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My latest column at Salvo on the Law of Conservation of Information

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Addressed in William Dembski’s new book, Being as Communion:

… the informational realist perspective , espoused by information theorist William Dembski in his new book Being as Communion (Ashgate, 2014), unpacks another, bolder idea, the Law of Conservation of Information (CoI). This law states that natural causes can transmit complex specified information, but they can never originate it. If the idea is correct, it means that the current purely natural (material) theory of evolution is not even possible.

Here is a brief statement: Raising the probability of success of a search does nothing to make attaining the target easier, and may in fact make it more difficult, once the informational costs involved in raising the probability of success are taken into account. (Being, 168).

If this sound counterintuitive, consider: suppose you have absolutely no information about how to find the hidden prize in a treasure hunt. You could start a search for a correct method of search (essentially, a search for a search). But in the absence of hints or cheating, that will turn out to be as much trouble as just doing an organized blind search.

Of course, a kindly person might come along and say, “As it happens, I know where the prize is. You are now just slightly warm . . . warmer . . . getting hot . . . HOT!!” So you get the prize, but you did it by making use of an intelligent source of information. On a blind search, you would still be looking. For that matter, if you had depended on a false source of information, whose intention was to mislead you, you would be much worse off, because you would be systematically steered away from the prize. Intelligence can either inform or mislead. …

And its ramifications for Darwinism

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Responding to My Talk at the University of Chicago, Joe Felsenstein's Argument by Misdirection - William A. Dembski - October 7, 2014 Excerpt: Because Felsenstein's critique bears no resemblance to what I was actually doing in my University of Chicago talk, let me summarize what I did say there. Briefly, I started by assuming that if biological evolution is to be an exact science, then it must be possible to model it on search. I then considered search at its most general, laying out its key components. I then presented the key result of Conservation of Information, namely, that for any search space with a target of small probability p, if one wants a search that will find that same target with a probability q (greater than p), the probabilistic cost of finding such a search is at least p/q. What this means is that, at the end of the day, one hasn't gained anything because if finding such a search has probability p/q or less, and then once one has found such a search, one only has q probability of finding the target, then the total probability of finding the target with such a staggered search is still p or less. This result, I argued, holds with perfect generality. It does not assume anything about the nature of the fitness surfaces, or working off a full set of genotypes, or any other such limitation on search as Felsenstein suggests. Let me urge fair-minded people who have read Felsenstein's criticisms to listen to my actual talk and then read the three papers cited. Alternatively, if such fair-minded individuals lack the technical background to appreciate these papers, let them read the last few chapters of Being as Communion, which summarizes the significance of these papers for evolutionary theory in a more user-friendly way. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/10/responding_to_m090271.html bornagain77
Denyse, it occurs to me that you may be confusing Dembski's new "law of CoI", which you quote from p. 168 in Being, with his older "law of CoI". His older law does, in fact, state that "natural causes can transmit complex specified information, but they can never originate it", with a leeway of 500 bits. His new law doesn't distinguish natural causes from intelligent causes, nor does it distinguish specified information from unspecified information, nor does it have the 500-bit leeway. "Conservation of information" has very different meanings in the two "laws". R0bb
A few thoughts on Conservation of Information(COI): Although I'm not qualified to comment on the mathematics behind COI, I am familiar with the empirical evidence. And as far as empirical evidence is concerned Darwinists do not have any observational evidence to substantiate their claims that purely material processes can generate functional information over and above what is already present in life. Behe surveyed 4 decades worth of laboratory evolution experiments here.
“The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010 Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain. http://behe.uncommondescent.com/2010/12/the-first-rule-of-adaptive-evolution/
Behe comments directly on Lenski's Long Term Evolution Experiment, which is the the longest running laboratory evolution experiment, here:
Lenski's Long-Term Evolution Experiment: 25 Years and Counting - Michael Behe - November 21, 2013 Excerpt: Twenty-five years later the culture -- a cumulative total of trillions of cells -- has been going for an astounding 58,000 generations and counting. As the article points out, that's equivalent to a million years in the lineage of a large animal such as humans. Combined with an ability to track down the exact identities of bacterial mutations at the DNA level, that makes Lenski's project the best, most detailed source of information on evolutionary processes available anywhere,,, ,,,for proponents of intelligent design the bottom line is that the great majority of even beneficial mutations have turned out to be due to the breaking, degrading, or minor tweaking of pre-existing genes or regulatory regions (Behe 2010). There have been no mutations or series of mutations identified that appear to be on their way to constructing elegant new molecular machinery of the kind that fills every cell. For example, the genes making the bacterial flagellum are consistently turned off by a beneficial mutation (apparently it saves cells energy used in constructing flagella). The suite of genes used to make the sugar ribose is the uniform target of a destructive mutation, which somehow helps the bacterium grow more quickly in the laboratory. Degrading a host of other genes leads to beneficial effects, too.,,, - http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/11/richard_lenskis079401.html
In fact, when the top 5 mutations from Lenski's experiment were combined the result was 'negative epistasis', which is certainly not something you would expect to see if the neo-Darwinian claims for the generation of functional information were true (and COI were false).
Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations) Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually. http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7
This failure for the claims of neo-Darwinists to be validated by empirical evidence is especially interesting considering the extreme information density found in a 'simple' cell:
'The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica." Carl Sagan, "Life" in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894 HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that,, E. coli contain(s) over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance. http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/20hist12.htm
Moreover, the claimed ability of the material processes of neo-Darwinism to generate functional information is also falsified by the fact that, as mentioned in posts 3, 4, and 8, 'non-local', beyond space and time quantum information is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale,,, within every DNA and protein molecule! This finding is extremely problematic for Darwinists to put it mildly: Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012 Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,” http://www.quantumlah.org/highlight/121029_hidden_influences.php Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons - Jun 11, 2013 Excerpt:– requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,, http://phys.org/news/2013-06-bell-test-loophole-photons.html etc.. etc.. That quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints (Bell Aspect, Leggett, Zeilinger, etc..), should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale is a direct empirical falsification of Darwinian claims. For how can the ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place? Appealing to the probability of various 'random' configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! In other words, to give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! Put even more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not even within the material particles in the first place! And although Naturalists have proposed various, far fetched, naturalistic scenarios to try to get around the Theistic implications of quantum non-locality, none of the ‘far fetched’ naturalistic solutions, in themselves, are compatible with the reductive materialism that undergirds neo-Darwinian thought.
"[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, ...materialism is not." Eugene Wigner Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism - video playlist https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TViAqtowpvZy5PZpn-MoSK_&v=4C5pq7W5yRM
Thus, whilst Darwinists may try to bluff their way through the mathematical and theoretical underpinnings of COI, as far as the empirical, observational, evidence is concerned, neo-Darwinism is pierced thru and thru to its theoretical core and has been found severely wanting for validation. of supplemental note: We do have examples of what may be termed Darwinian 'hill climbing search algorithms' in life,,, but in each case these 'Darwinian processes' are tightly regulated and constrained in the job that they allowed to perform in life:
How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design - July 2014 Excerpt: ,,,*"Adaptation," where organisms are pre-engineered to be able to undergo small-scale adaptations to their environments. As Snoke explains, "These systems use randomization controlled by supersystems, just as the immune system uses randomization in a very controlled way," and "Only part of the system is allowed to vary randomly, while the rest is highly conserved.",,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/when_biologists087871.html
Verse and Music:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Need You Now - Plumb - live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGIumjD6I3M
This law states that natural causes can transmit complex specified information, but they can never originate it.
Two facts to note: - This "law", as you quote it from Being p. 168, is not, in fact, a law. It holds in some cases but not in others. One of the three "key theoretical publications on CoI" that Dembski cited in Chicago contains an example in which it doesn't hold. - When it holds, the "law" makes no distinction between natural causes and intelligent causes. For cases in which it holds, it holds for both. Intelligent agents are not capable of changing mathematical facts. How then does this "law" support ID claims? Quite simply, it doesn't. R0bb
To buttress the claim in post 3 and 4 that 'conserved' quantum information, of which classical information is a subset, resides in our body on a massive scale, I would like to put forth the case that quantum computation is happening in our bodies on a massive scale. In every DNA and protein molecule. Although man's accomplishments in quantum computation have been rather modest,,,
Large scale qubit generation for quantum computing - 2011 Excerpt: "Many people are trying to build a quantum computer," Olivier Pfister tells PhysOrg.com. "One to the problems, though, is that you need hundreds of thousands of qubits. So far, scalability has been something of a problem, since generating that many qubits is difficult.",, “It requires additional complexity to entangle them all together, and we’re on our way to this.,,, We have shown that our control of entanglement is pretty good, but we need even better control to make entangled sets bigger than four.”,,, http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-large-scale-qubit-quantum.html D-Wave chip passes rigorous tests - Mar 05, 2014 Excerpt: The first quantum chip housed at the QCC was a 128-qubit D-Wave One, which was replaced about a year ago with the 512-qubit D-Wave Two. Though every chip is unique, the repeated validation of the older chip bodes well for its successor, which shares the same architecture. http://phys.org/news/2014-03-d-wave-chip-rigorous.html
,,, Quantum Computation in biology is far more advanced than anyhing man has yet accomplished in his quantum computers, with quantum entanglement/computation spanning the length of the entire DNA molecule,,, Here is empirical evidence along that line,,
Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA - short video https://vimeo.com/92405752 Quantum Dots Spotlight DNA-Repair Proteins in Motion - March 2010 Excerpt: "How this system works is an important unanswered question in this field," he said. "It has to be able to identify very small mistakes in a 3-dimensional morass of gene strands. It's akin to spotting potholes on every street all over the country and getting them fixed before the next rush hour." Dr. Bennett Van Houten - of note: A bacterium has about 40 team members on its pothole crew. That allows its entire genome to be scanned for errors in 20 minutes, the typical doubling time.,, These smart machines can apparently also interact with other damage control teams if they cannot fix the problem on the spot. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311123522.htm
Of note: DNA repair machines ‘Fixing every pothole in America before the next rush hour’ is analogous to the traveling salesman problem. The traveling salesman problem is a NP-hard (read: very hard) problem in computer science; The problem involves finding the shortest possible route between cities, visiting each city only once. ‘Traveling salesman problems’ are notorious for keeping 'classical' supercomputers busy for days.
NP-hard problem – Examples Excerpt: Another example of an NP-hard problem is the optimization problem of finding the least-cost cyclic route through all nodes of a weighted graph. This is commonly known as the traveling salesman problem. - per wikipedia
Yet this is exactly the type of problem, i.e. the ‘traveling salesman problem’, that quantum computers excel at:
Speed Test of Quantum Versus Conventional Computing: Quantum Computer Wins - May 8, 2013 Excerpt: quantum computing is, "in some cases, really, really fast." McGeoch says the calculations the D-Wave excels at involve a specific combinatorial optimization problem, comparable in difficulty to the more famous "travelling salesperson" problem that's been a foundation of theoretical computing for decades.,,, "This type of computer is not intended for surfing the internet, but it does solve this narrow but important type of problem really, really fast," McGeoch says. "There are degrees of what it can do. If you want it to solve the exact problem it's built to solve, at the problem sizes I tested, it's thousands of times faster than anything I'm aware of. If you want it to solve more general problems of that size, I would say it competes -- it does as well as some of the best things I've looked at. At this point it's merely above average but shows a promising scaling trajectory." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508122828.htm
Since it is obvious that there is not a material CPU (central processing unit) in the DNA, or cell, busily computing answers to this monster logistic problem, in a purely ‘material/classical’ fashion, by crunching bits, then it is readily apparent that this monster ‘traveling salesman problem’, for DNA repair, must be being computed by ‘non-local’ quantum computation within the cell and/or within DNA; Moreover, we also have evidence of quantum computation solving the 'traveling salesman problem' within protein folding. First it is important to note the 'computational complexity' involved in folding a single protein molecule into its correct shape.
Confronting Science’s Logical Limits – John L. Casti – 1996 Excerpt: It has been estimated that a supercomputer applying plausible rules for protein folding would need 10^127 years to find the final folded form for even a very short sequence consisting of just 100 amino acids. (The universe is 13.7 x 10^9 years old). In fact, in 1993 Aviezri S. Fraenkel of the University of Pennsylvania showed that the mathematical formulation of the protein-folding problem is computationally “hard” in the same way that the traveling-salesman problem is hard. http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/Confronting_Sciences_Logical_Limits.pdf DNA computer helps travelling salesman - Philip Ball - 2000 Excerpt: Just about the meanest problems you can set a computer belong to the class called 'NP-complete'. The number of possible answers to these conundrums, and so the time required to find the correct solution, increases exponentially as the problem is scaled up in size. A famous example is the 'travelling salesman' puzzle, which involves finding the shortest route connecting all of a certain number of cities.,,, Solving the travelling-salesman problem is a little like finding the most stable folded shape of a protein's chain-like molecular structure -- in which the number of 'cities' can run to hundreds or even thousands. http://www.nature.com/news/2000/000113/full/news000113-10.html A Few Hundred Thousand Computers vs. (The Folding Of) A Single Protein Molecule – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHqi3ih0GrI
And here is the paper that proved that protein folding belongs to the 'quantum world' and that protein folding does not belong to 'classical world':
Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011 Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way. Excerpt: First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from. To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,, Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins. That's a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo's equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics. http://www.technologyreview.com/view/423087/physicists-discover-quantum-law-of-protein/
quote of related interest:
The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings - Stephen L. Talbott Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary. per - The New Atlantis
News: you should have a look at Tom English's Response to Denyse O’Leary at Salvo. (Yes, it is the same Tom English about whom you write:
Dembski did not invent the underlying idea of conservation of information. Biologist Peter Medawar (1980s) and computer scientist Tom English (1996) advanced the view that information is not created from scratch but rather is redistributed from existing sources.
PS: An explanation on the above is here. kairosfocus
F/N: A search from a space boils down to picking a subset from it. The searches space for a set of n members therefore goes as the power set, 2^n. So S4S will generally be more challenging than direct blind search, S, as this exponentiates the scale of the config/possibilities space. Blend in the factors that FSCO/I starts at 2^500 - 2^1,000 possibilities and the gamut of chem rxn time actions possible in a cosmos of 10^17 s and ~ 10^80 atoms, or a solar system of 10^57 atoms and needle in haystack with very tiny relative scope of search come into play. Where, we must not confuse hill climbing on an island of function [that is what applying well behaved so-called fitness functions implies] with search for such islands. Why? Because the requisites of FSCO/I for a large number of well-matched, properly organised and coupled parts to achieve function locks out the vast majority of the config space, imposing a pattern of isolated islands. And that is where Dembski's premise of overwhelming implausibility of generating FSCO/I by blind chance and mechanical necessity bites home. By now of course, I no longer expect a reasonable response from those obviously committed to the contempt-driven notion that there must be zero concessions to those IDiots. Abuse, disrespect, outing tactics, attacks against uninvolved family have all happened. Reasonableness in addressing issues on the merits, not so much. I say, it is high time for a fresh start. And those who show epistemic vices rather than virtues lock themselves out of that start. They also need to ponder, very carefully, the nihilism their enabling behaviour promotes. Again, time for a fresh start. KF kairosfocus
In fact an entire human can, theoretically, be reduced to quantum information and teleported to another location in the universe:
Quantum Teleportation Of A Human? – video https://vimeo.com/75163272 Will Human Teleportation Ever Be Possible? As experiments in relocating particles advance, will we be able to say, "Beam me up, Scotty" one day soon? By Corey S. Powell|Monday, June 16, 2014 Excerpt: Note a fascinating common thread through all these possibilities. Whether you regard yourself as a pile of atoms, a DNA sequence, a series of sensory inputs or an elaborate computer file, in all of these interpretations you are nothing but a stack of data. According to the principle of unitarity, quantum information is never lost. Put them together, and those two statements lead to a staggering corollary: At the most fundamental level, the laws of physics say you are immortal. http://discovermagazine.com/2014/julyaug/20-the-ups-and-downs-of-teleportation
Thus not only is information not reducible to a energy-matter basis, as is presupposed in Darwinism, but in actuality both energy and matter ultimately reduce to a information basis as is presupposed in Christian Theism (John1:1). Moreover, classical 'digital' information is found to be a subset of ‘non-local' (i.e. beyond space and time) quantum entanglement/information by the following method:
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.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601134300.htm
,,,And here is the evidence that non-local, beyond space and time, quantum information is in fact ‘conserved’;,,,
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. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html Quantum no-deleting theorem Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_no-deleting_theorem#Consequence
Also of note, this non-local quantum information-entanglement is literally, i.e. physically, holding our material-temporal bodies together.
Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA - short video https://vimeo.com/92405752 Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73 Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state. http://www.scimednet.org/quantum-coherence-living-cells-and-protein/
The implications of finding 'non-local', beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’ quantum information in molecular biology on a massive scale is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious:
Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff - video (notes in description) http://vimeo.com/29895068
Verse and Music:
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. Moriah Peters - You Carry Me - music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2H-zQjgurQ
The idea that material reality reduces to a information theoretic basis has some strong clout behind it,,,
"Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day." Norbert Weiner - MIT Mathematician -(Cybernetics, 2nd edition, p.132) Norbert Wiener created the modern field of control and communication systems, utilizing concepts like negative feedback. His seminal 1948 book Cybernetics both defined and named the new field. "I think of my lifetime in physics as divided into three periods. In the first period, extending from the beginning of my career until the early 1950?s, I was in the grip of the idea that Everything Is Particles. I was looking for ways to build all basic entities – neutrons, protons, mesons, and so on – out of the lightest, most fundamental particles, electrons, and photons. I call my second period Everything Is Fields. From the time I fell in love with general relativity and gravitation in 1952 until late in my career, I pursued the vision of a world made of fields, one in which the apparent particles are really manifestations of electric and magnetic fields, gravitational fields, and space-time itself. Now I am in the grip of a new vision, that Everything Is Information. The more I have pondered the mystery of the quantum and our strange ability to comprehend this world in which we live, the more I see possible fundamental roles for logic and information as the bedrock of physical theory." – J. A. Wheeler, K. Ford, Geons, Black Hole, & Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics New York W.W. Norton & Co, 1998, pp 63-64. Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe? Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation: http://www.metanexus.net/archive/ultimate_reality/zeilinger.pdf “The thesis of my book ‘Being as Communion’ is that the fundamental stuff of the world is information. That things are real because they exchange information one with another.” - William Dembski–The Thesis of Being as Communion – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYAsaU9IvnI
And now quantum teleporatation provides us direct empirical evidence for these claims that material reality is information theoretic in its basis,,, First, it is important to learn that ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement (A. Aspect, A. Zeilinger, etc..) can be used as a ‘quantum information channel’,,,
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. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/
And by using this ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, ‘quantum information channel’ of entanglement, such as they use in quantum computation, physicists have reduced material to quantum information. (of note: energy is completely reduced to quantum information, whereas matter is semi-completely reduced, with the caveat being that matter can be reduced to energy via e=mc2).
Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original,,, http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/Issues/2004/October/beammeup.asp Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009 Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,, “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2171769/posts Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data By JOHN MARKOFF - MAY 29, 2014 Excerpt: They report that they have achieved perfectly accurate teleportation of quantum information over short distances. They are now seeking to repeat their experiment over the distance of more than a kilometer. If they are able to repeatedly show that entanglement works at this distance, it will be a definitive demonstration of the entanglement phenomenon and quantum mechanical theory. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/science/scientists-report-finding-reliable-way-to-teleport-data.html?_r=2 Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves - April 2011 Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost. http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-04/quantum-teleportation-breakthrough-could-lead-instantanous-computing How Teleportation Will Work - Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made. http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/teleportation1.htm Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,” http://researcher.ibm.com/view_project.php?id=2862
"If this sound counterintuitive, consider: suppose you have absolutely no information about how to find the hidden prize in a treasure hunt." I'm not sure why this would sound counter-intuitive to anyone. Even young children seem to be able to grasp the idea. Consider the game of twenty-questions. Devising a strategy to divide the possibilities into equally likely alternative greatly reduces the number of questions that may need to be asked. By way of a simplified illustration, consider 8 boxes numbered 0 through 7 one of which contains a prize. Diving the boxes into groups of four and then into groups of two will on average produce the correct box faster than singling out a single box on each guess. For the astute, you'll notice some connections to information theory. But how do you devise a strategy that performs better than a blind search? Mung
If your argument centres around a treasure hunt metaphor, you have lost. On another subject, why does Barry impose moderation on all me commenters to his OPs, but nobody else's? idismyth

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