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At Mind Matters News: Information theory: Evolution as the transfer of information

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Information follows different rules from matter and energy, which might change the way we see evolution:

A new model of evolution relies on information theory, which is itself interesting because information is governed by different rules from matter and energy. For example, it is created by ruling out possibilities, it is relational, not causal, and it is not reduced by being shared. It is also immaterial. For example, Einstein’s bomb equation, e = mc2, had a huge impact on the world but by itself, it is an immaterial idea.

Information can be stripped of all matter and appear in a variety of media: I could phone and tell you the winning lottery number or send you an email or a letter about it or discuss it on radio or TV. Vastly different material media; same information.

Reinterpreting evolution as a transfer of information will lead to both different questions and different answers.

The authors of the paper, marine researcher Rasmus Skern-Mauritzen and forester Thomas Nygaard Mikkelsen make clear that they understand information to be immaterial.

News, “Information theory: Evolution as the transfer of information” at Mind Matters News (May 29, 2022)

The paper is open access.

Takehome: A pair of researchers have introduced an Information Continuum Model of Evolution (ICM) which takes into account the fact that information is immaterial.

You may also wish to read: Why AI can’t save us from ourselves — if evolution is any guide Famous evolutionary theorist E. O. Wilson’s reflections help us understand. If selfishness and a sense of superiority are really the driving force of humanity than AI could only be a source of problems. (J. R. Miller)

39 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Information theory: Evolution as the transfer of information

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    I eventually found the paper (the links here are messed up).

    The first point of their summary was interesting:

    Information is immaterial by nature but must have a physical form to exist.

    If a physical form is necessary, then is there really any immaterial information? Or is “information” just the concept humans use to help them understand material processes?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob highlights the first point of their summary, “Information is immaterial by nature but must have a physical form to exist”, and then Bob asks the obvious question, “If a physical form is necessary, then is there really any immaterial information?”

    Yet the first point of their summary is simply wrong. Immaterial information is now experimentally shown to exists independently of matter and energy.

    Although there are several lines of experimental evidence that now establish this fact, the easiest way to demonstrate that immaterial information is NOT dependent on matter and energy for its existence is with quantum teleportation.

    The easiest way to prove that immaterial information is an independent entity that can exist apart from its physical representation on a material substrate is with quantum teleportation.

    As the following experiments demonstrated, information can be instantly teleported between photons and/or atoms without the photons and/or atoms ever physically interacting.

    For instance, the following article states, “the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,”

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    https://www.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/09/19/quantum-teleportation-enters-real-world/#.V-HqWNEoDtR

    And as the following article states. “scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart,,, information,,, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium.”

    First Teleportation Between Distant Atoms – 2009
    Excerpt: For the first time, scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart – a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.
    Teleportation may be nature’s most mysterious form of transport: Quantum information, such as the spin of a particle or the polarization of a photon, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium. It has previously been achieved between photons over very large distances, between photons and ensembles of atoms, and between two nearby atoms through the intermediary action of a third. None of those, however, provides a feasible means of holding and managing quantum information over long distances.
    Now a team from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Michigan has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a substantial distance
    https://jqi.umd.edu/news/first-teleportation-between-distant-atoms

    As to the claim in the OP that information “is relational, not causal”, well, although information is relational, the claim that information is not causal is also simply not a true claim.

    As George Ellis pointed out, “If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).”,,, Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists.,,, The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:
    Definition 1: Causal Effect
    If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.
    Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,
    Definition 2: Existence
    If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).
    This is clearly a sensible and testable criterion; in the example above, it leads to the conclusion that both the data and the relevant software exist. If we do not adopt this definition, we will have instances of uncaused changes in the world; I presume we wish to avoid that situation.,,,
    ,,,However there are many topics that one cannot understand by assuming this one-way flow of causation. The flourishing subject of social neuroscience makes clear how social influences act down on individual brain structure[2]; studies in physiology demonstrate that downward causation is necessary in understanding the heart, where this form of causation can be represented as the influences of initial and boundary conditions on the solutions of the differential equations used to represent the lower level processes[3]; epigenetic studies demonstrate that biological development is crucially shaped by the environment[4]
    What about physics? In this essay I will make the case that top-down causation is also prevalent in physics, even though this is not often recognised as such. This does not occur by violating physical laws; on the contrary, it occurs through the laws of physics, by setting constraints on lower level interactions.
    Excerpt: page 5: A:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics,,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1212.2275.pdf

    Quotes and verse:

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum mechanics:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  3. 3
    AndyClue says:

    If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.
    Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,

    Definition 2: Existence
    If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).

    (…)

    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists.

    He’s very confused. X is the storage, that causes Y. The program doesn’t matter at all. Why the heck does he think we need storages? Just for fun?

  4. 4
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Bornagain77
    Immaterial information is now experimentally shown to exists independently of matter and energy.

    How exists independently of matter and energy when all experiments use matter and energy?

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Well LCD, if information did not exist independently of matter and energy then teleportation would be impossible. i.e. “the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,”,, and, “information,,, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium.”

    Moreover, entanglement itself, (which was used to teleport the information), has repeatedly shown itself to be a ‘spooky’, ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, effect that steadfastly refuses to be reduced to any possible materialistic, i.e. ‘hidden variable’, explanations., and which therefore necessarily requires a beyond space and time cause in order to explain the ‘non-local’ effect.

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    AC: “The program doesn’t matter at all.”

    Really? 🙂

  7. 7
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Bornagain77
    transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium

    The idea is you need “to manage” matter and energy and your experiment is dependent of matter and energy to “prove” your “out of matter and energy” point.

    AndyClue
    He’s very confused. X is the storage, that causes Y. The program doesn’t matter at all. Why the heck does he think we need storages? Just for fun?

    Bornagain77: matter and energy doesn’t matter.
    AndyClue: Information doesn’t matter.
    Both points are wrong.
    @AndyClue:Is there a difference in weight between a formated hdd and the same hdd that is full with data (OS installed , movies, docs,etc) ? Did the PC “behaves ” identical when you use a formated vs a full of data hdd? Billions of people must be crazy by giving money to Billy for an windows OS. 🙂 They don’t know what you know.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    If a physical form is necessary, then is there really any immaterial information?

    Yes, because the physical form is not the information. The media is not the information. Paper is not the information. The ink is not the information.

    Information cannot be reduced to matter, energy and what emerges from their interactions. I would love to see someone try to do that-> reduce information.

    “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism which disregards this, will not survive one day.” Norbert Weiner

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    LCD, I did not say “matter and energy doesn’t matter”. I said, “Immaterial information is now experimentally shown to exist independently of matter and energy.” And I used quantum teleportation, where immaterial information is transferred without using matter and energy to transfer the information, to prove my point.

    Although matter and energy are used to ‘read out’ the information, no matter and energy are used in the actual transfer of the information. Again, the transfer of information is accomplished via quantum entanglement which has no materialistic explanation.

    To reiterate. If immaterial information did not exist apart from matter and energy in some meaningful, and physically real, way then the transfer of information via quantum teleportation would simply be impossible.

    It isn’t rocket science.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Without information there wouldn’t be any matter nor energy.

  11. 11
    Querius says:

    Bob OH @1

    Information is immaterial by nature but must have a physical form to exist.

    The statement you’ve quoted is one of those that are neat, plausible, and wrong. One of the things that’s so shocking about quantum mechanics is that the wavefunction is neither matter nor energy, but a probability wave! When observed or measured, it collapses into matter and energy.

    Lieutenant Commander Data @4,

    How exists independently of matter and energy when all experiments use matter and energy?

    As Bornagain77 mentioned first, some experiments in quantum mechanics such as the famous double-slit experiment deal with the constructive and destructive interference of probability waves, which are neither matter nor energy, but mathematical.

    ET @10,

    Yes, exactly. The current understanding in quantum mechanics is that information is more fundamental than matter and energy.

    -Q

  12. 12
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Bornagain77
    Well LCD, if information did not exist independently of matter and energy then teleportation would be impossible

    I think teleportation is impossible and it’s about hidden variable combined with human ignorance.
    There are gazillions of unprovable assumptions in this theory.

    Secondly “the information”(whatever that means) of a particle from physics experiments it’s a joke compared with coded functional information from cell.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    LCD, as to, “I think teleportation is impossible and it’s about hidden variable combined with human ignorance.”

    First off, teleportation, regardless of you personally thinking it is impossible. has been experimentally repeated a number of times. Secondly, as to supposedly ‘debunking’ quantum entanglement with hidden variables, well, “hidden variables don’t exist. If you have proved them come back with PROOF and a Nobel Prize.”

    “hidden variables don’t exist. If you have proved them come back with PROOF and a Nobel Prize.
    John Bell theorized that maybe the particles can signal faster than the speed of light. This is what he advocated in his interview in “The Ghost in the Atom.” But the violation of Leggett’s inequality in 2007 takes away that possibility and rules out all non-local hidden variables. Observation instantly defines what properties a particle has and if you assume they had properties before we measured them, then you need evidence, because right now there is none which is why realism is dead, and materialism dies with it.
    How does the particle know what we are going to pick so it can conform to that?”
    per Jimfit
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/quantum-physicist-david-bohm-on-why-there-cannot-be-a-theory-of-everything/#comment-662358

    Einstein vs quantum mechanics, and why he’d be a convert today – June 13, 2014
    Excerpt: In a nutshell, experimentalists John Clauser, Alain Aspect, Anton Zeilinger, Paul Kwiat and colleagues have performed the Bell proposal for a test of Einstein’s hidden variable theories. All results so far support quantum mechanics. It seems that when two particles undergo entanglement, whatever happens to one of the particles can instantly affect the other, even if the particles are separated!
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-e.....today.html

    as to: “the information”(whatever that means) of a particle from physics experiments it’s a joke compared with coded functional information from cell.”

    Well actually, classical information is a subset of quantum information.

    In the following site entitled “Quantum Information Science”, a site where Charles Bennett, (of quantum teleportation and reversible computation fame), himself is on the steering committee,

    Quantum Information Science
    Steering Committee
    C. H. Bennett IBM
    D. P. DiVincenzo IBM
    N. Gershenfeld MIT
    H. M. Gibbs University of Arizona
    H. J. Kimble Caltech
    J. Preskill Caltech
    U. V. Vazirani UC/Berkeley
    D. J. Wineland NIST
    C. Yao Princeton University
    https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf00101/nsf00101.htm

    On that site, they have this illustration showing classical information to be a subset of quantum information

    Classical Information is a subset of Quantum information – illustration
    https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf00101/images/figure1.gif
    below that illustration they have this caption,
    “Figure 1: The well-established theory of classical information and computation is actually a subset of a much larger topic, the emerging theory of quantum information and computation.”

    If you want to argue with Charles Bennett, have at it. My money is on him.

    Information is Quantum – Charles Bennett – video
    39:30 minute mark: “Entanglement is ubiquitous: Almost every interaction between two systems creates entanglement between them… Most systems in nature… interact so strongly with the environment as to become entangled with it almost immediately.”… 44:00 minute mark: “A classical communications channel is a quantum communication channel with an eavesdropper (maybe only the environment)… A classical computer is a quantum computer handicapped by having eavesdroppers on all its wires.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/philip-cunningham-offers-information-is-quantum/

  14. 14
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Bornagain77
    Well actually, classical information is a subset of quantum information.

    🙂 Except information works from top -to -bottom from the large complex systems to quantum level and not from quantum to complex systems. You are in the same team with materialists in this case.
    It's from blueprint of full house going down to room, wall, bricks .

  15. 15
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data @12,

    Quantum teleportation using active feed-forward between two Canary Islands
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1205.3909

    and it’s about hidden variable combined with human ignorance.

    The question of hidden variables in the area of quantum entanglement was vigorously debated between physicists, but experimental results show that there are no hidden variables.

    Materialists have been struggling with this because it shows that information transcends properties and distance instantly. There also seems to be limits on amounts of information as noted with pairs of conjugate variables such as position and momentum.

    -Q

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data @14,

    Except information works from top -to -bottom from the large complex systems to quantum level and not from quantum to complex systems.

    I don’t know whether this is true or not. Do you have any references or support for this assertion?

    -Q

  17. 17
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Querius
    I don’t know whether this is true or not. Do you have any references or support for this assertion?

    Yep, OoL science it’s my witness trying to build complex systems (life) starting from low levels(atoms)and seems to have “some” problems. 😆 Looks like complex systems come down to atoms and not atoms design complex systems.

    -Q

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    LCD, “Except information works from top -to -bottom from the large complex systems to quantum level and not from quantum to complex systems.”

    Who said that quantum information does not work at the macroscopic, i.e. ‘top-down’, level?

    First off, the classical information of DNA is found to be ’embedded’ within quantum information.

    In the following video, at the 22:20 minute mark, Dr Rieper shows why the high temperatures of biological systems do not prevent DNA from having quantum entanglement and then at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper goes on to remark that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it.

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    As well, that quantum effects must be at play at the macroscopic i.e. ‘top-down’, level of biological organisms is also demonstrated by the following.

    The following article on human vision stated that, “Research,, has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light”.,,, “it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,”,, and the researched added, “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,, “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”

    Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light – July 21, 2016
    Excerpt: Research,, has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light. Previous studies had established that human subjects acclimated to the dark were capable only of reporting flashes of five to seven photons.,,,
    it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,” says Vaziri. “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,
    The gathered data from more than 30,000 trials demonstrated that humans can indeed detect a single photon incident on their eye with a probability significantly above chance.
    “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?”
    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-humans-smallest.html

    Thus LCD, (much like your appeal to the now debunked hidden variables), you are simply mistaken in your assumption that quantum effects are only at play at the ‘bottom’ level of biological organisms.

  19. 19
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Who said that quantum information does not work at the macroscopic, i.e. ‘top-down’, level?

    🙂 Its own name said: “quantum”.

    First off, the classical information of DNA is found to be ’embedded’ within quantum information

    It’s the other way around : the quantum particles are embedded in molecules and molecules are embedded in classical information so classical information is the master of quantum particles.

    Thus LCD, (much like your appeal to the now debunked hidden variables)you are simply mistaken in your assumption that quantum effects are only at play at the ‘bottom’ level of biological organisms.

    How has been debunked? You mean the mainstream decided the truth ,like : ” evolution is a fact” ? dhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/351548197_Hidden_Variables_Do_Exist_and_Bell’s_Inequality_Does_Obeyed
    Quantum mechanic proponents have the same problem like darwinists (just adding another sub-atomic level )Quantum m. ->atoms/molecules-> ???[FUNCTIONAL INFORMATION]??? can’t explain the functional information and coding/decoding operations. Quantum m. doesn’t explain the origin of code or why exactly 3 bases(and not 4,11 or 50) form a codon that code for an amino-acid and how a ribosome know the language of DNA and translate it in a diferent language to produce molecular forklifts, cars, lorries that perform logical meaningful operations inside cell.

    PS: I agree partially with you and ET regarding primacy of information in universe not because your quantum m. arguments but because of Christian teachings: “In the beginning was the Word”…).
    PPS:I don’t know if you understand the teological implications if your scientific arguments would be true. Do you think that God hiddenness is something random?

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever LCD, the experimental evidence from quantum mechanics and quantum biology is what it is. I can’t force you to be fair with it.

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552

    Quantum Critical Proteins – Stuart Lindsay – Professor of Physics and Chemistry at Arizona State University – 2018
    Excerpt: The difficulty with this proposal lies in its improbability. Only an infinitesimal density of random states exists near the critical point.,,
    Gábor Vattay et al. recently examined a number of proteins and conducting and insulating polymers.14 The distribution for the insulators and conductors were as expected, but the functional proteins all fell on the quantum-critical distribution. Such a result cannot be a consequence of chance.,,,
    WHAT OF quantum criticality? Vattay et al. carried out electronic structure calculations for the very large protein used in our work. They found that the distribution of energy-level spacings fell on exactly the quantum-critical distribution, implying that this protein is also quantum critical. There is no obvious evolutionary reason why a protein should evolve toward a quantum-critical state, and there is no chance at all that the state could occur randomly.,,,
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....l-proteins
    Gábor Vattay et al., “Quantum Criticality at the Origin of Life,” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 626 (2015);
    Gábor Vattay, Stuart Kauffman, and Samuli Niiranen, “Quantum Biology on the Edge of Quantum Chaos,” PLOS One 9, no. 3 (2014)

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @20,

    Thank you! I’d never heard of quantum criticality before!

    It occurs to me that here’s yet another instance where ID is superior to the presumption of random Darwinian processes:

    Darwinism would attribute the fine-tuning of quantum criticality to chance and the Anthropic Principle without any significant impact on the origin of life, while ID would presume that there’s an unknown but crucial purpose to quantum criticality.

    -Q

  22. 22
    Bob O'H says:

    Querius @ 11 –

    The statement you’ve quoted is one of those that are neat, plausible, and wrong. One of the things that’s so shocking about quantum mechanics is that the wavefunction is neither matter nor energy, but a probability wave!

    Somehow I don’t think it’s a measure on a probability space. I think it’s more likely it’s something else which we model with probability waves. You’re confusing the map with the landscape.

  23. 23
    JVL says:

    Bob O’H: Somehow I don’t think it’s a measure on a probability space. I think it’s more likely it’s something else which we model with probability waves.

    Yes, a physical thing cannot ‘be’ a probability wave. The thing is well modelled mathematically with the structure of a probability wave considering on when and where it is.

  24. 24
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Querius
    Darwinism would attribute the fine-tuning of quantum criticality

    As long as we have coded functional information (that is an intelligently designed feature)as starting/main point then obviously all the systems downstream until the quantum level are fine-tuned to serve the information functionality. Everything is fine-tuned even we are aware of that or not .

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob, as to the ‘physical’ reality of wave function collapse.

    Quantum experiment verifies Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – March 24, 2015
    Excerpt: An experiment,, has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.
    ,,Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators,, report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a (single) particle’s wave function.,,
    According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances,,,
    ,, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors—which measure wave-like properties—to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect,,
    This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory,, the instantaneous non-local, (i.e. beyond space and time), collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.,,,
    “Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” says Professor Wiseman.
    “Einstein’s view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
    “However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices.”
    “Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-q.....tance.html

    ‘Spooky’ experiment proves quantum entanglement is real – March 2015 – with video
    Excerpt: Einstein was wrong — about the quantum mechanical phenomena known as superpositioning and wave form collapse, at least. A team from Australia’s Griffith University and Japan’s University of Tokyo, have proven that both are tangible phenomena, not simply mathematical paradoxes. See, back when he was still reigning “smartest guy on the planet,” Einstein just couldn’t wrap his massive intellect around the theory of superpositioning (or as he called it, “spooky action across distance”). That is, a particle in superposition effectively exists in both places at once (not unlike Schroedinger’s Cat) until you observe it at either location. At which time the particle you aren’t looking at ceases to exist (a process known as wave function collapse). What’s more, the disappearing particle seems to know that its twin has been discovered through some mechanism that happens instantly, literally traveling faster than the speed of light — a clear violation of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
    In a paper published last week in the journal, Nature Communications, the team split a single photon in half and transmitted it to two separate labs. Upon analysis, they found that the particle not only exists in a superposition state until its observed but that it never showed up in both labs at the same time. According to Einstein’s understanding of physics, this simply shouldn’t be possible.
    https://www.engadget.com/2015-03-30-spooky-experiment-proves-quantum-entanglement-is-real.html

    Their paper:

    Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using homodyne measurements – 24 March 2015
    Abstract: A single quantum particle can be described by a wavefunction that spreads over arbitrarily large distances; however, it is never detected in two (or more) places. This strange phenomenon is explained in the quantum theory by what Einstein repudiated as ‘spooky action at a distance’: the instantaneous nonlocal collapse of the wavefunction to wherever the particle is detected. Here we demonstrate this single-particle spooky action, with no efficiency loophole, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories and experimentally testing whether the choice of measurement in one laboratory really causes a change in the local quantum state in the other laboratory. To this end, we use homodyne measurements with six different measurement settings and quantitatively verify Einstein’s spooky action by violating an Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen-steering inequality by 0.042±0.006. Our experiment also verifies the entanglement of the split single photon even when one side is untrusted.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2.....s7665.html

    It is also important to note that, since the atheistic Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics denies the reality of wave function collapse,,,,

    Quantum mechanics
    Excerpt: The Everett many-worlds interpretation, formulated in 1956, holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.[43] This is not accomplished by introducing some new axiom to quantum mechanics, but on the contrary by removing the axiom of the collapse of the wave packet:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....plications

    The many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wavefunction and denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation

    ,,, then these experiments proving the reality of nonlocal wavefunction collapse falsify the atheistic Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    Also of note to the ‘physical’ reality of the wave function, the following experiment encoded an entire image’s worth of data into a photon while it was in its quantum wave state, thus destroying the notion, held by many, that the wave function is not ‘physically real’ but is merely ‘abstract’. i.e. How can information possibly be encoded onto something that is not physically real but merely abstract?

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon – January 2017?
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.,,
    As a wave, it passed through all parts of the stencil at once,,,?
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    Of further note to the ‘physical’ reality of the wave function,,, while in its wave state, the photon is described as being in a infinite dimensional state,

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

    ,, an infinite dimensional state that also takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    As is fairly obvious, the ‘infinite dimensional’ Hilbert space corresponds to the Theistic attribute of omnipresence. Whilst the infinite information required to describe the ‘infinite dimensional’ wave function prior to collapse corresponds to the Theistic attribute of omniscience.

    In essence, and for all practical purposes, (and as much as it may irk atheists to acknowledge this), the wave function is, basically, mathematically describing one of “God’s thoughts’ prior to its collapse to its finite ‘material’ state. Which is rather stunning confirmation of the Christian’s contention, (via Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology), that the (higher dimensional) mathematics that are found to describe this universe really are “God’s thoughts”. Just as was originally held by the Christian founders of modern science.

    As Edward Feser noted, “Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts,”

    Keep It Simple – – by Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    – per first things

    “O, Almighty God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee!”
    – Johannes Kepler – (stated shortly after elucidating the mathematical laws of planetary motion)

    Verse:

    Psalm 115:2-3
    Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; He does as He pleases.

  26. 26
    relatd says:

    A lot of gibberish. The entire Universe is floating in a sea of electromagnetic energy. At atomic size, it operates in discrete ways. Below atomic size, it operates in another way. There is no quantum anything or information anything. At the sub-atomic level, interactions occur instantaneously to a yet undefined distance, so time is partly bypassed.

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    From what I understand, no one knows what a wave is if it actually exists. Obviously something exists.

    Is it just a term used to designate something that is not understood?

  28. 28
    relatd says:

    A photon can behave like a particle or wave.

    https://lco.global/spacebook/light/light-particle/

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    5:10 min:,,, “superposition is not limited to small systems”,,,
    – Anton Zeilinger interviewed about Quantum Mechanics – video – 2018
    (The essence of Quantum Physics for a general audience)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z82XCvgnpmA

    Researchers demonstrate Heisenberg uncertainty principle at macro level – February 15, 2013
    Excerpt: It was Heisenberg who famously noted that it was impossible to measure the momentum of an object and its position at the same time. As an example, he pointed out that using a microscope to look at a single electron, would require shining light on it. Those photons would cause the electron to move slightly, changing its momentum. Up till now, researchers testing or demonstrating this principle have worked at the micro level because attempting to do so with objects large enough to be seen with the naked eye seemed impossible due to the many variables at play. In this new research, the team in Colorado showed that this not necessarily the case.
    They started by building a square drum frame out of silicon, with each side 0.5 millimeters long. They then stretched a thin film of silicon nitride over the skin to create the drum head. The drum was placed in a vacuum between two very tiny mirrors and was chilled to just 4 degrees above absolute zero to eliminate extraneous noise. The experiment was conducted by shooting a laser at the drum and measuring how much the head was distended by the photons striking it as they were bounced back and forth between the mirrors. As more photons struck the drum, greater fluctuations occurred in the measurements recorded, distorting the readings, and proving that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle can indeed be demonstrated with objects large enough to be seen with the naked eye.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-02-h.....macro.html

    Tricking the uncertainty principle – MAY 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Schwab says that this line of research could one day lead to the observation of quantum mechanical effects in much larger mechanical structures. And that, he notes, could allow the demonstration of strange quantum mechanical properties like superposition and entanglement in large objects—for example, allowing a macroscopic object to exist in two places at once.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-05-u.....ciple.html

    Matter-wave interference with particles selected from a molecular library with masses exceeding 10000 amu – 2013
    Excerpt: We observe high-contrast quantum fringe patterns with molecules exceeding a mass of 10,000 amu and 810 atoms in a single particle.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.8343

    Physicists Smash Record For Wave-Particle Duality – Oct. 2013
    Excerpt: According to quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality and quantum superpositions must also occur for macroscopic objects such as viruses, cells and even baseballs,,,
    Having created a beam of these molecules, Eibenberger and co pass them through a series of slits that reveal any wavelike characteristics. Sure enough, the molecules form an interference pattern at the detector which implies that they must have been superposed (i.e. in superposition) while passing through the slits.,,,
    “Our data confirm the fully coherent quantum delocalization of single compounds composed of about 5000 protons, 5000 neutrons and 5000 electrons,” they say.
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/physicists-smash-record-for-wave-particle-duality-462c39db8e7b

    A natural biomolecule has been measured acting like a quantum wave for the first time – Nov 9, 2019
    Physicists have watched a chain of 15 amino acids interfere with itself, in an experiment that paves the way for a new era of quantum biology.
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614688/a-natural-biomolecule-has-been-measured-acting-in-a-quantum-wave-for-the-first-time/

    RESEARCHERS MAKE A TRILLION ALUMINUM ATOMS BEHAVE AS SINGLE WAVE – MAY 11, 2021
    Excerpt: Just recently, researchers managed to “entangle” two very tiny aluminum drums as if they were merely quantum particles — a first that helps pave the way for quantum computing. But it’s an unsettling first because the world above the level of the electron (macroscopic world) is supposed to behave according to Newton’s classical physics rules, not weird quantum rules under which two entangled particles sync no matter how far apart they are (non-locality).,,,
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/05/researchers-make-a-trillion-aluminum-atoms-behave-as-single-wave/

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    photon can behave like a particle or wave

    What is a wave?

    I have never seen one. Our family lived on the New Jersey shore when I was young. About a block and half from beach.

    I used to love diving into the water. What is called a wave is nothing more than a configuration of water molecules. Similarly sound waves are configurations of air molecules. The configurations are affected by physical forces.

    But an individual wave, never saw one.

  31. 31
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    What we know for sure is that atoms don’t do programming . :)) Scientists tried to teach atoms how to write coded information but atoms are very stubborn or very dumb. The “knowledge ” of atoms is limited to obeying the physical laws and who believes otherwise is just a religious believer.

    What happens in the cell is not ruled by chemistry , functional code is the master that put chemistry to work. The mutations / selection arguments are expired since 1900.

  32. 32
    Querius says:

    Jerry @27,

    From what I understand, no one knows what a wave is if it actually exists. Obviously something exists.

    It’s well known through innumerable versions of the double-slit experiment that photons, electrons, etc. can act as probability waves with mathematical constructive and destructive interference.

    -Q

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    A few quotes via Zeilinger:

    Double Slit Experiment – Explained By Prof Anton Zeilinger (a leading experimentalist in quantum mechanics) – video
    Quote: “We know what the particle is doing at the source when it is created. We know what it is doing at the detector when it is registered, but we do not know what it is doing in-between”
    – Anton Zeilinger
    http://www.dailymotion.com/vid.....iment_tech

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passes through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”
    – Anton Zeilinger
    Quantum Mechanics – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything real? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    Anton Zeilinger interviewed about Quantum Mechanics – video – 2018
    (The essence of Quantum Physics for a general audience)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z82XCvgnpmA
    40 sec: Every object has to be in a definite place is not true anymore.,,,
    The thought that a particle can be at two places at the same time is (also) not good language.
    The good language it that there are situations where it is completely undefined where the particle is. (and it is not just us (we ourselves) that don’t know where the particle is, the particle itself does not know where it is). This “nonexistence” is an objective feature of reality.,,,
    5:10 min:,,, superposition is not limited to small systems,,,
    7:35 min:,,, I have given lectures on quantum physics to children, 6 and 7 years old, and they understand the basic concepts of quantum physics if you tell them the right way.,,,
    17:30:,,, In quantum mechanics we have the measurement paradox (i.e. measurement problem),,, I think it (the measurement paradox) tells us something about the role of observation in the world. And the role of information.,, Maybe there are situations where we have to reconsider the “Cartesian cut”*,,,

    *Cartesian Cut
    The Cartesian cut is a metaphorical notion alluding to Decartes’ distinction of res cogitans (thinking substance) and res extensa (extended substance). It plays a crucial role in the long history of the problem of the relationship between mind and matter and is constitutive for the natural sciences of today. While the elements of res cogitans are mental (non-material) entities like ideas, models, or concepts, the elements of res extensa are material facts, events, or data. The conventional referents of all natural sciences belong to the latter regime.
    http://see.library.utoronto.ca.....utdef.html

  34. 34
    Querius says:

    Bornagain77 @33,
    Thanks for providing the great references! It’s astonishing how minimally familiar people are with even the basics of quantum mechanics.

    It seems that a fair amount of culpability goes to materialist ideologues who refuse to accept the fact that reality is fundamentally based on information and conscious observation, and not matter and energy. Not to mention that QM has been vigorously researched and challenged for a century . . .

    Furthermore, Chaos theory is a causal sink for determinism, and yet many science celebrities still cling to the hope that by simply gaining infinite knowledge, reality might still be deterministic after all. Regardless of whether this may or may not be true, since we can’t, it isn’t.

    -Q

  35. 35
    Seversky says:

    Querius/34

    Bornagain77 @33,
    Thanks for providing the great references! It’s astonishing how minimally familiar people are with even the basics of quantum mechanics.

    Since no one here – as far as I know – is a quantum physicist then it is reasonable to assume that we all only have a minimal familiarity with quantum physics.

    This includes BA77 whose references are essentially an anthology of quotes cherry-picked because they can be interpreted as supporting his religious presuppositions. He does not provide a fair and balanced account of the many different views that may be in play in these fields.

    It seems that a fair amount of culpability goes to materialist ideologues who refuse to accept the fact that reality is fundamentally based on information and conscious observation, and not matter and energy. Not to mention that QM has been vigorously researched and challenged for a century . . .

    There is vigorous debate about the fundamental nature of physical reality which is not helped by the ambiguous meanings of “information” in this context. We have two theories which describe different aspects of physical reality with extraordinary accuracy and precision, quantum and relativity theories. Yet we know they are both incomplete because, thus far, physics has been unable to reconcile the two. Attributing the lack of progress to “materialist ideologues” is just another conspiracy theory.

    Furthermore, Chaos theory is a causal sink for determinism, and yet many science celebrities still cling to the hope that by simply gaining infinite knowledge, reality might still be deterministic after all. Regardless of whether this may or may not be true, since we can’t, it isn’t.

    Chaos theory refers to deterministic systems whose future states can be radically and unpredictably altered by minor perturbations of their initial states. As this Wikipedia entry explains, chaos really means unpredictable by us at our current state of knowledge, not that these systems are not deterministic.

    Chaos theory is an interdisciplinary scientific theory and branch of mathematics focused on underlying patterns and deterministic laws, of dynamical systems, that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, that were once thought to have completely random states of disorder and irregularities.[1] Chaos theory states that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, interconnectedness, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, and self-organization.[2] The butterfly effect, an underlying principle of chaos, describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state (meaning that there is sensitive dependence on initial conditions).[3] A metaphor for this behavior is that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.[4]

    Small differences in initial conditions, such as those due to errors in measurements or due to rounding errors in numerical computation, can yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction of their behavior impossible in general.[5] This can happen even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior follows a unique evolution[6] and is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved.[7] In other words, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable

  36. 36
    Querius says:

    Seversky @35,

    Since no one here – as far as I know – is a quantum physicist then it is reasonable to assume that we all only have a minimal familiarity with quantum physics.

    A number of people here have a good understanding of what’s been thoroughly and repeatedly demonstrated in quantum mechanics. Over the years, I’ve studied more than a dozen books on QM by qualified authors. However, since you’ve admitted to having only a minimal understanding of the subject, you’re certainly not in a position to judge Bornagain77’s comprehension.

    There is vigorous debate about the fundamental nature of physical reality which is not helped by the ambiguous meanings of “information” in this context.

    The debate is almost exclusively on the interpretation and implications of QM, not the substantive experimental results. If you ever bothered to read some of the quotes and links provided by Bornagain77, you would know this along with the current thinking of the experts on the subject.

    “Chaos really means unpredictable by us at our current state of knowledge, not that these systems are not deterministic.” – Wikipedia

    Your quote from Wikipedia is a great example of why to avoid their heavily defended partisan positions by people suffering from ideological poisoning. This statement is disingenuous because “our current state of knowledge” is not currently infinite and not likely ever to be, so chaotic behaviors will always remain unpredictable. I’ve offered to prove this here by using the Mandelbrot Set, but there have been no takers.

    The rest of the quote demonstrates how to redefine determinism to make it fit chaotic behaviors. Chaos lies between determinism and randomness.

    Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist and a proponent of deterministic materialism, has a good perspective on the nature and interaction of QM and Chaos:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJzKLTavk-w

    If you watch the video, you’ll see how silly the Wikipedia statement about “our current state of knowledge” really is. But even Dr. Hossenfelder admits that there are physical processes that produce random results. Adding random to deterministic leaves things not deterministic.

    -Q

  37. 37
    Fred Hickson says:

    Seversky’s assessment is fair. I doubt many people bother to read BA77’s screeds. Life’s too short.

  38. 38
    relatd says:

    There is a level of interplay at the sub-atomic level that is either little understood or little admitted. Sub-atomic interactions involve complex principles that cannot be resolved just by using double slit experiments. So, it appears that there are at least two levels of what I’ll call ‘energy interaction’ at work that may involve human thought, not just “observation.” The medium of transfer, meaning the medium through which this level of interaction works, may involve ‘dark energy’ or some as yet unknown form of energy.

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    Relatd: The medium of transfer, meaning the medium through which this level of interaction works, may involve ‘dark energy’ or some as yet unknown form of energy.

    How would you propose to test that?

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