Biological Information

  1. ‘Information’, ‘data’ and ‘media’ are distinct concepts. Media is the mechanical support for data and can be any material including DNA and RNA in biology. Data is the symbols that carry information and are stored and transmitted on the media. ACGT nucleotides forming strands of DNA are biologic data. Information is an entity that answers a question and is represented by data encoded on a particular media. Information is always created by an intelligent agent and used by the same or another intelligent agent. Interpreting the data to extract information requires a deciphering key such as a language. For example, proteins are made of amino acids selected based on a translation table (the deciphering key) from nucleotides.
  2. Information is entirely separate from matter. The same media (matter) may contain data representing information for one or more users, or random noise if the same bits of data have been randomly configured. Furthermore, without a deciphering key, one user’s information is random noise to another (like bird songs to unrelated birds). Information can be encoded in different ways (like distinct languages), resulting in unequal data sets. The size of the data is [in practice] always larger than the information carried due to redundancy which is necessary to maintain the integrity of the carried or stored information.
  3. The biologic cellular system is strikingly similar to human built autonomous information systems and unlike anything else observable in the inert universe. Media can be anything including any collection of atoms and, without a decoding key, the same media can support an infinity of data. For instance, a DNA chain encodes one set of data when read left to right, another when read in reverse, yet another when read pair-by-pair, and so on. But in living organisms, DNA actually encodes specific information that is uniquely decoded with a key. Furthermore, the information in the DNA is also redundantly encoded to ensure its long term integrity. Aside from DNA and RNA, we can observe many other information systems in nature (with decoding keys such as pheromones, antigens, and hormones), but all are limited to the living.
  4. DNA mutations are wrongfully interpreted by some as spontaneous information generation, however the DNA limitations show that DNA is not ‘the code of life’, but only a configurable portion of ‘the code of life’. In addition, the adaptive mutations appear limited in range, reversible when the stimulus is removed, and repeatable, indicating their non-random character (as in “the peppered moth”, “Darwin’s finches”, and antibiotic resistance). This is exactly how advanced human designed computer systems behave – they have been built with adaptability in mind, therefore to the untrained eye these systems seem completely autonomous and infinitely auto-reconfigurable (”Artificial Intelligence” fallacy).
  5. Information cannot just pop into existence in the absence of an intelligent agent. That is why all noise-based information generating attempts including all “infinite monkey” experiments have failed and that is why “Artificial Intelligence” will never “rise”. Separating information from noise has been a very important human activity for thousands of years and success in this endeavor has always been based on two critical elements: deciphering key and redundant encoding.
  6. Information can exist for a long time without an intelligent agent. Information can be stored, transmitted and downloaded into machines that perform certain operations regardless of whether the intelligent agent is still around or not. Based on all our knowledge about information, not observing the intelligent agent at work should never lead to the absurd assumption that the information machine “arose without a designer”. It is no coincidence that teleological terms such as “function” and “design” appear frequently in the biological sciences.
  7. Data is everywhere (including fossil record and marks of past events such as asteroid impacts), but that data becomes information only to intelligent agents like us (organisms) and only when we learn to interpret it and to make predictions (answer questions). When we look at the sedimentation and erosion, we take that data and make information from it based on our knowledge. There is no information in the rocks, just data.

Summary:

  1. ‘Information’, ‘data’ and ‘media’ are distinct concepts
  2. Information is entirely separate from matter
  3. Biologic cellular systems are strikingly similar to human built autonomous information systems and unlike anything else observable in the inert universe
  4. DNA mutations are wrongfully interpreted by some as spontaneous information generation
  5. Information cannot just pop into existence in the absence of an intelligent agent
  6. Information can exist for a long time without an intelligent agent
  7. Data is everywhere (including fossil record), but that data becomes information only to intelligent agents

Links:

https://schneider.ncifcrf.gov/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/

https://evolutionnews.org/2014/08/biological_info_1/

http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/8818#t=toc

https://discourse.biologos.org/t/information-entropy/35327/21

https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/genetic-novelty-conference-errors-cannot-explain-genetic-novelty-and-complexity/#comment-651105

Notes:

Con: Information is just entropy.

Pro: Shannon never said “Information = Entropy”. Wikipedia quote: “Entropy is a measure of unpredictability of the state, or equivalently, of its average information content. Hence Entropy is just an attribute of Information. In addition, information always requires a deciphering key and some redundancy, both of which reduce entropy. Information is meaningful only to the sender and receiver (and the spy). To all others it’s noise.

Con: Random number generators can open any lock.

Pro: The human opens the lock, not the random generator. The random generator is just a tool to the human.

0

351 thoughts on “Biological Information

  1. colewd: Through serendipity you can get an adaption through random change but eventually the laws of statistics result in loss of that information. This is John and Bill’s argument and I have not seen a reasonable challenge yet.

    We have a closely monitored sequence for decades in duration in the LTEE. Why does that not challenge your claim? After how long do we have to wait until the information in that sequence is lost? It shows zero signs of it so far after many, many generations.

    0
  2. colewd:
    I think ID has religious implications yet it also has value to science.

    I don’t see the value of presenting the ID non-answer. The most value I can see on ID is teaching how not to do science.

    colewd:
    No.ID is an argument for design in nature based on “inference to the best explanation”.God would be a second level inference based on the evidence pointing to design.

    If it were an “inference” to the best explanation it would have an actual explanation. All I see is a non-explanation that moves the question to a point where we would be unable to continue working towards an actual explanation. All based on poor philosophical foundations. I’d prefer to work on a real answer from the very beginning, rather than being baffled by the smoke and mirrors only to end nowhere.

    0
  3. newton: Is the age of the tree information?

    Yes. Just like your age is information about you.

    But in the mathematical/information theory sense, no, it is not.

    0
  4. colewd: If you had a string of 80 characters how would you calculate the probability that they are the result of random character generation?

    I wouldn’t.

    0
  5. Rumraket: All five questions are based on the Kolmogorov interpretation of information theory. I like this version of information theory because… (c) it applies to discrete strings of symbols and hence corresponds well with DNA.

    It doesn’t correspond well with DNA if DNA doesn’t consist of discrete strings of symbols.

    Also, what are the other versions of information theory and how is it that they do not also apply to discrete strings of symbols?

    Mung: what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.

    It’s not the arrangement or sequence that is information, it is what is conveyed or represented by the arrangement or sequence that is information.

    Do you understand the difference?

    0
  6. Neil Rickert: On another thread, we have a user insisting that a photon of light entering the eye is carrying information. No intelligent agent is involved in that case.

    Some photons carry information if sent by intelligent agents (see optical fibers).

    Joe Felsenstein: So tree rings are not information?

    They’re data (not information) and can carry information for you but certainly not for the cat.

    Rumraket: That means the evolution of life has generated not-information

    This is where you get off the rails. You’re stuck in the fantasy world of “evolution”.

    Sy Garte: One could postulate that all life forms (in populations, at least) exhibit intelligence.

    No need to postulate. Just search “bacterial intelligence”.

    Adapa: If someone gives you a string of characters that is an English sentence encoded with a Triple DES encryption algorithm does the string not contain information until it is decoded?

    The string contains data. You may or may not extract information out of that data.

    0
  7. Mung: Yes. Just like your age is information about you.

    But in the mathematical/information theory sense, no, it is not.

    Which kind of information does the cell need to function? The version of everyday experience or a mathematical model kind ?

    0
  8. Rumraket: But DNA sequeces aren’t read by an intelligence in order to translate them into amino acid sequences. The ribosome and tRNA isn’t intelligent, they’re just molecules.

    That’s the same as a robot executing a program. The intelligent agent (creator of the machine) is the actual user of the information.

    Rumraket: It can be both data and information,

    Nope. Data is not information as explained. But data may carry information.

    colewd: DNA can be decoded without an observer or any human intervention.

    No. DNA can be executed (like code) by the biologic machine, but it has been encoded by an intelligent agent and we (the other intelligent agents) can decode it to extract information such as: “what protein will this DNA segment produce?”

    newton: Does DNA have an explanatory filter? If so what is it?

    Are you talking about Dembski’s “explanatory filter”? You can certainly apply that to DNA, but DNA by itself doesn’t have that filter.

    Rumraket: The definition of information Nonlin is advancing is nonsensical.

    Not my definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information. We had this exchange before on another thread. But unlike many others, I am not making up stuff.

    Erik: The first question, “More specifically, if x is a string of symbols, is it possible for xx to contain more information than x?”

    Why does it matter to you? The answer is “yes”. The deciphering key might say: “x means A and xx means A and B”. In this case, B is the extra information.

    Erik:

    Nonlin.org:
    3. The biologic cellular system is strikingly similar to human built autonomous information systems and unlike anything else observable in the inert universe.
    This point in particular is a total mess. How are biologic cellular systems similar to human-built information systems, while still unlike anything else observable in the inert universe? In fact, human-built information systems are part of the observable inert universe, while biologic cellular organisms are decisively not inert, so the two are quite unlike each other.

    “anything else ” refers of course to anything other than what was mentioned already (“biologic cellular systems” and “human built autonomous information systems”). How would you write this?

    0
  9. Nonlin.org: They’re data (not information) and can carry information for you but certainly not for the cat.

    Carried from where, if information is not data, where did the information come from?

    is information in the pattern of the data ?

    0
  10. Nonlin.org: Are you talking about Dembski’s “explanatory filter”? You can certainly apply that to DNA, but DNA by itself doesn’t have that filter.

    No, I was talking about colewd’s version.

    0
  11. Rumraket: Shallit is responding to creationists who claim mutations in DNA (and thus a mechanism of evolution) is incapable of increasing the information content of DNA.

    Your beloved Shallit is completely lost, at least in this piece: https://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/01/test-your-knowledge-of-information.html
    He simply doesn’t understand the difference between data and information. And he doesn’t understand he’s the [barely] intelligent agent that intervenes to generate whatever information he claims. Of course, if he had real examples from biology, he would use those instead of cheap sophisms.

    On the plus side, he didn’t censor my one comment on his blog: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=20067416&postID=6770972370308326301 .

    0
  12. Nonlin.org: “anything else ” refers of course to anything other than what was mentioned already (“biologic cellular systems” and “human built autonomous information systems”). How would you write this?

    I have no problem with “anything else”. I have a problem with “strikingly similar”. What’s the striking similarity there?

    In my view, there’s a striking dissimilarity instead. Human-built information systems (from alphabet and abacus to servers) are part of the observable inert universe, while biological organisms are observably not inert at all.

    0
  13. Nonlin.org:
    Your beloved Shallit is completely lost, at least in this piece: https://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/01/test-your-knowledge-of-information.html
    He simply doesn’t understand the difference between data and information.

    Don’t be silly, that you have preferred definitions doesn’t mean that everybody is bound by your preferences.

    Nonlin.org:
    And he doesn’t understand he’s the [barely] intelligent agent that intervenes to generate whatever information he claims.

    Continuing the discussion by first moving understanding away from whatever point Shallit was making doesn’t help.

    Nonlin.org:
    Of course, if he had real examples from biology, he would use those instead of cheap sophisms.

    Again, that you have your preferred definitions, mixed with some convoluted bullshit, doesn’t make Shallit’s point a sophism. He’s talking about mathematical definition of information, rather than your preferred one. Thus it’s proper to evaluate Shallit’s comment under those foundations. Either that or you take the time to understand what Shallit is talking about before proceeding. Shallit presented his point and definitions from the get go. Actually, you are making his point in regards of creationists not understanding much about information. Only you make it worst by stubbornly holding to your definitions to try and dismiss the point.

    Again, that you mother says that you’re a genius doesn’t make it so. You’re unable to even contemplate that you might be wrong. That, and your inability to focus, makes me suspect that you’re mentally immature. Not worth a conversation.

    0
  14. newton: It must suck to be bested by a half wit.

    Happens to me all the time when I get sucked into a conversation with keiths.

    0
  15. Entropy: If scientists working on information theory, starting with, gasp, the problems of noice in telecommunication, no less, came to the realization that information and entropy are related stuff, yet you think they’ve got it wrong, then what’s the proper term, and what’s the proper conceptual framework?

    Are you familiar with the story of how Shannon came to name his term entropy? It had nothing to do with information and entropy being “related stuff.”

    Entropy: How can we measure information given your definition, and why should we use it instead of the one(s) that information theorists have so far developed?

    You realize, don’t you, that we’re not really measuring information?

    0
  16. Mung:
    Are you familiar with the story of how Shannon came to name his term entropy? It had nothing to do with information and entropy being “related stuff.”

    Of course I’m familiar with that and with how the different use of terms by Shannon and physicists made it necessary to have a discussion about definitions and redefinitions to try and avoid the very confusions you seem to be holding to.

    I’m familiar with information theory beyond just Shannon (which is why I wrote scientists, not Shannon). Not only that, I also understand the relationship between information and entropy, so I know that whatever confusion you might have about what Shannon said or didn’t say doesn’t change the facts.

    Mung:
    You realize, don’t you, that we’re not really measuring information?

    You realize, don’t you, that such thing depends on whether we’re talking about the same thing?

    If you’re going to try and use Shannon as a counterpoint to my comments, then you should stay consistent. Shannon proposed definitions and measurements of information. If you reject them, then quoting definitions by Shannon is self-refuting.

    0
  17. OMagain,

    We have a closely monitored sequence for decades in duration in the LTEE. Why does that not challenge your claim? After how long do we have to wait until the information in that sequence is lost? It shows zero signs of it so far after many, many generations.

    The sequence loss is reduced by purifying selection and DNA repair mechanisms. This is similar to gpuccio’s argument about ATP synthase alpha and beta chains being preserved over the last 400 million years.

    0
  18. Entropy,

    If it were an “inference” to the best explanation it would have an actual explanation. All I see is a non-explanation that moves the question to a point where we would be unable to continue working towards an actual explanation. All based on poor philosophical foundations. I’d prefer to work on a real answer from the very beginning, rather than being baffled by the smoke and mirrors only to end nowhere.

    Design is an actual explanation which is now used all the time. Q. Why does the software work that way? A. It is intrinsic to its design.

    Design is a very powerful descriptive explanation for how functional objects come into existence. These objects can be the result of hard working design teams.

    When we claim biology is designed any explanation beyond that is difficult, as there is no visible designer inside our space-time. That, however, on its own, does not rule out design as the best explanation for complex biological features.

    The idea that we cannot explain all of nature inside our space-time is an important observation that needs to be sorted out. It is a real part of the critical thinking process.

    0
  19. colewd: The sequence loss is reduced by purifying selection and DNA repair mechanisms. This is similar to gpuccio’s argument about ATP synthase alpha and beta chains being preserved over the last 400 million years.

    Having your cake and eating it too, I see. Just a few posts ago you were happy to endorse “John and Bill’s argument”. To quickly recap, John and Bill argue that, using a realistic distribution of effects on fitness, mutation pressure will swamp purifying selection resulting in a continuous fitness decline. So what exactly has kept the ATP synthase alpha and beta chains from decaying under this unrelentless influx of deleterious mutations, I wonder? Is the Designer doing periodical check-ups of his creations, perchance?

    0
  20. colewd: The idea that we cannot explain all of nature inside our space-time is an important observation that needs to be sorted out. It is a real part of the critical thinking process.

    *googles*

    Definition of sort out

    British, informal : to deal in a forceful way with (someone who is causing problems)

    I told my brother they were bullying me, and he promised to sort them out (for me).

    Ah yes. 100% agree.

    0
  21. Corneel,

    So what exactly has kept the ATP synthase alpha and beta chains from decaying under this unrelentless influx of deleterious mutations, I wonder? Is the Designer doing periodical check-ups of his creations, perchance?

    If the organism does not produce enough ATP it dies. Seems like a great opportunity for purifying selection.

    I don’t know about their claim about overwhelming purifying selection however their claim that random mutation will move a sequence toward non function (without repair and purifying selection) is certainly valid.

    0
  22. colewd:
    Entropy,

    Design is an actual explanation which is now used all the time.Q. Why does the software work that way? A.It is intrinsic to its design.

    See, you don’t even know what an explanation is. “Design” only stands for the actual explanation, while you take the category “design” as an explanation itself. It’s too bad that you never learned to do science.

    Design is a very powerful descriptive explanation for how functional objects come into existence.

    Not even close. Design is just a category, the real explanation is causal. Something you also don’t get.

    These objects can be the result of hard working design teams.

    Who actually do things, unlike your “Designer.”

    When we claim biology is designed any explanation beyond that is difficult,

    That wasn’t an explanation at all. It’s your wish, which remains unfulfilled as to any actual evidence.

    as there is no visible designer inside our space-time. That, however, on its own, does not rule out design as the best explanation for complex biological features.

    No, it’s your utter lack of a design explanation that means that it’s not even an explanation. We also know of a host of effects in life that comport with evolutionary constraints that pose no constraints on designers. You sometimes have denied that these exist, but moved on without any kind of explanation when it was shown that they in fact exist.

    It’s not just your lack of evidence that matters, it’s the evidence that is quite contrary to design. Not that you’ll ever care, given that you don’t even know what an explanation is.

    The idea that we cannot explain all of nature inside our space-time is an important observation that needs to be sorted out.It is a real part of the critical thinking process.

    It’s a mere assertion made by you sans any critical thinking.

    Glen Davidson

    0
  23. GlenDavidson,

    No, it’s your utter lack of a design explanation that means that it’s not even an explanation. We also know of a host of effects in life that comport with evolutionary constraints that pose no constraints on designers. You sometimes have denied that these exist, but moved on without any kind of explanation when it was shown that they in fact exist.

    You have not idea how to analyze a biological design. You are not alone here as no human has any idea how to analyze a biological design and its tradeoffs. This is the ultimate argument from ignorance.

    0
  24. colewd,

    If the organism does not produce enough ATP it dies. Seems like a great opportunity for purifying selection.

    Not arguing with that.

    I don’t know about their claim about overwhelming purifying selection however their claim that random mutation will move a sequence toward non function (without repair and purifying selection) is certainly valid.

    Not arguing with that either.

    I am arguing with this:

    colewd: Through serendipity you can get an adaption through random change but eventually the laws of statistics result in loss of that information. This is John and Bill’s argument and I have not seen a reasonable challenge yet.

    Here is your choice:
    Either you continue denying that purifying selection can retain adaptations or you withdraw this statement.

    0
  25. Corneel,

    Here is your choice:
    Either you continue denying that purifying selection can retain adaptations or you withdraw this statement.

    There is another choice. Purifying selection removes deleterious mutations from the population.

    I will modify my statement based on your argument.

    Through serendipity you can get an adaption through random change but eventually the laws of statistics result in loss of information. This is John and Bill’s argument and I have not seen a reasonable challenge yet.

    I modified “that information” to “information”. I am not sure a single bit does anything to add information unless the function requires a specific sequence and the bit change enables that function. An example is a telephone number that calls a friend that is off by one digit.

    0
  26. colewd:
    GlenDavidson,

    You have not idea how to analyze a biological design.You are not alone here as no human has any idea how to analyze a biological design and its tradeoffs.This is the ultimate argument from ignorance.

    Yes, it is.

    You can’t analyze it, yet you claim that it exists.

    It is the ultimate argument from ignorance.

    Glen Davidson

    0
  27. colewd: There is another choice. Purifying selection removes deleterious mutations from the population.

    A mutation that destroys an adaptation is not deleterious?

    0
  28. GlenDavidson,

    Yes, it is.

    You can’t analyze it, yet you claim that it exists.

    It is the ultimate argument from ignorance.

    Before I counter I have to give you credit for this argument as it is the right come back to my position.

    However….I can make the claim that the last intel processor is designed based on its use of digital information despite not knowing its design tradeoffs.

    0
  29. Corneel,

    A mutation that destroys an adaptation is not deleterious?

    Read how I modified the statement you objected to.

    0
  30. colewd [In colewd’s modified version of the statement]:

    Through serendipity you can get an adaption through random change but eventually the laws of statistics result in loss of information. This is John and Bill’s argument and I have not seen a reasonable challenge yet.

    Sorry, but this is silly. The “adaptation through random change” is very misleading. It is the old creationist trope that includes natural selection in the list of “purely random” evolutionary processes. It is what creationist debaters do to try to persuade gullible audiences that evolutionary biologists have no theory to explain why adaptations evolve. Calling the result of evolutionary processes that involve fitness differences “serendipity” is very misleading.

    “The laws of statistics result in a loss of information” is equally silly. People here have been objecting that this ignores that mutations will be deleterious. “John” and “Bill” (Sanford and Dembski) have very different arguments (Sanford invoking mutational meltdown and Muller’s Ratchet, Dembski trying to use some conservation-of-inormation laws).

    If colewd has “not seen a reasonable challenge yet” it may be because colewd misunderstands what the arguments are. At least, that’s the favorable interpretation of colewd’s summary.

    0
  31. Alan Fox: There are many examples similar to tree ring patterns that give information about past climate. Snow cores, lake varves and so on. Paleo-climatology. Is the information gleaned initially stored by environmental fluctuations? I’d say so.

    No. “Snow cores, lake varves(?) and so on” are not information by themselves. They’re just data. But we create information. Of course your cat cannot do that, so in the absence of interested and capable humans, that data is worthless. Not just for the cat, but even for the human that doesn’t care.
    Information is abstract, not a physical object.

    Sy Garte: What I cannot understand is the biological origin of the translation system, which is required to allow for a linkage between genotype and phenotype, and thus is an essential part of the evolutionary mechanism. (since natural selection acts on the phenotype, but variation occurs in genotypes). So the question is how can something required for evolution (translation), evolve.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology”>Paleo-climatology. Is the information gleaned initially stored by environmental fluctuations? I’d say so.

    There is no “natural selection” as discussed here at length: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/natural-selection-evolution-magic/comment-page-11/#comment-220195. Of course, “something required for evolution (translation)” cannot evolve but it can be created by intelligent agents. Why do you insist on a nonsensical scenario aka “evolution”?

    0
  32. colewd:
    Design is an actual explanation which is now used all the time.Q. Why does the software work that way? A.It is intrinsic to its design.

    No it isn’t. I already explained to you why: you’re trying to explain biological features. these are what makes designers possible. So, saying “it was designed” only moves the question one step farther to a point where we still have the question open, and only natural phenomena, other than design, available to find an answer. We should start there, rather than irrationally move the question farther.

    Your “example” is also a double failure on its own. “It’s intrinsic to its design” doesn’t answer the question, to answer the question you’d have to explain what that means in terms of the working of the software. However, with ID it gets worse, because instead of “it’s intrinsic to its design” we’d only get “it was designed,” which is even farther from answering the question.

    colewd:
    Design is a very powerful descriptive explanation for how functional objects come into existence. These objects can be the result of hard working design teams.

    When there’s real questions about design is when we already know that those things were designed.

    colewd:
    When we claim biology is designed any explanation beyond that is difficult, as there is no visible designer inside our space-time.

    That makes design both a non-answer, and a nonsensical answer. The designers become mere fantasies the more we look at it.

    colewd:
    That, however, on its own, does not rule out design as the best explanation for complex biological features.

    Of course it rules it out! How could a non-answer, consisting on “it was designed by no designers that anybody can point to, except by poor scientific approaches on top of poor philosophical foundations” be the best explanation? A partial answer including the things we can continue testing, like evolutionary phenomena, is a much better explanation. Anything that doesn’t consist on making a fool out of yourself is a much better explanation, even an “I don’t know.”

    colewd:
    The idea that we cannot explain all of nature inside our space-time is an important observation that needs to be sorted out. It is a real part of the critical thinking process.

    In that sense all we can say is that until something on those lines arises under good philosophical and scientific foundations, “justifying” the inadequacies and nonsense of ID in terms of “we cannot test anything beyond our space-time,” is an example of spectacularly poor critical thinking.

    0
  33. Nonlin.org: No. “Snow cores, lake varves(?) and so on” are not information by themselves. They’re just data. But we create information.

    Then the same is true for DNA.

    0
  34. Joe Felsenstein,

    It is what creationist debaters do to try to persuade gullible audiences that evolutionary biologists have no theory to explain why adaptations evolve. Calling the result of evolutionary processes that involve fitness differences “serendipity” is very misleading.

    So your premise is that the general public cannot follow an argument so the creationists can pull the wool over their eyes.

    Why can’t you create an argument that the general public can follow?

    If I changed the word from “serendipity” to the word “chance” would that work?

    If colewd has “not seen a reasonable challenge yet” it may be because colewd misunderstands what the arguments are. At least, that’s the favorable interpretation of colewd’s summary.

    Maybe I don’t understand your argument and I patiently await an education. What ever you post I will read with best comprehension I can put forth.

    0
  35. Entropy,

    No it isn’t. I already explained to you why: you’re trying to explain biological features. these are what makes designers possible.

    This assumes the only designers that exist are the ones we observe inside out space-time. The evidence is challenging your assumption yet you refuse to re consider it. I think this is where we are stalemated.

    0
  36. colewd: .If I am inferring based on other translation systems being from human intelligence or a designed artifact then I am not begging the question but making an inference from observation. The observation is that all other systems that can translate are designed. The inference from the observation is that the transcription, splicing and translation system is designed.

    That’s called an inductive generalization, and unfortunately it violates the principle of total evidence.

    The inference you are making would go like this:
    All translation-capable systems that we know of were designed.
    Therefore, if we discover new translation-capable system it will probably have been designed.

    But the problem is your premise commits the fallacy of exclusion and hence violates the principle of total evidence. The evidence you are excluding is the knowledge we have of designed translation systems. They were all designed by humans.

    Here’s how correctly including all the relevant evidence would alter your argument:
    All translation-capable systems that we know of were designed by humans.
    Therefore, if we discover new translation-capable system it will probably have been designed by humans.

    But the translation system of protein biosynthesis was not designed by humans. So the argument doesn’t work. You can’t just ignore crucial relevant evidence to get a conclusion you like.

    As we show additional evidence that this type of mechanism is designed then the plausibility that this mechanism is designed is increased.

    You haven’t even begun to bring any such evidence. Your personal ignorance, or ability to assert your denial or disbelief, is not evidence or arguments that increase the likelihood of a particular conclusion.

    If you found a translation mechanism in nature outside living organisms that could turn data into information then the plausibility would go down.

    Why? Why does it make a difference whether it’s from a living organism or not? I’m pretty sure you’d claim that was designed too.

    I think this is a valid point however the case whether evolution can create biological information is still open in my mind. As a minimum any random change has a much greater chance of losing information then gaining it.

    And then we factor in natural selection.

    Joe’s argument of gaining information by a single AA substitution is logical but unless there is a sustainable mechanism the claim is of little consequence

    Mutation and then natural selection?

    From this perspective the origin of the eukaryotic cell which includes
    -the origin of a eukaryotic ribosome
    -the origin of a cell nucleus
    -the origin of ubiquitin system
    -the origin of the splicosome
    -the origin of chromatin structure
    -the origin of the nuclear pore complex

    Clearly rivals OOL from the quantity of novel genetic information that needs to be explained along with the origin of a novel transcription and translation system and cellular control system that is completely different and substantially more complex then what we find in prokaryotic cells.

    Yeah this is just one big fat appeal to ignorance fallacy. We can’t tell you everything about how these evolved, so we must think they were wished into existence.

    0

  37. colewd:
    Why can’t you create an argument that the general public can follow?

    The general public will have a hard time with conclusions that don’t align with their fantasies, because accepting those would require actual understanding, and actual understanding requires effort that most people are unwilling to perform. More so if creationists produce enough smoke and mirrors to make the public believe that the science they don’t understand is wrong anyway.

    0
  38. colewd:
    This assumes the only designers that exist are the ones we observe inside out space-time.

    Do you have any evidence to the contrary? If not, then let me start by pointing out that, if any designers out if our planet are as good as non-existent, then it would be patently ridiculous to put out bets on designers outside our space-time.

    colewd:
    The evidence is challenging your assumption yet you refuse to re consider it.

    Since when there’s been evidence of designers outside our spacetime? Since when there’s been any evidence that those designers are able to perform in our space-time without leaving a trace of their handiwork? What evidence is challenging what assumptions? Why would you make such an empty, baseless, and nonsensical claim?

    0
  39. Mung: Ignored
    Rumraket: All five questions are based on the Kolmogorov interpretation of information theory. I like this version of information theory because… (c) it applies to discrete strings of symbols and hence corresponds well with DNA.

    It doesn’t correspond well with DNA if DNA doesn’t consist of discrete strings of symbols.

    It corresponds well with DNA because DNA can be treated as a discrete string of symbols.

    Also, what are the other versions of information theory and how is it that they do not also apply to discrete strings of symbols?

    You’re welcome to suggest meaningful alternatives and show how to calculate the information content of sequences of DNA, sequences of electric impulses in copper wire, sequences of light pulses in optical wires, and so on.

    Suggest the theory of information you would use and give an example of how you would calculate information content in DNA (like the protein-coding region of human cytochrome c), the positions of magnets on a hard-drive, and so on.

    Mung: what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.

    It’s not the arrangement or sequence that is information, it is what is conveyed or represented by the arrangement or sequence that is information.

    Do you understand the difference?

    Hence the arrangement or sequence really does contain information. You might have to do work to get that information out, but then it really is there.

    Do bar codes contain information? I think they do. I also think tree rings, ice cores, lake varves, and Fraunhofer lines contain information. Whether we understand that information intrinsicly, or we have to do work to understand that information, is besides the point. There is information there.

    Just like a book written in an ancient and extinct language contains information even if no one is around who understands the language it is written in.

    If you don’t think tree rings contain information but only “conveys” it, then neither does DNA.

    0
  40. Nonlin.org: Rumraket: But DNA sequeces aren’t read by an intelligence in order to translate them into amino acid sequences. The ribosome and tRNA isn’t intelligent, they’re just molecules.

    That’s the same as a robot executing a program. The intelligent agent (creator of the machine) is the actual user of the information.

    Now you’re just assuming there’s a creator of the “machine”. Your whole OP is one giant assertion.

    Rumraket: It can be both data and information,

    Nope.

    Yep.

    Data is not information as explained.

    You didn’t explain it, you asserted it. I can assert just as you can: Data can be information.

    But data may carry information.

    As opposed to being information? A meaningless distinction.

    No. DNA can be executed (like code) by the biologic machine, but it has been encoded by an intelligent agent and we (the other intelligent agents) can decode it to extract information such as: “what protein will this DNA segment produce?”

    That’s just more assertion.

    Rumraket: The definition of information Nonlin is advancing is nonsensical.

    Not my definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information. We had this exchange before on another thread. But unlike many others, I am not making up stuff.

    Your ability to link an article on information doesn’t mean you are correctly applying the definition therein. You are claming information is always created by an intelligent agent, and can’t evolve, but nothing of that sort is supported by anything stated in the link you give.

    0
  41. Nonlin.org: Your beloved Shallit is completely lost, at least in this piece: https://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/01/test-your-knowledge-of-information.html
    He simply doesn’t understand the difference between data and information. And he doesn’t understand he’s the [barely] intelligent agent that intervenes to generate whatever information he claims. Of course, if he had real examples from biology, he would use those instead of cheap sophisms.

    As usual you are entirely assertion, zero logic or evidence.

    0
  42. Rumraket,

    But the problem is your premise commits the fallacy of exclusion and hence violates the principle of total evidence. The evidence you are excluding is the knowledge we have of designed translation systems. They were all designed by humans.

    I am not excluding this evidence. We all know it is an argument from analogy.

    0
  43. Entropy,

    Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

    Yes. Billions of living organisms with no evidence of a designer inside our space-time, and no evidence of a simple to complex model that could explain this without a designer.

    Simple analogy: If I see a dead body in a room with a knife in the middle of his back and no one is in the room I would infer murder from someone outside the room.

    0
  44. colewd: If I changed the word from “serendipity” to the word “chance” would that work?

    Nope. It would still mislead the audience into thinking that things happened without regard to their effect on fitness. Population genetics theory says otherwise, loudly.

    PS Thanks for correcting me on which “Bill” you meant. But your description of their position still leaves out what happens when there are different fitnesses of different genotypes.

    0

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.