Shedinger, author of The Mystery of Evolutionary Mechanisms: Darwinian Biology’s Grand Narrative of Triumph and the Subversion of Religion (Cascade, 2019), offers some thoughts on origin-of-life theorist Paul Davies’ decades-long dance around design in nature.
Walker and Davies, 2013: The manner in which information flows through and between cells and sub-cellular structures is quite unlike anything else observed in nature. If life is more than just complex chemistry, its unique informational management properties may be the crucial indicator of this distinction . Unfortunately, the way that information operates in biology is not easily characterized.
Sure sounds like it. But hey, no one owns a general idea. No dispute there. But if people are going to start talking like ID guys, they had better remember the troll spray.
In a world where some believe that consciousness must be a material thing, perhaps it’s not surprising that others seek to see information as a physical quantity. Computer scientist Robert J. Marks would ask, what is the weight difference between a full CD and an empty one? Could we start there?
Sheldon: If Davies believes that a hierarchy of information can pack more information in, and possibly explain the incredible information content of biology, then there must be something “outside” or “above” the biology that is responsible for the compression algorithm. The only thing Davies hasn’t done is name this attribute. Should we suggest a name? How about … intelligent design?
Davies, author of The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life thinks we overlook the difficulty and offers a solution: Nature got there first.
Information is the key? Wait till they discover the Law of Conservation of Information and try applying it to the hapless popular Darwinism that dominates biology today.
The problem with taking information seriously in the evolution of life, as in Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics, is that it may rule out favorite “evolution” claims. Taking it seriously and discounting it whenever it matters is a fancy dance.