenesis turns out to be unjustified - the impossibility of life arising from non-life has not been tested, as indeed it can't be.

This is because actual scientific laws make positive assertions, which can be tested. A negative assertion ("X could never happen") can not be satisfactorily tested. It's the proverbial "can't prove a negative". And it's why what you present as the Law of Biogenesis (the impossibility of abiogenesis) is neither a scientific law nor scientifically proven.

It's certainly not an obstacle to abiogenesis research. If life can be shown to arise from non-life (as seems increasingly likely), the untested claim that you present as the Law of Biogenesis will be defunct anyway.

Anonymous said...

""Scientists" who deny the laws of biogenesis and thermodynamics should just change their labels to "science fictionalists" and leave real science to those not sold out to unrealistic fairy tales."

Law of biogenesis? See above.

Laws of themodynamics? Remind me how reproduction with variation is in violation of the laws of thermodynamics, you "scientist" you.

Anonymous said...

Radar: "I did a little research on cats. Naturally in genetic research today discussing the allele level is almost useless. [...] Seems these cats of Woolf's are simply variations from other variations on the same genetic pool used by all cats."

Anyone else notice that Radar completely weaseled out of Jon Woolf's actual point?

Jon Woolf: "Simple examples include the Scottish Fold and American Wirehair cat breeds. Both breeds' distinguishing features are the results of completely-dominant autosomal alleles. That means that one copy of the variant allele is all you need to have the variant trait appear. It's biologically impossible for a completely-dominant allele to exist in the population, but not be expressed. Those two alleles did not exist prior to their first appearances. They were new alleles -- new genetic information."

Anonymous said...

"What is the natural source for information is an easy question."

Which is why it's so easy to answer over and over again.

Jon Woolf said...

"Biogenesis was proven in lab experiments and has NEVER been falsified under any circumstances so it is not a mistake. It is testable, repeatable science that is falsifiable but not falsified."

So is the law of conservation of mass. No one has ever seen it violated in a chemistry lab. Run any experiment you want, test the total amount of reagents before and products after, and there will never be any detectable loss of mass. Does that mean the law of conservation of mass is repeatable, unfalsified science?

No one has ever seen an asteroid hit the Earth. Does that mean that "asteroids never hit the Earth" is repeatable, unfalsified science?

Anyone who says "Because we never have seen Rule X violated, we can be certain we never will see it violated" is setting him/herself up for a fall. Mother Nature loves to throw us curveballs.

Dibban said...

Information is a "limit-cordoned limited body'' within a limitlessness. Information starts to flow in when a thought arises in the mind. Thought results in a 'wish' to experience the entity of itself through experiments. The result of the experiment is experience. The expression of that experience is the 'word' and the body of this experience is the 'object/matter'. But at the beginning, the thought, generated in the mind, which is information itself, is rooted in the Infinite. And all the theories of universal and biological evolution, so far, have no proof or could not prove that there is no 'Infinity' beyond this realm of finite. Therefore, you are right in your arguments. And those, refuting you, are but of biased mind, trapped in the duality model.

Dibban said...

Information is a "limit-cordoned limited body'' within a limitlessness. Information starts to flow in when a thought arises in the mind. Thought results in a 'wish' to experience the entity of itself through experiments. The result of the experiment is experience. The expression of that experience is the 'word' and the body of this experience is the 'object/matter'. But at the beginning, the thought, generated in the mind, which is information itself, is rooted in the Infinite. And all the theories of universal and biological evolution, so far, have no proof or could not prove that there is no 'Infinity' beyond this realm of finite. Therefore, you are right in your arguments. And those, refuting you, are but of biased mind, trapped in the duality model.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff. Very methodical definition of information and SLI. These logically lead one to suspect that information has a supernatural origin. I am not sure however that the human brain is incapable of creating information. After all, the Bible says that man was created in the image of God. (BTW your captchas are very hard to read.)

radar said...

Alas, the point is not quite understood or made. If I failed to put it across correctly I apologize.

The human brain does not generate thoughts without consciousness and consciousness is not present without life. Life is supernatural as we know per the Law of Biogenesis. I therefore say that the brain is simply the platform that hosts the actual thoughts/conscious awareness of man. So while the mind does create information, it is not the material of the brain but rather the sentinence that is hosted therein that produces information.

1wizkid said...

Regarding the initial comment:

"Your material brain generates non-material thoughts"

That's one of the points a creationist would make. when you see information, you know intelligence created it. In the case of humans, that comes from our brains. Not a random array of atoms, but something precisely put together itself and capable of thought. I would expect to find something similar behind the information found in DNA. An intelligence. Based on the sophistication of DNA however, I would expect it to be more advanced then our brain.

1wizkid said...

"Poor Christians, all of you, ..."
"It's really something when a creationist attempts to present scientific writings with an air of respectability..."

That's quite a comment. Sir Isaac Newton was a creationist and a scientist. Which of his scientific writings do you find so disrespectable. Perhaps it is his " Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica" which layed the foundations of classical mechanics. Or "Opticks" which contain information central to the design of lasers. Universal Gravition, three laws of motion, the reflecting telescope, and on and on. And this from a man who wrote religious tracts supporting the literal interpretation of the bible! How can this be from a man considered to be the most influential scientist that ever lived? As a creationist, I'm in pretty good company from a scientific standpoint.