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Another Pro-ID Paper Passes Peer Review


It is therefore very natural that many scientists believe that life is rather a subsystem of some Mind greater than humans …

At the encouragement of Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute and Dave Abel of the The Gene Emergence Project and The Origin-of-Life Foundation, Albert Voie submitted this work to a peer-reviewed journal.

Albert Voie has a PhD in Biology and a background in Artificial Intelligence.

(English is not his native language, and I would presume it is not the native language of the reviewers. I hope that will be taken into consideration.) Here is a link to the paper:

Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent

The Electronic Version of the Journal, Chaos, Solitons, and Fractals which includes this article is here:
Volume 28, Issue 4, Pages 845-1112 (May 2006)

The paper passed review, and was accepted August, 2005.

To give a little background, Dave Abel was a reviewer of Hubert Yockey’s recent book on information theory and the origin of life. Abel’s recent peer-reviewed paper on the origin of life entitled Chance and Necessity Do Not Explain the Origin of Life mentions the problems posed by Turing machines (computers) which appear in all biological systems.

Voie explores these ideas further and outlines important considerations. Computers of necessity must transcend the chemical and physical properties of the materials which make them. Voie illustrates why the origin of biological computers (or any other computer for that matter) can not be attributable to chemical and physical laws alone.

Congratulations to Albert Voie, and may more such papers be published.

[...] reported on Voie’s article at: Another pro-ID paper passes peer review These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web [...] William Dembski and 3 IDers cited in a significant OOL peer-reviewed article by Trevors and Abel | Uncommon Descent
Red The Venter experiment was already fisked here. As I recall what they're doing is creating the DNA molecule and inserting it into a bacteria that has had its DNA removed. I should probably say REcreating the DNA molecule because the sequence information they're using was obtained from a real bacteria. Calling it the creation of life or even the creation of a new species is hyperbole. More like what it is a demonstration that a gene splicing machine can string together a DNA molecule of a hundred thousand or so base pairs with few enough errors so that it it works something like the original. Kind of like a Xerox machine for DNA is all. This has already been accomplished for a couple of viruses. These guys are just stepping up to a bacteria which has an order of magnitude more base pairs. It's important work but it appears to be getting hyped up for a lot more than what it really is. DaveScot
Voie paper shows that a Turing machine must be composed by materials which allow for uncertainty (a key component of an information processing system). If the materials allow for uncertainty (such as the uncertainty of head/tails in a coin, or shall we say "bit"), then by logical deduction, this same quality of uncertainty can not be the cause for the existence of a computer! It is a classic proof by contradiction. Dean Kenyon work eventually bore this out. It's not a matter of "argument from ignorance" it is a proof by contradiciton. The OOL researchers are essentially trying to build perpetual motion machines (except they are doing so in the information realm), but there are sound theoretical reasons their quest is doomed. What Voie and other theorist completely understand (which seem lost upon the anti-ID die hards) is that symbolic systems are by nature somewhat decoupled from their substrate. For example, a picture is made of ink and paper, but it would be fruitless to try to explain why a picture has sybolic properties (we see images ideas), by trying to explain the chemical properties of the ink and paper, or even the manufacturing process involved. All those explanations are looking in the wrong places. Yet such is the current approach of many oringin of life researchers! What Voie shows is that several first rate minds (like von Neumann ) were able to grasp that symbolic systems can not be explained by purely material processes, that doing so would be like trying to explain the symbolism in a picture by trying to describe the chemistry of the ink and paper. The approach is doomed. A systems approach, an information oriented approach is the more adequate view. However, such a view has been resisted because it invokes a Mind somewhere in the pipeline.... A computer (a Turing Machine) can be made of transistors, vacuum tubes, DNA, or some other substrate. The achitecture has thus been empirically demonstrated to have an independence from the underlying molecular substrate. What makes a computer a computer, is ultimately it's symbolic significance, not the underlying materials. In like manner life is more than chemicals. Your body is not composed of the same chemicals it was 15 years ago, yet, you are still you. What has persisted are the symbols, not the underlying atoms! Voie Mentioned Godel, perhaps the greatest mathematician of the 20th century. Godel said (as recounted by a friend of his) : "the formation within geological times of a human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of a similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field, is about as unlikely as the separation by chance of the atmosphere into its components." scordova
From the article by Voie: "To secure the transmission of biological function through time, biological function must be stored in a “time-independent” sign system. Only an abstract sign based language can store the abstract information necessary to build functional biomolecules. In the same manner the very definition of the genetic code depends upon biological function. This is the origin of life problem.... An important implication of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem is that it is not possible to have a finite description with itself as the proper part. In other words, it is not possible to read yourself or process yourself as process." .... In other words, if I understand this correctly: It is not possible (by theorem), for a biological system to "self-describe" its own DNA. A bacterium, for example, cannot encode all the information that there is about itself because the encoded information is ALSO a part of itself. There is an infinity there somewhere that is cannot but be incomplete. Or to put it another way: the chicken and the egg were BOTH first. Red Reader
Oops, here's the link to the Canadian experiment: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v4/sub/MarketingPage?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM.20051219.wxlife19%2FBNStory%2FspecialScienceandHealth%2F&ord=46855295&brand=theglobeandmail&redirect_reason=2&denial_reasons=none&force_login=false Red Reader
From the abstract: "Due to the abstract realm of function and sign systems, life is not a subsystem of natural laws." Not long ago, scientists in Canada reported that they are trying to "create synthetic life" using inanimate atoms alone. They THINK they will succeed because they are duplicating the genome of a particular bacteria. "We're going from reading to writing the genetic code," said U.S. scientist Craig Venter, who gained fame in his former job as head of Celera Genomics. Dr. Voie writes "Life is not a subsystem of natural laws." The Canadians will fail. Red Reader
Wow! PaV, what a thought! Red Reader
Voie wrote: "As the logician can manipulate a formal system to create true statements that are not formally derivable from the system, the engineer can manipulate inanimate matter to create the structure of the machine, which harnesses the laws of physics and chemistry for the purposes the machine is designed to serve. The cause to a machine’s functionality is found in the mind of the engineer and nowhere else." Someone can correct me, but I think in philosophy the 'first' cause is associated with the 'final' cause, which, if so means that the 'mind' does not begin to act until it sees the goal ('final' cause) in sight. Purpose is a property of the mind, and when we see 'purpose' at work in biological systems, then we are encountering a 'mind.' PaV
Thanks for the prompt response, Sal. RealTrialLawyer
Sweet. Another addition to the growing list: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2640 Bombadill
Albert Voie has reported the paper is no longer "in press" Voie Informed everyone, via ARN: Just to inform that the status of the paper has changed from "In Press" to: Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent Øyvind Albert Voie Chaos, Solitons & Fractals Volume 28, Issue 4 , May 2006, Pages 1000-1004 scordova
Mr. Cordova: the headline states that this paper "passes" peer review. Yet the wording you have employed in the body of the post states only that the paper has been "submitted ... to a peer-reviewed journal." What is the actual status of the progress of the paper through peer review and on toward publication? RealTrialLawyer

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