Creation of information

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Nils
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Creation of information

#1

Post by Nils » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:51 am

In a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6j8Yp6s6E8 Behe discusses the behaviour of Darwinian evolution, and he says that observed beneficial mutations do not involve adding information to DNA, instead observed beneficial mutations involve some replacements but mostly deletions. Which speaks to the inability of "random" mutation to add new information to life.

This is repeated again and again in the videos by ID proponent, for instance Meyer: “If you try to explain an event in the remote past, you want to draw on the knowledge of cause and effect. If the effect is a lot of new information, we know the cause that can do that and it’s the mind or the intelligence.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDSpLBNQk5I 0:02 – 0:12.
Also he repeats this in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c9PaZzsqEg

What is assumed is that intelligence is needed to create new information and hence that a natural process of mutations and selections (evolution) can’t produce new information. I think this is wrong and will try to show why.

Let’s look at a simple labyrinth with four forking paths. If you want to find the midpoint you may have to go to the left, to the right, to the right again and then to the left. Let’s denote this LRRL. If I stroll around in the labyrinth I will find out the best way LRRL, and if I want to tell you how to go to the middle I tell you go LRRL. I have found the information about the best way and have informed you about it and the information is precisely “LRRL”, assuming you know the context. If a rat explores the labyrinth it will soon learn LRRL and will remember that piece of information in the future. Rats are good at that.

If you represent the labyrinth in a format that is computer readable you can write a program that finds out the optimal way. For instance if the labyrinth is drawn on a squared paper then data how the squares are connected to each other is sufficient for a simple program, perhaps less than 30 lines of code. So if I feed the computer with data about my labyrinth it will very quickly find out the best way, LRRL. If I feed the computer with other labyrinths it will find the optimal paths in those cases also. (I assume that all labyrinths fit some requirements put by the programmer to keep the program simple. Perhaps not too big, being two dimensional, no loops). Those optimal paths is new information created by the program, new for each labyrinth. Some would argue that the information was put there by the programmer. This is wrong for two reasons. First, the programmers only knew the basic features of the labyrinths but they had no idea about the actual labyrinths so the information that the program supplied to them about the optimal paths was new also to them. Secondly, if the labyrinth is big enough, perhaps more than 20 times 20 squares the possible variants of the labyrinth are so many that there is more information in a single labyrinth than in the whole program.

The idea that programs can create information or knowledge is used extensively in different research areas. One example is network theory where for instance internet traffic over a complicated network is simulated. In those cases the program is rather straight forward. It simulates traffic generation (sending of messages) at the end points and checks what happens in a simulated network, looking for instance for congestion and evaluating delays. In that way an experimenter can use the program to find out for instance the optimal configurations of the network, given the type of traffic. He or she gets new information from the program; information about the reality of networks that perhaps is not known before. More advanced programs use so called genetic or evolutionary code that mimics biological evolution. They generate a lot of copies of a simple solution to a problem, insert mutations i.e. changes in the solution, use an evaluation algorithm to find the best changes and discarding the bad one. Then they start a new session generating copies, inserting mutations, evaluation and discarding bad solution. If this is repeated a great number of times new information may be generated, information that would be impossible to find in other ways. This is a powerful but expensive method and requires months or years of computer time.

If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.

Note that when Meyer discusses genetic programs he compares the RNA's genetic code with program code and that is a confusion. The equivalence in biology to the program code is our environment and the physical laws. The equivalence to the genetic code is the instruction LRRL (the labyrinth example) . The genetic code is instructions to for instance proteins to build biological structures and the labyrinth code LRRL is an instruction for a person or machine how to find the labyrinth centre. In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c9PaZzsqE about at 3:30 he erroneous compares the program code with the genetic code.

Nils

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Re: Creation of information

#2

Post by DBowling » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:00 am

Nils wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:51 am
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution
What gives computers the capability to create new information?

Are you claiming that a random series of 1s and 0s is capable of generating a computer program that can create new information?
Are you claiming that intelligence was not required to design a computer program that can create new information?

Your example here demonstrates yet again that information is the result of intelligence.

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Re: Creation of information

#3

Post by RickD » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:29 am

nils wrote:
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.
Do you even realize what you have said here?
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Fliegender (Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:05 am) • Kurieuo (Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:24 am)
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Re: Creation of information

#4

Post by Philip » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:35 pm

Nils: If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.
So, he's comparing intentionally crafted tools (computers), in which both the computers themselves and the code that was painstakingly and intentionally arranged and slowly developed by a large number of teams of incredibly smart hardware and programming specialists, applied as a result of decades of learning and increases in knowledge developed per long processes of trial and error VS. blind things, which cannot see, plan, plot, learn, strategize, gain or utilize knowledge of any kind, achieving this same results as extraordinary teams of scientists developing such???!!! Oh, but I forgot, the magic ingredient of Godless naturalism: Immense lengths of time.

But immense lengths of time produce ZERO potential for what blind, non-intelligent things can produce, much less brilliantly begin organizing. AND, those blind things, even without their magical properties so asserted, would be entirely dependent upon the array of incredible and entirely NECESSARY elements / building blocks and their key designs and functionalities that just happened to immediately show up within minutes of the Big Bang's beginning - things that minutes before did not even exist. And the universe's building blocks that instantly came into existence and immediately begin the precise functions as they did, didn't not require billions or just millions of years, but mere minutes! So the fantasy of what Godless naturalism is capable of producing is illogical and absurd, and thus one's evolutionary fantasy, as astronomically impossible / illogical as it is, is made many times over more impossible when one considers that all life and the universe is entirely dependent upon all that immediately showed up and functioned as it did as the Big Bang began, over 10 BILLION years BEFORE there was even any very simple life forms that would have existed to even be able to evolve.

Only emotion-driven faith can believe that the ESSENTIAL blind, and previously non-existing yet breath-takingly incredible things of marvelous functions and designs - totally necessary to create a universe that could eventually support life - just happened to come into existence. The atheist must believe that The Big Bang, the universe and life itself is the result of an immense list of miraculously designed and functioning things, all made even more miraculous if one considers that these many blind things, which once did not exist at all, created, designed and organized themselves, on an unfathomable scale, with unbelievably astonishing precision betwixt it's many elements. Truly, I don't have near the faith that Nils apparently does!

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Re: Creation of information

#5

Post by Nils » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:02 am

An issue that I missed to bring up is the terminology, what to call the process that brings forth information. I use the word "create" but the words "find" or "generate" may be more adequate. In the labyrinth example it can be said the information about the path to the middle is implicit and when you or a program get the information it is a process of finding or generating that information rather than creating it. I'm not sure about which term is the best one but I will use the terms "create", "find" and "generate" interchangeably although I think some philosophers would complain.
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Re: Creation of information

#6

Post by Nils » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:35 am

DBowling wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:00 am
Nils wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:51 am
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution
What gives computers the capability to create new information?

Are you claiming that a random series of 1s and 0s is capable of generating a computer program that can create new information?
Are you claiming that intelligence was not required to design a computer program that can create new information?

Your example here demonstrates yet again that information is the result of intelligence.
You argue that because the program is man made it is false that the program creates or finds the information. But this is beside my point. Of course the program is man made but when it is in place it is independently able to create information without any interference from a programmer. In the labyrinth example, there is information about the path to the middle and that is inherent in the information about the labyrinth and that information is found or created in an explicit form by the program alone without any information from the outside. Again, in the program code there is no information about the configuration of the actual labyrinth, this is found or created by the program.

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Re: Creation of information

#7

Post by Nils » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:41 am

RickD wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:29 am
nils wrote:
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.
Do you even realize what you have said here?
Yes, do you?
Nils

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Re: Creation of information

#8

Post by Nils » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:48 am

Philip wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:35 pm
Nils: If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.
So, he's comparing intentionally crafted tools (computers), in which both the computers themselves and the code that was painstakingly and intentionally arranged and slowly developed by a large number of teams of incredibly smart hardware and programming specialists, applied as a result of decades of learning and increases in knowledge developed per long processes of trial and error VS. blind things, which cannot see, plan, plot, learn, strategize, gain or utilize knowledge of any kind, achieving this same results as extraordinary teams of scientists developing such???!!! Oh, but I forgot, the magic ingredient of Godless naturalism: Immense lengths of time.

But immense lengths of time produce ZERO potential for what blind, non-intelligent things can produce, much less brilliantly begin organizing. AND, those blind things, even without their magical properties so asserted, would be entirely dependent upon the array of incredible and entirely NECESSARY elements / building blocks and their key designs and functionalities that just happened to immediately show up within minutes of the Big Bang's beginning - things that minutes before did not even exist. And the universe's building blocks that instantly came into existence and immediately begin the precise functions as they did, didn't not require billions or just millions of years, but mere minutes! So the fantasy of what Godless naturalism is capable of producing is illogical and absurd, and thus one's evolutionary fantasy, as astronomically impossible / illogical as it is, is made many times over more impossible when one considers that all life and the universe is entirely dependent upon all that immediately showed up and functioned as it did as the Big Bang began, over 10 BILLION years BEFORE there was even any very simple life forms that would have existed to even be able to evolve.

Only emotion-driven faith can believe that the ESSENTIAL blind, and previously non-existing yet breath-takingly incredible things of marvelous functions and designs - totally necessary to create a universe that could eventually support life - just happened to come into existence. The atheist must believe that The Big Bang, the universe and life itself is the result of an immense list of miraculously designed and functioning things, all made even more miraculous if one considers that these many blind things, which once did not exist at all, created, designed and organized themselves, on an unfathomable scale, with unbelievably astonishing precision betwixt it's many elements. Truly, I don't have near the faith that Nils apparently does!
About the information issue, see my reply to DB.
About Big Bang and my faith I would prefer to discuss that in some other thread. If you start one I will reply.
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Re: Creation of information

#9

Post by DBowling » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:00 am

Nils wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:35 am
DBowling wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:00 am
Nils wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:51 am
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution
What gives computers the capability to create new information?

Are you claiming that a random series of 1s and 0s is capable of generating a computer program that can create new information?
Are you claiming that intelligence was not required to design a computer program that can create new information?

Your example here demonstrates yet again that information is the result of intelligence.
You argue that because the program is man made it is false that the program creates or finds the information. But this is beside my point. Of course the program is man made but when it is in place it is independently able to create information without any interference from a programmer.
The requirement for an intelligent designer and programmer is not 'beside the point'.
It IS the point.

Here is your described premise
What is assumed is that intelligence is needed to create new information and hence that a natural process of mutations and selections (evolution) can’t produce new information. I think this is wrong and will try to show why.
In your example...
- Intelligence is required to design and assemble the computer that is able to create information.
- Intelligence is required to design the program for a computer to create information.

The computer is not independent from intelligence.
The computer's ability to create information is a function of its program which is dependent on external intelligence.

So your computer example actually demonstrates that
Intelligence (the intelligence of the designer and programmer) is in fact necessary for a computer to create new information.

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Re: Creation of information

#10

Post by RickD » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:49 am

Nils wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:41 am
RickD wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:29 am
nils wrote:
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.
Do you even realize what you have said here?
Yes, do you?
Nils
Get your own dirt.
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24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

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Re: Creation of information

#11

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:39 am

The information issue is one that evolutionary biologist openly admit a problem with.
There is no evidence of information being randomly generated in nature.
Computers MUST be programmed to generate new information, it doesn't happen randomly.

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Re: Creation of information

#12

Post by Byblos » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:19 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:39 am
The information issue is one that evolutionary biologist openly admit a problem with.
There is no evidence of information being randomly generated in nature.
Computers MUST be programmed to generate new information, it doesn't happen randomly.
It's worse than that, much, MUCH worse. Even if we grant mechanical or biological capability to generate new information (I have my own thoughts on the subject but they are irrelevant here), whoop-de-do, so friggin what? Who exactly will know anything about it? No one, that is who; it is a useless, meaningless string of digital code. Unless of course, there is a rational mind capable of putting such code in context and interpret it properly. A snow flake was just as natural and just as beautiful and intricately designed a billion years ago as it is today. Except a billion years ago no one knew it.
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Re: Creation of information

#13

Post by Nils » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:27 am

RickD wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:49 am
Nils wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:41 am
RickD wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:29 am
nils wrote:
If new information can be created by computers there is no reason why it couldn’t be created by biological evolution and this is precisely what the evolution theory assumes. Information isn’t created by intelligences alone.
Do you even realize what you have said here?
Yes, do you?
Nils
Get your own dirt.
I don't understand. Please be a bit more explicit.

Nils

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Re: Creation of information

#14

Post by Nils » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:34 am

DBowling wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:00 am
Nils wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:35 am
You argue that because the program is man made it is false that the program creates or finds the information. But this is beside my point. Of course the program is man made but when it is in place it is independently able to create information without any interference from a programmer.
The requirement for an intelligent designer and programmer is not 'beside the point'.
It IS the point.

Here is your described premise
What is assumed is that intelligence is needed to create new information and hence that a natural process of mutations and selections (evolution) can’t produce new information. I think this is wrong and will try to show why.
In your example...
- Intelligence is required to design and assemble the computer that is able to create information.
- Intelligence is required to design the program for a computer to create information.

The computer is not independent from intelligence.
The computer's ability to create information is a function of its program which is dependent on external intelligence.

So your computer example actually demonstrates that
Intelligence (the intelligence of the designer and programmer) is in fact necessary for a computer to create new information.
What I say is that there are processes that, when they exist, can generate new information and the computer program I've discussed is an example of this. These processes are themselves created in some way but that's another issue. Another example is biological evolution. When all conditions are in place the evolution process creates new information.
You admit that the computer program generates information. That's all that is required. How the program was generated doesn't change the fact that it, without any assistance after it was completed, is able to generate new information. In the same way, when the first self-replicating cell was formed no further assistance was needed to the process of natural evolution with random mutations and selection of the fittest in creating new information.
Nils

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Re: Creation of information

#15

Post by Nils » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:08 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:39 am
The information issue is one that evolutionary biologist openly admit a problem with.
Please, can you give any reference to a main stream evolutionary biologist that discusses this.
There is no evidence of information being randomly generated in nature.
Not randomly, but randomness combined with natural selection. Trial and error is a method that also humans use.
Computers MUST be programmed to generate new information, it doesn't happen randomly.
Yes, but still there are processes / programs the generate new information, see my response to DB
Nils

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