Intelligent Design

Why does “form” seem to appear from nowhere?

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Is form a problem or a solution?:

Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the currently unrealized form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger, developing pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development.” (Lewontin 1983)

Stephen Talbott, “What Is the Problem of Form?” at Nature Institute

And Lewontin, who was a big-time Marxist naturalist, was testifying against interest here.

8 Replies to “Why does “form” seem to appear from nowhere?

  1. 1
    doubter says:

    Experimenters even excised the normally developed amphibian lens right after it formed. Then they observed that somehow the organism apparently intelligently and creatively proceeded to form a new lens from some of the iris cells (an entirely different type of differentiated cell).

    “It is impossible to believe that these complex and intricately coordinated responses to the (experimentally induced) loss of the lens were somehow already physically determined or programmed or otherwise specified in the animal’s one-celled zygote. Nor is it easy to imagine how there could ever have been a sustained and large population of lens-injured amphibians with otherwise functional eyes — a population large enough, that is, to enable a supposedly mindless process of natural selection to evolve a specific, novel solution to the problem of lens regeneration.

    The problem of form exists even at the molecular level. The problem of form has long been central to biology…
    ………………………
    …every organism’s stunning achievement of form has become an enigma so profound, and so threatening to the prevailing style of biological explanation, that few biologists dare to focus for long on the substance of the problem.”

    The problem of form extends very severely into evolutionary biology, since one of the greatest (unmentionable and embarrassing) inherent problems of Darwinist evolutionary theory is its utter inability to account for the evolution of new, innovative and complex forms.

    Rupert Sheldrake’s hypothesized “morphic (or morphogenetic) fields” seem at least on the surface to somewhat account for the embryological mystery covered in the article, but don’t seem to relate too much to the problem with Darwinism and the evident creativity of evolution in rapidly creating complex and ingenious new forms at various points in the process. And I don’t think Sheldrake’s hypothesized biological phenomenon has ever been actually physically detected and studied.

    This seems clearly to point once more to the bankruptcy of the materialist reductionist naturalism paradigm of modern science. It doesn’t look too likely that any progress will be made in solving the mystery of form until this paradigm is overthrown. I won’t hold my breath.

  2. 2

    Something similar is true of holograms. You set up the image and the lasers, pop in your film and record the scene. Then you can take that developed film, put it back into its holder, turn off one of the lasers, and the image reforms–like that ghostly 3D image familiar from Star Wars episode 4.
    Now cut the piece of film in half and pop it back into its holder. The image is still there, just a bit blurrier.
    Cut the film in half again. Still the image, even more blurry.
    Go back to your computer and open an image in Microsoft Paint. Save it as a JPG. Then resize it to 1/2 the height and width (1/4 the size), save it as another JPG. Resize it again to 1/16 the original. Save it.
    Now look at the 3 images when they are stretched to be the same size on your screen. The tiny one is really blurry, but the JPG file is 1/16 the original kBytes. This is precisely what cutting the film does, it uses 1/16 the memory (film area) and produces a 16 times more blurry image.
    And that appears to be the way the brain stores memories, and the way that embryonic development occurs. While each cell has a particular job to do, the instructions are stored in all the adjacent cells. So if one cell dies, the neighbors readjust to do the job. “Form” is part of the macroscopic system, not the microscopic.
    Here’s where the analogy of a machine is deficient. The pieces of a machine have no memory, and therefore no global understanding of their role. But “smart materials” are being designed to have memory. For example: instead of marines wearing ceramic plate armor (vests with little pockets for toilet lids), they are experimenting with a slurry of ceramic particles in a gel. When a bullet hits the gel, the particles tangle with adjacent particles and “jam” creating a non-fluid rigid surface, otherwise known as a “Non-Newtonian liquid”. In this case, the shear created by the bullet causes the gel material to change its properties. We’ve tuned the material time-changes to provide better protection.
    We could tune it further by having the gel “relax” back to its original state depending on how many bullets have hit it. Or we could add an electric switch to override the gel transition. The point is that the material responds to global, not just local, commands. The “Form” of the gel is determined by the owner.
    This is, of course, completely opposite to Darwin who wanted form to arise from local changes percolating bottom-up. But this is by no means the first or only, or even rare situation–the entire biological world is rife with top-down, global designs. This is just an example of how a human designer puts “form” into her designs.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    As Dr. Michael Denton wrote:

    To understand the challenge to the “superwatch” model by the erosion of the gene-centric view of nature, it is necessary to recall August Weismann’s seminal insight more than a century ago regarding the need for genetic determinants to specify organic form. As Weismann saw so clearly, in order to account for the unerring transmission through time with precise reduplication, for each generation of “complex contingent assemblages of matter” (superwatches), it is necessary to propose the existence of stable abstract genetic blueprints or programs in the genes- he called them “determinants”- sequestered safely in the germ plasm, away from the ever varying and destabilizing influences of the extra-genetic environment.

    Such carefully isolated determinants would theoretically be capable of reliably transmitting contingent order through time and specifying it reliably each generation. Thus, the modern “gene-centric” view of life was born, and with it the heroic twentieth century effort to identify Weismann’s determinants, supposed to be capable of reliably specifying in precise detail all the contingent order of the phenotype. Weismann was correct in this: the contingent view of form and indeed the entire mechanistic conception of life- the superwatch model- is critically dependent on showing that all or at least the vast majority of organic form is specified in precise detail in the genes.

    Yet by the late 1980s it was becoming obvious to most genetic researchers, including myself, since my own main research interest in the ‘80s and ‘90s was human genetics, that the heroic effort to find information specifying life’s order in the genes had failed. There was no longer the slightest justification for believing there exists anything in the genome remotely resembling a program capable of specifying in detail all the complex order of the phenotype. The emerging picture made it increasingly difficult to see genes as Weismann’s “unambiguous bearers of information” or view them as the sole source of the durability and stability of organic form. It is true that genes influence every aspect of development, but influencing something is not the same as determining it. Only a small fraction of all known genes, such as the developmental fate switching genes, can be imputed to have any sort of directing or controlling influence on form generation. From being “isolated directors” of a one-way game of life, genes are now considered to be interactive players in a dynamic two-way dance of almost unfathomable complexity, as described by Keller in The Century of The Gene- Michael Denton “An Anti-Darwinian Intellectual Journey”, Uncommon Dissent (2004), pages 171-2

    We do NOT know what makes an organism what it is. That is we do not know what determines form. That alone makes it really difficult to say one form can evolve into another, regardless of the underlying mechanisms. And it squashes the notion that you can say anything about evolutionary relationships via genetic comparisons alone.

    Jonathan Wells, a developmental biologist, has always said that we don’t know what determines form. Geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti’s book “Why Is A Fly Not A Horse?” dives into this very subject. And when he comes out he just shrugs and says no one knows.

    Personally I say it is the immaterial information that guides all cellular processes that also determines what develops. The physical part of the cell supplies the raw materials to that end.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    The ‘problem of form’ for materialistic explanations has been known about since ancient times, long before modern science came along.

    As the following article states,

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt: The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,,
    One way to see this form-matter dichotomy is as Aristotle’s solution to the ancient tension between change and permanence debated so vigorously in the pre-Socratic era. Heraclitus argued that reality is change. Everything constantly changes—like fire, which never stays the same from moment to moment. Philosophers like Parmenides (and Zeno of “Zeno’s paradoxes” fame) argued exactly the opposite; there is no change. Despite appearances, reality is permanent. How else could we have knowledge? If reality constantly changes, how can we know it? What is to be known?
    Aristotle solved this dilemma by postulating that while matter is constantly in flux—even now some somatic cells are leaving my body while others arrive—an organism’s form is stable. It is a fixed reality, and for this reason is a steady object of our knowledge. Organisms have an essence that can be grasped intellectually.
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    As Darwinian materialists themselves today admit, ‘species’, the most important concept in all of biology, is simply ‘a complete mystery,’

    What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery – July 16, 2019
    Excerpt: Enough of species?
    This is only the tip of a deep and confusing iceberg. There is absolutely no agreement among biologists about how we should understand the species. One 2006 article on the subject listed 26 separate definitions of species, all with their advocates and detractors. Even this list is incomplete.
    The mystery surrounding species is well-known in biology, and commonly referred to as “the species problem”. Frustration with the idea of a species goes back at least as far as Darwin.,,,
    some contemporary biologists and philosophers of biology have,,, suggested that biology would be much better off if it didn’t think about life in terms of species at all.,,,
    https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-species-the-most-important-concept-in-all-of-biology-is-a-complete-mystery-119200

    As should be needless to say, if your scientific theory, (a theory that seeks to explain ‘The Origin of Species’), can’t even rigorously define what a species even is in the first place, then your supposedly scientific theory can’t possibly be the correct scientific explanation for the ‘Origin of Species’.

    As the experiment from Lewontin that News highlighted in the OP made clear,,,

    “Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the currently unrealized form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger, developing pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development.” (Lewontin 1983)

    As that experiment made clear, advances in modern science have only accentuated and confirmed the fact that Darwinian materialists have no answer for the ancient ‘problem of form’ that was highlighted long ago by Aristotle and also by Aquinas.

    Here are a few more experiments that further drive this point home,

    In the following study, researchers implanted human embryonic neuronal cells into a mouse embryo.,,, Yet, the human neurons, despite having human DNA, had a mouse morphology. If DNA really ruled morphology, we would have expected a human morphology.

    If DNA really rules (morphology), why did THIS happen? – April 2014
    Excerpt: Researchers implanted human embryonic neuronal cells into a mouse embryo. Mouse and human neurons have distinct morphologies (shapes). Because the human neurons feature human DNA, they should be easy to identify.
    Which raises a question: Would the human neurons implanted in developing mouse brain have a mouse or a human morphology?
    Well, the answer is, the human neurons had a mouse morphology. They could be distinguished from the mouse ones only by their human genetic markers.
    If DNA really ruled, we would expect a human morphology.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....is-happen/

    Likewise, another experiment found that when different tooth buds in a developing mouse embryo were switched, “The tooth buds became the tooth appropriate to the switched location, not the original one, in direct contrast to what we would expect from a genecentric view.”

    DNA doesn’t even tell teeth what they should look like – April 3, 2014
    Excerpt: A friend writes to mention a mouse experiment where developing tooth buds were moved so that the incisors and the molars were switched. The tooth buds became the tooth appropriate to the switched location, not the original one, in direct contrast to what we would expect from a genecentric view.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....look-like/

    As well, a UD Blogger related this personal experience,

    “Last year I had a fair chunk of my nose removed in skin cancer surgery (Mohs). The surgeon took flesh from a nearby area to fill in the large hole he’d made. The pictures of it were scary. But in the healing process the replanted cells somehow ‘knew’ how to take a different shape appropriate for the new location so that the nose now looks remarkably natural. The doctor said he could take only half the credit because the cells somehow know how to change form for a different location (though they presumably still follow the same DNA code) . — I’m getting the feeling that we’ve been nearly as reductionist in the 20-21st century as Darwin and his peers were when they viewed cells as little blobs of jelly.”
    leodp – UD blogger
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-563451

    Darwinists hold, as a primary presupposition, that it is possible to gradually change one species, via mutations to DNA, into a brand new species with an entirely new form.

    Yet they simply have no experimental evidence that such is possible. As Jonathan Wells explains, “Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.”

    Jonathan Wells: Far from being all-powerful, DNA does not wholly determine biological form – March 31, 2014
    Excerpt: Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/jonathan-wells-far-from-being-all-powerful-dna-does-not-wholly-determine-biological-form/

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: But there are solid empirical grounds for arguing that changes in DNA alone cannot produce new organs or body plans. A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12. None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–,,,
    (As Jonathan Wells states),,, We can modify the DNA of a fruit fly embryo in any way we want, and there are only three possible outcomes:
    A normal fruit fly;
    A defective fruit fly; or
    A dead fruit fly.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    And as the following recent article stated, “DNA cannot be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for life,,, scientists are unable to determine the complex shape of an organ such as an eye, or that a creature will have eyes at all, by reading the creature’s DNA. These fundamental aspects of anatomy are dictated by something outside of the DNA.”

    DNA may not be life’s instruction book—just a jumbled list of ingredients – Kimbra Cutlip, University of Maryland – APRIL 22, 2020
    Excerpt: The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to the next is stored in an organism’s DNA. But Antony Jose, associate professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, disagrees.
    In two new papers, Jose argues that DNA is just the ingredient list, not the set of instructions used to build and maintain a living organism.,,,
    ,,, “DNA cannot be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for life,” Jose said. “It is at best an overlapping and potentially scrambled list of ingredients that is used differently by different cells at different times.”
    ,,, In addition, scientists are unable to determine the complex shape of an organ such as an eye, or that a creature will have eyes at all, by reading the creature’s DNA. These fundamental aspects of anatomy are dictated by something outside of the DNA.
    https://phys.org/news/2020-04-dna-life-bookjust-jumbled-ingredients.html

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    The failure of the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution to be able to explain the basic form of any particular organism, (or for reductive materialism to explain the basic form of anything else for that matter), occurs at a very low level. Much lower than DNA itself.
    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    The reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution, as far as Godel’s Incompleteness and quantum mechanics are concerned, is simply a non-starter,

    Besides the failure of mutations to DNA to give us a clue as to how any particular organism might achieve its ‘final form’, (and as Talbott went on to explain is his article), nor does gene expression itself give us a clue as to what ‘final form’ any particular organism may take.

    Specifically, “We find the same principle when we look at cascades of gene expression, such as the sequential expression of the various genes that have been said to “determine” left-right asymmetry of the vertebrate body. The normal expectation would be that if one blocks or changes the expression of earlier genes in the sequence, the disorder should accumulate and be magnified, perhaps explosively, in downstream gene expression, since proper cues for the later steps are missing. But,,
    “Surprisingly, this is not actually what occurs: each subsequent step has fewer errors than the previous step, suggesting that the classic linear pathway picture is importantly incomplete. Embryos recognize transcriptional deviations from the correct pattern and repair them over time…”

    What Is the Problem of Form? – May 31, 2020 – Stephen Talbott
    Excerpt: We find the same principle when we look at cascades of gene expression, such as the sequential expression of the various genes that have been said to “determine” left-right asymmetry of the vertebrate body. The normal expectation would be that if one blocks or changes the expression of earlier genes in the sequence, the disorder should accumulate and be magnified, perhaps explosively, in downstream gene expression, since proper cues for the later steps are missing. But,,
    “Surprisingly, this is not actually what occurs: each subsequent step has fewer errors than the previous step, suggesting that the classic linear pathway picture is importantly incomplete. Embryos recognize transcriptional deviations from the correct pattern and repair them over time … The existence of corrective pathways in embryogenesis and regeneration raises profound questions about the nearly ubiquitous stories our textbooks and “models” tell about the molecular explanations for specific events.” (Levin 2020)
    All this may remind us of E. S. Russell’s remark that in biology “the end-state is more constant than the method of reaching it” (Chapter 2). We also see here the principle that cell biologist Paul Weiss enunciated so clearly at mid-twentieth century, when he pointed out that the whole “is infinitely less variant from moment to moment than are the momentary activities of its parts”. At the lowest level of biological activity, molecules in the watery medium of a cell have degrees of freedom (possibilities of movement and interaction) that would spell utter chaos at higher levels if it were not for the fact that the lower-level activity is “disciplined” from above.1
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/bk/form1.htm
    Notes
    Reference 1:
    1. Weiss 1962, p. 6. Emphasis in original.
    Weiss’ point is that, whatever the level we analyze, from macromolecular complexes, to organelles, to cells, to tissues, to individual organs, to the organism as a whole, we find the same principle: we cannot reconstruct the pattern at any level of activity by starting from the parts and interactions at that level. There are always organizing principles that must be seen working from a larger whole into the parts.
    Weiss expressed this truth in a significant formula:
    VS < ?(va + vb + vc + . . . vn)
    That is, if you take a given fraction, A, of an organic complex such as a cell, and if you measure all the fluctuations of its physical and chemical parameters over a period of time, summing them as va, and if you do the same with all the other fractions, B, C … and if, finally, you record all the measurable features of the total complex, S, as a whole, along with their variations, then you reach this conclusion: the total variance of all the subprocesses within a cell (jumping up a level, you could also say: “the total variance of all the cells in a tissue”) is less than the sum of all the variances of the individual subprocesses (or separate cells in the tissue). “The formula represents an ‘operational’ description of what it is that makes the cell as a unit ‘more than the sum of its parts’” (Weiss 1963, pp. 395-6).
    In other words, despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    We might say that a given type of cell (or tissue, or organ, or organism) insists upon maintaining its own recognizable identity with “unreasonable” tenacity.
    It turns out, then, with a touch of irony, that less change is what shows the whole cell to be more than the sum of its parts. It’s as if there were an active, coordinating agency subsuming all the part-processes and disciplining their separate variabilities so that they remain informed by the greater unity. The coordination, the ordering, the continual overcoming of otherwise disordering impacts from the environment so as to retain for the whole a particular character or organized way of being, expressively unique and different from other creatures — this is the “more” of the organism that cannot be had from the mere summing of discrete parts. The center holds, and this ordering center — this whole that is more than the sum of its parts — cannot itself be just one or some of those parts it is holding together. When the organism dies, the parts are all still there, but the whole is not.
    (See also the brief discussion of Weiss in Chapter 7.)

    Of related interest to “Surprisingly, this is not actually what occurs: each subsequent step has fewer errors than the previous step,,,” in the following 2019 study it was found that “It’s now known that some form of positional information makes genes variously switch on and off throughout the embryo, giving cells distinct identities based on their location.,,, that cells extract as much useful information from their complex surroundings as is theoretically possible.,,, when researchers have been able to appropriately determine what cells are doing, many have been surprised to see clear indications of optimization.,,,”

    The Math That Tells Cells What They Are – March 13, 2019
    Excerpt: It’s now known that some form of positional information makes genes variously switch on and off throughout the embryo, giving cells distinct identities based on their location.,,,
    That mounting evidence is leading some biologists to a bold hypothesis: that where information is concerned, cells might often find solutions to life’s challenges that are not just good but optimal — that cells extract as much useful information from their complex surroundings as is theoretically possible.,,,
    when researchers have been able to appropriately determine what cells are doing, many have been surprised to see clear indications of optimization.,,,
    “I don’t think optimization is an aesthetic or philosophical idea. It’s a very concrete idea,” Bialek said.,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-math-that-tells-cells-what-they-are-20190313/

    “Optimization” is not just some word that they are carelessly tossing around. When they describe a biological system as being in a ‘optimal’ state, they mean exactly what they are saying. As the following article states, “In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.”

    William Bialek: More Perfect Than We Imagined – March 23, 2013
    Excerpt: photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped.
    “Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” …
    Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them the superb efficiency with which bacterial cells will close in on a food source; the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head; and the way a shark can find its prey by measuring micro-fluxes of electricity in the water a tremulous millionth of a volt strong — which, as Douglas Fields observed in Scientific American, is like detecting an electrical field generated by a standard AA battery “with one pole dipped in the Long Island Sound and the other pole in waters of Jacksonville, Fla.” In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....an-we.html

    Nor is this optimal positional information that is somehow dictating gene expression, and is thus dictating what final form an organism may take, reducible to the embryonic cell.

    In the following video, at about the 41:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Jonathan Wells, using a branch of mathematics called category theory, demonstrates that, during embryological development, information must somehow be added to the developing embryo, ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method.

    Design Beyond DNA: A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Wells – video (41:00 minute mark) – January 2017
    https://youtu.be/ASAaANVBoiE?t=2484

    When working from the thermodynamic perspective, the amount of positional information that is somehow coming into the developing embryo, ‘from the outside’, by some ‘non-material’ method, is found to be immense.

    The information content that is found to be in a simple one cell bacterium, when working from the thermodynamic perspective, is found to be around 10 to the 12 bits,,,

    Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    ,,, Which is the equivalent of about 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘In comparison,,, the largest libraries in the world,, have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.”
    – R. C. Wysong – The Creation-evolution Controversy

    ‘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

    Thus since Bacterial cells are about 10 times smaller than most plant and animal cells.

    Size Comparisons of Bacteria, Amoeba, Animal & Plant Cells
    Excerpt: Bacterial cells are very small – about 10 times smaller than most plant and animal cells.
    https://education.seattlepi.com/size-comparisons-bacteria-amoeba-animal-plant-cells-4966.html

    And since there are conservatively estimated to be around 30 trillion cells within the average human body,

    Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body – 2016
    Abstract: Reported values in the literature on the number of cells in the body differ by orders of magnitude and are very seldom supported by any measurements or calculations. Here, we integrate the most up-to-date information on the number of human and bacterial cells in the body. We estimate the total number of bacteria in the 70 kg “reference man” to be 3.8·10^13. For human cells, we identify the dominant role of the hematopoietic lineage to the total count (?90%) and revise past estimates to 3.0·10^13 human cells. Our analysis also updates the widely-cited 10:1 ratio, showing that the number of bacteria in the body is actually of the same order as the number of human cells, and their total mass is about 0.2 kg.
    https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533

    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.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    The following article puts the situation this way, “the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000.”

    In a TED Talk, (the Question You May Not Ask,,, Where did the information come from?) – November 29, 2017
    Excerpt: Sabatini is charming.,,, he deploys some memorable images. He points out that the information to build a human infant, atom by atom, would take up the equivalent of enough thumb drives to fill the Titanic, multiplied by 2,000. Later he wheels out the entire genome, in printed form, of a human being,,,,:
    [F]or the first time in history, this is the genome of a specific human, printed page-by-page, letter-by-letter: 262,000 pages of information, 450 kilograms.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/in-a-ted-talk-heres-the-question-you-may-not-ask/

    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.

    Advances in quantum information theory give us a solid clue as to exactly where this ‘non-material’ positional information is coming from.

    Specifically, in 2010 the Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, which was originally devised by James Clerk Maxwell in 1867, was finally experimentally realized. As the following paper highlights, it has now been experimentally 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.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    As the following 2010 article states 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.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    And 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.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    Entropy being found to not be a property of a system, but ‘a property of an observer who describes the system’ is simply devastating to the entire reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution.

    Moreover, this quantum positional information that is now shown to have a ‘thermodynamic content,’ and which is also shown not to be a property of a system but “a property of an observer who describes a system”, is now found to be ubiquitous within living organisms. As the following paper explains, Quantum Criticality is in a wide range important biomolecules,

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules – Mar. 6, 2015
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one (biomolecule) that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criticality-ca4707924552

    And as Dr Rieper notes at 24:00 minute mark of 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

    The following video deals with ‘Quantum Biology’ in a bit more detail,

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

    The interesting thing about finding quantum information to be ubiquitous within living organisms is that quantum information, like quantum entanglement itself, requires a ‘non-local’, i.e. beyond space and time, cause in order to explain it. As the following article noted, “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,”

    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/high.....uences.php

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, it is also important to realize that quantum information is also conserved. As the following article states, “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.”

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    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/20.....tally.html

    The implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every important biomolecule in our bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, of course, being the fact that we now have very strong empirical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies. As Stuart Hameroff states in the following article, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    Leading Scientists Say Consciousness Cannot Die It Goes Back To The Universe – Oct. 19, 2017 – Spiritual
    Excerpt: “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.disclose.tv/leading-scientists-say-consciousness-cannot-die-it-goes-back-to-the-universe-315604

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Atheists can vainly protest all they want that God has no place in science, but, for me personally, I have no trouble whatsoever admitting the obvious and admitting that it must be the Mind of God that is imparting this massive amount of optimal ‘quantum positional information’ into developing embryos. Atheists, with their reductive materialistic framework, simply have no ‘non-local’, i.e. beyond space and time, cause to appeal to in order to explain where this massive amount of information is coming from, whereas Christians have posited a beyond space and time cause all along.

    Verses and Quote:

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

    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.

    “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 in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford and Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT)

  8. 8
    Tphil says:

    Hi, newbie here but I have been reading UD for many years. Thank you for UD, you are making leading edge science here. I think that new fundamental discoveries car emerge from web 2.0 amateurs with no ties with big institutions.

    As a computer software architect with 30 years experience, I understand so well the new information issue in the genetic code, which is an information system code. And no need to be a top computer scientist to understand that random mutations in a software code can only lead to defective fruit fly, or dead fruit fly. Normal fruit fly can happen if you do not dig too deep into lost functionnalty. Not to mention enhanced fruit fly…
    Regarding code reuse, I would not event consider the possibility to enhance any information system from random cut and paste.
    Software reuse is possible but with carefull design, where randomness has no place.
    I read today this very little blog post that says all : “Software reuse is more like an organ transplant than snapping Lego blocks”
    https://www.johndcook.com/blog/2011/02/03/lego-blocks-and-organ-transplants/
    Sincerly

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