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Physicist David Snoke on why self-organization doesn’t work

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Darwin's Doubt

David Snoke reviews Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt for The Christian Scientific Society:

Like Signature in the Cell, it comes after 10-20 years of debate on intelligent design. Thus Meyer can summarize the back and forth of the debate in a nice story-like approach. The story is not one of gaps in our knowledge constantly being filled, but the paradox of the Cambrian becoming sharper and sharper. Again, when evolutionists talk to each other instead of to the public, they are remarkably candid about this, and Meyer well documents this with many quotes.

A huge difficulty for Darwin’s defenders is the difference between “order” and “information.”

One section I was quite happy about was the section on “self-organization,” promoted by Kaufmann, Prigogene, and others…. Essentially, getting “order” from natural self-organizing process and getting “information” are two totally different things. “Order” is easy — all you need is a natural length scale to arise in a system and “spontaneous symmetry breaking” will lead to orderly patterns on this length scale. This is true of atomic crystals at low temperature and rows of clouds in the sky.

But the very nature of information, whether in DNA or human writing, precludes natural forces from generating it. DNA can hold information precisely because there is no natural force demanding the nucleic acids be in one location or another. All information requires this type of “contingency,” that is, openness to many possible choices; a system which is driven to one required state holds no information.”

It is fair to say that most devout Darwin defenders, whether Internet trolls or accomplished biology teachers, do not recognize the significance of this problem. They end up invoking “natural selection acting on random mutation” as a form of magic instead.

See also Steve Meyer’s new book, Darwin’s Doubt is overwhelmed with trolls … and customers … at Amazon

Historian who follows ID: Significance of Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt exceeds that of Darwin’s Black Box

Hat tip: Pearcey Report

semi related: Transitional fossils? Where? - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_Oavkmvr7Q bornagain77
@ Gregory
Social facts: David Snoke, professor at UPitt, physics/astronomy. Another Protestant, Evangelical (Presbyterian) IDist.
Sounds like prejudice Optimus
Another Protestant Evangelical, regurgitated before, anthropocentric, wouldn’t publically dare say or ask this . . . Wow, that pretty much eliminates the need to even try to answer, let alone refute any of Dr. Snokes's arguments. “Christians often say that the entire universe is designed by God, however. If we say that the entire universe is designed by God, how can we say that some parts of it, those controlled by humans, are undesigned?” Oh really? So by that logic, the fact that humans designed automobiles rather than God disproves the existence of God, and we can all go home, right? Sigh. Querius
Darwin might not have been an atheist himself, but atheists have constantly held him up as their prophet. Atheists claim that scientific investigation of the world around us has proved that life came into existence not by intelligent creation but by blind chance and the haphazard process of evolution. They argue, therefore, that there was no Creator and that it follows that the question of God is superfluous. Furthermore, many of them believe that the Bible is simply out-of-date and illogical, hence, not worthy of belief. Consequently, for them, there is no longer any basis for belief in the existence of God. Darwinist historian of science William Provine (Cornell) has described Darwinism (the theory of evolution) as "the most powerful engine of atheism ever invented." So, no, cantor, ForJah didn't make that up. Talk to William Provine. Barb
Social facts: Gregory was self-abused and then abandoned. His subsequent life was filled with rejection and loneliness. In 2002 he lost half of his mind and in 2003 the other half went out looking for it. No traces of his mind have been observed since that time. Joe
ForJah @ #2 wrote: Darwinism is atheism in a cheap tuxedo That is just precious. Did you make it up? cantor
Social facts: David Snoke, professor at UPitt, physics/astronomy. Another Protestant, Evangelical (Presbyterian) IDist. Thinks lowercase id 'design arguments' are based on analogies with "designed by humans." Wants to support "a quantitative standard of design." Wants to "argue for design from non-human sources." This has been regurgitated before. Claims that "something in the universe is similar to us in the aspect of having intent and purpose." If that isn't either anthropocentric or imago Dei logic, then punch me with a grandfather clock. Sorry to say this, but the more I read Americans claiming to/believing they stand on a coherent Philosophy of Science, the more I am let down. UPitt is reputed to have a good HPS program too, though it doesn't appear Snoke attends it. At least Snoke asks significant questions, which neither he nor the IDM seem to offer a satisfactory answer to:
"Christians often say that the entire universe is designed by God, however. If we say that the entire universe is designed by God, how can we say that some parts of it, those controlled by humans, are undesigned?"
Most IDists wouldn't publically dare say or ask this. The floodgates would open and their 'movement' would quickly end if they did. Snoke promotes a 'degree of Design' approach, though it doesn't seem that he offers an empirical 'scientific' theory to test this. He also speaks of "a well-designed instrument of wrath." Such is the current breadth of analogies (military weapons are 'intelligently designed' according to STC, for 'intelligent' purposes of human destruction!) and uses among the IDM's self-organised (and marketed to) proponents. Gregory
Darwinism is athiesm in a cheap tuxedo. ForJah
Indeed I am beginning to see that what we call "information" or probably more accurately "meaning" has a two-fold description that is necessary. 1. It must meet a specification. 2. It must have been done on purpose. And of course there is the "0th" requirement 0. A specification exists to satisfy. For example even if for some strange reason ( which would never happen ) a bunch of logs rolled down unto a beach and randomly fell into position spelling out "HELP" it still would only communicate information if it was done on purpose. The probability of it having been done on purpose can be estimated by just considering how likely it is to have created a meaningful message. Therefore, any specification which is easily met by random events, is not good at carrying information and meaning because it too often can occur naturally. Fortunately DNA based life is not something that natural processes have a chance of creating. I agree with Dr. Meyer, that the designer ( I believe him to be the Christian God ) has left His Signature in the Cell showing that the information in life was done on purpose. Straining to come up with a godless OOL with inane theories about infinite amounts of universes (multiverse) and then applying anthropic principles do not change the fact that life by its nature demonstrates it was created on purpose. The prevalence of failed OOL theories and the acceptance of multiverse theories which can never be falsified, shows that what is really important to these people is not the truth, but their a priori conviction that there is no God. JDH

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