Measuring Active Information in Biological Systems

I thought some of you might be interested to know that a paper of mine was recently published in BIO-Complexity – “Measuring Active Information in Biological Systems.” The goal of the paper is to provide a way of verifying whether (and how much) a mutational process is directed or undirected. I posted an overview of the paper at UD if you don’t have time to read it, but I thought this crowd might enjoy the details more.

Also, for background of why this is relevant, you might read my earlier paper, “Evolutionary Teleonomy as a Unifying Principle of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis“.

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62 thoughts on “Measuring Active Information in Biological Systems

  1. phoodoo: We see body systems that have so many complex adaptation features that can be called upon to assist the survival chances of the organism.

    But I’ve yet to see examples of irreducibly complex structures, ones that can’t be arrived at by a Sequence of evolutionary steps.

    But evolutionist (sic) like to claim that these systems somehow evolved as a fluke first…

    Biologists note that mutations*, sources of genetic variation, appear randomly with respect to fitness.

    …and then the systems became semi intelligent.

    Is this just a broad-brush throwaway parody of “bacteria becoming humans”?

    But it was all by accident.

    How many times do people have to point out that selection by the niche is not random?You don’t have to believe it, though understanding it would help you with your parodies.

    Like like they see the genetic code or the system of epigentic switches. They want us to believe those were random events that caused them but it turned out useful. That is credulity stretching to them extreme if you ask me.

    There you go with your “random” thoughts! Remember the niche, phoodoo, remember the niche.

    * In the broadest sense.

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  2. phoodoo: It is how I often think about design. The design doesn’t have to be tweaked by an invisible hand at every turn and enable an organism infinite possibilities of survival adaptation to be designed. It just has to have mechanisms in place that give it abetter then random chance at survival. And I’m fact this is what we see all around us. We see body systems that have so many complex adaptation features that can be called upon to assist the survival chances of the organism.

    I don’t understand why you think about about Design that way. We humans design lots of machines and contrivances, but we never prioritize increasing its survival (or reproduction) chances. We make watches to tell the time. But telling the time does not, in itself, increase the survival chance of a watch, nor does it help it reproduce. Of course, we would like the watch to endure, but that is not its primary function. Yet when we study biological organisms, they all have adaptations the main function of which is to “assist the survival chances of the organism”. But if that is what they were Designed for, how do we distinguish Design from evolutionary adaptation?

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  3. Entropy,

    I don’t know about what other may or may not want you to believe. I don’t want you to believe anything. I’d be content if you understood, even if you didn’t believe it, and thus learned that you have no reason to be so angry and offended that we don’t believe in magical beings in the sky as you do

    Yet you believe in magical beings on earth. 🙂

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  4. colewd:
    Entropy,

    Yet you believe in magical beings on earth.

    Not only that, but he believes in the universe popping into existence out of nothing. But a creator, that’s a bridge too far for him.

    Alan Fox: But I’ve yet to see examples of irreducibly complex structures, ones that can’t be arrived at by a Sequence of evolutionary steps.

    Oh, is that right. Tell me about the evolutionary steps of the genetic code then.

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  5. phoodoo: Not only that, but he believes in the universe popping into existence out of nothing.

    Does he though?

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  6. phoodoo: Tell me about the evolutionary steps of the genetic code then.

    That has been tried on this very website. What we learned is that nobody can do that because you’re too emotionally invested in disbelief to get it.

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  7. Rumraket,

    Yea, I will remember your con next time you ask something-“We told you but you refused to believe.”

    Its another version of the evolutionists “Its in a book somewhere, go find it.”

    Nonsense.

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  8. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,
    Yea, I will remember your con next time you ask something-“We told you but you refused to believe.”

    Its another version of the evolutionists “Its in a book somewhere, go find it.”

    Be fair, you get very little of that here. People generally go to great pains to try and explain and illustrate, to provide potential answers to the conundrums you pose – including the genetic code. Granted that you them just whack ’em all with the same bat, but we do try. The ‘go read’ gambit tends not to come from this side of the fence.

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  9. phoodoo: Yea, I will remember your con next time you ask something-“We told you but you refused to believe.”

    Its another version of the evolutionists “Its in a book somewhere, go find it.”

    Nonsense.

    I’m sorry but we had considerable thread-space devoted to me explaining to you the evidence for the genetic code being the product of an evolutionary process, and even examples of how the code is still evolving.

    Fuck, I even had to waste time explaining to you what the genetic code even is in that thread. That’s how clueless you were. And probably still is. I’m quite certain that you’ve conveniently forgotten the whole thing in a prototypical Bill Cole-style brain-reset.

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  10. Alan Fox: But I’ve yet to see examples of irreducibly complex structures, ones that can’t be arrived at by a Sequence of evolutionary steps.

    phoodoo: Oh, is that right. Tell me about the evolutionary steps of the genetic code then.

    Why is the difference between “can” and “did” so hard to grasp for creationists? Boggles the mind

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  11. phoodoo: I agree with this. It is how I often think about design. The design doesn’t have to be tweaked by an invisible hand at every turn and enable an organism infinite possibilities of survival adaptation to be designed. It just has to have mechanisms in place that give it abetter then random chance at survival. And I’m fact this is what we see all around us. We see body systems that have so many complex adaptation features that can be called upon to assist the survival chances of the organism. But evolutionist like to claim that these systems somehow evolved as a fluke first, and then the systems became semi intelligent. But it was all by accident. Like like they see the genetic code or the system of epigentic switches. They want us to believe those were random events that caused them but it turned out useful. That is credulity stretching to them extreme if you ask me.

    You seem to be ignoring the vast majority of species that have gone extinct – also presumably by chance. Why has the presumed mechanism failed in all those other species and succeeded in a select few? The Designer wasted an awful lot of effort on dinosaurs, and then failed to equip them with woolly coats when He saw the giant asteroid coming.

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  12. phoodoo:
    Not only that, but he believes in the universe popping into existence out of nothing. But a creator, that’s a bridge too far for him.

    Me? I do not believe any of those things, whereas you do believe that the universe popped into existence, and that it did so because an absurd magical being spoke it into existence out of nothing. Stop projecting. Your ridiculous beliefs are all yours.

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