Cryptographers distinguish between random signals and those carrying encoded messages, the latter indicating an intelligent source. Recognizing the activity of intelligent agents constitutes a common and fully rational mode of inference. More importantly, [design theorist William]
Dembski explicatescriteria by which rational agents recognize or detect the effects of other rational agents, and distinguish them from the effects of natural causes. He demonstrates that systems or sequences with the joint properties of “high complexity” (or small probability) and “specification” invariably result from intelligent causes, not chance or physical-chemical laws.
Dembski noted that complex sequences exhibit an irregular and improbable arrangement that defies expression by a simple rule or algorithm, whereas specification involves a match or correspondence between a physical system or sequence and an independently recognizable pattern or set of functional requirements. By way of illustration, consider the following three sets of symbols:
TIME AND TIDE WAIT FOR NO MAN
The first two sequences are complex because both defy reduction to a simple rule. Each represents a highly irregular, aperiodic, improbable sequence.
The third sequence is not
complex,but is instead highly ordered and repetitive. Of the two complex sequences, only the second, however, exemplifies a set of independent functional requirements — i.e., is specified.
English has many such functional requirements. For example, to convey meaning in English one must employ existing conventions of vocabulary (associations of symbol sequences with particular objects, concepts, or ideas) and existing conventions of syntax and grammar. When symbol arrangements “match” existing vocabulary and grammatical conventions (i.e., functional requirements), communication can occur. Such arrangements exhibit “specification.” The sequence “Time and tide wait for no man” clearly exhibits such a match, and thus performs a communication function.
Thus, of the three
sequencesonly the second manifestsboth necessary indicators of a designed system. The third sequence lacks complexity, though it does exhibit a simple periodic pattern, a specification of sorts. The first sequence is complex, but not specified. Only the second sequence exhibits both complexity and specification.
Thus, according to Dembski’s theory of design detection, only the second sequence implicates an intelligent cause — as our uniform experience affirms. In my book Signature in the Cell, I show that Dembski’s joint criteria of complexity and specification are equivalent to “functional” or “specified information.”
I also show that the coding regions of DNA exemplify both high complexity and specification and, thus not surprisingly, also contain “specified information.” Consequently, Dembski’s scientific method of design detection reinforces the conclusion that the digital information in DNA indicates prior intelligent activity. Stephen C. Meyer, “Happy New Year! #1 of Our Top Stories of 2018: Yes, Intelligent Design Is Detectable by Science” at Evolution News and Science Today:
Darwinism is not really compatible with information theory but that doesn’t matter as long as most people don’t know information theory.
See also: Can cities serve as cauldrons of evolution (speciation)? For spiders, raccoons, and such? Big, high-tech cities are new and different. But you don’t get remarkable results from these independent theatres of evolution. That’s clear from a recent long article, well worth reading, mostly for the fascinating information but also for the need, so common these days, to assert that something is happening which obviously isn’t.
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