Complex Specified Information Darwinism Darwinist rhetorical tactics

Must CSI Include the Probabilities of All Natural Processes — Known and Unknown?

Over on another thread, there has been some discussion (among other things) about whether the concept of CSI must include a calculation of probabilities under all natural processes.  There are a number of interesting issues relating to CSI that might be worth exploring in more detail (including Learned Hand’s comments @47 of that thread, and the Read More…

Astronomy Big Bang Cosmology Exoplanets

Questions About the Accretion Model of Planet Formation

The most common explanation for the formation of planet Earth is that it formed by gravitational collapse from a cloud of particles (gas, ice, dust) swirling around the Sun.  Specifically, the idea is that small planetesimals form as the various particles clump together (perhaps initially by cohesion, then by gravity), eventually growing into planets.  Known Read More…

Astronomy Science

Partial Solar Eclipse – October 23, 2014

Slightly off topic from the regular fare, but firmly in the ‘cool science stuff’ category. Photo of the partial eclipse this afternoon, taken in front of our house, with massive sunspot region 12192 visible near center: Equipment: Panasonic DMC-ZS3 with a Starmax 127EQ telescope and solar filter.  Also required: patience. I’m pretty happy with how Read More…

Complex Specified Information Design inference ID Foundations Information

Intelligent Design Basics – Information – Part IV – Shannon II

The concept of information is central to intelligent design.  In previous discussions, we have examined the basic concept of information, we have considered the question of when information arises, and we have briefly dipped our toes into the waters of Shannon information.  In the present post, I put forward an additional discussion regarding the latter, Read More…

Darwinism Engineering Evolution Irreducible Complexity

Tale of the Transmission

It finally happened. I’ve been nursing along my car’s transmission for several months (careful driving, changing the fluids, etc.), but last week it finally failed completely, with an accompanying whump! and a jerk, and the car had to be towed to the auto repair shop. The initial hope was that a regular tear-down and cleanout, Read More…

Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinist rhetorical tactics Information Origin Of Life

Darwinian Debating Device #1: Jeffrey Shallit Style Ad Hominem

A week or so ago, Cornelius Hunter referenced a paper by Christoph Adami titled “Information-theoretic considerations concerning the origin of life” available here. Hunter cites the NewScientist article about Adami’s paper, “Chances of first life improved by weighted dice” and highlights in particular the remarkable statement: “Christoph Adami of Michigan State University in East Lansing Read More…

Biology Evolution Extraterrestrial life Origin Of Life

Emergence of Life – New University of Illinois Online Course – Starts Monday

I previously mentioned an upcoming “Emergence of Life” course that folks here might be interested in.  Details here. The course has now been scheduled and starts this Monday, July 14, 2014, at Coursera.  You can find the course here. If you decide to take the course, I encourage professionalism and civility in any forum interactions Read More…

Complex Specified Information Design inference ID Foundations Information

Intelligent Design Basics – Information – Part III – Shannon

In this post I want to consider another aspect of information.  Specifically, I want to consider the concept of “Shannon information.” First of all, I admit to having ruffled a few feathers when I mentioned in passing in a prior post that “Shannon information is not really information.”  As I have also written before in Read More…

Chemistry Darwinist rhetorical tactics Information Origin Of Life Selective Hyperskepticism

We Have a Live One, Folks — Information Redux

My first post on UD, a mere 6 weeks ago, covered some basic principles about information. Specifically, I addressed the misunderstandings of those who deny that there is anything special about the information contained in, say, DNA, as opposed to a pile of rocks or Saturn’s rings.  We had a very productive discussion, with a number of issues explored. Read More…

Atheism Culture Darwinist rhetorical tactics Naturalism Philosophy Psychology Religion Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology Science, worldview issues/foundations and society Spirituality

No-one Knows the Mind of God . . . Except the Committed Atheist

Fair warning to the regular readership. Typically I like to cover intelligent design and evolution-related issues, but I trust I may be permitted a bit of a detour.  There have been a couple of interesting posts recently by Sal, vjtorley and Barry about issues of a more philosophical bent.  vjtorley’s OP, in particular, quoted parts Read More…

Biology Evolution Extraterrestrial life Origin Of Life

Emergence of Life – New University of Illinois Online Course

One of the wonderful things about the internet is the jaw-dropping amount of information available – literally at our fingertips.  Never before in history has the common individual had so much knowledge and experience and expertise available for the learning.  To be sure, there is plenty on the internet that is incomplete, wrong, or downright Read More…