Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Abstracts for the What Is Information? meeting, November 13-14, 2015, Seattle

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Courtesy Christian Scientific Society, here.

Friday night:
Doug Axe, Biologic Institute
Intelligible Design

Although technical work in mathematics and experimental biology has been crucial for establishing the academic legitimacy of intelligent design, the downside of emphasizing technical arguments is that it promotes a perception of elitism. My impression is that the vast majority of people who favor design over Darwinism feel unqualified to offer a robust defense of design, which means everyone is looking to the experts to resolve this controversy. Contrary to this, I argue in my forthcoming book that the key insights for resolving the controversy come from common-sense reasoning and experience-based intuitions shared by all people. This makes everyone qualified to participate in the debate.

Saturday Morning:
Winston Ewert, Evolutionary Informatics Lab
Algorithmic Specified Complexity
The talk will present a variant of specified complexity, algorithmic specified complexity, which uses algorithmic information theory as a means of measuring specification. Various examples will be demonstrated including simple regular patterns, english text, self-replicating cells, and functional machines.
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'Zeno effect' verified: Atoms won't move while you watch - Oct. 22, 2015 Excerpt: One of the oddest predictions of quantum theory – that a system can’t change while you’re watching it,,, Graduate students Yogesh Patil and Srivatsan Chakram created and cooled a gas of about a billion Rubidium atoms inside a vacuum chamber and suspended the mass between laser beams. In that state the atoms arrange in an orderly lattice just as they would in a crystalline solid. But at such low temperatures the atoms can “tunnel” from place to place in the lattice. ,,, The researchers demonstrated that they were able to suppress quantum tunneling merely by observing the atoms. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/10/zeno-effect-verified-atoms-wont-move-while-you-watch
Some of my thoughts on information which I don't know where else to post. I want to specifically deal with the creation of information that occurs when some object is assembled or formed from more primitive component parts. ( letters written to form a printed page, electronic noises in code, wood planks into a house, DNA from free nucleotides.) 1. In the construction of an object, Information is only definable in context of a previous specification of function or pattern. (e.g. No information is created or used when the forces of nature whittle down a stone to a smooth spheroid like object a few inches diameter. However, information is certainly used by the shepherd boy who picks up the resulting stone realizing if fits perfectly in his sling.) 2. In the construction of an object information is only created when a component part added to the object is not likely to happen. The more unlikely the event added - the more information generated. ( For example a series of ions assemble is Na-Cl-Na-Cl....) the next atom being a Na ion creates no information because it is extremely likely) ("To be or not to be, _" It is extremely unlikely that anything other than some intelligent being quoting Hamlet will next add "that is the question." 3 The living cell generates information because it is very unlikely that any object will be able to correctly add on to a existing peptide chain, the proper next amino acid, that will form a protein having a three-dimensional fold that correctly creates an action site to catalyze a specified reaction which happens to be necessary for the metabolic processes of the cell to continue. 4. Any being who has been given the gift of intelligence, and chooses to state that he/she believes that the operation which occurs in point 3 happens as the ultimate result of a set of unguided random processes is choosing to ignore the consequences of the study of the generation of information, and common sense. Such people must be using their powers of choice to deliberately deceive themselves and others. JDH

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