Information Intelligent Design

An information theory argument for the value of human beings

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From Eric Holloway, based on creativity:

Because creativity is unique to humans and irreducible, all human beings have the ability in principle. The fact that a particular human being’s creativity is not in use or is perhaps unusable at present does not mean that that person does not have the ability. Consequently, all humans have at least latent intrinsic instrumental value. Eric Holloway, “The Creative Spark” at Mind Matters

See also: Will artificial intelligence design artificial super-intelligence?


Human intelligence as a halting oracle

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6 Replies to “An information theory argument for the value of human beings

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    Um, OK, but human creativity is ONLY of value to OTHER human beings. So that makes it a net zero for the rest of the universe. I’m about to take our Golden Retriever out to check the mailbox, and I’m sure HE will appreciate this bit of human interaction, but if humans didn’t exist, he’d be out with a pack of other Retrievers happily chasing musk ox across the frozen tundra. So again, net zero.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Is creativity unique to humans? Science says otherwise. However, one thing is clear from what science does demonstrate, our creativity is expansive, encompassing many different areas. Other animals’ creativity is very limited.

  3. 3
    EricMH says:

    @Vmahuna, the argument is in the context of what humans value. The universe doesn’t value anything since it is not conscious.

    @ET, yes I’d say animals also exhibit something like creativity through intentionality, which by this argument implies they have some kind of intrinsic value, too.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    It seems to me that you are merely reiterating the age old ‘made in the image of God’ creativity that is unique to humans as your demarcation for the intrinsic value of humans.,,,

    There are two places, scientifically speaking, where atheists have attacked this age old ‘made in the image of God’, i.e. human exceptionalism, presupposition that is foundational to much, if not all, of Western societies, governments, and jurisprudence.

    The first place is with the Copernican principle and/or the principle of Mediocrity. For instance, note this ‘typical’ sentiment coming from the late famed atheist Stephen Hawking.

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    etc.. etc..

    Yet, as was touched upon yesterday in Mr Arrington’s thread, CMBR anomalies, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have themselves each now converged and overturned the Copernican principle and/or the principle of mediocrity as being a valid principle in science. That is to say, our best scientific theories, and recent evidence from CMBR, have shown that the earth and humanity are not nearly as insignificant, i.e. chemical scum, as leading atheists have portrayed us to be.

    CMBR anomalies, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics have themselves each now overturned the Copernican principle and/or the principle of mediocrity as being a valid principle in science.

    The second, and perhaps most powerful, place where Atheists have attacked human exceptionalism is with Darwinian evolution. As Richard Weikart noted,,

    How Darwin’s Theory Changed the World
    Rejection of Judeo-Christian values
    Excerpt: Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.
    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).

    And indeed no where was the devaluing of the intrinsic ‘made in the image of God’ dignity of human life more self evident than it is in the Socialistic/Communistic/Totalitarian regimes of the last century where ‘Darwinian survival of the fittest morality’ reigned supreme,,,

    Origins: The Darwin Effect – Jerry Bergman – video
    Join Origins host Donn Chapman as he welcomes professor, author and speaker, Dr. Jerry Bergman for, The Darwin Effect. Darwinism had a major influence on many evil cultures during the last century. It affected not only Nazism, but also eugenics, racism, communism, and much more. Darwin’s worldview is explained using historical facts that tell the death, suffering and evil unparalleled throughout history.

    How Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Marx, and Lenin were all directly influenced by Darwinian ideology

    “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”
    – Adolf Hitler

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism/Darwinism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    “169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
    2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
    3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
    4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
    12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
    15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”
    This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world.

    At 1,200,000, Abortion is the leading cause of deaths each year in the USA – graph

    Of related note, Muslims over their history have equaled or exceeded atheists in number of murders committed –

    Tears of Jihad – Mar 3 2008 | by Bill Warner
    Excerpt:,,,120 million Africans,,,
    ,,,60 million Christians,,,
    ,,,80 million Hindus,,,
    ,,,10 million Buddhists,,,
    This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad (since Islam was founded).

    The main way Darwinists try to impose their ‘survival of the fittest’ morality upon man is by “scientifically’ claiming that man is just an highly evolved animal. In fact, no where is the fossil record more distorted from what it actually is, (i.e. suddenness and overall stasis), than it is in when Darwinists try to link man with chimps/apes:

    Contested Bones: Is There Any Solid Fossil Evidence for Ape-to-Man Evolution? – Dr. John Sanford and Chris Rupe
    Excerpt: We have spent four years carefully examining the scientific literature on this subject. We have discovered that within this field (paleoanthropology), virtually all the famous hominin types have either been discredited or are still being hotly contested. Within this field, not one of the hominin types have been definitively established as being in the lineage from ape to man. This includes the famous fossils that have been nicknamed Lucy, Ardi, Sediba, Habilis, Naledi, Hobbit, Erectus, and Neaderthal. Well-respected people in the field openly admit that their field is in a state of disarray. It is very clear that the general public has been deceived regarding the credibility and significance of the reputed hominin fossils.
    We will show that the actual fossil evidence is actually most consistent with the following three points. 1) The hominin bones reveal only two basic types; ape bones (Ardi and Lucy), and human bones (Naledi, Hobbit, Erectus, and Neaderthal). 2) The ape bones and the human bones have been repeatedly found together in the same strata – therefore both lived at the same basic timeframe (the humans were apparently hunting and eating the apes). 3) Because the hominin bones were often found in mixed bone beds (with bones of many animal species in the same site), numerous hominin types represent chimeras (mixtures) of ape and human bones (i.e., Sediba, Habilis).
    We will also present evidence that the anomalous hominin bones that are of the human (Homo) type most likely represent isolated human populations that experienced severe inbreeding and subsequent genetic degeneration. This best explains why these Homo bones display aberrant morphologies, reduced body size, and reduced brain volume.
    We conclude that the hominin bones do not reveal a continuous upward progression from ape to man, but rather reveal a clear separation between the human type and the ape type. The best evidence for any type of intermediate “ape-men” derived from bones collected from mixed bone beds (containing bones of both apes and men), which led to the assembly of chimeric skeletons. Therefore, the hominin fossils do not prove human evolution at all.,,,
    We suggest that the field of paleoanthropology has been seriously distorted by a very strong ideological agenda and by very ambitious personalities.

    Here is a video playlist of Dr. Giem’s series reviewing John Sanford’s book “Contested Bones”. (The last videos listed in the series also deal with the misleading genetic evidence).

    “Contested Bones” review by Paul Giem – video playlist

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the death of Adam and Eve from the supposedly incontrovertible 99% similarity genetic evidence is, much like Mark Twain’s death, greatly exaggerated.

    There are several problems with the genetic evidence. First off the strength of the 99% figure is far weaker than is commonly believed: As Richard Sternberg noted, “One can seriously call into question the statement that human and chimp genomes are 99% identical.,, the figure of identity that one wants to use is dependent on various methodological factors.”,,, etc.. etc..

    Yet, although the fossil and genetic evidence presented to people by Darwinists is far more misleading than many people realize, the one place that even leading Darwinists admit that they have no clue how a uniquely human attribute could have possibly evolved is with the uniquely human attribute of speech and/or symbolic language:

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”

    That is a stunning confession by leading Darwinists given that Charles Darwin himself argued that “the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”

    “Nevertheless the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”
    – Charles Darwin – The Descent of Man – pg. 85

    Best Selling author Tom Wolfe was so taken aback by this honest confession by leading Darwinists that he wrote a book on the subject. Wolfe provided a précis of his argument:

    “Speech is not one of man’s several unique attributes — speech is the attribute of all attributes!”
    – Wolfe

    “Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.”
    —Tom Wolfe, in the introduction to his book, The Kingdom of Speech

    In other words, although humans are fairly defenseless creatures in the wild compared to other creatures, such as lions, bears, and sharks, etc.., nonetheless, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to communicate information and, more specifically, infuse information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, shelter, in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also for our pleasure.

    And although the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, that allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet’, was rather crude to begin with, (i.e. spears, arrows, and plows etc..), this top down infusion of immaterial information into material substrates has become much more impressive over the last half century or so.

    Specifically, the ‘top-down’ infusion of mathematical and/or logical information into material substrates lies at the very basis of many, if not all, of man’s most stunning, almost miraculous, technological advances in recent decades.

    Here are a couple of articles which clearly get this ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information point across:

    Here is one by Peter Tyson
    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Mathematics underlies virtually all of our technology today. James Maxwell’s four equations summarizing electromagnetism led directly to radio and all other forms of telecommunication. E = mc2 led directly to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The equations of quantum mechanics made possible everything from transistors and semiconductors to electron microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging.
    Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: page 5: A: Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    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.

    What is more interesting still, besides the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information and have come to dominate the world through the ‘top-down’ infusion of information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    “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.

    Information Enigma (Where did the information in life come from?) – – Stephen Meyer – Doug Axe – video

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are ‘made in the image of God’ than finding both the universe, and life itself, are both ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and, moreover, have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our unique ability infuse information into material substrates.

    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Perhaps a more convincing evidence that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was indeed God. And that just so happens to be precisely the claim of Christianity.

    (January 22, 2019) I will reiterate my case for Christ’s resurrection from the dead providing the correct solution for the much sought after “Theory of Everything”.


    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  6. 6
    EricMH says:

    @BA77 you are spot on, as usual.

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