Information Intelligent Design

The computer revolution did not show that information could be produced from nothing

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Computer engineer Robert J. Marks and colleagues demonstrated that there is still no such thing as a free lunch where information is concerned:

Robert J. Marks: Well, my background is not in biology, but it is in computer science and computer engineering. And one of the things we do is do artificial intelligence. And I think maybe your question translated to artificial intelligence is, can anything happen in artificial intelligence from totally random unguided mutations and processes to allow for something to happen? And the answer is absolutely not. Winston Ewert, design theorist William Dembski, and I did a lot of work on analyzing programs that were purported to generate information.

News, “Does information just happen? Or does the universe have meaning? ” at Mind Matters News

8 Replies to “The computer revolution did not show that information could be produced from nothing

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    Nice article. Exactly what’s been understood in Quantum Mechanics for years. There’s no magic information ratchet that turns noise into noodles, chaos into consciousness, or randomness into rational.

    But a lot of people are in denial.

    -Q

    P.S. The thread, Philip Cunningham Argues: Jesus Christ Is The Correct Theory Of Everything, thinks I’m logged out. :-/

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Marks’s dead-man story is beautiful.

    My dad told lots of science parables, including another version of this point. A scientist trained a grasshopper to jump on command. He then removed the legs one by one, and after removing all the legs the bug no longer jumped on command. Conclusion: Grasshoppers hear with their legs.

    Unfortunately the story didn’t work because in fact grasshoppers DO hear with their legs, which my dad didn’t know.

    A theory can get tangled up in its own little world and neglect reality. AND, a story debunking theories can also get tied up in its own assumptions and neglect reality.

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Heh, my favorite story along the same lines concerns a farmer bragging to another farmer about the size of his farm” “My farm is so big, it takes me all day to drive across it.” The other farmer replied, “Yeah, I had car like that once.”

    You might want to use a frog in your example, Polistra.

    The complex auditory apparatus, that is, the grasshopper’s ears, is located on the shins of the front legs of the insect.

    -Q

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    The Computer Revolution Did Not Show That Information Could Be Produced From Nothing

    Was it ever expected that the computer revolution would show that information could be produced from nothing? I thought we had mostly agreed that if there had ever been absolutely nothing there would still be absolutely nothing because you can’t get something – including information – from nothing. Information is always about something. If there is no “something” there is nothing for there to be information about.

    Furthermore, this universe is not just random noise, If it were, we would not be here. There are regularities in the way it behaves, what we call ‘laws’. There also appear to be random deviations from a strictly deterministic behavior and it is the combination of so-called chance and necessity which can lead to new forms and new behaviors which, in turn, means new information.

    There are also critiques of Dembski, Ewert and Mark’s work written by Wesley Elsberry and Jeffrey Shallit which ought to be read together with the former’s, although only if you want to hear both sides of the story.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Wes and Jeff aren’t people you want to read for facts, truth and science. Shallit is so dim he doesn’t understand that computer programs trace back to the intelligence of the programmer. He thinks that if the programmer is dead then that is somehow impossible. How stupid is that?

    And those laws are evidence for Intelligent Design.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this comment from the linked article,

    Information makes a huge difference to what happens among human beings. But it is not like matter or energy. It doesn’t weigh anything or generate heat. How can we understand it scientifically?

    In the podcast, Dr. Marks mentions that he could not shake one Darwinist off his mistaken belief that ‘information is physical’. That is to say that he could not shake him off his belief that immaterial information is completely reducible to some type of purely matter and energy explanation.

    Yet, information is profoundly immaterial in its foundational nature. i.e. Information is profoundly NOT matter and energy in its foundational nature

    As Stephen Meyer explains,

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences.
    – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    In short, it is impossible, in principle, for the unguided material processes of Darwinian evolution to ever produce information since information is, in its most foundational nature, is profoundly immaterial.

    As Paul Davies stated in 2002, “Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won’t work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level. ”

    How we could create life – The key to existence will be found not in primordial sludge, but in the nanotechnology of the living cell – Paul Davies – 2002
    Excerpt: the living cell is best thought of as a supercomputer – an information processing and replicating system of astonishing complexity. DNA is not a special life-giving molecule, but a genetic databank that transmits its information using a mathematical code. Most of the workings of the cell are best described, not in terms of material stuff – hardware – but as information, or software. Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won’t work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level.
    – per the guardian

    And as Paul Davies stated in 1999, “”How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software … ? Nobody knows … … there is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”

    “How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software … ? Nobody knows … … there is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”
    – Paul Davies, Life force, New Scientist 163(2204):27–30, 18 September 1999

    And as Paul Davies reiterated in 2020, (after a few decades of thinking about the problem), “Asking chemistry to explain coded information is like expecting computer hardware to write its own software.”

    Hey, Paul Davies — Your ID is Showing – Robert F. Shedinger – March 6, 2020
    Excerpt: With a nod toward James Clerk Maxwell’s entropy-defying demon, (Paul) Davies argues that the gulf between physics and biology is completely unbridgeable without some fundamentally new concept. Since living organisms consistently resist the ravages of entropy that all forms of inanimate matter are subject to, there must be some non-physical principle allowing living matter to consistently defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And for Davies there is; the demon in the machine turns out to be information.,,,
    “Semantic information is a higher-level concept that is simply meaningless at the level of molecules. Chemistry alone, however complex, can never produce the genetic code or contextual instructions. Asking chemistry to explain coded information is like expecting computer hardware to write its own software.”
    – Paul Davies
    – per evolution news

    The fact that information is immaterial is easily demonstrated by the fact that we can inscribe information on an almost endless variety of material substrates, using on almost endless variety of different languages, and yet the meaning of the information never changes between the material substrates as long as the information is faithfully encoded and decoded on the almost endless variety of material substrates. In other words, there is something profoundly immaterial about information that simply refuses to ever be reduced to purely materialistic explanations.

    As George Williams, who is an evolutionary biologist himself, pointed out, ““Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter,,, Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes…”

    “Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter… These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism.’… Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes… This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms.”
    George Williams – Evolutionary Biologist – “A Package of Information”

    And as George Ellis pointed out, information is a ‘top down’ “higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves.” and George Ellis even goes on to note this obvious fact, “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.”

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation,,,
    Definition 2: Existence If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).,,,
    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.,,,
    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.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    In regards to Ellis’s observation that, “information is a ‘top down’ “higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves.”, ,,, That is to say that it is the ability of the immaterial mind to have knowledge of a particle’s position, and to then arrange that particle’s position in relation to other particles, that allows us to impart immaterial information into material substrates in a ‘top-down’ manner.

    And indeed, it has now been empirically demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position converts information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    – per physorg

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    – per scientific American

    And as if that empirical demonstration was not bad enough for the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, in 2011 it was shown that “when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. ”

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 1, 2011
    Excerpt: The new study revisits Landauer’s principle for cases when the values of the bits to be deleted may be known. When the memory content is known, it should be possible to delete the bits in such a manner that it is theoretically possible to re-create them. It has previously been shown that such reversible deletion would generate no heat. In the new paper, the researchers go a step further. They show that when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
    In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer. Applied to the example of deleting data, this means that if two individuals delete data in a memory and one has more knowledge of this data, she perceives the memory to have lower entropy and can then delete the memory using less energy.,,,
    – per science daily

    In short, the preceding experiment demonstrates that classical ‘sequential’ information , (such as what is encoded on DNA), is a subset of ‘positional’ quantum information,,,,

    Image: Classical information is a subset of quantum information
    https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf00101/images/figure1.gif

    Moreover, the recent experimental realizations of the ‘Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment go even further than that. As the following 2017 article states,, “James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
    quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
    Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    – per quanta magazine

    The fact that classical sequential information is a subset of ‘positional’ quantum information is further driven home by looking at the physical relation of quantum information to sequential information in DNA. As Dr Reiper remarks in the following video, “practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it.”

    “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

    Thus we now have many lines of empirical evidence, (particularly from quantum information theory and from the recent experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment), establishing the fact that information, regardless of the fact that it is immaterial, is, none-the less, physically real and that it has, of all things, a ‘thermodynamic content’ that can be imparted, in a ‘top-down’ manner. onto material substrates by an intelligent, and immaterial, mind in order to bring a material system into a state that is far from thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Just how much immaterial information is being imparted into a developing embryo, via a ‘beyond space and time, immaterial Mind, i.e. by God, to bring that developing embryo into a state that is very far from thermodynamic equilibrium, is touched upon in the following video,

    Quote towards the end of the video, “Then that gives us a rough ballpark estimate of around 300 trillion times 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Or about 300 trillion times the information content contained within the books of all the largest libraries in the world. Needless to say, that is a massive amount of positional information that is somehow coming into a developing embryo from the outside by some non-material method.”
    – Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    As far as empirical science is concerned, these fairly recent experiments that have established the physical reality of immaterial information, a physical reality that is separate from matter and energy, are direct empirical falsifications of the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, Materialistic presuppositions that hold immaterial information, (as well as the immaterial mind), to be completely reducible to some materialistic explanation.

    Of supplemental note, perhaps the simplest, non-technical, way to demonstrate that immaterial information is, in spite of being immaterial, a distinct physically real entity that is separate from matter and energy is with quantum teleportation.

    As the following article states, “the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,”

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    And as the following article states. “scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart,,, information,,, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium.”

    First Teleportation Between Distant Atoms – 2009
    Excerpt: For the first time, scientists have successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart – a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.
    Teleportation may be nature’s most mysterious form of transport: Quantum information, such as the spin of a particle or the polarization of a photon, is transferred from one place to another, but without traveling through any physical medium. It has previously been achieved between photons over very large distances, between photons and ensembles of atoms, and between two nearby atoms through the intermediary action of a third. None of those, however, provides a feasible means of holding and managing quantum information over long distances.
    Now a team from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Michigan has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a substantial distance
    https://jqi.umd.edu/news/first-teleportation-between-distant-atoms

    Simply put, if the reductive materialistic presuppositions that undergird Darwinian thought were actually true, then the preceding quantum teleportation experiments that demonstrated the transfer of information without the particles ever physically interacting, should have been completely impossible experiment for them to accomplish. Yet they accomplished it, therefore the reductive materialism that undergoes Darwinian thought is necessarily false.

    Furthermore, if Darwinian evolution were a normal science, instead of basically being a ‘blind faith’ religion for atheists, these empirical falsifications of their primary presupposition, the presupposition that holds immaterial information can be reduced to purely material explanations, should forever end any debate on the feasibility of Darwinian explanations, and Darwinian evolution should, once and for all, be consigned to the dust bin of history as a failed scientific hypothesis.

    Quotes and Verse:

    “Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day.”
    – Norbert Wiener – Cybernetics, 2nd edition, p.132

    “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)

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Nicely summarized, Bornagain77. The problem is that people make these quotes about reality, but their readers and listeners don’t take them seriously. Materialists conflate the transport of information with information itself.

    Fortunately for civilization, most people don’t take “survival of the fittest,” seriously either.

    What a horrible world it would be when they do!

    -Q

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Seversky @4,

    Was it ever expected that the computer revolution would show that information could be produced from nothing?

    Yes, of course it was. Why do you think that some “visionaries” and “glitterati” are afraid that AI will ultimately work to quietly exterminate humanity?

    -Q

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