Digital Life

Discussion in 'Science' started by UTEOTW, May 10, 2005.

  1. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    Often the assertion is made that evolutionary processes cannot create irreducibly complex features or that it cannot generate new "information."

    Perhaps some of you have seen some of the experiments in digital organisms where evolution can proceed at a pace quick enough for our human observations. One of these is Avida from Caltech.

    http://dllab.caltech.edu/avida/

    Now this is not a perfect simulation, mind you. There are of course difficulties in modeling complex systems, such as life, so the program is a bit more simple than the real thing. But basically you give the sigital organism a starting point and let it evolve. You can download the program yourself and try it out. Many have.

    Most people have had very good success in modeling the evolutionary process using the program. Of course, some have found situations in which it does not work. But the program has shown how novel features, even irreducibly complex ones, can arise through random mutations and selection.

    Some of you might find the program and its result interesting. If you hunt around a bit, you can find many, many papers written from the research involved.
     
  2. Gup20

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    Clearly, as you pointed out, there are serious problems with this model. Lets look at a couple of the most obvious (I am sure there are more than what I can see at a glance).

    First of all, this model demonstrates that information can only come from information. The programs that run on these machines are created by people. They have an 'intelligent source'. Secondly, it is programmed to mutate - our 'program' is set to replicate exact copies with error correction built in... I don't see anything about built-in error correction or redundancy. The hardware these programs run on and their software are created by people. They have an intelligent source. The 'code' and it's decoding and semantecs are created by people as well - the 1's and 0's organize into codes that the processors understand. These all have an intelligent source.

    While changes take place per the researchers input based on functions provided by the researcher (again from an intelligent source), these changes don't change the hardware of the computer. It still uses a processor and memory, for example. There is no capability of the system to make any changes here to the hardware. Additionally, Avida runs on Unix, Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.... but what might prove interesting is watching the system mutate between the OS's... for example, lets see a system installed on Linux mutate itself and it's operating system into a Windows based system. After all - wouldn't that be more on the order of a reptile changing into a bird, for example? So what if the reptile has green skin or black... it's still a reptile and it's still got reptile skin. But lets see it turn into something else - like a bird or a ferret. This furthers the reasoning that the system can only mutate based upon the information already contained in the system, or that provided by an intelligent source.

    Then, lets see the system mutate from a 32bit 1GHz processor with 256mb of RAM to a 64bit 5GHz processor with 512mb of RAM. Lets see the system develop a sound card - irreducable complexity is a large multi-part system that can't exist without the whole - could this system even develop a sound card driver (we know it can't "grow" a physical sound card) and the software to use that driver? Let see the system mutate from using binary numbers in it's circuit logic to using hexidecimal coding (and still work).
    Basically what these projects prove is that changes can occur "within kind" but that the changes never make the kind of macro changes required in evolution.
     
  3. Travelsong

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    More accurately, all programs have a programmer.
     
  4. UTEOTW

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    I did not say anything about "serious" problems though I did mention the limitations. Most science is able to admit where there are limitations.

    "The programs that run on these machines are created by people."

    Oh, perfect example.

    In our experience we see how many things around us run upon the laws that God created. Whether it is physics when playing catch, chemistry when making a cup of tea or more serious examples, we see that evrything acts and behaves according to natural laws created by God.

    Including life! The process of evolution follows laws set up by God Himself and are used by God to accomplish His will.

    "First of all, this model demonstrates that information can only come from information."

    So you have now changed you statement about "information!" (Though we still do not know what exactly it is you consider to be "information.") Previously, it was that only inteligence can create information. Now only information can come from information. So I suppose that this means that you accept the various mechanisms, such as duplication and mutation and exon shuffling, as creating new information since they are merely building on the information that was already present.

    "Secondly, it is programmed to mutate - our 'program' is set to replicate exact copies with error correction built in... I don't see anything about built-in error correction or redundancy."

    Mutations occur in the genomes of all living creatures. There are steps to prevent and sometimes even to correct these, but there are new mutations in every generation. Statistically speaking, you likely have 3 - 6 new mutations in your very own genome.

    Plus these digital organisms, just like real one, have a core set of processes which must be kept working.

    "The hardware these programs run on and their software are created by people. They have an intelligent source. The 'code' and it's decoding and semantecs are created by people as well - the 1's and 0's organize into codes that the processors understand. These all have an intelligent source."

    And God did not create the laws to which our universe behaves???? :confused:

    "While changes take place per the researchers input based on functions provided by the researcher (again from an intelligent source), these changes don't change the hardware of the computer."

    Nope. The changes are random. That is the whole point of the exercise. To show how random mutations, in this case in a computer program, can lead to novel functions and even what would be considered irredicibly complex systems.

    "There is no capability of the system to make any changes here to the hardware. Additionally, Avida runs on Unix, Linux..."

    You are using another false analogy. The DNA of life has never changed to be something it is not through billions of years of evolution. DNA does not become something else. There are no DNA race cars or sofas, so why should a computer program become something else? It is a program! But the novel features that random changes in this program can induce allow researches to learn a bit about how these processes may proceed in the wild.

    "fter all - wouldn't that be more on the order of a reptile changing into a bird, for example? So what if the reptile has green skin or black... it's still a reptile and it's still got reptile skin. But lets see it turn into something else - like a bird or a ferret."

    You have been provided good documentation of just that, reptiles turning into birds. Even down to the fully reptile Microraptor who has fully developed flight feathers. Plus intermediates going back and forward. The development of feathers. The changes in body such as how the wings formed. Intermediates from the very reptile Archy to unmistakable birds.
     
  5. Gup20

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    Let me re-phrase. Information can only come from GREATER information. Let me re-iterate that information is not a product or result of matter or a purely statistical process as is demanded by evolution. For example, answer the following:

    Take the Avida computer. Can you tell me difference in the material weight, mass, or size of the computer from it's original program to it's 'fully evolved' program?? There is no change to these things as the computer builds information. Why? Because information does not come from matter - information comes from information - or more precisely from greater information.

    The program has a programmer. The computer has a designer. The processor has an engineer. The computer uses an operating system... all of this information has come from a greater information - in the case of a computer that is human intelligence.

    The Bible tells us what God's original program was - everything reproducing after it's own kind. Then it tells us that this program became corrupted. This supports the idea that we are de-evolving rather than evolving - and that is a fact which is upheld by real observational science. For example, we can see in the human genome that there USED to be a functional gene for vitamin C production. This gene no longers works however. This is further evidence that things are running down rather than building up.

    Yet not one single observation of this has ever been made. We have thousands upon thousands of assumptions being made here. You assume that discreet animals in the fossil record are transsitional, but there is no actual evidence (aka observational or scientific evidence) that proves this. The whole phylogenic structure is based upon pre-supposition and assumption that a process which no one has ever actually observed happened billions upon billions of times. You see things like "archy" and assume it's a transission when scientifically there is no observation showing this to be true. It could very well be a continuum of discreetly created creatures created exactly that way or a variation within a kind. How do we know which it is? Observationally THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW BECAUSE NO ONE WAS THERE TO OBSERVE IT. Therefore we must investigate history forensicly. Ooops - DNA doesn't remain intact over thousands of years (let alone millions of years). So then - we must base our ideas about the past upon our assumptive worldview. The humanist Charles Darwin lost his faith in God because of the death of his daughter. He chose to create a theory of a world without God. You are basing your assumptions on history upon an atheistic world view. I chose, however, to base my historical assumptions upon scripture - which I believe to be far more truthful than the imaginings of charles darwin. The Bible, in fact, is ultimate truth and therefore far more qualified to give me the proper perspective on historical worldview than the theories of men who have rejected truth. The Bible says all flesh isn't the same flesh... that there was not a common ancestor, but rather a common creator. The Bible says that the earth is thousands of years old, not billions. The Bible says that God created man from the dust in 1 regular day... not from another animal over millions of years. The Bible says the original creation was very good and then became corrupted because of sin.

    I can use what the Bible says to form my worldview to interpret history according to the Truth of God's Word.
     
  6. UTEOTW

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    "Take the Avida computer. Can you tell me difference in the material weight, mass, or size of the computer from it's original program to it's 'fully evolved' program?? There is no change to these things as the computer builds information. Why? Because information does not come from matter - information comes from information - or more precisely from greater information."

    I do not even know what point you are trying to make here.

    The program comes up, without intervention and from random mutations and selection pressure, new programming functions which give it novel features.

    Biology, through random mutations which are acted upon by selective pressures, comes up with novel genetic code which does new and useful things.

    Define information for us so we can look at examples and judge conclusively whether there has been an increase in information.

    "Yet not one single observation of this has ever been made. "

    It is not an observation to examine the fossil? HOw can that be?

    " It could very well be a continuum of discreetly created creatures created exactly that way or a variation within a kind. How do we know which it is? Observationally THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW BECAUSE NO ONE WAS THERE TO OBSERVE IT. Therefore we must investigate history forensicly."

    Yes, you have to make other observations.

    The first observation is that the phylogenies are in the correct order geologically at a far greater rate statistically than if they were disparate creations. I have given you a paper on this in the past to which you did not respond.

    Second, there are all the other observations that support the conclusion gained from the fossils.

    Take human evolution for example. There is a continuum of species from the ancestors of us and the other apes through to modern humans. We have a very nice progression of fossils. But how, as you say, can we tell if they really are related?

    We we have many other pieces of information. Just in genetics, we have things like sharedretroviral inserts, shared pseudo genes, shared LINEs and SINEs, molecular parahomology and molecular vestiges. And there are many other things which can be used to help support the phylogenic trees. Atavisms. Ontogeny. Anatomical vestiges and parahomology. Past and present biogeography. And so on.

    The problem is the YE has no cohenent theory to explain all of these. It can only be done in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Evolution explains and predicts all of this.
     
  7. Gup20

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    I was making the point that information is not a function, nor arises from matter. If the computer has 1GB or evolves to 10GB it doesn't change the physical mass of the computer. It simply re-organizes the 1's and 0's on the hard drive. This organization gives a semantic aspect which we call information. From unevolved to fully evolved doesnt increase the mass of the computer at all. Therefore we can see that no information and fully informative is not a function of matter as is supposed by evolution. Matter does not give rise to information as is suggested by goo-tozoo-toyou evolution. Only greater information can give rise to information.

    That's like claiming Microsoft Word 2003 could come into being by random chance from nothing. Word 2003 would be an example of an irreducibly complex system. But microsfot word 2003 is millions of times less complex than even a simple irreducibly complex system in an organism. What is the 'novel features' of Avida? Let me guess - nonsensical information? random output on the screen which means nothing? randomly generated noises which mean nothing? That's not information... that's not novel systems. That's meaningless and doesn't even come close to explaining how irreducibly complex systems came into being all at once.

    For example - lets look at a woodpecker. Not only does it need to have a strong beak, but it needs to have a thick skull... and not only a think skull, but a cartilage system so the impacts don't cause brain damage... and not only that, when the wood pecker does peck a hole, what does it do then - wait for the bugs to crawl out? No it has to have a really long tongue so it can reach inside the hole and get the bugs... but not only that the tongue has to have a little glue factory so that it's tongue can stick to the bugs it finds... but then it would swallow it's tongue, so it has to have a solvent factory in the tontue to unstick the bug before it swallows it. All of these must be in place at once for the irreducibly complex system to work. That is an ENORMOUS ammount of genetic information FOR EACH PART of the irreducibly complex system. Let alone the whole system at once.

    Exactly! If I said "your honor, we should convict this man because I am an eyewitness to the murder". The judge asks "what did you see". YOu say "I saw a bone sticking up out of the dirt". The judge says "so you didn't actually see the murder"? You say "no, but I have these bones here isn't that the same as witnessing the actual event". As the judge is dismissing the case he remands you into the bailif's custody for wasting the court's time.

    I posted a testimony in another thread... the first two paragraphs are exactly the answer here:

    "Certainly it must be agreed among rational individuals that for anyone bold enough to admit it, the origins issue is strictly a matter of history. Having been initiated and completed prior to the genesis of man at some time in the past, the events of this origins process are nonrepeatable. It matters not whether one believes the mechanism of the process to be via de fiat actions of a supernatural intelligence, some naturalistic evolutionary process, or a mixture of the two; the fact remains that the material universe is in a stable state of static equilibrium.

    The initial processes responsible for this stasis are not amenable to the methods of scientific testing, because they were unobservable events. Yet, in spite of this, evolutionists claim that a trail of evidences have been imprinted in the fossil record over long periods of geologic time. Furthermore, it is suggested that biological similarities among various levels of living organisms all imply a common ancestral origin. Similarly, cosmologists maintain that some sort of big-bang scenario, initiated from a unique physical singularity undergoing a quantum fluctuation in some 10^43 seconds, is the process by which the origin of the entire universe was initiated."

    Unobserved assumption. It has alternate explainations of history that can explain it just as easily - such as a global flood.

    Unobserved assumption. This is based on your historical worldview - not one single evolutionist claims to have ever seen or observed a living dinosaur. Moreover they claim they all died 70 million years ago - long before they claim humans came onto the scene. Therefore, they admit de facto that there is no actual observation (which is the definition of science).

    Unobserved assumption. It could very well be a continuum of humans within their kind, and a separate continuum of apes within their kind. Moreover, your hypothesis suggests that if we look at differnt ethnic groups of humans today that some are more evolved - aka superior - than others. There is no direct observable evidence that proves the fossils are nothing more than variations within their kinds - and furthermore no direct observational evidence to show that one evolved to or from another.

    I could make an equally compelling (and equally as wrong) case for the evolution of rocks. Clearly we can see how granites and sandstones mutate and evolve into one another. Just look at the fossil evidence! I could make the same, and even more convincing case for Chevys. The only difference is there IS observational evidence to refute the notion that a 54 chevey mutated into a 55 chevy - even though they have so much physically in common. Yet each was a discreetly separate creation. How do we know? Eye witness accounts. HOw do I know biologic evolution didn't happen as Darwin suggested? The Bible is our eyewitness account of history that tells us the truth about how we came to be.
     
  8. Paul of Eugene

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    Well, actually, the rocks do evolve into other types, sand becoming sandstone etc. Only it is not BIOLOGICAL evolution fueled by the amplification of desirable genes through the survival of the fittest; its merely passively accepting the changes imposed on it. But since the meaning of evolution is change over time, that's evolution - sort of.

    And it is true that car designs evolve with time. The engineers never break completely with the past, they make a few changes here and there.

    I work in the software industry. The program I support was tweaked over the years and as a new version every year with the software designers making little changes and little improvements but keeping the original basic design. Guess what - the final result was pretty good.

    Then the software designers decided to completely rewrite the whole thing from scratch, working from a totally new engine, every line of code newly written.

    Would you care to guess what happened to the functionality?

    Now which program had the fewer bugs do you suppose, the end stage of years of tweaking or the new, fresh original creation?

    Of course, we are talking about men, not omniscient designers.

    By the way, if you considered the inability of men to make our own vitamin C as a software "bug" in our DNA program, how come it was allowed to get past quality control?
     
  9. Paul of Eugene

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    Let me re-phrase. Information can only come from GREATER information. Let me re-iterate that information is not a product or result of matter or a purely statistical process as is demanded by evolution. For example, answer the following:
    </font>[/QUOTE]Here we have before our eyes the typical complete misunderstanding about the nature of information in the creationist mind set.

    They consider information as given in the past and only falling away with time.

    This is completely contrary to the nature of science. It is the glory of science to progress, learning new information as we build on the old.

    This is completely contrary to scripture, which points out that knowledge will increase.

    This is completely contrary to observation of the fossil record, which shows increasing complexity and variation with time until some disaster wipes out a lot of life, then things are simpler again until again increasing complexity is able to be built up.

    Indeed, it seems to be built on nothing except a reverence for the past, along the lines of the kind of thinking that hopes to find lost wisdom from Atlantis or mystic secrets for moving great stones from the builders of the pyramids.

    The flat statement that "information can only come from greator information" is a little strange to be seen on the internet, which would have been totally impossible to create by men just a hundred years ago, due to a total lack of the necessary information as to how to do it.

    Great pronouncements of universal laws like that shouldn't be carried around on the very media that refutes them.
     
  10. UTEOTW

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    Before this can go any further, you must provide something which you have doggedly avoided for the whole time you have been posting here.

    Give us an operational definition of information that we can use to judge whether certain actions result in an increase in information or not. You should be able to do this in a paragraph or two and in you own words. You can post links to give us additional information and if you use something specific from someone else, you really ought to give the link to avoid plagarism claims.

    But without an operational definition of what you are talking about, all of your claims about "information" are groundless if you cannot demonstrate that you even know what "information" is by giving us a definition that allows for both quantitative and qualitative observations of a proposed example.

    BTW, from http://www.isixsigma.com/ a definition of operational definition.

    As with most requests to have you get specific, I will not be holding my breath.
     
  11. UTEOTW

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    Oh, one more thing that you must get specific about before this can go any further.

    "Unobserved assumption. It has alternate explainations of history that can explain it just as easily - such as a global flood."

    First of all, how can you honestly claim that this is unobserved?!?

    We take the anatomical details of certain fossils and they can be put into a specific order based on these traits. We then examine in which geological layers these fossils were found as observe that the order matches to a high statistical confidence.

    This is by definition an observation. Really a series of them.

    Now you can dispute the assumptions made in ordering the phylogeny and you can dispute the means of determining where in geological layer they are. But you cannot dispute these as actual observations.

    Getting to my point, you keep claiming that the flood could have sorted all of these disparate fossils into an order that just makes it look like evolution happened. You have a complicated burden of proof here to come up with a mechanism that makes this happen. And you need to let us know what it is.

    And it must cover everything. Essentially you must explain why we have index fossils in the first place. You must explain why it is that no matter where we look, individual layers only have a very specific mix of fossils in them. From no dinosaurs and humans together to no mammals or amphibians or reptiles in the cambrian and all the other combinations. You must explain to us how hydraulic sorting managed to put fossils in the same layer than have no features, such as size or shape or density, that would be expected to perhaps put them in the same layer.

    And when you get through with explaining to us in specifics how your claims about information and hydraulic sorting are true, we will then start working our way through the genetics. You really must not want to get into the genetics if had to go back down Bad Analogy Lane to keep from having a factual discussion on them. You always avoid facing the facts on those issues.

    So as you answer, or more likely fail to answer given the track record of you and other YEers in giving specific answers to such questions, the two challenges posed to you in the last two threads, go on and be thinking about you answers to the obvious questions that can be seen on the horizon.
     
  12. UTEOTW

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    Gup

    You forgot to give us an operational definition of "information" in today's postings and you have done the same with explaining the mechanism by which the flood is supposed to have sorted all life. While you are doing the sorting, please add biogeography to your list. An example is why you find the fossil marsupials in Australia as well as the modern ones with few exceptions.
     
  13. Gup20

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    Darwinian evolution is not simply 'change over time', but an upward change over time. It says that molecules became microbes which became animals which became people. That change has a direction. We don't see that direction in observational science today. We see the opposite direction. We see losses of information, rather than gains.

    Mutations finally rendered the genes inoperable. We see MANY instances of this. For example, why can't close relations mary and procreate? Because close family relations contain the same genetic defects. The chance to breed with someone that has a good gene to cover up your bad gene is greater outside your own family. When people in the same family do procreate, the children get two sets of genes with all the same defects and then ALL the defects are expressed - typically resulting in retarded offspring.

    You have mistakenly equated knowlege and information. For example, I can read a large scientific textbook full of information and not understand it. While the information is there... my knowlege may not increase. However, it would not be information UNLESS there was someone or something that could understand it. It would not be information unless it expressed something specific. What do we see in nature? We see things wearing out... we see things get old and die... we see things decay and dcompose. We don't see an animal born and then increase indefinately... we don't see pepetual motion, etc. We don't see dobermans give birth to spaniels without interbreeding. We do see that a pure doberman mating with a pure doberman gives birth to a pure doberman. No gain in information to suddenly give birth to a great dane, for example, is expected. But - would we expect a doberman to be born albino (which is the loss of all coloration information)? Would we expect a genetic defect, disease, or loss of function to be present insome offspring? Sure we might. But we would never expect some other breed, or wings, or something like that to appear.

    A fossil record that you can't prove actually means what you say it means because it was unobserved. The fossils could just as easily be extinc animals created exactly the that way.

    Actually it's built upon a straight forward reading of scripture as the basis of our a priori assumptions with which we interpret the scientific data. For example, the Bible says we were created from dust ~ 6000 years ago and that there was a global flood. When we look at the fossil record we say "how could this have come to be in 6000 years?". We look at the rock layers and say "how would a global catastrophe as devastating as flooding the whole earth effect this strata".

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v10/i2/information.asp

    The five levels of information
    Shannon’s concept of information is adequate to deal with the storage and transmission of data, but it fails when trying to understand the qualitative nature of information.

    Level 1: statistics
    Shannon’s information theory is well suited to an understanding of the statistical aspect of information. This theory makes it possible to give a quantitative description of those characteristics of languages that are based intrinsically on frequencies. However, whether a chain of symbols has a meaning is not taken into consideration. Also, the question of grammatical correctness is completely excluded at this level.

    Level 2: syntax
    In chains of symbols conveying information, the stringing-together of symbols to form words as well as the joining of words to form sentences are subject to specific rules, which, for each language, are based on consciously established conventions. At the syntactical level, we require a supply of symbols (code system) in order to represent the information. Most written languages employ letters; however, an extremely wide range of conventions is in use for various purposes: Morse code, hieroglyphics, semaphore, musical notes, computer codes, genetic codes, figures in the dance of foraging bees, odour symbols in the pheromone languages of insects, and hand movements in sign language.

    Level 3: semantics
    Chains of symbols and syntactical rules form the necessary precondition for the representation of information. The decisive aspect of a transmitted item of information, however, is not the selected code, the size, number or form of the letters, or the method of transmission (script, optical, acoustic, electrical, tactile or olfactory signals), but the message it contains, what it says and what it means (semantics). This central aspect of information plays no part in its storage and transmission. The price of a telegram depends not on the importance of its contents but merely on the number of words. What is of prime interest to both sender and recipient, however, is the meaning; indeed, it is the meaning that turns a chain of symbols into an item of information. It is in the nature of every item of information that it is emitted by someone and directed at someone. Wherever information occurs, there is always a transmitter and a receiver.

    Level 4: pragmatics
    Up to the level of semantics, the question of the objective pursued by the transmitter in sending information is not relevant. Every transfer of information is, however, performed with the intention of producing a particular result in the receiver. To achieve the intended result, the transmitter considers how the receiver can be made to satisfy his planned objective. This intentional aspect is expressed by the term pragmatics. In language, sentences are not simply strung together; rather, they represent a formulation of requests, complaints, questions, inquiries, instructions, exhortations, threats and commands, which are intended to trigger a specific action in the receiver. Strombach defines information as a structure that produces a change in a receiving system. By this, he stresses the important aspect of action. In order to cover the wide variety of types of action, we may differentiate between:

    Modes of action without any degree of freedom (rigid, indispensable, unambiguous, program-controlled), such as program runs in computers, machine translation of natural languages, mechanised manufacturing operations, the development of biological cells, the functions of organs;

    Modes of action with a limited degree of freedom, such as the translation of natural languages by humans and instinctive actions (patterns of behaviour in the animal kingdom);

    Modes of action with the maximum degree of freedom (flexible, creative, original; only in humans), for example, acquired behaviour (social deportment, activities involving manual skills), reasoned actions, intuitive actions and intelligent actions based on free will.

    All these modes of action on the part of the receiver are invariably based on information that has been previously designed by the transmitter for the intended purpose.

    Level 5: apobetics
    The final and highest level of information is purpose. The concept of apobetics has been introduced for this reason by linguistic analogy with the previous definitions. The result at the receiving end is based at the transmitting end on the purpose, the objective, the plan, or the design. The apobetic aspect of information is the most important one, because it inquires into the objective pursued by the transmitter. The following question can be asked with regard to all items of information: Why is the transmitter transmitting this information at all? What result does he/she/it wish to achieve in the receiver? The following examples are intended to deal somewhat more fully with this aspect:

    Computer programmes are target-oriented in their design (for example, the solving of a system of equations, the inversion of matrices, system tools).

    With its song, the male bird would like to gain the attention of the female or to lay claim to a particular territory.

    With the advertising slogan for a detergent, the manufacturer would like to persuade the receiver to decide in favour of its product.

    Humans are endowed with the gift of natural language; they can thus enter into communication and can formulate objectives.

    The concept of information
    On the basis of Shannon’s information theory, which can now be regarded as being mathematically complete, we have extended the concept of information as far as the fifth level. The most important empirical principles relating to the concept of information have been defined in the form of theorems. Here is a brief summary of them:

    No information can exist without a code.

    No code can exist without a free and deliberate convention.

    No information can exist without the five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics.

    No information can exist in purely statistical processes.

    No information can exist without a transmitter.

    No information chain can exist without a mental origin.

    No information can exist without an initial mental source; that is, information is, by its nature, a mental and not a material quantity.

    No information can exist without a will.

    The Bible has long made it clear that the creation of the original groups of fully operational living creatures, programmed to transmit their information to their descendants, was the deliberate act of the mind and the will of the Creator, the great Logos Jesus Christ.

    We have already shown that life is overwhelmingly loaded with information; it should be clear that a rigorous application of the science of information is devastating to materialistic philosophy in the guise of evolution, and strongly supportive of Genesis creation.

    Theorem 1: The statistical information content of a chain of symbols is a quantitative concept. It is given in bits (binary digits).
    Theorem 2: According to Shannon’s theory, a disturbed signal generally contains more information than an undisturbed signal, because, in comparison with the undisturbed transmission, it originates from a larger quantity of possible alternatives.
    Theorem 3: Since Shannon’s definition of information relates exclusively to the statistical relationship of chains of symbols and completely ignores their semantic aspect, this concept of information is wholly unsuitable for the evaluation of chains of symbols conveying a meaning.
    Theorem 4: A code is an absolutely necessary condition for the representation of information.
    Theorem 5: The assignment of the symbol set is based on convention and constitutes a mental process.
    Theorem 6: Once the code has been freely defined by convention, this definition must be strictly observed thereafter.
    Theorem 7: The code used must be known both to the transmitter and receiver if the information is to be understood.
    Theorem 8: Only those structures that are based on a code can represent information (because of Theorem 4). This is a necessary, but still inadequate, condition for the existence of information.
    Theorem 9: Only that which contains semantics is information.
    Theorem 10: Each item of information needs, if it is traced back to the beginning of the transmission chain, a mental source (transmitter).
    Theorem 11: The apobetic aspect of information is the most important, because it embraces the objective of the transmitter. The entire effort involved in the four lower levels is necessary only as a means to an end in order to achieve this objective.
    Theorem 12: The five aspects of information apply both at the transmitter and receiver ends. They always involve an interaction between transmitter and receiver (see Figure 4).
    Theorem 13: The individual aspects of information are linked to one another in such a manner that the lower levels are always a prerequisite for the realisation of higher levels.
    Theorem 14: The apobetic aspect may sometimes largely coincide with the pragmatic aspect. It is, however, possible in principle to separate the two.

    Having completed these considerations, we are in a position to formulate conditions that allow us to distinguish between information and non-information. Two necessary conditions (NCs; to be satisfied simultaneously) must be met if information is to exist:

    NC1: A code system must exist.

    NC2: The chain of symbols must contain semantics.

    Sufficient conditions (SCs) for the existence of information are:

    SC1: It must be possible to discern the ulterior intention at the semantic, pragmatic and apobetic levels (example: Karl v. Frisch analysed the dance of foraging bees and, in conformance with our model, ascertained the levels of semantics, pragmatics and apobetics. In this case, information is unambiguously present).

    SC2: A sequence of symbols does not represent information if it is based on randomness. According to G.J. Chaitin, an American informatics expert, randomness cannot, in principle, be proven; in this case, therefore, communication about the originating cause is necessary.

    The above information theorems not only play a role in technological applications, they also embrace all otherwise occurring information (for example, computer technology, linguistics, living organisms).
     
  14. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    Now that you have spammed us with this again, meet the challenge posed to us.

    Give us an operational definition of information. Give us a quantitative method where wee can examine a given process and see whether new information has been produced or not.

    It is interesting that you keep spamming us with this same bit. I love how your source gives theorems as assertions rather than deriving them. But, alas, he must do it that way. For his argument is circular. He defines one of his theroems as saying that ultimately information must be traceble to a mental source. Since this is what he is attempting to prove, his logic is circular and invalid.

    In the same vein, it is fun to see how he tries to tie and distance himself from Shannon at the same time. Interesting, but also indicative of a flawed set of reasoning.
     
  15. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Perhaps you could give an example where this definition of information does not apply. Be careful that your example is scientific - aka actually observed and not assumed.
     
  16. UTEOTW

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    I do not know what you definition of information is!

    Simply spell out for us an"exact description of how to derive a value for a characteristic you are measuring. It includes a precise definition of the characteristic and how, specifically, data collectors are to measure the characteristic. Used to remove ambiguity and ensure all data collectors have the same understanding."

    Maybe you could go through a few examples of actual increases in information and how you would measure this increase. Then maybe you could take a generic example of a duplication and mutation which results in a new gene with a new function and tell us why this is not new information. You have been given several examples of such and a literature search would generate thousands of additional examples.

    Right now, I do not know how you propose to measure information.
     
  17. UTEOTW

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    "Perhaps you could give an example where this definition of information does not apply. Be careful that your example is scientific - aka actually observed and not assumed."

    Even though I think you have failed to give us a measurable definition of information, I'll give it a whirl.

    After all the goobly gock and circular logic, GItt ends up with 4 conditions.

    I have bolded the key part of his conditions.

    Now I am making the assumption that since we are talking about genetics and Gitt bothered to come up with all this and you bothered to copy it, that we all agree that the genetic code satisfies these requirements. As far as the semantic, pragmatic and apobetic information goes, the genetic code has a particular set of symbols, the four base pairs, it has syntax and structure in that the introns and exons and start codons and stop codons all have particular codes and that the functional codons can be transcribed into specific amino acids and it has purpose in that it codes the genetic blueprint to make an organism and keep it working and reproducing.

    Now I assert that duplication and mutation can add to this information. Let's see.

    First the duplication step. According to Shannon information, the mere duplication of a gene adds to the information of the genome. This is the whole reason the Gitt was forced to go outside of established information theory and make up his own version! But even in Gitt's perverted version of information, there may be cases where this IS new information. Sometimes, multiple copies of a gene allow an organism to make more of a given protein and therefore make it more fit. In this case, I will assert that the new copy meets the requirements of Gitt's conditions. But I will also allow that normally, a extra copy of a gene does not meet Gitt's requirments.

    But what about mutation? A simple random mutation, while again fulfilling Shannon information, will not meet Gitt's new version of information.

    But if that mutation makes a new gene which codes for something useful, things change. We still have the underlying syntax of the genetic code, so the semantic and pragmatic level are undeniably met. But since the mutated version is useful, it now has a purpose and meets the reqirement of the apobetic level as well. Once the gene mutates into something useful, then its purpose cannot be differentiated in any way from the purpose of any other functional gene. The requirements for even Gitt have been met by this process. New information has been created in a manner consistent with evolution's requirements.

    For examples, go read

    Ranz JM, Ponce AR, Hartl DL, Nurminsky D. Origin and evolution of a new gene expressed in the Drosophila sperm axoneme., Genetica. 2003 Jul;118(2-3):233-44.

    Dias AP, Braun EL, McMullen MD, Grotewold E. Recently Duplicated Maize R2R3 Myb Genes Provide Evidence for Distinct Mechanisms of Evolutionary Divergence after Duplication., Plant Physiol 2003 Feb;131(2):610-20.

    Hughes AL. Adaptive evolution after gene duplication., Trends Genet 2002 Sep;18(9):433-4.

    A bit of searching and you can find many more examples.
     
  18. UTEOTW

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    I found a response to Witt on the web. The guy does not say anything too different than what I have already told you, but you might find a perspective other than mine interesting.

    and

    with Shannon's statement in his key 1948 paper, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication"

    It becomes very difficult to see how he has provided an extension to Shannon, who purposely modeled information sources as producing random sequences of symbols (see the article Classical Information Theory for further information). It would be more proper to state that Gitt offers at best a restriction of Shannon, and at worst, an outright contradiction.

    In SC2 Gitt notes that Chaitin showed randomness cannot be proven (see Chaitin's article "Randomness and Mathematical Proof"), and that the cause of a string of symbols must be therefore be known to determine information is present; yet in SC1 he relies on discerning the "ulterior intention at the semantic, pragmatic and apobetic levels." In other words, Gitt allows himself to make guesses about the intelligence and purpose behind a source of a series of symbols, even though he doesn't know whether the source of the symbols is random. Gitt is trying to have it both ways here. He wants to assert that the genome fits his strictly non-random definition of information, even after acknowledging that randomness cannot be proven.

    Gitt describes his principles as "empirical", yet the data is not provided to back this up. Similarly, he proposes fourteen "theorems", yet fails to demonstrate them. Shannon, in contrast, offers the math to back up his theorems. It is difficult to see how Gitt's "empirical principles" and "theorems" are anything but arbitrary assertions.

    Neither do we see a working measure for meaning (a yet-unsolved problem Shannon wisely avoided). Since Gitt can't define what meaning is sufficiently to measure it, his ideas don't amount to much more than arm-waving.

    By asserting that data must have an intelligent source to be considered information, and by assuming genomic sequences are information fitting that definition, Gitt defines into existence an intelligent source for the genome without going to the trouble of checking whether one was actually there. This is circular reasoning.

    If we use a semantic definition for information, we cannot assume that data found in nature is information. We cannot know a priori that it had an intelligent source. We cannot make the data have semantic meaning or intelligent purpose by simply defining it so.</font>[/QUOTE]http://home.mira.net/~reynella/debate/gitt.htm

    There are other links on that page that might be useful including multiple links to what information really is.
     
  19. UTEOTW

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    Come on.

    Gitt and his perversion of Shannon has been one of your pet spam sources for a long time.

    Are you going to avoid the subject now that I have shown that duplication and mutation meets even his strained "definition" of "information?"

    And will you continue to not respond to the criticisms of Gitt that I have been replying with for as long as you have been spammin him upon us?

    I suppose that this means that you accept my treatment of information under Gitt's unsupported rules and that you accept my criticisms of Gitt's assertions.
     
  20. UTEOTW

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    I even go out of town for a week. No posts or anything. You had a whole week to address the issues.

    Nothing.

    Come on, Gup. You have been beating this information horse for a long time, spamming us with the same Gitt junk every so often.

    Does your silence mean that you accept my treatment of information under Gitt's unsupported rules and that you accept my criticisms of Gitt's assertions?

    Or just that you have no answer?
     

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