Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My view of ID in a nutshell

Information has only ever been seen to be the result of a mind and has never been seen and actually does not make any logical sense to be a result of any process (especially natural laws) other than that -- purposeful process -- produced by mind. In fact, one of the defining points of mind is that it produces information.

Information = a seemingly random, yet also non-repetitive arrangement of units, in which the specific arrangement, not defined by natural laws of attraction, produces specific function. In other words, the sequence and therefore the function is not described by the physical properties of the units. The reason this arrangement is not random is because it must also conform to an independently given pattern, the pattern (similar to a password) being that which unlocks the function.

So what is the difference between information and naturally occurring complex patterns? Information either has specific meaning (the code of language as used orally and in writing) or it produces something specific (genetic code produces specific proteins that, together, produce specific functions) as based upon non-repetitive sequences of symbols or units. However, conversely, when units of water are frozen together they form a repetitive pattern (snowflake or ice) that is a result of natural laws of attraction between its units H and O. There is simply no code based upon non-repetitive units that either communicates meaning or produce specific units that act together to create specific functions.

As previously stated, information is completely independent of physical or chemical laws. There is no physical or chemical relation to how the units in a code are organized, be it ABCs on a piece of paper or A-C-T-Gs on a string of DNA. It is all up to what the intelligence wanted to communicate or build -- it's up to what he previously had in mind.

I'm NOT SAYING that there are no chemical or physical properties that combine the letter to the paper or the base to the DNA backbone. What I am saying is that in all codes there is no physical or chemical law apart from intelligence that causes the specific ordering and non-repetitive sequencing of these letters or bases to produce specific effects.

So, we have literal information in the form of DNA and we have the possibility for information generating and other teleological processes resulting from mind with a program and thus information at its base. Therefore, information at the foundation of mind is a reality and minds which produce information is another reality. So, we have an information to mind to information loop, similar to the classic “which came first, the chicken or the egg” problem, with no room for natural law, since the very definition of information runs contrary to the definition of natural laws, which is why critics must toss random chance occurrences into the mix.

Here’s a question for you. Since science is the study of natural laws which describe the repeatable results that occur upon specific initial conditions, what are the specific initial conditions that repeatedly produce information? Be careful how you answer. Everything you say will be used ... ... in a civil discussion with you.

Before I continue, I must note that a goal created by a guided process is one that is either guided by a previously set natural law working in accordance with specific initial conditions to create that goal as a necessary result of the initial conditions and previously set laws (a program) or one that is guided by an intelligence toward that previously determined goal without a program other than the designers’ blueprint, and thus he is designing directly with his own hand and other tools.

I’ve heard critics of GM + NS (Guided Mutations [one Intelligent Design concept] + Natural Selection) complain that it isn’t a scientific approach because they are not happy with the scientific filter for GM + NS being a combination of the mathematical approach of probability, the presence of Complex Specified Information (CSI), or the presence of an Irreducibly Complex (IC) system. Yet, they can not point to a natural law to account for these precise systems -- CSI or IC. Thus, they must make a chance of the gaps type of argument, which actually, upon further inspection is not scientific since you can never provide evidence that something immensely improbable isn’t just a freak random accidental occurrence.

I quote Professor Hasofer:

"The problem [of falsifiability of a probabilistic statement] has been dealt with in a recent book by G. Matheron, entitled Estimating and Choosing: An Essay on Probability in Practice (Springer-Verlag, 1989). He proposes that a probabilistic model be considered falsifiable if some of its consequences have zero (or in practice very low) probability. If one of these consequences is observed, the model is then rejected.
‘The fatal weakness of the monkey argument, which calculates probabilities of events “somewhere, sometime”, is that all events, no matter how unlikely they are, have probability one as long as they are logically possible, so that the suggested model can never be falsified. Accepting the validity of Huxley’s reasoning puts the whole probability theory outside the realm of verifiable science. In particular, it vitiates the whole of quantum theory and statistical mechanics, including thermodynamics, and therefore destroys the foundations of all modern science. For example, as Bertrand Russell once pointed out, if we put a kettle on a fire and the water in the kettle froze, we should argue, following Huxley, that a very unlikely event of statistical mechanics occurred, as it should “somewhere, sometime”, rather than trying to find out what went wrong with the experiment!’

Thus, in accordance with the previous statement, I pose the question, “what really went ‘wrong’ to cause information (especially in life) and possible evolution”

The account of RM + NS (random mutations + natural selection) is at the very least, not as scientifically rigorous as GM + NS. ID (as a guided process) is the result of an inference to the best explanation, which is a scientific approach based on the fact that every time a highly improbable event appears which shows the presence of CSI or IC, as scientifically defined and quantified, we have always seen it to be the result of ID. At least ID does have a rigorous scientific filter.

Now, I’d like to pose another question. What if we are to place the same strict rules on RM + NS that we place on GM + NS? What scientific filter is used to separate an occurrence that is the result of natural laws from one that is the result of random chance occurrences? If you can’t provide this, then RM becomes a science stopper, since it is equivalent to throwing your hands up in the air and saying “I don’t know how natural laws could have done it so it must be the result of a random chance occurrence (of course filtered by the scientifically verifiable fact that things that don’t work in their respective environment, just plain don’t work and those things which do work, usually continue working -- natural selection).” Thus, you stop searching for a natural law for the sole reason that you can’t find one yet. Furthermore, you stop searching for a natural law without a rigorous scientific filter to distinguish between a random, chance occurrence verses an occurrence that is the result of ID (since ID is a real part of nature which in reality creates these types of systems which we are attempting to explain) or at the very least natural laws (since science is the discovery of these amazingly complex yet simple, consistent, repeatable laws).

1 comment:

CJYman said...

Here's a response to this thread as posted on under the thread "SETI, archaeology and other sciences."

"Regarding your view of ID - I’ll just deal with your first sentence:

Information has only ever been seen to be the result of a mind and has never been seen and actually does not make any logical sense to be a result of any process (especially natural laws) other
than that -- purposeful process -- produced by mind.

There are two fundamental problems with this statement, namely:

1) You just assert this is true with not one shred of supporting evidence. “Information has only ever been seen to be the result of a mind”? – it’s nonsense."

Nonsense?!?!?!?!? ok, ok, I'll play along ...

1. Mind does create information.

2. We have only ever seen information as a result of mind.

3. Natural laws do not create information.

4. What other methods of information creation have been SEEN?

So, go ahead and show me some nonsense. Furthermore, I hope I don't have to reply with quotes
from my post, since you said that my post contains no “evidence.” Actually, come to think of it, I
was more of making a statement that you are gonna need to disprove with evidence if you want to destroy my conclusion.

"But there is an even more fundamental problem with the statement:

2) You are arguing that “information” is what determines design. (At least I think this is your point – it’s hard to be sure as your post rambles incoherently. However, in your comment above you
write: “There is, at the least, one important distinguishing factor for positively determining if something has been designed. That factor is information.” So I think this must be your point.)"

Yes, information is the main aspect for scientifically determining design as the best explanation.

"Anyway, this opening statement (or premise) is also the conclusion of your argument. The definition of circular reasoning is when your premise is the same as your conclusion. This is a logical fallacy for the reason that if you allow circular reasoning you can prove virtually anything. Yes, DNA contains “information”. But you have shown no evidence that this was a result of a mind, other than your opening bold assertion."

No evidence?!?!?! Mind creates information and natural laws do not. Did I not explain this in my
post? Just show me one natural law which creates information and my argument completely falls apart.

My apologies for not being more clear. My premise is that natural laws do not create information, I
then observe that mind creates information. My conclusion is that every time we see information, it
is the result of either mind or random processes. However, my post deals with the argument re: chance and its relation to real science.

"You have started the argument with your conclusion, and this is your basic problem and the basic problem with creationists in general – namely you start with the onclusion (designer, or more realistically, God), and then look for supporting evidence while ignoring any ontrary evidence. Your comments above, where you continually ignore contrary explanations, demonstrates that this is how you think."

Please provide contrary explanations that show that natural laws create information.

As to "starting my argument with my conclusion" ... I started my argument with a SUMMARY that
CONTAINED a PREMISE (natural laws do not create information) an OBSERVATION (mind creates information) and a CONCLUSION ... information arises from mind. Then I went on to explain these. Did you not notice this?

I'm just waiting for other real, scientific options for the creation of information.

"Just one more point – evolution is not “random” as you keep implying."

Actually, I don’t think it is either. I think it is a case of front-loading.

Tell me, what "drives" evolution?