No Free lunch pages 148-49
Biological specification always refers to function. An organism is a functional system comprising many functional subsystems. In virtue of their function, these systems embody patterns that are objectively given and can be identified independently of the systems that embody them. Hence these systems are specified in the same sense required by the complexity-specification criterion (see sections 1.3 and 2.5). The specification of organisms can be crashed out in any number of ways. Arno Wouters cashes it out globally in terms of the viability of whole organisms. Michael Behe cashes it out in terms of minimal function of biochemical systems. Darwinist Richard Dawkins cashes out biological specification in terms of the reproduction of genes. Thus, in The Blind Watchmaker Dawkins writes, “Complicated things have some quality, specifiable in advance, that is highly unlikely to have been acquired by random chance alone. In the case of living things, the quality is specified in advance is…the ability to propagate genes in reproduction.”
The central problem of biology is therefore not simply the origin of information but the origin of complex specified information. Paul Davies emphasized this point in his recent book The Fifth Miracle where he summarizes the current state of origin-of-life research: “Living organisms are mysterious not for their complexity per se, but for their tightly specified complexity.” The problem of specified complexity has dogged origin-of-life research now for decades. Leslie Orgel recognized the problem in the early 1970s: “Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals such as granite fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity.”
Where, then, does complex specified information or CSI come from, and where is it incapable of coming from? According to Manfred Eigen, CSI comes from algorithms and natural laws. As he puts it, “Our task is to find an algorithm, a natural law that leads to the origin of [complex specified] information.” The only question for Eigen is which algorithms and natural laws explain the origin of CSI. The logically prior question of whether algorithms and natural laws are even in principle capable of explaining the origin of CSI is one he ignores. And yet it is this very question that undermines the entire project of naturalistic origins-of-life research. Algorithms and natural laws are in principle incapable of explaining the origin of CSI. To be sure, algorithms and natural laws can explain the flow of CSI. Indeed, algorithms and natural laws are ideally suited for transmitting already existing CSI. As we shall see next, what they cannot do is explain its origin. (bold added)
The very next section, section 3.8 is titled “The Origin of Complex Specified Information”- yes that means there is more evidence that CSI pertains to origins.
If anyone has something to the contrary then please post it. Otherwise let’s stop beating this horse.
OK wait- is there anyone who actually thinks that genetic algorithms model actual genetics, even though they don’t have DNA?
Anyone besides Richie?
Incredibly enough, some fools think an orrery is a model of the solar system even though there is no fusion going on in it. Can you believe it?
Does anyone think a model is the same as the real thing? Strawman.
LoL! I said they model evolution, directed evolution. My question was clear. Are you obtuse?
Not. Here is a quote from Dembski (p. 158, third paragraph, in the 2007 First Paperback Edition of No Free Lunch). He’s talking about combinations of chance and necessity.
(There is a footnote at the end which leads to a discussion of technical issues in the proof, that do not address the issue we are discussing).
So there is a clear statement by Dembski that he means his proofs concerning CSI to apply to “Darwin’s mutation-selection mechanisms” including “genetic algorithms”. If he is using the word “origins” he means this to include using his argument to address the “purchase” of CSI.
Reading Wein’s take down of Dembski’s “No Free Lunch”, what I understand is that Dembski claims that CSI is ‘smuggled’ into the fitness function so that the fitness landscape is smooth enough for evolution to succeed, in a fine tuning type of argument: if there was not a precise order to allow the evolutionary process to explore the fitness landscape, evolution wouldn’t work any better than a random search, as per NFL theorems… therefore God injected “CSI” in nature to make the fitness landscape smooth enough.
Wein explains why NFL theorems don’t apply to evolution, but I also find interesting that, if Dembski was right, then Douglas Axe must be wrong when he claims that the landscape is too rugged for evolution to happen. How come discotute members put forth contradicting arguments but don’t even attempt to figure out who’s wrong?
DI wants to have their cake and eat it.
I think Dembski and Marks’s argument says that they are not conceding that the fitness landscape is smooth enough for evolution to succeed. They say they are just being hypothetical in order to show that even if it is smooth and evolution succeeds, the information is already there, lying around in the fitness function.
In the recent argument by Tom English and me (at Panda’s Thumb) we showed that even with a “white noise” fitness function, climbing uphill on that fitness function got results far better than with the Dembski-Ewert-Marks theorems. It turns out that just having genotypes and phenotypes that have fitnesses gets you a lot of their Active Information. Real physics gets you even more.
Thanks so much! That should be interesting. What I got from the NFL theorems is that any algo should work equally on a randomized landcape. Did the population effect fitness in that model, like in real evolution, invalidating one of the premises of the NFL theorems that demands the fitness function must remain fixed or vary in a manner which is independent of the population?
I would check myself, but Pandasthumb is down at the moment
List of Victoria’s Secret models
Joe, the context was set up before that page. The context is important and yet you ignore it.
GAs contain all of the information required to solve the problem. They are DESIGNED to solve a problem. When a designer designs a program to do something, and it does it, it does it by design and natural selection has nothing to do with it.
Consequently, any CSI in DNA tracks back via natural causes to CSI in the antecedent circumstances responsible for the sequencing of DNA. To claim natural causes have “generated” CSI is misleading- natural causes merely shuffled around preexisting CSI- page151 hard cover NFL
Evolutionism makes untestable claims. Reality doesn’t even apply
You don’t get to start with CSI and then say that natural selection produced CSI just because the preexisting CSI was changed. That is why CSI pertains to origins- you don’t get a free ride on the back of preexisting CSI.
..which you can’t measure.
This is the usual argument of Frankie. It conflates the map with the territory, the model with the phenomenon it is modeling. Let’s try it with, say, landslides, and see how sensible the argument is:
We can make a computer model of landslides by having the computer program model spheres falling down a ramp. The program is carefully designed to simulate this model. Perhaps this model and the program that simulates its behavior will be useful.
But no, it can’t be. Because we know landslides are not designed. Therefore the program cannot be doing a useful simulation of a landslide, because the program is designed and the landslide isn’t. Therefore whatever the program does, it has nothing to do with landslides.
Or perhaps, if it gives us insight into landslides, it shows that landslides are designed.
I’m not quite sure which of these unconvincing arguments Frankie is making, but I’m certainly not much interested in finding out which.
OK, so you (implicitly) agree with me that Dembski is checking CSI before and after a generation in which natural evolutionary processes such as mutation and natural selection are at work.
You are agreeing with his assertion that, after he does some math on this, that the CSI afterwards is derived from the CSI before, that you can only have CSI afterwards if you had CSI before. (I think he and you are wrong about that, and I explained why in my 2007 article). But we were discussing whether Dembski’s analysis of CSI is intended to be used, among other things, to evaluate what happens before and after a generation in which natural selection is at work. And you seem to accept that now.
So I’m glad to see that you have come to agree with me.
Perhaps there really is a landslide in the computer just like there really is natural selection in the computer.
LoL! I am not confusing the map for the territory and you cannot make the case that I am. So please stop with the chest thumping
LoL! Felsenstein gets proven wrong and has the gall to say we agree
You’ve addressed none of his points, simply gone into denial mode.
Natural selection is said to be blind and mindless and yet GAs are goal-oriented and directed towards a solution. They are a search which requires both sight and mind.
Simulating a landslide does not require a search, Joe
As to why I ignore Richie- he has nothing to add and he has been shown how to measure CSI. What kind of person says we can’t measure CSI AFTER they have been shown how to do so? Someone who is dishonest and desperate.
Ah yes. What IS the CSI of Cake?
Hilarious, but no math. What is the CSI of cake? No wonder no IDisits take you seriously.
And to prove my point:
Measuring CSI in Biology- a Repost :
Do you think that FSC=CSI?
Thorough debunking: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/31/durstons-devious-distortions/
Durston is dishonest.
I think that’s a bit unfair. I had a civil exchange with him here
Not seen him commenting at UD lately.
Kenmore, or Samsung, but surely not GE.
Yes it is a bit unfair considering how dishonest evolutionists are.