Information Intelligent Design

Physicist Rob Sheldon: What ID is really about

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It is about understanding the role of information in nature.

Dr SheldonHe  writes: If “conservation of energy” was a really big thing in the 19th century, it was because it made a non-material, yet indestructible thing, explicitly existent. Equally significant was Einstein’s claim in the 20th century that matter could be converted into energy. At this point, Democritus’ atomism that formed the basis of the Enlightenment philosophy of materialism, was finished. In the 21st century, we are now learning that another immaterial thing, which the 19th century disco vered and named “entropy”, had become the 20th century “information.”

Now, in the 21st century, ID or “functional information” (or the much older word “purpose”), is even more fundamental than previously thought. It caused Hawking and Susskind to battle for 10 years over the fate of information falling into black holes. The late John Wheeler said he spent the first 1/3 of his life thinking “everything was particles” (19th century materialism), the second 1/3 of his life thinking “everything was fields” (20th century QM), and the last 1/3 of his life thinking “everything was information” (21st century ID).

daily_commentary_10_21_15 Therefore 19th century materialism isn’t just incompatible with ID, but with 21st century science. The 18th century Newtonian expression of materialism, F=ma, can be integrated twice to give x = x0 + v0 t + 1/2 at^2 as a statement of physical determinism, but 20th century QM and Heisenberg said we cannot know x0 and v0 at the same time to high precision. This was widely viewed as the death of materialism, not only because we lose predictive power, but because those are the “real metaphysical” entities to a materialist, so we must be able to know those things. The 20th century QM revolution gave us computers and lasers, but with the metaphysical explanation, “shut up and calculate”. We had no way to combine them.

Einstein spent the last 40 years of his life trying to combine QM and Gravity and failed. Stephen Hawking also reported that he failed to find a theory of QM gravity. But the 21st century is discovering that the solution lies in ID, in design, in information. We haven’t got a QM theory of gravity yet, but we have a series of “standard models” with gobs and gobs of “fine tuning”, of design, of functional information. From the Higgs to the failure of SUSY, to the failure of dark matter WIMPS, to the failure of inflation, of BBN (Li-7 problem) and on up the chain to OOL, we have so much unaccounted-for information it’s embarrassing.

That is what ID is about. It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature. In the words of classical Reformation theology, it is “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”. It’s really been the operation of science for 500 years, from the Reformation to the present, although for a brief time in the Enlightenment we could pretend these thoughts were disembodied “laws of Nature”, which in a way, helped science avoid the wars of religion and the dogmatic assertions of non-scientific theologians.

But for whatever reason, those pretensions are now more of a hindrance than a help, and ID is taking us back to our roots–looking for purpose, looking for coherence, looking for meaning. Because the fundamental property of information is coherence, anti-entropy, function.

See also: How do dark energy and dark matter relate to ID?

Darwin freakout 2016: ID as threat to education

and

ID as terrorism? A friend sends this list of freakouts by Darwin’s followers some years ago, about the dangers the ID community poses: Can readers come up with more of this stuff? The Coffee Room here is thinking of starting a Mental Health Fund for Darwin’s followers.

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3 Replies to “Physicist Rob Sheldon: What ID is really about

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “19th century materialism isn’t just incompatible with ID, but with 21st century science

    That Darwinian materialists, with their 19th century materialism, have no real clue as to explaining what is currently being found in molecular biology is made evident by these following two articles:

    “We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today. But at least we are no longer as naïve as we were when I was a graduate student in the 1960s. Then, most of us viewed cells as containing a giant set of second-order reactions: molecules A and B were thought to diffuse freely, randomly colliding with each other to produce molecule AB — and likewise for the many other molecules that interact with each other inside a cell. This seemed reasonable because, as we had learned from studying physical chemistry, motions at the scale of molecules are incredibly rapid. Consider an enzyme, for example. If its substrate molecule is present at a concentration of 0.5mM,which is only one substrate molecule for every 105 water molecules, the enzyme’s active site will randomly collide with about 500,000 molecules of substrate per second. And a typical globular protein will be spinning to and fro, turning about various axes at rates corresponding to a million rotations per second.
    But, as it turns out, we can walk and we can talk because the chemistry that makes life possible is much more elaborate and sophisticated than anything we students had ever considered. Proteins make up most of the dry mass of a cell. But instead of a cell dominated by randomly colliding individual protein molecules, we now know that nearly every major process in a cell is carried out by assemblies of 10 or more protein molecules. And, as it carries out its biological functions, each of these protein assemblies interacts with several other large complexes of proteins. Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”
    – Bruce Alberts, “The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the Next Generation of Molecular Biologists,” Cell, 92 (February 6, 1998): 291-294) Editor-in-Chief of Science (2009-2013). Dr Alberts served two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences

    Flailing Blindly: The Pseudoscience of Josh Rosenau and Carl Zimmer – Jonathan Wells – April 17, 2014
    Excerpt: The new animation (like the old) also includes a kinesin molecule hauling a vesicle, but this time the kinesin’s movements are characterized (in Zimmer’s words) by

    “barely constrained randomness. Every now and then, a tiny molecule loaded with fuel binds to one of the kinesin “feet.” It delivers a jolt of energy, causing that foot to leap off the molecular cable and flail wildly, pulling hard on the foot that’s still anchored. Eventually, the gyrating foot stumbles into contact again with the cable, locking on once more — and advancing the vesicle a tiny step forward. This updated movie offers a better way to picture our most intricate inner workings…. In the 2006 version, we can’t help seeing intention in the smooth movements of the molecules; it’s as if they’re trying to get from one place to another. In reality, however, the parts of our cells don’t operate with the precise movements of the springs and gears of a clock. They flail blindly in the crowd.”

    But that’s not what the biological evidence shows. In fact, kinesin moves quickly, with precise movements, to get from one place to another.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....84521.html

    In fact, recent advances in quantum biology have left these grossly inadequate 19th century materialistic assumptions of Darwinists in the dust and have effectively empirically falsified Darwinian claims that information is ’emergent’ from a material basis, since information is now found to be its own independent entity that is separate from matter and energy. An independent entity that is found to be ‘running the show’ in molecular biology:

    “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)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    Molecular Biology – 19th Century Materialism meets 21st Century Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCs3WXHqOv8&index=3&list=PLtAP1KN7ahiYxgYCc-0xiUAhNWjT4q6LD

    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.,,,
    Today, Luo and Lo say these curves can be easily explained if the process of folding is a quantum affair. By conventional thinking, a chain of amino acids can only change from one shape to another by mechanically passing though various shapes in between.
    But Luo and Lo say that if this process were a quantum one, the shape could change by quantum transition, meaning that the protein could ‘jump’ from one shape to another without necessarily forming the shapes in between.,,,
    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.co.....f-protein/

    That non-material information should be found to be running the show in biology, while completely unexpected by Darwinian materialists, is expected on the Christian worldview:

    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.

    Brooke Fraser – Hillsong: “Lord Of Lords” Worship and Praise Song (HQ)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlqDIfS4O3s

    Supplemental notes:

    A few notes on the physical reality of ‘immaterial’ information: (Oct. 2016)
    Thermodynamic Content, Erasing Classical Information with Quantum Information, Quantum Teleportation
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-618818

    Scientific Evidence That We Do Indeed Have A Soul
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2P45Obl4lQ&index=2&list=PLtAP1KN7ahiYxgYCc-0xiUAhNWjT4q6LD

    Special and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI&index=1&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    The Allman Brothers Band – Soulshine – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L3BYTS8uxM

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    News (from Sheldon):

    [ID] is about understanding the role of information in nature . . . . It isn’t just “detecting design in nature”, because that’s the easy part. It’s understanding design, understanding information in nature . . . . ID is taking us back to our roots–looking for purpose, looking for coherence, looking for meaning. Because the fundamental property of information is coherence, anti-entropy, function.

    Yup.

    Bingo!

    KF

    PS: Especially, functionally specific complex organisation and associated — often, coded — information. (FSCO/I)

  3. 3

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