“Life’s Conservation Law: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information”
|May 1, 2009||Posted by William Dembski under Evolution, Informatics, Intelligent Design|
Here’s our newest paper: “Life’s Conservation Law: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information,” by William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, forthcoming chapter in Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, eds., The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science (Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books, 2009).
1 The Creation of Information
2 Biology’s Information Problem
3 The Darwinian Solution
4 Computational vs. Biological Evolution
5 Active Information
6 Three Conservation of Information Theorems
7 The Law of Conservation of Information
8 Applying LCI to Biology
9 Conclusion: “A Plan for Experimental Verification”
ABSTRACT: Laws of nature are universal in scope, hold with unfailing regularity, and receive support from a wide array of facts and observations. The Law of Conservation of Information (LCI) is such a law. LCI characterizes the information costs that searches incur in outperforming blind search. Searches that operate by Darwinian selection, for instance, often significantly outperform blind search. But when they do, it is because they exploit information supplied by a fitness function—information that is unavailable to blind search. Searches that have a greater probability of success than blind search do not just magically materialize. They form by some process. According to LCI, any such search-forming process must build into the search at least as much information as the search displays in raising the probability of success. More formally, LCI states that raising the probability of success of a search by a factor of q/p (> 1) incurs an information cost of at least log(q/p). LCI shows that information is a commodity that, like money, obeys strict accounting principles. This paper proves three conservation of information theorems: a function-theoretic, a measure-theoretic, and a fitness-theoretic version. These are representative of conservation of information theorems in general. Such theorems provide the theoretical underpinnings for the Law of Conservation of Information. Though not denying Darwinian evolution or even limiting its role in the history of life, the Law of Conservation of Information shows that Darwinian evolution is inherently teleological. Moreover, it shows that this teleology can be measured in precise information-theoretic terms.