Intelligent Design

A new unified model of specified complexity

Spread the love

George Montañez, Assistant Professor in the Computer Sciences Department\ at Harvey Mudd College, has just published a unified model of specified complexity:

A mathematical theory of complex specified information is introduced which unifies several prior methods of computing specified complexity. Similar to how the exponential family of probability distributions have dissimilar surface forms yet share a common underlying mathematical identity, we define a model that allows us to cast Dembski’s semiotic specified complexity, Ewert et al.’s algorithmic specified complexity, Hazen et al.’s functional information, and Behe’s irreducible complexity into a common mathematical form. Adding additional constraints, we introduce canonical specified complexity models, for which one-sided conservation bounds are given, showing that large specified complexity values are unlikely under any given continuous or discrete distribution and that canonical models can be used to form statistical hypothesis tests, by bounding tail probabilities for arbitrary distributions. Montanez GD (2018) A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information. BIO-Complexity 2018 (4):1- ˜ 26. doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2018.4

We are told to expect a lay-friendly version of the model soon as well.

See also: How can we measure specified complexity


Bill Dembski: Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence

Kirk K Durston et al. Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins

Winston Ewert at Evolutionary Informatics

Robert M. Hazen et al. Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity (public access) A friend notes, “Functional information, as outlined by Hazen et al., can be a measure of specified complexity, where the specificity supplies the functional constraint.”

Robert M. Hazen et al. Functional Information and the Emergence of Biocomplexity pdf (book)

Could a signature of specified complexity help us find alien life?


A Tutorial on Specified Complexity

20 Replies to “A new unified model of specified complexity

  1. 1
    gpuccio says:

    This seems very interesting, although I will have to try to understand it! 🙂

    However, this is apparently the core of the problem:

    Although many elements can have low probability values (thus making the occurrence of observing any such a low-probability event probable, given enough of them), few can have low probability while being highly specified.

    I think that describes exactly what happens with proteins. And it’s, I believe, the essence of my answer to the “many possible solutions” argument, so often raised by our kind interlocutors.

    There can be many possible solutions, but not so many as to be practically relevant, when those solutions are all highly specified (complex).

  2. 2
    jawa says:

    What’s going on with the discussion between GP and professor JF of TSZ ?

    Whose court is the ball in now?

  3. 3
    gpuccio says:


    I don’t know.

    I am not aware of any true answer from JF, except for the following (I am of course intepreting him):

    a) He (that would be me) has not demonstrated that NS cannot do it, that it is logically impossible. (But I have nevere even tried to do that: it is not necessary at all).

    b) If I (that would be JF) define fitness as the function, then changes that happen anywhere in the genome can contribute to it (which is true, but only because fitness is a vague definition, that includes any possible function, most of them extremely simple, that give some reproductive advantage in some environment. For all more specific definitions of function, that are related to functonal complexity, JF’s statement is simply wrong, and changes have to occur in some specific site).

    c) His (that would be my) arguments would not impress evolutionary biologists. True. And so? If my arguments are true (and they are), that is a problem of evolutionary biologists, I suppose.

    Has he offered any other argument? I suppose he has acknowledged, in a way, that my thief argument is formally correct. Of course he does not agree that it is absolutely pertinent to what happens in the biological world (in principle: of course it does not model exactly the biological space, but the basic idea is valid for it as much as for the safes). But I am not aware that he has explained why, except of course for the above mentioned “arguments”, which are only distractions and do not address the real point.

    The real point, of course, is that many simple solutions, each of them contributing to fitness, do not make one complex solution. And the example of the thief clearly shows that.

    But, of course, at some point I have stopped checking the debate at TSZ. For obvious reasons.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    George, well done. KF

    PS: Best wishes to the living proof that there is a God!

  5. 5
    jawa says:


    your arguments are clear enough to be understood by anyone who wants to understand them. Your point is sufficiently convincing to any open-minded person. Further discussion in this case would have been a waste of time. Well done.

  6. 6
    DLH says:

    Appears to be an excellent foundational theorem. Congratulations.

    For the converse new foundational theorem see
    Basener & Sanford on genetic entropy.
    “Fisher’s Famous Theorem Has Been “Flipped””
    “Fisher had claimed that his theorem was a mathematical proof of evolution — making the continuous increase in fitness a universal and mathematically certain natural law. The corrected theorem shows that just the opposite is true — fitness must very consistently degenerate — making macroevolution impossible.”

    Basener, W.F. and Sanford, J.C., 2018. The fundamental theorem of natural selection with mutations. Journal of mathematical biology, pp.1-34.
    “The mutation–selection process is the most fundamental mechanism of evolution. In 1935, R. A. Fisher proved his fundamental theorem of natural selection, providing a model in which the rate of change of mean fitness is equal to the genetic variance of a species. Fisher did not include mutations in his model, but believed that mutations would provide a continual supply of variance resulting in perpetual increase in mean fitness, thus providing a foundation for neo-Darwinian theory. In this paper we re-examine Fisher’s Theorem, showing that because it disregards mutations, and because it is invalid beyond one instant in time, it has limited biological relevance. We build a differential equations model from Fisher’s first principles with mutations added, and prove a revised theorem showing the rate of change in mean fitness is equal to genetic variance plus a mutational effects term. We refer to our revised theorem as the fundamental theorem of natural selection with mutations. Our expanded theorem, and our associated analyses (analytic computation, numerical simulation, and visualization), provide a clearer understanding of the mutation–selection process, and allow application of biologically realistic parameters such as mutational effects. The expanded theorem has biological implications significantly different from what Fisher had envisioned.”

    Together these two theories provide a foundation for intelligent design and constrain evolution to decreasing fitness.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    I liked Dr. Marks’ quip about the typical response from Darwinists that they give when they are informed about the extreme, (‘needle in a universe wide haystack’) rarity of functional sequences in sequence space:

    “So You’re Telling Me There’s A Chance”
    – Dumb and Dumber ‘There’s a Chance’ – video clip

    Besides Darwinists being purposely ignorant and obtuse, at the other end of the spectrum there is another detail that gets, inadvertently, lost in this debate.

    It seems to me that in the fleshing out of the technical mathematical details of Conservation of Information, that an important scientific detail is constantly being overlooked by leading Intelligent Design proponents in their quest to build a more rigid mathematical foundation for Intelligent Design.

    That important scientific detail, that is left on the cutting room floor by leading ID proponents, is the scientific detail of mathematically, and empirically, fleshing out the precise physical relationship between immaterial information and matter-energy.

    Moreover, without a rigorous mathematical and physical definition of Information, that physically distinguishes information from matter-energy, it seems to me Darwinists can forever play their games pretending that, no matter how improbable it is shown to be for them, information is somehow ’emergent’ from a matter-energy basis.

    To be sure, it is certainly not an easy task to map out this relationship, (shoot, for all I know it could well be intractable), but I have seen no effort whatsoever, (save for some nascent work by Dr. Andy McIntosh in thermodynamics), by leading ID proponents to even try to address this issue from an ID perspective.

    To be sure, the field is still extremely young, and I am certainly no expert in it, but perhaps its time for some of ID’s brightest minds, (Dembski, Marks, Ewert, Durston, Montañez, Sternberg, Axe, etc.., etc..), to finally have a mathematical go at building at least a rough preliminary mathematical foundation towards the question of precisely how immaterial information and matter-energy physically interact within biological life?

    As far how physical science is usually formulated and practiced, with its emphasis of how a mathematical theory might experimentally interact with the physical world, it would seem to be a VERY important scientific detail to finally look into.

    Thermodynamics seems to be a promising avenue for mathematically addressing this question,

    “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…”
    – Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90, [Quotes Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin]

    The information content of a ‘simple’ bacterial cell, when working from the thermodynamic perspective, has been calculated to be approx. 10^12 bits:

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.

    To put 10^12 bits in perspective,

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”
    – R. C. Wysong – circa mid 1970s

    And as mentioned previously, Dr. Andy McIntosh has, from a thermodynamic perspective, done some nascent work in this area.

    Specifically, Dr. McIntosh holds that regarding information as independent of energy and matter ‘resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions’.

    Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh – 2013
    Excerpt: ,,, information is in fact non-material and that the coded information systems (such as, but not restricted to the coding of DNA in all living systems) is not defined at all by the biochemistry or physics of the molecules used to store the data. Rather than matter and energy defining the information sitting on the polymers of life, this approach posits that the reverse is in fact the case. Information has its definition outside the matter and energy on which it sits, and furthermore constrains it to operate in a highly non-equilibrium thermodynamic environment. This proposal resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions, which despite the efforts from alternative paradigms has not given a satisfactory explanation of the way information in systems operates.,,,

    And in support of Dr. McIntosh’s contention that it must be non-material information which constrains biological life to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium, information has now been experimentally shown to have a ‘thermodynamic content’:

    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.

    This work on elucidating the precise relationship between information and thermodynamics, has now been extended:

    New Scientist astounds: Information is physical – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Recently came the most startling demonstration yet: a tiny machine powered purely by information, which chilled metal through the power of its knowledge. This seemingly magical device could put us on the road to new, more efficient nanoscale machines, a better understanding of the workings of life, and a more complete picture of perhaps our most fundamental theory of the physical world.

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,

    A surprising detail, (a detail that I have still not completely wrapped my mind around), is revealed in the following article

    In the following article a Professor is quoted as saying, “Now in information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,”

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    To reiterate, “Entropy,,, is a property of an observer who describes a system.” ???

    Anyways, leaving that tantalizing tidbit aside for the moment, and of related interest to immaterial information having a ‘thermodynamic content’, classical digital information was found to be a subset of ‘non-local’, (i.e. beyond space and time), quantum entanglement/information by the following method which removed heat from a computer by the deletion of data:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    In the following article, (in direct contradiction to the reductive materialistic claims of Darwinian evolution), Dr. Vaccaro states in regards to the preceding thought experiment that “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”,

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.

    Information is physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant) – video

    Although the preceding is certainly very strong evidence for the physical reality of immaterial information, the coup de grace for demonstrating that immaterial information is its own distinct physical entity, separate from matter and energy, is Quantum Teleportation:

    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.

    Moreover, this ‘physically real’ quantum information is also found to be ‘conserved’ (as in it cannot be created nor destroyed).

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.

    Moreover, this physically real quantum information can perform a number of tasks that are impossible for classical information. And indeed these ‘impossible tasks’ that quantum information is able to perform, provides the motivation for trying to build quantum computers.

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.

    As well this physically real quantum information, which cannot be created or destroyed, (and of which classical information is a subset), is also now found in molecular biology on a massive scale. In every DNA and protein molecule:

    “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)

    Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
    Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.

    Quantum coherent-like state observed in a biological protein for the first time – October 13, 2015
    Excerpt: If you take certain atoms and make them almost as cold as they possibly can be, the atoms will fuse into a collective low-energy quantum state called a Bose-Einstein condensate. In 1968 physicist Herbert Fröhlich predicted that a similar process at a much higher temperature could concentrate all of the vibrational energy in a biological protein into its lowest-frequency vibrational mode. Now scientists in Sweden and Germany have the first experimental evidence of such so-called Fröhlich condensation (in proteins).,,,
    The real-world support for Fröhlich’s theory (for proteins) took so long to obtain because of the technical challenges of the experiment, Katona said.

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules
    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 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?”

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, this Quantum Information in molecular biology, since it can perform computational tasks that are impossible for classical information, provides coherent solutions for the protein folding enigma, DNA search problems, and for exactly why life is so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium in the first place.

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video

    In a TED Talk, (the Question You May Not Ask,,, Where did the information come from?) – November 29, 2017
    Excerpt: Sabatini is charming.,,, he deploys some memorable images. He points out that the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000. Later he wheels out the entire genome, in printed form, of a human being,,,,:
    [F]or the first time in history, this is the genome of a specific human, printed page-by-page, letter-by-letter: 262,000 pages of information, 450 kilograms.,,,

    Will Teleportation Ever Be Possible? – video – 2013
    Quote from video:
    “There are 10^28 atoms in the human body.,, The amount of data contained in the whole human,, is 3.02 x 10^32 gigabytes of information. Using a high bandwidth transfer that data would take about 4.5 x 10^18 years to teleport 1 time. That is 350,000 times the age of the universe.”

    Besides providing direct empirical falsification of Landauer’s claim, and neo-Darwinian claims in general, claims that say immaterial information does not exist apart from its representation on a physical medium, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, or course, being the fact that we now have very strong physical evidence directly implying that we do indeed have an immaterial, and eternal, soul that is very well capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video, ‘the quantum information,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)

    Verse and video:

    Mark 8:37
    “Is anything worth more than your soul?”

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video

    Thus in conclusion, there is much evidence establishing the independent physical reality of immaterial information apart from matter-energy, but as hopefully some can see by now, there is still much ‘mathematical work’ left to be done elucidating precisely how all this will fit into the Intelligent Design perspective.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    of related note to giving ID a more ‘physical’ scientific basis, instead of ID just having an essentially mathematical, theoretical, basis, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem has, finally, been extended, from just theoretical mathematics, into physics.

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Godel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    How Gödel’s incompleteness theorem may mathematically (and now physically) relate to ID was touched upon in the following articles:

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.,,,

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,

  11. 11
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Another thing that often gets missed in all the discussion about macro-evolution being mathematically impossible is the fact that devolution isn’t. John Sanford’s Genetic Entropy is a horrifying look into the genetic decay of a fallen world.

  12. 12
    OLV says:

    Very interesting.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, let’s note that this is a case of the fourth generation of ID-friendly scholarship emerging. Emerging, in fact from one of UD’s own circle of commenters. That should be recognised as a milestone in its own right. This paper marks a key proposed synthesis and thus unified view of “the property of an object being both unlikely and structurally organized,” where as the headlined quote from Glieck who in turn cites: ““Life must depend on a higher level of complexity, structure without predictable repetition . . .” KF

  14. 14
    PeterA says:

    Good observation.

  15. 15
    Ed George says:

    A very interesting read, but I will have to work hard at this to fully comprehend it. This is due to my limitations, not the author’s.

  16. 16
    EricMH says:

    The paper is very interesting in that it shows the independent derivations of specified complexity are all talking about the same quantity. Sort of like how multiple derivations of the same groundbreaking idea tend to show up at the same time.

  17. 17
    Mung says:

    Together these two theories provide a foundation for intelligent design and constrain evolution to decreasing fitness.

    So much for evolution by intelligent design.

  18. 18
    ET says:

    So much for evolution by intelligent design.

    So genetic algorithms don’t work?

  19. 19
    EricMH says:


    >So genetic algorithms don’t work?

    Not very well.

    “I have never encountered any problem where genetic algorithms seemed to me the right way to attack it. Further, I have never seen any computational results reported using genetic algorithms that have favorably impressed me. Stick to simulated annealing for your heuristic search voodoo needs.”

    — Steven Skiena, Algorithm Design Manual

  20. 20
    ET says:

    I guess except for the many that have worked very well.

    I wonder how Steven would have approached the antenna issue…

Leave a Reply