7 Replies to “Darwin’s Doubt – the vid

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    It’s a pretty good read, I was impressed. He’s still confused about information though. Fortunately the book doesn’t stand or fall on that.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    He’s still confused about information though. Fortunately the book doesn’t stand or fall on that.

    If you have time, could you expand on this. I have read the book but this would not be a criticism of it. Maybe I am missing something.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Check out Dr. Meyer’s interview with C-SPAN’s BookTV at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, a comprehensive discussion of Darwin’s Doubt:

  4. 4
    Mung says:


    Meyer thinks that information can be meaningless. In particular, Shannon information. The very phrase “meaningless information” is an oxymoron.

    He fails to properly understand both information and Shannon information.

    As Jan Kahre writes in The Mathematical Theory of Information:

    A fundamental, but somehow forgotten fact, is that information is always information about something.

    Even “Shannon information” is information about something.

  5. 5
    HeKS says:


    I wonder if you aren’t interpreting him according to a meaning that is more technical than he intends on this point. I haven’t read the book recently, but I’ve read it twice since it came out and my understanding of his comments with respect to the difference between Shannon Information and Specified (or Functional) Information in terms of ‘meaning’ was always that only the latter conveys “meaning” in the sense of an understandable message or set of functional instructions that DO something. A string containing a measurable amount of Shannon Information doesn’t necessarily convey any meaningful message understandable to us or a set of functional instructions that can be processed by a system to accomplish some task. In order for a string to carry “meaning” of these sorts (i.e. sorts that are relevant to biological function) it requires MORE than merely a measurable amount of Shannon Information but ALSO specified / functional information.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Meyer thinks that information can be meaningless.

    He refers to information carrying capacity to differentiate between information and the possibility of information. So perhaps Mung can provide a page or quote-mine to support the claim.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes:

    William Dembski himself stated that “things are real because they exchange information one with another.”

    “The thesis of my book ‘Being as Communion’ is that the fundamental stuff of the world is information. That things are real because they exchange information one with another.”
    Conversations with William Dembski–The Thesis of Being as Communion – video
    Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information
    By William A. Dembski (preview)

    Dr. Dembski has some fairly impressive backing for his claim:

    The Foundation of Reality: Information or Quantum Mechanics? – May 18, 2009
    Excerpt: it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round. The implication is extraordinary: that somehow, information is the ghostly bedrock of our Universe and from it, all else is derived. That really is mind-blowing.

    “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    (48:35 minute mark)
    “In the beginning was the Word”
    John 1:1 (49:54 minute mark)
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT

    “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) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

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