On using meaningful information

Discussion in 'Science' started by Paul of Eugene, May 22, 2005.

  1. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Let's think about information and the age of the earth debate.

    For the sake of discussion, let us say that there are three alternatives to consider for the actual age of the earth:

    a: YEC) The earth and indeed the whole universe is 10,000 years old or less

    b: OE) The earth and universe are more than 4 billion years old.

    c: Other) The age of the earth and universe is somewhere between these two numbers.

    Without any information on the topic, we are forced to give each option an equal chance of being true

    ATtention folks: DOn't let GUP20 read the next bit. He has been challenged to give a definition of what he means by information and we don't want to be giving him any useful hints. Let him continue to struggle with what he cannot define.

    We now define meaningful information as knowledge that allows us to change the odds we assign these numbers.

    Let us supply ourselves the knowledge that practically nobody on earth votes for possibility c; To a man, woman or child, they all seem to flop towards a or b.

    OK based on that piece of knowledge alone, perhaps we'll shift the odds to

    a = 40 percent
    b = 40 percent
    c = 20 percent

    Now lets add some more knowledge.

    The Bible, believed by a minority of the population to be literally true, literally asserts that the truth is found in option a.

    OK, given that a minority is involved, lets go to

    a = 45 percent
    b = 35 percent
    c = 20 percent

    Now lets add some more knowledge.

    The rocks of earth reveal radioactive decay isotopes that are consistent in quantity and placement with having accumulated for four and a half billion years from known processes of radioactive decay. This is the result of investigations over many years by hundreds of scientists, that is, kind of testing goes on and continues today and keeps coming up with the same results.

    Hmmm. That's pretty rock solid evidence . . . lets go to

    a = 5 percent
    b = 90 percent
    c = 5 percent

    Now lets add some more knowledge.


    Astronomers observe galaxies more than 10 billion light years distant from earth.

    Ooo - lets go

    a = 3 percent
    b = 95 percent
    c = 2 percent

    See how information is used?

    Now lets here it for information that will shift the odds towards proposition a.

    For example:

    The Bible in its literal interpretation is said by many to be literally true God divinely provided it for us that way. This is supported by the following evidence:
    a) The Bible has verses in it that can easily be interpreted to say that

    Oops, we have here the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. No new information is provided by circular reasoning. Lets try again.

    The Bible has the power to transform lives, making good people out of bad people and that should be taken into account in reading the creation narratives of the Bible.

    OK - that'll move the goal posts some. How about

    a = 5 percent
    b = 94 percent
    c = 1 percent

    Not moved more, because many books have the power to transform lives as well as the Bible.

    Now lets bring in some more knowledge.

    The Q'URAN asserts a over b and c.

    No change here. Not enough information about the Q'URAN presented to allow its testimony to bear any weight at all.

    OK That's how the game of applied information is played.

    Now what information can you supply that will have a part in helping shift the odds that a, b, or c is true?
     
  2. Gup20

    Gup20
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    This is only true if one makes a series of assumptions. Moreover, we have seen billion fold acceleration decay, so we know it's possible. Moreover the helium diffusion problem is further evidence that is exactly what happened. Therefore the assumptions used to calculate the dates based upon the data are incorrect - thereby making the results incorrect.

    Therefore, at the basis your odds are biased because your information source didn't include all possibilities. When this knowledge is included then the odds:

    a = 90
    b = 5
    c = 5

    These are extrapolations - not true observations. Since we do not have the means to travel these distances to verify our theories, they are not true observation, but assumptions. Recently, these assumptions have come under increased scrutiny. Einstein says that E=mc2, and based upon that we get the General Theory of Relativity. We can observe that clocks run faster the farther away from a gravitational source we get (for example, atomic clocks on mt Everest run faster than those at sea level). Russel Humphries has worked towards the starlight time issue as well. His model shows how relativistic time may indeed influence the starlight time travel issue. Whereas time may pass more quickly outside our galaxy because the universe - he reasons - has a center and an edge. Instead of a sphereish never ending universe (as the big bang supposes), you have a sphere with an indentation (like putting your fist to a balloon) thereby creating relativistic time. In that scenario, an expanding universe creates redshifts - which is exactly what we see on most light coming to our planet from the universe.

    a = 95
    b = 0
    c = 5

    You have assumptions based upon assumptions preambled by your world view and that is what you have 'built' your odds upon.

    Build your odds upon scripture, and you will start with an actual solid foundation, rather than assumption.

    When you have accurate historical records, you don't need odds. The Bible is exactly that - a 100% accurate historical record.
     
  3. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Well, we have some information from Gup20 to the affect that he completely discounts scientific information. We regret his decision to cut himself off from real sources of information, which is contrary to scripture. But taking as information that folks such as Gup20 exist who make such a decision, we might shift the odds somewhat:

    a = 2
    b = 97
    c = 1

    It would help your position, Gup20, if you would give some reasons for your faith that the Bible is a 100% literal historical accurate record.

    Is it just a matter of faith?
     
  4. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    "These are extrapolations - not true observations."

    Obviously you did not read the primer I gave you on distance.

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/distance.htm

    Let's summarize it for you. It basically has to do with finding the actual brightness of specific objects, called standard candles, and then measuring the distance to other objects of the same class by measuring how their brightness differs from the examples to which the distance is known.

    We DIRECTLY measure the distance to a fairly large number of stars through parallax. We can measure their apparent brightness and work out their true brightness using an inverse square function. We then look for the same objects at greater distances. By measuring their apparent brightness and again putting that through the inverse square function, we can tell their distance.

    And before you ask, if there is something inbetween dimming the light, it will leave absorbsion bands in the spectrum of the light showing that the light has been attenuated.

    "We can observe that clocks run faster the farther away from a gravitational source we get (for example, atomic clocks on mt Everest run faster than those at sea level). Russel Humphries has worked towards the starlight time issue as well."

    You might want to read up a bit on how this whole time dialation occurs due to gravity. Yes, time does pass more slowly for an observer in a strong gravitational field. No doubt. But for 6000 years to have passed on the earth while billions of light years passed in the rest of the universe... Well, you are beyond my calculation abilities, but you would require the earth to but under the influence of gravity very close to that at the event horizon of a black hole. I bet life would be difficult to say the least.

    Plus, light falling into that gravity well would be BLUE shifted not red shifted.
     
  5. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Well, the search for reasons for the young earth view comes down to one thing only: The desire to continue holding a particular literalistic interpretation of scripture requires it.

    Since there are many interpreters of scripture that feel they can accomodate an old earth interpretation with their view of scripture and since those who hold that a literal interpretaion is sacrosacnt will themselves disagree on how to interpret scripture for various doctrines anyway, this view is not, of itself, very weighty.

    To make the literal interpreation of scripture to have more weight, we need some REASONS to give it that weight; otherwise, we are merely relying on a second hand view of scripture, that is, some people consider it to inerrantly claim the earth is 6000, years old, therefore . . .

    but how reliable is it to accept something just because others accept it?
     
  6. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
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    This is really reaching at straws Gup, re: the measurement of distance. These ARE direct measurements, as pointed out by UTEOTW. If it doesn't agree with your interpretation of the Bible, then the measurements are wrong?

    I guess next thing will be that I should not venture out to see. lest I sail of the edge of the earth.

    If your interpretation of scripture is at variance with observable phenomenon, then I can only guess there are three possibilities:

    1. Scripture is wrong
    2. Your INTERPRETATION of scripture is wrong
    3. The observable phenomenon are wrong

    I suspect option #2 must be the correct one.
     
  7. Magnetic Poles

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    Make that "venture out to SEA"

    My bad
     
  8. Faith Fact Feeling

    Faith Fact Feeling
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    Starting point for U.S. citizens indoctrinated in old chronologies by at least 12 years of public education and every media conceivable (closer to actual polls):

    a = 47 percent
    b = 40 percent
    c = 13 percent

    And of course that is where someone like me steps in and adds information.

    A global flood could cause a mixing of parent/daughter isotopes making the Earth seem older. Plus, fossils, coal, oil and gas are all laid down in depositions which are consistent with catastrophe. What does bury a Mount Everest of living creatures under a mile of sediment? For a minority of folks with enough guts to buck the paradigm, which it is always a minority in a paradigm shift, things shift:

    a = 75 percent
    b = 15 percent
    c = 10 percent

    And then I sprinkle in the fact that the big bang theory is only missing 99% of what it needs to work. I add to this that the most distant regions of the universe, per Hubble deep field, show fully formed galaxies where infant forming ones were expected. Oh, and the stars are already made up of heavier elements. So sad. So the stellar hypothesis about primordial stars creating the 115 (last I checked) heavier elements from the predominantly hydrogen and some helium released from the big bang doesn’t check out either. And then I add the fact that we have no working model on how an expanding wave front of matter from the big bang could violate the laws of physics by slowing down in frictionless space and coalesce into stars and planets when gravity is way too weak. On top of that I add that after all this you must then violate momentum conservation by having these bodies beginning to spin and orbit each other in precise orbits, when we have trouble getting our satellites settled in stable orbits using the most advanced computers and rocketry.

    Now for the reasonable few that are faced with this narrowing set of options for naturalistic causation the percentage shifts.

    a = 85 percent
    b = 10 percent
    c = 5 percent

    And then of course I add that we now know that the fundamental basis for life, the cell, is advanced nanotech and not just chemical soup as naturalists who formulated the theory of evolution had imagined. So instead of life being simple chemistry, we are the most advanced nanotech machines in the known universe, and there is not even a hint at how you can get to this from chemical interactions. Also, what we call the production of species is the adaptability preprogrammed into the cell, and that is why mutations are invariably bad, and the few that aren’t’ have a fitness cost that make the organism less competitive with the parent in most situations. The towering complexity at the cell level, with it’s accuracy in transcription of RNA is far better than any manmade manufacturing system in the world, with all their thousands of scientists, engineers, managers, and operations they cannot match its accuracy. So things look pretty dim for this stuff just making itself and you have even world famous atheists that make their life’s work using naturalistic science to discredit a belief in God converted (but of course that 4% is made up entirely of Christians that don’t want to believe the Bible no matter how bad the science is).

    So now we have:

    a = 95 percent
    b = 4 percent
    c = 1 percent

    Of course everyone eventually dies and finds out for sure:

    a = 100 percent
    b = 0 percent
    c = 0 percent
     
  9. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    "Plus, fossils, coal, oil and gas are all laid down in depositions which are consistent with catastrophe."

    Except that the fossil fuels have not had time to form.

    Before I begin, I have a link to the story of a gentleman who used to be a very active YEer, even publishing in Creation Research Society Quarterly around 2 dozen times. His experience working in the oil business caused him to give up YE and nearly his faith. An important quote.

    http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm

    Now, the time to form fossil fuels.

    Yes, I know of the experiment that gets mentioned about forming something resembling coal after cooking soom woody material for a few weeks at some set of conditions. The problem is that the experiment does not replicate what really happens in the ground. Let me link to the web site of an energy company who does coal bed methane recovery in the Powder River Basin area of Wyoming.

    http://www.blackdiamondenergy.com/coalbed.html

    There is an important chart on there.

    http://www.blackdiamondenergy.com/Figures/Figure1.gif

    This shows what happens chemically to some of hte compounds in the coal seam at different temperatures. The chemical makeup of the coal limits the maximum temperature to which the coal can have been heated during its formation. Especially with the low rank coals, this proves to be a very serious problem for any rapid coal scenarios. If the material had actually been heated to as high a temperature as required to form it in a short period of time, then it would have a very different chemical composition.

    "A global flood could cause a mixing of parent/daughter isotopes making the Earth seem older."

    I don't understand this one. Such a scenario would make dates come out as meaningless instead of false. There is no way you are going to repeatedly mix the parents and daughters just so to get a straight plot on an isochron.

    "Oh, and the stars are already made up of heavier elements. So sad. So the stellar hypothesis about primordial stars creating the 115 (last I checked) heavier elements from the predominantly hydrogen and some helium released from the big bang doesn’t check out either."

    No, no. We can observe Population II and even Population III stars that have the very low levels of metals that one would expect for the early stars after the BB and the measurments of the various elements agrees with the prediction of BB neucleosysnthesis.

    "And then I add the fact that we have no working model on how an expanding wave front of matter from the big bang could violate the laws of physics by slowing down in frictionless space and coalesce into stars and planets when gravity is way too weak. On top of that I add that after all this you must then violate momentum conservation by having these bodies beginning to spin and orbit each other in precise orbits, when we have trouble getting our satellites settled in stable orbits using the most advanced computers and rocketry."

    I fail to follow this either. More information?
     

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