Friday, March 16, 2007


These are my definitions and extra comments for the concepts I have been using to explain the theory of Intelligent Design. If I have borrowed definitions from elsewhere, the reference will be linked.

-Intelligent Design theory = the study of patterns in nature, which are best explained as the result of intelligence. from here

"ID theory states that many features of nature are best explained by an intelligent cause because in our experience intelligence is the sole cause of their informational properties."

"Design-theoretic explanations are proximal or local explanations rather than ultimate explanations. Design-theoretic explanations are concerned with determining whether some particular event, object or structure exhibits clear marks of intelligence and can be legitimately ascribed to design. Consequently, design- theoretic reasoning does not require the who-designed-the-designer question to be answered for a design inference to be valid. There is explanatory value in attributing the Jupiter Symphony to the artistry [design] of mozart, and that explanation suffers nothing by not knowing who designed Mozart. Likewise, in biology, design inferences are not invalidated for failing to answer Dawkin's who-designed-the-designer question." - Dr. Dembski

-Life (if law of evolution is a necessary result of the program of life) = replicating information processor which is able to mutate existing and generate novelle structures through changes and addition to its informational programming.

Hubert P. Yockey provides his description of life: "“The existence of the genome and the genetic code divides living organisms from non-living matter. There is nothing in the non-living physico-chemical world that remotely resembles the reactions that are determined by a sequence (i.e., the genome) and codes between sequences (i.e., the genetic code) that occur in living matter.” here

-Life (if law of evolution is not a necessary result of the program of life) = replicating information processor which may or may not be able to mutate existing and generate novelle structures through changes and addition to its informational programming.

Information on life and quantum mechanics, Paul Davies style.

-Micro-evolution = changes to an existing structure within a population which may cycle through variations in accordance with natural selection and basic genetic principles. The classic finch beak example fits perfectly as an example of micro-evolution. Micro-evolution has the same effect as breeding, with the environment as the selector (natural selection).

-Macro-evolution = often said to be a production of new information, it is a change to the informational programming of life which causes a novelle system of interaction producing a novelle function. Ie: the generation of a few new genes which code for new proteins which interact to create a function would be an example of the production of new information and thus a clear cut case of macro-evolution.

-Natural Selection = Not to be mistaken for a cause, natural selection is a scientific term used to describe the over all effect seen when some programs and functions become extinct within a certain environment because they can’t reproduce effectively within it while others survive and reproduce effectively within that same environment. Natural selection only kills off those programs which are not suited for their environment, and “selects” those which survive and continue to propagate and thus continue to survive. It is a type of “weed whacker,” whacking those organisms which possess programs and functions which are detrimental to survival and reproduction within their respective environment. Indeed, natural selection is not the creator of novelty, nor is it a driving force. “Using” the environment, it only selects between different organisms which are driven by the program of life. Natural selection is merely a passive scavenger, picking apart those programs and organisms that have been left behind in the race of life.

Basically, natural selection is a description of the effect of matching an organism with the environment (incl. other organisms) in which the organism continues to survive and reproduce. However, natural selection itself is not what causes the organism to possess the ability to survive and reproduce in its environment.

I think the most obvious case and example of natural selection is: Put a fish on land and it will be naturally selected not to survive. Put a fish in water, and it will be naturally selected to survive.

However, as far as I understand, natural selection can become horribly more complex when dealing with minor variations which affect survival within a population or when dealing with virus/host interactions. I think this is where population genetics and other disciplines come into play.

-Science = the discipline which attempts to explain phenomenon in terms of laws of cause and effect. As such, a scientific theory is testable, repeatable, and generates predictions. A scientific theory should also be falsifiable, however this is a point of contention, since a problem in a theory may not falsify it as the problem may be solved at a later date upon obtaining more information. However, a theory which states that “x” will not happen can be easily falsified by showing “x” occurring. Moreover, as I understand it, scientific theories are usually replaced when a competing theory is able to explain more data, has less problems, and provides a better explanation with predictions that come to pass. However, until man knows all, scientific theories will be provisional and subject to further revision/updating and replacement.

I am referring to “laws” of cause and effect as synonymous with the use of “laws” as in “laws” of nature, therefore defining “laws” as “unbreakable rules.” The assumption of unbreakable rules (or laws) of cause and effect is the only way that
science can proceed. Science ATTEMPTS to set up a law (unbreakable rule) of cause for a specific effect in question, in the form of a hypothesis or theory. Science aims at explaining phenomenon “x” in terms of laws of cause and effect. A law of cause and effect is one which lends itself to testability and repeatability. If there are no laws of cause and effect within nature, then there is no repeatability of phenomenon and thus no science. Therefore, science begins by assuming that there exist laws of cause and effect. Science is the search for these laws of cause and effect.

-Information = (complex specified information) a seemingly random, yet also non-repetitive arrangement of units, in which the complex 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. The relation between the code and the independant pattern is known as "specificity," which results from an information processor acting in accordance with the pre-set laws of the system in which it is contained; and the term "complexity" is a measurement of the quantity of information and a description of the fact that information is aperiodic.

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 specific function (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. 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 a combination of intelligence and evolution that causes the specific ordering and non-repetitive sequencing of these letters or bases to produce specific effects.

-Information processor = An arrangement of parts which …

1. reads, (interacts with or transcribes)
2. converts (translates), and
3. assembles information into further interrelated systems with function (meaning/usefulness)

An information/processing system is truly irreducibly complex (in the sense that Dr. Behe uses the term IC; not in the sence of an IC computation) and is not attainable by evolutionary means, if evolution is the process of producing new information. The evolution of life = the duplication and mutation of pre-existing information to generate and assemble new informational systems. Moreover, I’ve previously shown that information and its compatible processor can not exist independent of each other; therefore, you need information and its processor already functioning in order to begin any evolutionary process. As to irreducible complexity, remove any step within the above definition and the information/processing system ceases to provide any method whereby the evolution of information may occur. Furthermore, if you remove any of these steps the information and its processing system ceases to exist.

Also, taking into account that information is not defined by physical laws of attraction (there is no physical law relating the units within complex specified information) and that information processors convert PRESENT specific coded information into a FUTURE specific goal in the form of function (thus constituting a goal oriented, although NOT necessarily conscious, process -- in the same way that computer programs are goal oriented but not conscious), it makes absolutely no logical sense, nor is there any scientific inference or validity in thinking that information and its compatible processor will randomly actualize no matter the chemical reactions by which it is preceeded.

-Intelligence = a system (not necessarily conscious) which generates new and useful (able to produce function) information by harnessing random occurrences, pre-existing information, and natural laws to plan or engineer a specific route to a pre-meditated or programmed end goal. Thus intelligence is defined, basically, as an information processor which meets the above criteria. In fact, this causes intelligence, information processing, and information to be inseparable, since neither of them randomly self-organize without pre-existing guidance (information processors or intelligence) and neither information nor its compatible processor can exist without each other. So, it may be that these phenomenon are to be treated as a given, arising from a more fundamental level than natural law, as the case may be with quantum intelligence – my view of consciousness. I do believe that Paul Davies views consciousness as possibly arising from quantum occurrences (I'm looking into this).

Furthermore, it is true that once a physical program is built and is running, physical laws of attraction do take over. The rest of the process is blind and involves repeatable natural interactions within the pre-existing code. Indeed, while the program is “looking into the future,” planning, engineering, or achieving a pre-meditated/pre-programmed end, natural laws are blindly following the repeatable interactions set up by the program. However, it is the information processor itself, of which the coded information it contains is not the result of physical laws of attraction, that harnesses these physical laws for that specific programmed end.

However, the same may not be able to be said of consciousness, or quantum intelligence, as I view it. Consciousness may not be so blind, see:

"The Conscious Mind" by David Chalmers


"Agents Under Fire" by Angus Menuge

-God of the Gaps argument = “I don’t know any scientific laws of cause and effect to create the phenomenon in question, so it must have *poof* appeared via divine intervention.”

-Chance of the Gaps argument = “I don’t know any scientific laws of cause and effect to create the phenomenon in question, so it must have appeared via random, accidental, chance processes."

I have two more important points that I believe must be made.

1. Just because we discover how a system works, it does not follow that it was not designed. Just because you are discovering the natural laws and decoding the code that makes a computer program work, it does not follow that the program itself is a result of physical laws of attraction without intelligent guidance. Just because we know how life replicates does not mean it was not designed. As stated by ID theory, complex specified information is the evidence of intelligent design.

2. Just because we see certain “nodes” (HT: Dr. Behe) of information develop at different points in time, it does not follow that these nodes are a result of random chance. Nor does it necessarily follow that there was an interaction between a designer and matter/energy at that specific node. While there may have been an interaction between designer and matter at the time that the information is first seen, the node of information could also have been the result of a larger program that produced that specific node of information at that specific time. Of course, in this case the designer would have designed the program any time before that node of information first appeared.

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