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Coupled Complex Specified Information

Imagine this paradoxical scenario: NASA decides to construct a new space station and a new space shuttle. It assigns to a team of engineers the job of designing the station and to another team the job of designing the shuttle, without any specifications about the relations between the two projects and the mandate that they must not exchange information (the projects are top secret). The teams finish their work and the systems are launched into the space. Would you bet one cent that the shuttle will succeed to dock to the station to exchange materials and astronauts? Sure not because when two complex systems must interface in a complex manner (as the station and the shuttle when they are coupled together) their projects have to be thought together just from the beginning. Eventually two different teams can be in charge of the two designs but the teams must strictly collaborate and exchange a lot of information.

This Kafkian story introduces us to the concept of what could be called “coupled complex specified information” (cCSI), that is a particular form of complex specified information (CSI) concerning two systems instead of one alone. In general when two systems must share a complex interface the CSI of the interface is strictly correlated to the CSI of the systems. As such the three projects cannot arise independently but have to be developed almost together with a higher direction that considers them almost like a unique system. For a symbolic representation of the cCSI between two systems A and B see the following figure:

fig2

Of course, beyond the above astronautic example, one can find in technology many other more or less simple examples of cCSI. In mechanics: a bolt and a nut; a lock and its key. In railway: the train and the railroad; the locomotive and the wagon. In informatics: the network interface between two computers. In electronics: a connector and its plug or in general the interface between two devices. In communication: transmitter and receiver must share communication protocols. In language: the horizontal and vertical words in a crossword puzzle. I leave the reader the job of finding other examples of complex matching between systems.

The examples of communication and networking leads us to emphasize that an interface (as in general any complex system) may be composed of a material part (as the adapter card) and an abstract part (as the protocols). When information processing is involved these two aspects (hardware and software) are always present. Therefore in this case also the cCSI of the interface has to be considered from these two points of view.

The cCSI systems necessarily are intelligently designed. In fact to develop them a supervisor is necessary who knows in the same time the two systems and their interface. Only intelligence can be such supervisor because only intelligence is able to achieve knowledge sharing. The first premise of knowledge sharing is memory. Naturalistic and mechanic processes as the evolutionary ones just fail this premise since have no memory and thus are unable to manage correlated parallel jobs, where one must know and recall how A and B are made to create C that must interface both.

What about biology and cCSI? In molecular biology examples of matching systems are enzymes, which are catalytic proteins having a unique very specific 3-D shape that must fit their target substrate like a key fits in a lock. In morphological biology indeed there are spectacular examples of cCSI. One for all, consider the sexual reproductive organs in mammals. They must match at the every level of the biological stack: from bio-chemistry to tissues, from genetics to morphology. Last but not least also the behavioral level is involved if two individuals of different sex have to arrive to mating and generating off-spring. Hence also the behaviors belong to the cCSI of interfacing. About the matching between behavioral patterns and physical forms as sign of intelligent design see here .

It is unimaginable that reproduction and genitals arose by Darwinian evolution (that is for random mutations and natural selection). First, as a matter of principle: evolution needs reproduction; without reproduction no evolution. Therefore how can reproduction be the effect of evolution if evolution is an effect of reproduction? It’s an impossible causality inversion. Second, for a technical reason: how could the male organs arise independently from the female organs given the cCSI they share? In fact the Darwinian processes work in the single individual. They are blind and unaware of the processes running in other individuals. Random mutations that happen in a genome have nothing to do with the mutations in another one.

To sum up, biological cCSI cannot arise by evolution because the Darwinian independent processes would be as the above two NASA engineering teams that don’t speak together. In both cases the products, independently made, will never match. Darwinian evolution of the cCSI apparatuses is even more unbelievable than the above NASA story.

About cCSI and its refutation of a Darwinian explanation of sex and reproduction see also here .

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48 Responses to Coupled Complex Specified Information

  1. In the world of actual science, the topic of “coupled complex specified information” is covered under the heading of “coevolution.” Your shuttle and space station would have evolved to have matching docking modules, just as bumblebees, moths and hummingbirds and the flowers they pollinate have coevolved matching tongues and nectaries.

    Numerous examples of biological cCSI have arisen by coevolution. “Each party in a coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other, thereby affecting each others’ evolution.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coevolution

  2. It is unimaginable that reproduction and genitals arose by Darwinian evolution (that is for random mutations and natural selection). First, as a matter of principle: evolution needs reproduction; without reproduction no evolution. Therefore how can reproduction be the effect of evolution if evolution is an effect of reproduction? It’s an impossible causality inversion. Second, for a technical reason: how could the male organs arise independently from the female organs given the cCSI they share? In fact the Darwinian processes work in the single individual. They are blind and unaware of the processes running in other individuals. Random mutations that happen in a genome have nothing to do with the mutations in another one.

    Please tell us that this is a joke. This reflects so badly on the IDists’ understanding of biology that it must be a parody.

  3. “In the biological reign it happens that in an animal there are organs with a shape and a function perfectly suited to the shape and function of a complementary organ of another animal.”

    Current theories of the origin of sex do not posit the individual evolution of sex organs — in fact, sex organs arrive very much after sexual reproduction, which, after all, ultimately occurs on a cellular level, with the interaction of specialized gametes. Though I know UDers will disagree with this, I don’t think it’s too implausible that those gametes were once much less specialized.

    “Instead sexual reproduction functions in general at the level of two individuals. Admit for absurdity that a Darwinian process had just produced the male individual of a certain species. At this point, a very long mutation-selection process should generate the female of the same species. But mutation and selection need reproduction to function. Unfortunately reproduction is yet missing!”

    The earliest forms of sexual reproduction did not necessarily involve “male” and “female” forms as we understand them today. The various hypotheses on the matter involve individual organic elements interacting in ways that make sense biologically — such as parasitism and bacterial conjugation — which are only seen to be “sex” after the fact. In other words, there’s come sort of co-option going on (but I know that essentially no one here believes that co-option is plausible anyway).

    In any case, it’s simply not true that the evolution of sexual reproduction would require sexual reproduction at every step — just reproduction of some sort. To this day, there are organisms which undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction (although it’s more common for a species to be specialized).

  4. It is unimaginable that reproduction and genitals arose by Darwinian evolution (that is for random mutations and natural selection).

    Another arguement from incredulity?

  5. Caman, All arguments are from incredulity.

  6. I must be missing something. How do you go from asexual to sexual?

  7. the problem with sex that it is costly and slow. For sexual reproduction to have any advantage the mechanisms of genetic entropy most be functional at large populations which means that evolution of larger genomes is imposable. The mechanisms Entropy what keep information from be added in the long run. Also a way of braking genes and putting them together is need.

  8. If I were a NASA engineer tasked with designing a docking module that would connect one ship to another of unknown design, I would start with what I knew or, at least, could reasonably assume. If the other ship were to be designed by other human beings to carry other human beings employing contemporary technology, that would limit my options somewhat. I might consider some sort of tube which could be extended from the side of my ship. On the end of the tube there might be a flexible collar which would conform itself to the outer hull of the other ship, however irregular its surface, and which would form an airtight seal once it was in contact. Astronauts could then move into the tube and bring tethers, communication cables and other links. In other words, the problem is difficult but not insoluble.

    The rest of the OP resolves to two issues,

    The first is that, while information theory is useful for modeling various aspects of evolution it could mislead the unwary into conflating the model with the thing being modeled. That we can describe the function of genes in terms of information does not mean that they contain something called information any more than decribing a cell in terms of machinery means that it is filled with little nano-power-plants and nano-machine-shops and nano-conveyor-belts. They are all an analogy, a selective model that actually leaves out a great deal of what happens in there. It highlights the similarities and simply ignores the differences.

    The second issue is that this is the familiar fallacy of the argument from incredulity. The fact that we are unable to imagine how a particular event or process might have occurred does not mean it could not have happened.

  9. spark300c @ 8

    the problem with sex that it is costly and slow

    Cost can be a problem but slow is good, Shirley.

  10. Evolutionists have only ‘just so’ stories for how sex evolved. Period.

  11. Evolutionists have only ‘just so’ stories for how sex evolved.

    Conversely, designists have indisputable facts.

    Forget those silly distracting Darwinist guesses; science is all about certain truth, in this case that sex originated because a being wanted it to.

  12. Thanks for the admission that Evolution is unfalsifiable Lenoxus. I won’t comment on the rest.

  13. 13

    You evidently have no novel measure of coupled complex specified information. You treat it as a quality of interactions of systems, not a quantity. I can’t see that you’re referring to anything but irreducible complexity. We’ve long heard that IC implies CSI, but CSI does not imply IC. So what is cCSI but the CSI of IC systems?

    Do we really need another fancy-sounding term in ID when we already have Behe’s lucid treatment of irreducible complexity?

  14. Enezio E. De Almeida Filho Wrote:

    “Evolutionists have only ‘just so’ stories for how sex evolved. Period.”

    Indeed. Star Trek is much more fun than a cold lifeless universe spanning unreachable distances.

    From what I hear fiction writers make a darn good living. Some at tax payer expense.

  15. PaulBurnett,

    You need to develop the skill of discernment. That is to tell the difference between what has been observed versus what you think happened in the unobserved past.

    You claim “real science”. But the reality is that is “historical science”. A science non the less but it is what you believe to be true. But is it?

    Lets find out shall we? I’ll use your definition of “fact”.

    “Numerous examples of biological cCSI have arisen by coevolution.”

    Then we can look at the actual EVIDENCE……

    “Each party in a coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other, thereby affecting each others’ evolution.”

    Here we see that “selective pressures” which is an observable fact not in dispute, with “affecting each others’ evolution” Which is a statement of presupposition.

    What the author has done here is mix up facts with stories of how they see things working. It is a myth. Just like Santa Clause. Both myths have historical facts from which it was derived. But from observable evidences coupled with known historical facts we can safely conclude that Santa Clause is a myth, in it’s modern form is nothing short of a story. And generally we frown upon adults who still believe it.

    “Species-level coevolution includes the evolution of a host species and its parasites, and examples of mutualism evolving through time.”

    Notice here that this “real science” blurs the line between micro and macro evolution? And unless it’s pointed out, they blend it rather seamlessly don’t they?

    I’ve had to point out this flaw in evolutionary thinking before. As “real scientists” don’t (want to) recognize the difference because they presuppose evolution to be fact why would they care to notice the difference right?

    This ‘blurring’ I have observed by proponents of evolution is intentional. It is quite literally the ‘man behind the curtain’. It is something in which they refuse to discuss simply because they have no reasonable answer. Nor do you.

    When the adaptation of a species (finch beaks) is extrapolated to mean macro-evolution, it goes into the story books. On the shelf, right next to “The night before Christmas”.

  16. “Your shuttle and space station would have evolved to have matching docking modules, just as bumblebees, moths and hummingbirds and the flowers they pollinate have coevolved matching tongues and nectaries.”

    Paul, lets for the moment say macro-evolution were true. Can you give me a good and reasonable response as to WHY this should be?

    You know what my mind conjures up when I think of the pure randomness and chaos coupled with entropy in the known universe?

    The surface of an orb. A hydrogen fueled nuclear furnace and a snowball.

  17. lamarck, #5

    Caman, All arguments are from incredulity.

    So you think all arguments are logically fallacious? There is a difference between being incredulous and building an argument based on it.

  18. Interesting to note the disparity in comments on this thread. Critics of ID noted and corrected the egregious misinformation in the original post, supplying detail and citations to further reading. IDists only carped and complained that niwrad’s bizarre misapprehensions were questioned.

  19. OK Learned Hand, show us the goods. Not stories.

  20. lamarck:

    All arguments are from incredulity.

    I doubt that, becuase I find it hard to believe. B’dum chssh! :D

  21. Hehe G1.

  22. Caman, Give me an argument not won by incredulity.

  23. Learned Hand, Which paragraph in the original article is incorrect?

  24. lamarck, #20

    Caman, Give me an argument not won by incredulity.

    If arguments are intended to persuade, exactly how does one win by creating doubt?

    Just because one cannot imagine how reproduction and genitals arose by Darwinian evolution does not support the premise that it could not happen.

  25. Caman, An example of an argument not from incredulity is called for.

  26. In a sense, I agree with lamarck that all arguments could be considered arguments from informed incredulity — if one is sufficiently informed about a subject (for example, one knows absolutely everything about it), then one’s incredulity is indeed an argument. To put it less “negatively”, all may be considered arguments from knowledge. Of course, that knowledge is the whole key question. The OP is largely underinformed, so its incredulity is irrelevant.

  27. Learned Hand, Which paragraph in the original article is incorrect?

    I’m not Learned Hand, but,

    2, 6, 7, and 8.

  28. From the comments it seems that the main objections by evolutionists to the cCSI argument are based on:

    ? The reduction of the problem.
    In my post I consider as biological example of cCSI exclusively the sexual reproductive organs in mammals. So to put on the table asexual reproduction or other simpler or earlier forms of reproduction doesn’t deny my argument.

    ? Coevolution, defined as in general “the change of a biological object triggered by the change of a related object” where “each party in the coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other”.
    As such coevolution may have its range of possibilities. But coevolution entails minor variations, of the order of what microevolution can reach. To explain by coevolution the cCSI of sexual reproductive apparatuses in mammals one should specify in detail all the Darwinian process step by step starting from nothing until arriving to the final organs we know today. This explanation should contain the series of all variations, random mutation by random mutation and their morphological results in both male and female individuals, when where how and on which the selective pressure acts, etc. Up today in the scientific literature no detailed evolutionary explanation exists of that sort able to clear the mystery of those extremely complex coupled systems that mammal’s genitals are.

    So both objections fail to refute the cCSI argument.

  29. Arthur Hunt,

    Are you still using examples of genetic engineering as an example of macroevolution?

  30. To explain by coevolution the cCSI of sexual reproductive apparatuses in mammals one should specify in detail all the Darwinian process step by step starting from nothing until arriving to the final organs we know today. This explanation should contain the series of all variations, random mutation by random mutation and their morphological results in both male and female individuals, when where how and on which the selective pressure acts, etc.

    Assume, for the sake of argument, that the scientific community is correct regarding evolution. How would this historical record be pieced together? What you’re asking for is a record of every mutation and selection event that occurred over the course of hundreds of millions of years. Is it possible for this information to be reconstructed? Is this a realistic standard of proof, or have you set a standard that could not be met even assuming that evolutionary theory is true?

  31. Lenoxus, #26

    In a sense, I agree with lamarck that all arguments could be considered arguments from informed incredulity – if one is sufficiently informed about a subject (for example, one knows absolutely everything about it), then one’s incredulity is indeed an argument. To put it less “negatively”, all may be considered arguments from knowledge. Of course, that knowledge is the whole key question. The OP is largely underinformed, so its incredulity is irrelevant.

    It is one thing to start an argument from the position of doubt but you cannot build an agrument on doubt itself. Any argument that begins with “I can’t imagine” or “I can’t believe” is just a rhetorical flourish. Without anything to base their lack of belief or imagination on, there is no argument.

    To lamarck, I would challenge you to produce an actual argument based on incredulity and nothing else.

  32. I’m pretty sure that there are cases of anti-bacterial resistance that have not met that ridiculous standard. If I’m correct about that, should such resistance be assumed to be ID in action?

    In any case, a plausible pathway reamins plausible until a solid objection has been made, regardless of how well-detailed the pathway is. Suppose I tell you I travelled from San Diego to Albany in two days. If you though I only walked, you might not believe me.

    I explain that I took a couple planes. This satisfies plausibility; in terms of specifically defending the truth of my claim, I have no obligation to provide further details until an argument can be made against the plane hypothesis (such as, “no planes were in the air at the time of the trip”). You can’t take your earlier (understandable) incredulity and keep “using” it when I’ve now put a reasonable pathway on the table. There’s no reason to demand the ticket stubs and photographic evidence of every flight taken and declare the story implausible until such evidence is given, just because the earlier story sounded strange.

    (That said, looking for such evidence and constructing ever-more-detailed explanations is a perfectly fine endeavor in itself, and its precisely the sort of thing that evolutionary biologists do these days).

  33. niwrad – I like the name, but I am confused.
    You are asking for a complete evolutionary history of mammalian sex “step by step starting from nothing until arriving to the final organs we know today. This explanation should contain the series of all variations, random mutation by random mutation and their morphological results in both male and female individuals, when where how and on which the selective pressure acts

    and yet you disallow any earlier forms of reproduction as being part of a legitimate explanation:

    In my post I consider as biological example of cCSI exclusively the sexual reproductive organs in mammals. So to put on the table asexual reproduction or other simpler or earlier forms of reproduction doesn’t deny my argument.

    You appear to be requiring as a starting point a fully functional mammal without any genitalia whatsoever. Or any navel, I guess. Please clarify.

  34. Thanks Arthor,
    Now can you specify? I still don’t see where a wrongness is located in those paragraphs.

  35. From the second paragraph:

    “…In general when two systems must share a complex interface the CSI of the interface is strictly correlated to the CSI of the systems. …”

    As can be seen in this example, this statement is wrong. There is a clear interface, and it involves essentially zero CSI, especially on the part of one of the subunits.

    From paragraph 5:

    “…The first premise of knowledge sharing is memory. Naturalistic and mechanic processes as the evolutionary ones just fail this premise since have no memory… “

    This statement in effect is an assertion that evolutionary processes are not contingent on the history of the organism. This is patently false. Worse, it betrays a stunning ignorance of biology.

    From paragraph 6:

    “What about biology and cCSI? In molecular biology examples of matching systems are enzymes, which are catalytic proteins having a unique very specific 3-D shape that must fit their target substrate like a key fits in a lock.”

    Again, this example refutes this assertion.

    Several commenters have noted how paragraph 7 is a willfully ignorant summation of reproductive biology. No need to go there again.

  36. Arthur Hunt,

    In my post I deal with CSI interfaces between CSI systems (the picture I provide shows clearly that). Your example of the polyadenylation complex that seems to have an interface with zero CSI doesn’t refute my statement (the CSI of the two parts of a CSI interface must be strictly correlated and this is the reason we can call the whole “coupledCSI”). I didn’t say that all interfaces must have CSI. For example when two sheets of paper are stacked one upon the other we can say they interface but we cannot say properly of staying before cCSI. Instead if we print a two-page-long text on a A4 sheet and then cut it in the middle in two parts according its longest dimension by mean of a scissors then we can say that the two parts interface in cCSI way.

    For the same reason the same example of the polyadenylation complex again doesn’t refute my claim that the 3-D shape of most enzymes fits its target in a so complex manner to justify calling this interfacing cCSI. May be the polyadenylation complex is not similar to enzymes because the bindings it entails are loose or for other reasons. Nevertheless in molecular biology many examples of proteins-to-proteins interactions deserve the concept of cCSI given their high specificity and complexity.

    About my claim that “randomness has no memory” I think that there was a misunderstanding. Sure I didn’t want to claim that “evolution is not contingent on the history of the organisms”. I easily admit with you that evolution is the history of organisms. Moreover I admit that genomes are the genetic memories of organisms. What I wanted to mean is that a random mutation x in a gene in an individual X (due for example to radiation from the environment) is independent from another random mutation y in a gene in an individual Y (due for example to internal DNA copying errors). It is true that Darwinian evolution implies a constant selective pressure on these variations but I have already write how I think that this process of coevolution is not able to account for the huge cCSI that mammalian reproductive organs show.

  37. DNA_Jock #33.

    There is no contradiction in my two statements you cite.

    In the second one (in the order of your comment) I say that I consider mammalian sexual reproductive organs. To consider simpler forms per se (and to stop there) doesn’t explain the mammalian ones. I want a space station + shuttle, one offers a nut + bolt only, I say thank but I wanted a station + shuttle.

    In the first one the scenario is this: evolutionists claim the coevolution of mammalian organs. I say ok they have to explain it step-by-step (eventually passing through simpler forms but not stopping there). If you want to prove the coevolution of the space station + shuttle you have to explain it step-by-step (eventually passing through the nut + bolt but not stopping there). For doing that you must provide a lot of engineering documentation similar to that the factory in charge of their construction would request. In evolutionary biology things should go the same way: each step of evolution should be specified in detail. And this is not done up today for mammalian organs.

  38. niwrad

    I have already write how I think that this process of coevolution is not able to account for the huge cCSI that mammalian reproductive organs show.

    I look forward to your paper, could I inquire what journal will be publishing your work? After all, you have said

    Up today in the scientific literature no detailed evolutionary explanation exists of that sort able to clear the mystery of those extremely complex coupled systems that mammal’s genitals are.

    And so I would expect no less then the publication of your work in that same literature. As you have now explained the mystery of those complex coupled systems the onus is on you inform those reading the relevant literature, as you have done, of your important findings.

    When and where are you publishing your work?

  39. Blue Lotus

    My post wanted to be only a brief and humble note on the concept of cCSI. Eventually ID theorists will judge if it is worth considering.

    P.S.
    Given that ID after all is detection from signs, I remind you and your likes that the subtle sarcasm of your comment (and the impoliteness of other evolutionist commenters too) are clear signs of lack of arguments.

  40. niwrad

    My post wanted to be only a brief and humble note on the concept of cCSI.

    You are too modest! I’ve seen your website! There are many thousands of words there on cCSI.

    Eventually ID theorists will judge if it is worth considering.

    And people wonder why ID is not making the headway some would expect! The onus is on you to make it happen.
    And, quite frankly, I’m a bit surprised that no leading ID theorist has chimed in on your work. After all, if not at UncommonDescent, IDs premier venue, then where? Have your brought your work to Dr Dembski’s attention via email perhaps? It might be the case that this blog post escaped his attention.

    Given that ID after all is detection from signs, I remind you and your likes that the subtle sarcasm of your comment (and the impoliteness of other evolutionist commenters too) are clear signs of lack of arguments.

    On the contrary my dear fellow. I’m chock full of argument. What would be a clear sign of a lack of arguments would be an unstated aversion to putting your ideas into a venue where they can be critiqued openly by experts in the field. Sound familar?

  41. Arthur Hunt,

    In my post I deal with CSI interfaces between CSI systems (the picture I provide shows clearly that). Your example of the polyadenylation complex that seems to have an interface with zero CSI doesn’t refute my statement (the CSI of the two parts of a CSI interface must be strictly correlated and this is the reason we can call the whole “coupledCSI”). I didn’t say that all interfaces must have CSI.

    The problem as I see it is that no biological interfaces – none whatsoever – have been shown to possess CSI (let alone cCSI). OTOH, as I have shown, biological interfaces can and do exist in the utter absence of CSI.

    … For the same reason the same example of the polyadenylation complex again doesn’t refute my claim that the 3-D shape of most enzymes fits its target in a so complex manner to justify calling this interfacing cCSI. May be the polyadenylation complex is not similar to enzymes because the bindings it entails are loose or for other reasons.

    You don’t know anything about what you are criticizing but are still moved to make false assertions. What is the point?

    Nevertheless in molecular biology many examples of proteins-to-proteins interactions deserve the concept of cCSI given their high specificity and complexity.

    Prove it. Give us one example – JUST ONE – of an example from molecular biology in which CSI has been measured and found to be as massively large as IDists claim.

    (You cannot, because any and all such direct wet-bench measurements yield the opposite answer, that there is no CSI in biology.)

  42. Blue Lotus

    And you continue. At least the other evolutionists in their comments provide some technical contributes. As such I respect their interventions (also if sometimes the tone is questionable). Instead your comments are: technical contribute = 0, pure derision = 100%. Where are your arguments? Have you a minimum interest on the truth or your unique intention is to mock and offend people?

    The intelligent reader is able to distinguish who, despite his ignorance, however tries to honestly add a little contribute to the debate and who, despite his alleged “wisdom”, is only a polemist.

  43. Arthur Hunt #41
    You cannot, because any and all such direct wet-bench measurements yield the opposite answer, that there is no CSI in biology.

    Your claim surprises me. No complexity in biology? Bio systems are the more complex things in nature. No specification in biology? At every level, many bio systems meet precise physical chemical geometrical morphological functional specifications. No information in biology? Only the genomes in the cells contain Gbytes of information. And these complexity, specification and information are present in the same time just in little bio systems, justifying the inference of CSI.

    The fact that in many cases this CSI is difficult to measure precisely doesn’t mean that CSI doesn’t exist. Also in astronomy it is difficult to calculate precisely the number of the stars, yet nobody denies their existence. However in some cases it is possible to easily establish a lower bound to the CSI content of a bio system. For example a functional DNA sequence of n bases contains at minimum 2*n bits of CSI (each possible A-T-G-C base counts 2 bits). In reality the DNA strand contains additional CSI due to its geometrical shape, functionality, etc. However we can be sure that at least 2*n bits exist only for the digital sequence per se, exactly as when we deal with a 2*n-bit-long message (independently from the code and the meaning of the message). Really I don’t understand as you can deny the existence of CSI before such example. A DNA strand is complex because contains many bases; it’s specified because it specifies instructions to make proteins; it contains information because a sequence of symbols specifying instructions entails bits. This case clearly meets the three conditions for CSI.

    Of course if you deny even the CSI now I understand because you deny the cCSI. In fact the cCSI of an interface is the sum of the CSI of its two parts, then 0 + 0 = 0 (according to you). Hence our discussion should start far backwards than the cCSI concept.

  44. Your claim surprises me. No complexity in biology? Bio systems are the more complex things in nature.

    Not if you measure complexity as ID theorists propose, roughly as a reflection of the (im)probability of occurrence.

    No specification in biology? At every level, many bio systems meet precise physical chemical geometrical morphological functional specifications.

    Irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    No information in biology? Only the genomes in the cells contain Gbytes of information. And these complexity, specification and information are present in the same time just in little bio systems, justifying the inference of CSI.

    Again, if we measure complexity as a matter of improbability, then it is utterly lacking in living things.

    For example a functional DNA sequence of n bases contains at minimum 2*n bits of CSI (each possible A-T-G-C base counts 2 bits). In reality the DNA strand contains additional CSI due to its geometrical shape, functionality, etc. However we can be sure that at least 2*n bits exist only for the digital sequence per se, exactly as when we deal with a 2*n-bit-long message (independently from the code and the meaning of the message). Really I don’t understand as you can deny the existence of CSI before such example.

    Curiously enough, Stephen Meyer, in Ch. 8 of his new book, explains why this reasoning is wrong. I recommend that you pick up his book and think long and hard on this chapter.

    You are not talking about specified information. Just information. There is a big difference.

    Of course if you deny even the CSI now I understand because you deny the cCSI. In fact the cCSI of an interface is the sum of the CSI of its two parts, then 0 + 0 = 0 (according to you). Hence our discussion should start far backwards than the cCSI concept.

    Here’s the reality of the situation. If we accept the pronouncements of the ID vanguard (Dembksi, Durston, Axe, et al.), the information in molecular terms is related to the fraction of all possible sequences that may actually perform a function (satisfy a specification, catalyze a reaction, etc.). This is something that can be measured at the bench. When such measurements are done, the answer invariably shouts “no CSI”. There is no CSI in biology, not because of atheism or materialism or anything else of a philosophical bent, but because direct experimental measurement tells us that there is no CSI in biology. I see no reason to take seriously any position that treats CSI as other than a fanciful fiction. Because that is what it is.

    I explain this conundrum (well, it’s a problem for ID theorists) in this essay. It may help you to read very carefully my summation of the field of protein evolution, as it spells out the errors that abound in ID articles.

  45. Arthur Hunt:

    Not if you measure complexity as ID theorists propose, roughly as a reflection of the (im)probability of occurrence.

    That is one way of determining complexity.

    Again, if we measure complexity as a matter of improbability, then it is utterly lacking in living things.

    Yes, because living things are designed.

    However if we look at living things from a non-telic PoV then their mere existence defies the probabilities and the complexity is infinite.

    Also niwrad was talking about information carrying capacity- not information and not CSI.

    If we accept the pronouncements of the ID vanguard (Dembksi, Durston, Axe, et al.), the information in molecular terms is related to the fraction of all possible sequences that may actually perform a function (satisfy a specification, catalyze a reaction, etc.).

    Not any function- a specific function.

    And regardless of what you want to call it your position still can’t account for it.

  46. From Arthur Hunt’s essay:

    A claim that is being made by ID proponents (as in Meyer’s paper) is that work such as this shows that functional proteins are so rare in sequence space that the natural origin of new proteins is so improbable as to be effectively impossible.

    Who made that claim Art?

    Do you have a reference?

    Methinks you have erected another strawman.

  47. “Do you have a reference?”

    My understanding is that this claim is made by Meyers in his new book and also by others such as Axe and Kirk Durston. I believe that Arthur Hunt believes functioning proteins are far more common than what Meyers, Axe and Durston believe.

  48. Jerry,

    I think Arthur is twisting what was said.

    Ya see IDists are usually very clear that undirected processes are being debated- design is natural.

    Therefor a “natural origin” is BS.

    So knowing Arthur I would need to see the quote in context.

    Without that he doesn’t have anything but a strawman.

    I am also pretty sure that what IDists are saying pertains to the OoL and not any subsequent evolution.

    IOW the context is very important.

    So Arthur needs to concentrate on getting proteins in a scenario in which not one existed.

    Then he will understand the complexity = improbability argument.

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