William A. Dembski, Discovery Institue
Conservation of Information in Evolutionary Search
Conservation of Information (CoI) asserts that the amount of information a search outputs can equal but never exceed the amount of information it inputs. Mathematically, CoI sets limits on the information cost incurred when the probability of success of a targeted search gets raised from p to q (p < q), that cost being calculated in terms of the probability p/q. CoI builds on the No Free Lunch (NFL) theorems, which showed that average performance of any search is no better than blind search. CoI shows that when, for a given problem, a search outperforms blind search, it does so by incorporating an amount of information determined by the increase in probability with which the search outperforms blind search. CoI applies to evolutionary search, showing that natural selection cannot create the information that enables evolution to be successful, but at best redistributes already existing information. CoI has implications for teleology in nature, consistent with natural teleological laws mooted in Thomas Nagel’s Mind & Cosmos.
Venue. Discussion over bag lunch first. Watch this space for more developments in Conservation of Information (CoI). Note: “natural selection cannot create the information that enables evolution to be successful, but at best redistributes already existing information.” Redistributing existing information is pretty much what horizontal gene transfer (HGT) does. Follow UD News at Twitter!