Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

The information theory argument

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 2
 [ 30 posts ] 
The information theory argument
Author Message
tigertPosts: 7Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Post The information theory argument

Here's a convincing argument for God.

(1) The sequence of base pairs in DNA is a code.
Much effort has been made to discredit this statement, unsuccessfully. This statement is fully and explicitly supported in virtually all of the scientific literature since the 1960"²s.

(2) All codes that we know the origin of come from a mind.
Much effort has been expended to discredit this statement as well. Assertions have been attempted that gravity, snowflakes, magma flows and the like are codes. But none accurately conforms to Shannon's communication model. Most of the examples cited do not contain an encoding system, and none contain a decoding system.

(3) Therefore DNA came from a mind.
The objection to this statement has been that the conclusion is reached inductively. Complaints have been lodged that inductive reasoning is inherently unreliable. But we do observe that the laws of thermodynamics and in fact the majority of known scientific laws are determined inductively and not deductively. If you wish to throw out inductive reasoning, then we can discard almost all scientific knowledge and start all over again and use rocks and sticks to make fire.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:03 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3430Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

:facepalm:

The information theory argument? You must be new at this. Luckily I know of a video that debunks this nonsense quite easily and in a far more eloquent manner then I would. However, I will sum it up as well; this argument is making two logical fallacies (equivocation and circular reasoning).



Enjoy.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:36 pm
YIM WWW
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 805Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

Damn you he_who_is_nobody, I thought about that very same video after readin the first line of the OP.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:01 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4321Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: The information theory argument

That's about a convincing an argument for God as my lack of socks is an argument for sock eating miniature crocodiles living in my bedroom.
Image
Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:37 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2677Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

I know the argument has already been adressed, and the most glaring flaws pointed.
But I still need to point this:
No philosophical argument can be used to prove the existance of anything whatsoever.
If you start with "I have a philosophical argument for the existance of X", no matter what X is, you'r wrong.
So don't even bother.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:13 pm
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: The information theory argument

No philosophical argument can be used to prove the existance of anything whatsoever.



Not trying to be too cheeky here, but is the existence of this rule grounded in something other than epistemology/philosophy?
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:35 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2677Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

devilsadvocate wrote:Not trying to be too cheeky here, but is the existence of this rule grounded in something other than epistemology/philosophy?

This rule is a concept, it doesn't exist.
However you are correct in your observation that it is grounded in philosophy. Your objection being?
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:52 am
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: The information theory argument

This rule is a concept, it doesn't exist.
However you are correct in your observation that it is grounded in philosophy. Your objection being?


Well, to be honest I'm quite confused about this "laws of logic don't exist" kinda thing, that I have seen talked about on the forums numerous times.

What I mean by "existence" is a relation between a claim and reality. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong in saying, "a rule that describes reality accurately exists". In the same way, a rule that fails to describe reality can be said not to exist. That's the distinction I'm making.

So I guess you're using the word "exist" in more strict sense, limited only to tangible objects. If that's the case, what you claimed isn't self-contradictory, though I doubt it's true (accurately describing reality) anyways.
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:35 pm
scientiaPosts: 22Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:06 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

I have an even more convincing argument for the existence of God.

Our universe (U0) had to come from somewhere. Therefore, it must have had a creator, God.
If God created our universe then he must be greater than our universe:
If God is greater than our universe then he cannot fit inside it. Therefore, God must be in another universe (Ua).
However, the combined U0 + Ua can be considered a super-universe, U1.
If God created U1 then he must be greater than U1:
If God is greater than U1 then he cannot fit inside it. Therefore, God must be in another universe (Ub).
However, the combined U1 + Ub can be considered a super-universe, U2.
Therefore we can safely say that within the range of U from U0 to U-infinity, God cannot exist in U.
Oh, dear...


Okay, but we can prove that God is the first cause.
Everything had to have a cause therefore the first cause must have been God.
However, if God exists then he too had to have a cause.
Therefore, God's cause would predate all other causes and would be the true first cause.
But, if God did not exist then he could not have caused himself.
And, if God already existed then his cause would have already happened.
Therefore, we can safely say that God could not have been the first cause.
Oh, dear...
Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:49 am
tigertPosts: 7Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Post Re: The information theory argument

he_who_is_nobody wrote::facepalm:

The information theory argument? You must be new at this. Luckily I know of a video that debunks this nonsense quite easily and in a far more eloquent manner then I would. However, I will sum it up as well; this argument is making two logical fallacies (equivocation and circular reasoning).



Enjoy.


I'm not new at this. The so called "fallacies" only come about from a fallacious understanding of the argument.

Definition of information:
The dictionary definition (computer science case in particular) will suffice: "Processed, stored or transmitted data."

From Wikipedia:
Information is a message, something to be communicated from the sender to the receiver, as opposed to noise, which is something that inhibits the flow of communication or creates misunderstanding. If information is viewed merely as a message, it does not have to be accurate. It may be a lie, or just a sound of a kiss. This model assumes a sender and a receiver, and does not attach any significance to the idea that information is something that can be extracted from an environment, e.g., through observation or measurement. Information in this sense is simply any message the sender chooses to create.

This view assumes neither accuracy nor directly communicating parties, but instead assumes a separation between an object and its representation, as well as the involvement of someone capable of understanding this relationship. This view seems therefore to require a conscious mind.

information is dependent upon, but usually unrelated to and separate from, the medium or media used to express it. In other words, the position of a theoretical series of bits, or even the output once interpreted by a computer or similar device, is unimportant, except when someone or something is present to interpret the information. Therefore, a quantity of information is totally distinct from its medium.
What's important here is 1) information always involves a sender and a receiver; 2) an encoding / decoding mechanism; 3) a convention of symbols ("code") which represent something distinct from what those symbols are made of. A paragraph in a newspaper is made of ink and paper, but the sentence itself may say nothing about ink or paper.

It may be very helpful here to point out the difference between a pattern and a code. Patterns (snowflakes, crystals, hurricanes, tornados, rivers, coastlines) occur in nature all the time.

A code is "A system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages." Examples of code include English, Chinese, computer languages, music, mating calls and radio signals. Codes always involve a system of symbols that represent ideas or plans.
All codes contain patterns, but not all patterns contain codes. Naturally occurring patterns do not contain code.

-----------------------------------------

We don't need a different definition of information for each premise. According to the video if a single coherent definition is used the "Problem" is solved.
Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:34 am
Darkprophet232User avatarPosts: 226Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

tigert wrote:...(computer science case in particular) ...



Since this is the definition you wish to work in, you must now demonstrate that DNA is a computer code, and not a chain of chemicals that we have assigned meaning to so that we may understand it. I wish you good luck.
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down." -The Judge
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:35 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3430Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

tigert wrote:I'm not new at this. The so called "fallacies" only come about from a fallacious understanding of the argument.

Definition of information:
The dictionary definition (computer science case in particular) will suffice: "Processed, stored or transmitted data."

From Wikipedia:
Information is a message, something to be communicated from the sender to the receiver, as opposed to noise, which is something that inhibits the flow of communication or creates misunderstanding. If information is viewed merely as a message, it does not have to be accurate. It may be a lie, or just a sound of a kiss. This model assumes a sender and a receiver, and does not attach any significance to the idea that information is something that can be extracted from an environment, e.g., through observation or measurement. Information in this sense is simply any message the sender chooses to create.

This view assumes neither accuracy nor directly communicating parties, but instead assumes a separation between an object and its representation, as well as the involvement of someone capable of understanding this relationship. This view seems therefore to require a conscious mind.

information is dependent upon, but usually unrelated to and separate from, the medium or media used to express it. In other words, the position of a theoretical series of bits, or even the output once interpreted by a computer or similar device, is unimportant, except when someone or something is present to interpret the information. Therefore, a quantity of information is totally distinct from its medium.
What's important here is 1) information always involves a sender and a receiver; 2) an encoding / decoding mechanism; 3) a convention of symbols ("code") which represent something distinct from what those symbols are made of. A paragraph in a newspaper is made of ink and paper, but the sentence itself may say nothing about ink or paper.

It may be very helpful here to point out the difference between a pattern and a code. Patterns (snowflakes, crystals, hurricanes, tornados, rivers, coastlines) occur in nature all the time.

A code is "A system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages." Examples of code include English, Chinese, computer languages, music, mating calls and radio signals. Codes always involve a system of symbols that represent ideas or plans.
All codes contain patterns, but not all patterns contain codes. Naturally occurring patterns do not contain code.

-----------------------------------------

We don't need a different definition of information for each premise. According to the video if a single coherent definition is used the "Problem" is solved.


According to the definition used here, DNA is not information; it would be a pattern. Thank you for refuting your own argument.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:40 am
YIM WWW
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2677Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

tigert wrote:I'm not new at this.

Yes, you are.

tigert wrote:The so called "fallacies" only come about from a fallacious understanding of the argument.

No, they are indeed fallacies and they rather come from you lack of understanding of the topic.

tigert wrote:Definition of information:
The dictionary definition

Your first mistake was to get a dictionary definition to try and define a scientific topic.
tigert wrote:(computer science case in particular) will suffice: "Processed, stored or transmitted data."

Your second mistake was to bring a definition from an area that doesn't even apply. If that is your definition, then DNA is certainly not a code, because it is not Processed, stored or even transmitted data.

tigert wrote:From Wikipedia:

Third mistake, you are using wikipedia.

tigert wrote:Information is a message,

No. A message to be a message must contain information, however information is not a message. A message is only a message when it is transmitted.
So when you say:
tigert wrote:something to be communicated from the sender to the receiver, as opposed to noise, (...) This model assumes a sender and a receiver

You are not talking about information, you are talking about a message.

tigert wrote:This view assumes neither accuracy nor directly communicating parties, but instead assumes a separation between an object and its representation, as well as the involvement of someone capable of understanding this relationship.

Someone? Why someone, there is nothing of what you have said that involves someone. What about something? Computers send messages to each other all the time, sensors send messages to controllers all the time, in no way is there someone involved in the system. To say that "This view seems therefore to require a conscious mind." simply does not follow.
If you want to say that "information requires a conscious mind" then this means that you have disqualified DNA from being information (by your own definition) because DNA is not that; what it certainly does not mean is that "DNA comes from a mind".
Your ass is on backwards.

tigert wrote:1) information always involves a sender and a receiver; 2) an encoding / decoding mechanism; 3) a convention of symbols ("code") which represent something distinct from what those symbols are made of.

This is completely wrong. Other than the fact that it needs a distinguishable medium in which it is encoded it requires nothing else. Take for instance a radio transmission where music is send trough radio waves. The information are in the radio waves, either there is a sender or a receiver is irrelevant. There is no encoding or decoding mechanism in the radio waves, the encoding and decoding mechanism is the radio transmitter and the radio receiver and those are not the information. Not even symbols are involved at any stage of the process, it doesn't even make sense to talk of symbols if you are not talking about digital communication.

tigert wrote:It may be very helpful here to point out the difference between a pattern and a code. Patterns (snowflakes, crystals, hurricanes, tornados, rivers, coastlines) occur in nature all the time.

In that case DNA is a pattern, it occurs in nature all the time. The formation of a DNA strand is not much different than the formation of a snow crystal. A DNA is a molecule, and the way it get copied is by a chemical reaction which breaks down certain bonds and assembles new bonds in a way that is dependent of the existing DNA structure. A snow flake forms also by breaking some crystalline bonds and assembling new crystalline bonds dependent of the existing crystalline structure.

A DNA is no more a code than a snowflake, I can attribute symbols to the different crystalline structures and store that in an optical drive, perhaps send it to someone else on another computer. In no way does that imply that a snowflake had a snowflake maker, or that the "code" of a snowflake could only be assembled by a mind.

If DNA is a code that can only come from a mind, like a text message, so tell me what mind is on the receiving end of a DNA message?
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:23 pm
tigertPosts: 7Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Post Re: The information theory argument

Darkprophet232 wrote:
tigert wrote:...(computer science case in particular) ...



Since this is the definition you wish to work in, you must now demonstrate that DNA is a computer code, and not a chain of chemicals that we have assigned meaning to so that we may understand it. I wish you good luck.


A few here have made the unscientific claim that DNA is merely a molecular pattern. They need to urgently update their understanding of the matter. It's well established that DNA stores and IS an information storage system. We can even store whole books in it.

In no way is DNA like a snowflake. No naturally occurring molecule possesses the properties of information. Nature does not produce any kind of code, encoding/decoding mechanism or symbolic relationships at all; everything in nature represents only itself; a rock, sand dune, snowflake etc
DNA, on the other hand, represents a complete plan for a living organism. DNA is an encoding / decoding mechanism that contains code, or language, representing the organism.

The use of the term "code" is literal. There's a reason why it's called the genetic "code" and not another term. Hubert Yockey himself says the use of the term code or transcription is not analogous but literal. And by all definitions of communications theory it is code. To deem a rock or a snowflake code shows a poor understanding of communications theory and info theory.
Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:18 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2677Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The information theory argument

tigert wrote:A few here have made the unscientific claim that DNA is merely a molecular pattern. They need to urgently update their understanding of the matter.

Did you mean, you should get an education?

tigert wrote:It's well established that DNA stores and IS an information storage system. We can even store whole books in it.

Well you can encode books in snow flakes. Your point being?

tigert wrote:In no way is DNA like a snowflake. No naturally occurring molecule possesses the properties of information. Nature does not produce any kind of code,

Then that disqualifies DNA as a code. You can not have your cake and eat it to. What you want to do is to force DNA to be defined as an artificial code that could only be made by a mind in order for you to define your conclusions into existence. That shit doesn't work with me.

tigert wrote:everything in nature represents only itself; a rock, sand dune, snowflake etc

DNA

tigert wrote:The use of the term "code" is literal.

No it isn't.
tigert wrote:There's a reason why it's called the genetic "code" and not another term.

Well then. That is easy to settle, because what is actually called is DNA "sequence".

tigert wrote:And by all definitions of communications theory it is code.

Really? So who is on the recieving end of that communication?
tigert wrote:To deem a rock or a snowflake code shows a poor understanding of communications theory and info theory.

I agree, and even go further than that. To deem a DNA a code shows a poor understanding of communication theory and info theory. To have a context in which DNA is perceived as a code but a snow flake isn't, is to have no understanding of what he/she is talking about.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:35 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4321Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: The information theory argument

I like information. Specifically the kind of information that allows you to cross reference IP addresses against location and other forum users.
Image
Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:05 pm
tigertPosts: 7Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Post Re: The information theory argument

False. I don't begin defining DNA to be code that can only be created by a mind so that I can automatically arrive at that conclusion.

" Francis Crick received the Nobel prize for discovering DNA. The following is from the first paragraph of Francis Crick's Nobel lecture on October 11, 1962. Note his use of the word "code" and "information," emphasis mine:

"Part of the work covered by the Nobel citation, that on the structure and replication of DNA, has been described by Wilkins in his Nobel Lecture this year"¦ I shall discuss here the present state of a related problem in information transfer in living material, that of the genetic CODE, which has long interested me, and on which my colleagues and I, among many others, have recently been doing some experimental work"¦"
The following quotes are from atheist Richard Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker:

"Every single one of more than a trillion cells in the body contains about a thousand times as much precisely-coded digital information as my entire computer.

"Each nucleus, as we shall see in Chapter 5, contains a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica put together. And this figure is for each cell, not all the cells of a body put together."
Having quoted Dawkins here, it's interesting to note that neither he, nor any materialist has ever provided any scientific (i.e. empirical, testable, falsifiable) explanation for the origin of information. For a very interesting and extensive read on this subject, read "The Problem of Information For The Theory of Evolution" by Royal Truman. If you carefully trace every reference and rebuttal to this article on the internet, you'll discover that not one person has ever supplied a scientific response to the questions raised here, nor provided any examples of materialistic processes that produce coded information."

"Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies." (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)"

"If there are pebbles below a rapids, there are pebbles below a rapids. There is no coded information associated with them, unless you measure their size, in which case you have created information to describe the pebbles, based on your chosen symbols and units of measurement. Same with orientation of sand dunes, layers of hailstone. Those objects represent only themselves; there is no encoding and decoding mechanism within these material objects, such as there is in DNA. If someone says the layers of a hailstone are an encoding mechanism, I reply that there is no convention of symbols, nor is there a decoding mechanism."
Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:24 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4321Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: The information theory argument

Argument from semantics, eh? Because that isn't the the last resort of someone with no evidence, is it?
Image
Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:27 pm
tigertPosts: 7Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Post Re: The information theory argument

Nope not semantics. It's clear enough, I even quoted an expert in the field of which you can do your own research since you don't trust me. The use of the term code is literal not analagous.
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:13 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4321Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: The information theory argument

Argument from semantics with a heavy dose of cherry picking. If I sat down for 5 minutes I'm pretty sure I could find experts in the field referring to DNA as something other than a code.

Your tiresome mangling of language to assert your theistic bias is side splittingly funny, but it's still fallacious. It's also copy pasta spam. Perhaps formulate your own arguments, rather than ripping them from other sources?
Image
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:38 pm
Next
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 2
 [ 30 posts ] 
Return to Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests
cron