Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Could everything life needed to get started been coded in at the Big Bang?

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Wouldn’t it be sort of like all the dominoes are set up, and then someone just gives them a push?

And the push only goes one way, right?

Yet here’s the remarkable part: Even the destruction of order evidences immense original design.

Even a dead cat is more organized than a pile of scree, never mind the live one.

Mung says: "God cannot see into the future." You obviously are not talking about the God of the Bible, so I'm wondering what god you believe in. And how do you know that he cannot see into the future? Just curious. tjguy
God created time and is not limited by time. He's not in the present looking into the future because He is in the future. mjazzguitar
God cannot see into the future. Mung
Or alternatively God already has one answer to the program he is running in the far future, i.e., the Omega Point, and is continuously looping back in time to refine and improve the answer to get a better result. That would also solve the unitarity (multi-path) problem proposed by Feynman. quantumman
As far as front loading of 'random' mutations into the initial conditions of the universe to generate all of life, with no intervention from God afterwards, besides what Dr. Sheldon has already forcefully noted in opposition to that position,,,
The Front-loading Fiction - Dr. Robert Sheldon - 2009 Excerpt: Historically, the argument for front-loading came from Laplacian determinism based on a Newtonian or mechanical universe--if one could control all the initial conditions, then the outcome was predetermined. First quantum mechanics, and then chaos-theory has basically destroyed it, since no amount of precision can control the outcome far in the future. (The exponential nature of the precision required to predetermine the outcome exceeds the information storage of the medium.),,, Even should God have infinite knowledge of the outcome of such a biological algorithm, the information regarding its outcome cannot be contained within the system itself. http://procrustes.blogtownhall.com/2009/07/01/the_front-loading_fiction.thtml
This 'random' front loading scenario is unfeasible because 'randomness' in the universe is found to be almost directly synonymous with the entropic processes of the universe:
Entropy Excerpt: It is often said that entropy is an expression of the disorder, or randomness of a system, or of our lack of information about it (which on some views of probability, amounts to the same thing as randomness). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy
It is also important to note that when computer programmers/engineers want to build a better random number generator for a computer program then a better source of entropy is required to be found by them in order for them to achieve the increased randomness they desire for their program:
Cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator Excerpt: From an information theoretic point of view, the amount of randomness, the entropy that can be generated is equal to the entropy provided by the system. But sometimes, in practical situations, more random numbers are needed than there is entropy available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographically_secure_pseudorandom_number_generator
It is also very important to note how pervasive entropy (i,e, randomness) in its explanatory power for the universe,,
Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012 Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,, Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,, The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,, http://crev.info/2012/10/shining-light-on-dark-energy/
Also of interest, the maximum source for entropy (randomness) in the universe is now known to be black holes,,,
Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010 Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated. http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe
And the destructive power of 'random' entropy is not limited to the destructiveness of black holes but the bounded entropy (randomness) of the universe (Boltzmann's constant) that happens within the space-time of the universe is found to be destructive to information in the cell as well,,
“Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? …. The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…” Tom Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90 – Quotes attributed to Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin in the article Maxwell's demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle's position) turns information into energy - November 2010 Excerpt: Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a "spiral-staircase-like" potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information. http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-11-maxwell-demon-energy.html Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010 Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=demonic-device-converts-inform
Now having a empirically demonstrated direct connection between entropy and the information inherent within a cell is extremely problematic for Darwinists because,,,
“Bertalanffy (1968) called the relation between irreversible thermodynamics and information theory one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in biology.” Charles J. Smith – Biosystems, Vol.1, p259. “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.” Gilbert Newton Lewis – preeminent Chemist of the first half of last century
Thus, Darwinists (and Theistic Evolutionists) are found to be postulating that the irreversible ‘random’ events of entropy of the universe are creating information when in fact it is now shown that these random entropic events in the cell, and the universe, are doing exactly the opposite of what Darwinists, and Theistic evolutionists, claim they are doing or can do. These ‘random’ entropic events are found to be consistently destroying the information in the cell rather than ever creating it. It is the equivalent in science of someone claiming that gravity, every once in awhile, can make things fall up instead of down, and that is not overstating the bizarre situation we find ourselves in in the least with this unsupported postulation. Of course, a Theistic Evolutionists could imagine that God could somehow, in His infinite knowledge, circumvent the constant destruction of information by the entropic processes of the universe, but alas he would be left without any evidence whatsoever that that is what has been done or is being done, and at least the Theist, who believes God constantly sustains and also intervenes in the universe from time to time, could point to the sudden appearance of life in the oldest sedimentary rocks and, as well, to the suddenness of the Cambrian explosion (and other subsequent 'explosions' of life) to argue forcefully against that unsupported 'front-loaded' position of theitic evolutionists. Quote, verse, music, and note:
The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1915), chapter 4 Romans 8:18-21 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Phillips, Craig & Dean - When The Stars Burn Down - Worship Video with lyrics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY The Future (Heat Death) of the Universe Excerpt: After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. --- Not a happy ending. http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys240/lectures/future/future.html
So what I wonder is, how much post-BB input must there be?
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” --Albert Einstein "The daily sustenance of the universe by God's power may be one continuous miracle which we see as a set of immutable laws of nature." -- Lambert Dolphin cantor
But KD, the question some of us ask is, is it possible? I don't know what kind of a universe I would want to live in; I live in this one and try to understand it. So what I wonder is, how much post-BB input must there be? - O'Leary for News News
Because the most minute deviation in the early stages would lead to huge differences billions of years later when the proper sequencing needs to come together for all the different proteins and regulatory sequences, it would require a completely deterministic universe, with no room whatsoever for quantum uncertainty (unless quantum uncertainty is not real and everything, right down to the spin of every single electron in the universe, and every velocity and momentum of every particle is totally determined). I am not sure why there is an obsession by some to have absolutely no creativity by God take place after time zero. This seems to me to be a completely arbitrary rule imposed for purely subjective reasons. Yet the same people have no problem at all with human free agents thinking of things and bringing them to pass, changing the course of natural events with first causes that originated in the mind, while God is not permitted any such privileges. What exactly happened when Jesus fed the 5,000 that can be explained solely by the initial conditions of the big band and the laws of physics? KD
Hi News, Fantastic post. In answer to your question: some time ago, I wrote a post entitled, Is the Intelligent Designer an interventionist? A reply to Felsenstein and Liddle (20 May 2013) which addressed this very question. I commented on non-interventionist models of how Intelligent Design might work, that had been proposed by Professor Michael Behe in The Edge of Evolution and by Dr. Elizabeth Liddle in a post entitled, Is Darwinism a better explanation of life than Intelligent Design? (14 May 2013). Here's an excerpt from what I wrote:
It is important to note here that neither Behe nor Liddle envisages a deterministic universe: both of them posit scenarios in which mutations occur. To a naive onlooker, these mutations might appear random, but in fact, the outcome of these mutations has been carefully planned by the Designer. In other words, we are not dealing with a front-loading scenario here, in which the outcome of each and every mutation could (in principle) be predicted from a knowledge of the laws and initial conditions of the cosmos. Rather, what Behe and Liddle envisage is a Designer who selects not only the laws and initial conditions of the cosmos, but also the outcomes of indeterministic events, such as mutations. This is an important point, as physicist Dr. Robert Sheldon has argued in a highly persuasive article entitled, The Front-Loading Fiction (July 2, 2009) that front-loading wouldn't work. The clockwork universe of Laplacean determinism, which endeavors to specify all future outcomes simply by selecting the laws and initial conditions of the cosmos, won't work because in a quantum universe like ours, "no amount of precision can control the outcome far in the future," as "[t]he exponential nature of the precision required to predetermine the outcome exceeds the information storage of the medium." Nor will it do to suppose that the universe unfolded according to a cosmic computer program, since "Turing’s proof of the indeterminacy of feedback; the inability to keep data and code separate as required for Turing-determinacy; and the inexplicable existence of biological fractals within a Turing-determined system" would all render the outcome of any such program inherently unpredictable. In fact, the only kind of universe that could be pre-programmed to produce specific results without fail and without the need for any further input, would be one without any kind of feedback, real-world contingency or fractals - and hence, one devoid of organic life. For his part, Sheldon envisages an incessantly active "hands-on" Deity, Who continually maintains the universe at every possible scale of time and space, in order that it can support life. That's perfectly fine by me. But what Behe's and Liddle's thought experiments show is that a Deity can be actively involved in the history of life, without necessarily being an interventionist. All the Deity needs to do is select a cosmos with the history He intends, from among countless alternative possible universes.
A follow-up comment by me on the same thread can be viewed here, with responses by gpuccio and Bilbo I. vjtorley

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