Category: Complex Specified Information

Specifications: detachable, not postdictive, not after-the-fact

Being able to reject chance as an explanation is critical to identifying design. The way to do this is to compare the structure of an artifact against some pattern that can help us rule out chance as an explanation. Sometimes designers can anticipate the knowledge of observers in order to craft designs which can be […] more

UD Commenter (and US Navy veteran), ayearningforpublius, on: “The Challenge of Design in Nature”

UD commenter, ayearningforpublius [AYP], has his own blog where he has many interesting posts informed by a lifetime of varied experiences. He is also an advocate for the idea that nature shows compelling observable signs of design, and in “dialog with folks at and surrounding the National Center for Science Education (NCSE)” has encountered a […] more

ID Basics – Information – Part II – When Does Information Arise?

In my first post I discussed the concept of information, in particular whether information is contained in a physical object by its mere existence.  In this post I would like to consider an additional issue relating to information, namely, the point at which information arises or comes into existence. Information is often closely associated with […] more

Intelligent Design Basics – Information

First of all I want to thank the Uncommon Descent moderators for allowing me to post, with a particular hat tip to StephenB.  As I indicated on a prior thread, I am not sure how often I will take the time to create a new thread, but hopefully I can occasionally post something of interest.  […] more

ID and statistical coincidences

When defining the complexity of an event, ID theorists take interesting stuff like the birthday coincidence into account. more

Where do we get the probabilities?

What is the probability of a structure like the bacterial flagellum evolving under Darwinian processes? This is the question on which the entire debate over Darwinian evolution turns. If the bacterial flagellum’s evolution is absurdly improbable, than Darwinism is false. On the other hand, if the flagellum is reasonably probable than Darwinism looks like a […] more

Don Johnson’s lecture on “Bioinformatics: The Information in Life”

VJT has recently posted on what kind of cosmos God made, remarking on the Don Johnson bioinformatics lecture. He linked but didn’t embed, so here is the lecture: embedded by Embedded Videovimeo Direkt And, here is the handout. No comments — go to VJT’s thread. OOPS, something funny there so I open back up comments […] more

ID Foundations 23: Dr Stephen Meyer on The Design Inference on Complex [often, Functionally] Specified Information and the Origin of Cell-based Life (OoL)

This lecture by Dr Stephen Meyer of Discovery Institute, with Q & A may be a good refresher and focus for thought on OoL, HT WK: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt WK — a useful blog to bookmark and monitor to see trends and issues — gives a helpful bullet point outline, in part: intelligent […] more

Do we need a new scientific revolution to understand the desert hand?

Is this Nagel’s basic message? Subjectivity and consciousness cannot be shoehorned into the current physics and biology paradigm; they require a new paradigm. more

What are the odds that this is the result of wind erosion?

(No, not Mt. Rushmore.) And how, exactly, do you know for sure? more

Design recognition is possible in part because of finite human memory and limited human information

Why is it that humans can recognize the designs of other humans even for token objects like a system of 500 fair coins? Why does life resemble designs? Answer: designs frequently conform to simple organizing principles rather than explicit patterns. Simple organizing principles are a way to understand large amounts of data with our finite […] more

“I’ve grown accustomed to your face . . . ” — headlining a comment by ayearningforpublius to pose the question of origin of a significant case of FSCO/I . . . functionally specific, complex organization and/or associated information

New UD commenter ayearningforpublius has put up a comment on the implications of facial recognition, several times. I think it significant enough as a case of FSCO/I and the challenge of addressing its origin, to headline it. But first, let’s put up the vid clip he links: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Now, his remarks: […] more

ID Foundations, 21: MF — “as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation” . . . a root worldview assumption based cause for rejecting the design inference emerges into plain view

In the OK thread, in comment 50, ID objector Mark Frank has finally laid out the root of ever so many of the objections to the design inference filter. Unsurprisingly, it is a worldview based controlling a priori of materialism: [re EA] #38 [MF, in 50:] I see “chance” as usually meaning to “unpredictable” or […] more

Permissible errors in asserting design using the Explanatory Filter(s)

Masters of stealth intent on concealing their actions may successfully evade the explanatory filter. But masters of self-promotion intent on making sure their intellectual property gets properly attributed find in the explanatory filter a ready friend. Bill Dembski Mere Creation The Explanatory filter classifies systems or artifacts into 3 categories. 1. produced by law 2. […] more

Illustrating embedded specification and specified improbability with specially labeled coins

The reason the 500-fair-coins-heads illustration has been devastating to the materialists is due to a fact that has somewhat escaped everyone until Neil Rickert (perhaps unwittingly) pointed it out: the sides of the coin are distinguishable, but not in a way that biases the probability. This fact guarantees that chance cannot construct recognizable symbolic organization, […] more

To recognize design is to recognize products of a like-minded process, identifying the real probability in question, Part I

“Take the coins and dice and arrange them in a way that is evidently designed.” That was my instruction to groups of college science students who voluntarily attended my extra-curricular ID classes sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ at James Madison University (even Jason Rosenhouse dropped in a few times). Many of the students were […] more

The paradox of almost definite knowledge in the face of maximum uncertainty — the basis of ID

When facing maximum uncertainty, it seems paradoxical that one can have great assurance about certain things. This has enormous relevance to ID because Darwinists will argue, “how can you be so certain of something when it is apparent there is great uncertainty in the system.” I will respond by saying, “when we have maximum uncertainty […] more

The Fundamental Law of Intelligent Design

After being in the ID movement for 10 years, and suffering through many debates, if someone were to ask me what is the most fundamental law upon which the ID case rests, I would have to say it is the law of large numbers (LLN). It is the law that tells us that a set […] more

Thermodynamics, Coin Illustrations and Design

The second law says when a cold object is in contact with a hot object, the two objects will eventually arrive at the same temperature, and once in equilibrium, one object will not become spontaneously colder again without an external agent. This illustrates that undirected natural forces will favor certain configurations of matter and energy […] more

CSI and Maxwell’s Demon

“It is CSI that enables Maxwell’s demon to outsmart a thermodynamic system tending toward thermal equilibrium” (Intelligent Design, pag. 159) HT: niwrad For those wanting to understand Maxwell’s demon, here is a great video! embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt How does this apply to No Free Lunch? In my essay “simplified illustration of no free […] more

How does this apply to No Free Lunch? In my essay “simplified illustration of no free lunch“, I describe how a Darwinist could get a free lunch if the Darwinian mechanism could create necessary information out of thin air. Instead of the free energy that Maxwell’s demon could supposedly make, I invited a Darwinist to show he could get free information with his Darwinian demon, and thus a free lunch worth $100 from me. Of course, he failed. :-)

The problem for Darwinism, like Maxwell’s demon, is the inaccessibility of the information from the environment. In the case of Maxwell’s demon, the problem is that more energy is needed to power the demon than the demon can create for itself. It’s like a perpetual motion machine or lifting yourself from your bootstraps. It won’t happen.

In the case of Darwinism, more information is needed in the selective environment than the Darwinian mechanism can create for itself. Unless the information is already in the environment, Darwin’s demon will also fail to create the information it needs to build a complex biological system.

The “simplified illustration of no free lunch” was a first step for understanding this problem, but it seemed to go over the head of UDs resident evolutionary biologists even when it was pointed out repeatedly the problem of protein evolution is analogous to solving complex passwords, and hence Darwin’s demon, like Maxwell’s demon, cannot succeed unless it has the necessary information to begin with.