Monday, December 07, 2009

Climategate: The story finally breaks in Canada

After 15 days Rex Murphy has finally broken the story in Canada..

This is apparently not true for other countries (such as USA) where the media continues to ignore "Climategate."

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My Vision of Science.

I just purchased a copy of "Signature in the Cell" at "Chapters" book store in Kelowna, BC Canada. Even though I do not live in Kelowna anymore, we happened by the store while visiting family in Kelowna. Even though I did not think of it at the time, this was the very book store where I first discovered Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box" and subsequently discovered ID science. Unfortunately I had some difficulty finding "Signature in the Cell." I was looking in the familiar science section (where I had found Behe's book) and all four copies the new book as it turned out were in the "Religion" section. Having never been to the religion section I needed help to find it. A minor inconvenience perhaps, but an interesting one. Some kind of mysterious motive force (gravity? electromagnetism?) had pushed ID science from the science section all the way to the religion section. Perhaps Behe's book should also have been forced into the religion section but the force failed? It is nice to know that some forces (gravity/electromagnetic) are reliable. This turn of event caused me to think about my vision of "Science" -- as opposed to "Religion" and of the social forces at play here.

"Science" for me is distinct from "religion" in that in science there are no gospels. The ID hypothesis -- that mind came first and matter came second as the product of mind --("idealism") is not a gospel, it is just a hypothesis -- just a theory -- just a model regarding the possible nature of the world. The opposing hypothesis, that matter came first and mind came second (materialism) is also just a hypothesis about the nature of the world. My vision of science is that of dicipline of investigation without gospels.

While Religion has its gospels, Science (as I see it) does not. The fact that the ID hypothesis has been expelled from the science section (and that I have yet to find any religion in these books) suggests to me that that the materialist hypothesis is now operating as a materialist gospel and that science's internal religious corruption (material-ISM) is being unfairly projected onto the ID hypothesis. Of course it is possible that many will claim that the materialist hypothesis should be gospelized and that real science requires gospelization and (subsequent removal of ID) at this basic level. This of course is not my vision of "science." My vision of science is that of a dicipline of inquiry that encourages free debate and echews all gospelization.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Brookfield Ontological Argument for Design

In introducing his new book "Signature in the Cell" Steven C. Meyer uses combinatrics and "combinatorial explosion" as an argument against the proverbial "typing monkey." While the combinatrics argument is basically sound, it seems to me that another, more effective and complimentary argument, could be used here – "The Brookfield Ontological Argument for Design." There is a clear ontological (basic substance) difference between monkey shakespeare and real Shakespeare. Scientists who question this do so at their own peril (more on this later).

Both typing systems are letter "writing systems" (abc..) and subsequently both are bound by system-level law to produce sequences of letters. Real Shakespeare however is bound by numerous other laws while monkey shakespeare is not. Real Shakespeare is bound by the laws of spelling, grammar, syntax, plot development etc. Moreover, real Shakespeare is bound by the spacio-temporal laws of physics in that it must map to those laws in order to make sense to humans who live within those laws (within space and time). Divergences from those laws (science fiction) must not occur at random but must be suitably framed (laws again).

When one is asking as to the source of the finely tuned laws of physics or design in biology one is not asking as to the source of illusionary laws/design (monkey shakespeare) but real laws and real design (real Shakespeare). The mere amplification of system-level probabilistic resources (infinite typing monkeys, infinite universes, deep time etc.) provides no explanation whatsoever for the existence of higher order laws or design. "Design" is itself a higher order pattern of lawful correspondence to a telic attractor. Monkey shakespeare (being utterly devoid of higher order laws, patterns, or divergences of any kind) is nothing but lawless system-level order (random letters). An infinite amount of random typing monkeys produces nothing but an infinite amount of lawless system-level order (letters). Infinite universe arguments against design are subsequently worthless. While they are indeed multiplying probabilistic resources (producing more monkey shakespeare), they are doing so in the wrong location (no real Shakespeare).

The discipline of science appears to have been developed by people who had some kind of spiritual belief in a "law maker" who subsequently believed in the reality (not illusion) of physical laws (upon which we can depend and build our science). They also believed that we might be sufficiently like the "law maker" (anthropomorphically resonant) in order to understand these laws. It seems to me that without some of the core convictions (anthropomorphic God) of the early believers we would have no science. It also seems to me that many of the modern arguments against design are quite anarchistic in that they consistently undermine the notion of laws that are real, design that is real and science that is real. Scientists who call science into question, do so at their own peril.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Re - Van Sun article "Religion in Disguise"

The Vancouver Sun last year published a set of articles about ID, Creationism and science. After publication of "Religion in Disguise" comments were enabled and myself and many others commented (pro and con ID). Alas our comments have all been removed and only the article now remains. I have decided I might as well re-post my largest deleted comment here for the benefit of anyone interested. Unfortunately I do not have copies of any of the other (shorter) comments -- they are probably gone forever.

I would just like to say that I am indeed grateful to the Vancouver Sun for
publishing my last comment regarding my philosophy of the value(sacredness) of

"Metamorphic Geologist" however, has asked regarding ID's "top
secret research program." I can only speak for myself and my own work. I am
studying a possible relationship between classical "information" and certain
fundamental laws of physics, specifically the second law of thermodynamics and
the second law of black hole dynamics. I am attempting to facilitate an
"info-dynamic" unification of these laws of physics leading ultimately to a
unification of Relativity and Quantum mechanics. This requires the study of all
related fields -- the information theories of Shannon and Kolmogorov
(Algorithmic Information Theory {AIT}), statistical mechanics and general
relativity and QM. In order to clarify these relationships I have proposed the
addition of a new element to both Shannon's and Kolmogorov's theories of
information -- a correlational improbability figure (or K-coupling in K-theory
{AIT}). This figure is intended to mathematically quantify the amount of order
in any given piece of information. If there is no *correlation* between the
email that you sent your friend and the email that your friend receives, then
the "information" that you sent him/her has been lost. It is this essential
"correlated-ness" that my figure is intended to quantify.

I also recently proposed the existence of two types of Kolmogorov complexity (informational and non-informational). Informational (i)K-complexity (such as is found in say, DNA coding) is always originated by intelligent design, whereas non-informational (m)K-complexity, being wholly parasitic upon the pre-existing complexity of its medium, does not represent "complexity origination" at all. Jeff Shallit of the University of Waterloo and a leading critic of ID recently made the following statement in response to Tom Bethell’s concerns about the origin of DNA *coding* (and subsequent *correlations*):

"Bethell shows a profound misunderstanding of information theory when he claims, 'Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA was asked how the all-important coding information found its way into the DNA in the first place. It's so complex that a reliance on random events will never get us there.' Bethell apparently doesn't understand that in the Kolmogorov theory of information, complexity is the same as randomness. It's easy to get complexity; all you need is a source of random events." -- Jeff Shallit from "Bethell the Buffoon" 09,2007

If you were to smash a window using "a source of random events" (using the proverbial "monkey with shotgun"?) you would produce a random (m)K-complex mess of broken glass, but this raw, molecular-positional-complexity is not structural complexity. "Information" such as DNA coding is a "built up" form of coordinated, correlated structural complexity. Random (uncoordinated, unspecified, and uncorrelated) events cannot produce this type of (informational/structural) K-complexity. Randomization in fact destroys this "built up" (i)K-complexity. The breaking of windows is not going to produce the *specified* structural/informational complexity of a "built up" glass house nor a house nor DNA. Jeff Shallit is here confusing non-informational (m)K-complexity with structural/informational (i)K-complexity. The path of a "random walk" through a pre-existing complex medium reveals only the *pre-existing* K-complexity of that medium.

"Randomness," is a uniform probability distribution over a set of possible outcomes. Being *uniform* it is subsequently non-complex -- by definition. If the jackpot of a slot machine appears too frequently or too infrequently relative to the other outcomes, then the probability distribution is non-uniform, non-random and therefore, "unfair."

I have also pointed out at ISCID that there exists a longstanding problem for the Second Law of Thermodynamics known as "Poincare Recurrence" (first pointed out by mathematician Henri Poincare in 1890). This problem can be resolved by reformulating the second law of thermodynamics as a law of information dynamics. This is because system *finiteness* is an imposition of a residual orderly constraint (information/correlation) upon the contents of any otherwise internally free system.

My notion of correlational improbability while being an extension of Shannon and Kolmogorov’s theories does not underminethese theories nor their past successes – just as my theory of spacetime erosion does not undermine Einstein’s theory of spacetime curvature. The idea is to provide reformulations and clarifications of existing theories that are more amenable to scientific progress and unification. Einstein’s concept of "curvature" is presently blocking a quantum description of relativity IMO. A solution here would have to unify, not only quantum mechanics and general relativity, but also thermodynamics and black hole dynamics (general relativity).

As an ID theorist I am addressing a number of such issues and
proposing a number of possible solutions to these problems. From my point of
view, my work is obviously work in science and not religion --- just as
thermodynamics is obviously science and not religion. However, the question has been raised and clarification is needed in order for the public to determine
whether or not my science really is just "religion in disguise." To this end, I
once again encourage the Vancouver Sun to question me further regarding my
science (and also my philosophy if you wish) – and to do so in a public forum
such as this. It is time for this matter to be settled once and for all.

Submitted to VANCOUVER SUN Wed November 12 2008

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


In response to Mike Egnor Timothy Sandefur writes...

"... to teach the (non-existent) “weaknesses” of evolution in a government
classroom is almost always (a) contrary to the lesson plan—and therefore a
violation of a teacher’s employment contract—or (b) in reality an attempt to
teach creationism to school children as true."


"The non-existent 'weaknesses' of [Darwinian] evolution"?!?
Darwin's "Origin of the Species" proposes to originate new species through the use of randomization (random variation, random mutations, random gene duplication, random genetic drift, etc) plus natural selective destruction that destroys (weeds out/filters out) the unfit. But both randomization (that throws functionally integrated biological systems off target) and "Natural Selection" (that destroys the unfit) are destruction functions.

One glaring weakness of Darwinism therefore is that it is utterly illogical to expect new biological construction(+) to be the result of these (and any) destruction(-) functions (I.E. agents of doom). It is utterly illogical to expect randomness (the logical opposite and utter absence of order) to produce new biological order. Filtered accidents are still accidents.

If Darwin's book had been called "The (microevolutionary) Filtration of the Species" at least it would have been logical. Darwin's theory was illogical "out of the box." An illogical formulation is a catastrophic weakness of any scientific theory. Einstein's general theory of relativity has its weaknesses (such as its failure to integrate well with Quantum mechanics) but at least it is logically sound!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Academic freedom is for Everyone!

I like Michael Egnor,

"Censorship has no place in our society. The academic freedom of all people — even of people like Richard Dawkins who don't respect academic freedom for others — should be protected. I support academic freedom, and I oppose the Oklahoma resolution, just as I oppose Darwinist censorship of open discussion of evolution in public schools. Richard Dawkins should speak at the University of Oklahoma, and he should be treated with courtesy and respect. Ben Stein should have been allowed to give the commencement address at the University of Vermont, and he should have been treated with courtesy and respect. Teachers and administrators and students who have questions about Darwin’s theory should speak up in schools, and they should be treated with courtesy and respect. We should hear more from Dawkins and Darwinists, and we should hear more from those who disagree with them as well. These issues should be discussed freely and vigorously in the public forum, including public universities and public schools."

Right on! Academic freedom is not just for those we like, or those we agree with, or those who treat us with respect. Academic freedom is for all! If Dawkins was invited then let him speak, but be sure to let the leaders from the other side (of the issue) speak as well! Academic freedom is for everyone!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Golden Goo Awards?

For outstanding faith in the evolution of primordial goo we present this prestigious award.. Oops, I am sorry... that's "Golden Woo" not "Golden Goo" HA.

Mike Egnor's reply

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Jeff Shallit's "Information" (but really raw K-complexity) Quiz.

Jeff Shallit..

"Q1: Can information be created by gene duplication or polyploidy? More specifically, if x is a string of symbols, is it possible for xx to contain more information than x?"

No. While raw/naked K-complexity may indeed be increased, raw K-complexity is not information. The second x is just a repeat of the information in the first and it can therefore be compressed back into the first x. The first x, however, as an optimized information string, cannot be further compressed without information loss. --The fact that there are two x's (instead of one), is a system-level information(fact), not information contained in x.

"Q2: Can information be created by point mutations? More specifically, if xay is a string of symbols, is it possible that xby contains significantly more information? Here a, b are distinct symbols, and x, y are strings."
No. While raw K-complexity may indeed be increased, random (unspecified) mutations can only destroy information. Point mutations are -- by definition -- uncorrelated and non-symbolic (at the level in question). The replacement of "a" (a correlated, coordinated specified symbol) with "b" (an uncorrelated, uncoordinated, unspecified{random} character) at very least, negates the information contained in "a" and may well damage the rest of the string -- a string that may well depend critically upon "a."

"Q3: Can information be created by deletion? More specifically, if xyz is a string of symbols, is it possible that xz contains signficantly more information?"
No. While raw K-compexity may again be increased. The loss of functioning symbol "y" constitutes a loss of information.

"Q4: Can information be created by random rearrangement? More specifically, if x is a string of symbols, is it possible that some permutation of x contains significantly more information?"
No. "Random rearrangement/purmutation" ALONE always replaces coordinated (non random) information with uncoordinated (random) events and information is almost always lost. While raw K-compexity may indeed be increased, this raw K-complexity is not information and is wholly parasitic upon the underlying system level of complexity.

"Q5. Can information be created by recombination? More specifically, let x and y be strings of the same length, and let s(x, y) be any single string obtained by "shuffling" x and y together. Here I do not mean what is sometimes called "perfect shuffle", but rather a possibly imperfect shuffle where x and y both appear left-to-right in s(x, y) , but not necessarily contiguously. For example, a perfect shuffle of 0000 and 1111 gives 01010101, and one possible non-perfect shuffle of 0000 and 1111 is 01101100. Can an imperfect shuffle of two strings have more information than the sum of the information in each string?"
No. This question is somewhat ambiguous however. Is that A: "an imperfect shuffle of two strings of information", or B: "an imperfect shuffle of two strings of meaningless binary digits?" In both cases however the answer is no. Unless the information (A:) is suitably protected, a sustained RANDOM shuffling will only decrease information. While raw K-complexity may once again be increased by this action, raw unspecified K-complexity is not specified/correlated and it is subsequently not information.

According to Shallit however..

"The answer to each question is 'yes.' In fact, for questions Q2-Q5, I can even prove that the given transformation can arbitrarily increase the amount of information in the string, in the sense that there exist strings for which the given transformation increases the complexity by an arbitrarily large multiplicative factor. I won't give the proofs here, because that's part of the challenge: ask your creationist to provide a proof for each of Q1-Q5. "

Yes to raw K-complexity increase but no to semantic information increase. Proofs of raw K-complexity increase are not proofs of informational K-complexity increase.

Jeff Shallit continues...

"Now I asserted that creationists usually cannot answer these
questions correctly, and here is some proof.

"Q1. In his book No Free Lunch, William Dembski claimed (p. 129) that "there is no more information in two copies of Shakespeare's Hamlet than in a single copy. This is of course patently obvious, and any formal account of information had better agree." Too bad for him that Kolmogorov complexity is a formal account of information
theory, and it does not agree. "

"Q2. Lee Spetner and the odious Ken Ham are fond of claiming that mutations cannot increase information. And this creationist web page flatly claims that "No mutation has yet been found that increased the genetic information." All of them are wrong in the Kolmogorov model of information."

"Q4. R. L. Wysong, in his book The Creation-Evolution Controversy, claimed (p. 109) that "random rearrangements in DNA would result in loss of DNA information". Wrong in the Kolmogorov model."

The Kolmogorov model is incomplete. The Shannon model is also incomplete. The Shannon model needs to be supplemented with a correlational improbability and the Kolmogorov model needs to be supplemented with irreducible correlational couplings. These additions are necessary to avoid the falsehood of... "Because both random strings and information strings are K-complex (true)...therefore, randomness= information (false)." The second part of this generic statement ("randomness = information") is false. When I produced this post I did not produce a random string of letters. Instead I produced information - a textual (B) correlation of what I have in my mind(A).

In order to complete Shannon and Komogorov's theories, the extended/projected nature of information must be mathematically formalized. I have proposed doing this by means of a correlational improbability figure in Shannon's theory and irreducible coupling for information in Kolmogorov's theory.

If there is no correlation between the email that you send your friend and the information he/she receives then the "extention"(from A to B) has failed and the information has been lost. "Information" thus depends critically upon correlational integrity (input to output mapping) . Randomness is not correlated/coordinated (by definition) and does not depend on correlational integrity. Randomness depends upon lack of correlation.

Information(A) is always information "about" something (B). Randomness is not information "about" anything. Graphically now, "in-FORM-ation" is K-complex on the "y" axis while being irreducibly K-simple (ordered/formed) on the "x" axis. A random string is just naked/raw K-complexity. The introduction of random events into the DNA information string is a loosing proposition.

As I see it..

In Q1 Jeff is trying to defend RANDOM gene duplications.
In Q2 Jeff is trying to defend RANDOM point mutations.
In Q3 Jeff is trying to defend RANDOM gene deletions.
In Q4 Jeff is trying to defend RANDOM gene shuffling/rearrangement.
In Q5 Jeff is trying to defend RANDOM gene shuffling/recombination.