Home » Origin Of Life » Can the mathematical and formal nature of physical law relationships be explained by physical and chemical interactions?

Can the mathematical and formal nature of physical law relationships be explained by physical and chemical interactions?

David R. Abel of the Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc., says no. And also that the law he formulated on the subject has never been falsified, despite a number of journal publications. He posits it as The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency, as follows:

The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency states that physicochemical interactions are inadequate to explain the mathematical and formal nature of physical law relationships.

He offers his law for falsification.

“If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”

If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.

The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:

“No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”

How can such a bold, dogmatic prediction possibly be made by any reputable scientist? The answer lies first in the fact that it is just a null hypothesis designed for open-minded testing.

Takers?

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53 Responses to Can the mathematical and formal nature of physical law relationships be explained by physical and chemical interactions?

  1. It is of interest to note that a million dollar prize is tied semi-directly to the falsification of this null-hypothesis:

    “The Origin-of-Life Prize” ® (hereafter called “the Prize”) will be awarded for proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life. The explanation must be consistent with empirical biochemical, kinetic, and thermodynamic concepts as further delineated herein, and be published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed science journal(s).
    http://lifeorigin.info/

    also of note, is that rather than falsifying the null hypothesis, I have seen a few neo-Darwinists take the tactic of questioning whether the million dollar prize is valid or not: Yet,,,

    ‘The ability of the Foundation to underwrite these payments and to administer the Project is monitored by the well-known accounting firm of Young, Brophy & Duncan, PC, Certified Public Accountants.’

    further note:

    Peer-reviewed publications of David L. Abel
    http://davidlabel.blogspot.com/

  2. I think there is a clever bit of phrasing here that makes the falsification to the null hypothesis nearly impossible, and that renders it wholly irrelevant to evolution.

    It appears as:

    “decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent”
    or
    “Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification.”

    Of course, the input for selection is random, but selection, be it natural or artificial, is not. How can we run a genetic algorithm or directed evolution experiment without “artificial selection hidden in the experimental design” that would “disqualify the experimental falsification.”

    The experiment Able proposes requests whether complexity can emerge through randomization alone.

  3. DrREC states:

    ‘I think there is a clever bit of phrasing here that makes the falsification to the null hypothesis nearly impossible, and that renders it wholly irrelevant to evolution.’

    This is clearly false, and in fact neo-Darwinian evolution is formulated in such a ‘non-falsifiable’ fashion as DrREC tried to slander this null with; Dr. Behe clearly highlights the difference here:

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Michael Behe Hasn’t Been Refuted on the Flagellum – March 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44801.html

    ==================

    Further notes:

    Experimental evolution, loss-of-function mutations, and “the first rule of adaptive evolution” – Michael J. Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In this paper, I review molecular changes underlying some adaptations, with a particular emphasis on evolutionary experiments with microbes conducted over the past four decades. I show that by far the most common adaptive changes seen in those examples are due to the loss or modification of a pre-existing molecular function, and I discuss the possible reasons for the prominence of such mutations.
    http://www.journals.uchicago.e.....086/656902

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2....._edge.html

    Epistasis between Beneficial Mutations – July 2011
    Excerpt: We found that epistatic interactions between beneficial mutations were all antagonistic—the effects of the double mutations were less than the sums of the effects of their component single mutations. We found a number of cases of decompensatory interactions, an extreme form of antagonistic epistasis in which the second mutation is actually deleterious in the presence of the first. In the vast majority of cases, recombination uniting two beneficial mutations into the same genome would not be favored by selection, as the recombinant could not outcompete its constituent single mutations.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ach-other/

    Evolution vs. Genetic Entropy – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086

    etc.. etc.. etc.. etc..

  4. bornagain77-

    It is really curious you keep citing that paper of Behe’s. In it, he lists a number of examples where information is gained in evolution (which we’re told never happens, right?).

    The definition Behe proposes is:
    ““gain-of-FCT” adaptive mutation is a mutation that produces a specific, new, functional coded element while adapting an organism to its environment. The construction by mutation of a new promoter, intron/exon splice site, or protein processing site are gain-of-FCT mutations. ”

    These examples should falsify the Able’s null hypothesis, except that (natural) selection was present.

  5. DrRec, you completely misunderstand the issue with flying colors, David is not talking about environmental feedback, which simply assumes what must be explained. That is the materialist’s tack since 1859, through to the discovery of informational constraint in molecular biology in the 1950′s, and onward through to August 11 2011 – some 150 years later.

    He is talking about the foundation for function AT ALL.

    This is the EXACT issue I gave to Dr Liddle; how does the driver of function (information, programming) come to be set by law, when law itself plays no role in the foundational requirements for the existence at that information (as can be observed by its entailments).
    Bless her heart.

  6. DrREC, despite your claim for ‘gain in functional information’, there ar in fact no ‘non-trivial’ gains that would falsify the universal probability Bound of 1 in 10^150. And yet despite your disingenuousness to face the evidence squarely, and admit to the reasonable falsification that Behe’s paper renders to neo-Darwinian evolution, falsification of neo-Darwinian evolution has been forthcoming from a more ‘foundational’ area of science that is more complete and devastating in its falsification;

    Neo-Darwinian evolution purports to explain all the wondrously amazing complexity of life on earth by reference solely to chance and necessity processes acting on energy and matter (i.e. purely material processes). In fact neo-Darwinian evolution makes the grand materialistic claim that the staggering levels of unmatched complex functional information we find in life, and even the ‘essence of life’ itself, simply ‘emerged’ from purely material processes. And even though this basic scientific point, of the ability of purely material processes to generate even trivial levels of complex functional information, has spectacularly failed to be established, we now have a much greater proof, than this stunning failure for validation, that ‘put the lie’ to the grand claims of neo-Darwinian evolution. This proof comes from the fact that it is now shown from quantum mechanics that ‘information’ is its own unique ‘physical’ entity. A physical
    entity that is shown to be completely independent of any energy-matter space-time constraints, i.e. it does not ‘emerge’ from a material basis. Moreover this ‘transcendent information’ is shown to be dominant of energy-matter in that this ‘information’ is shown to be the entity that is in fact constraining the energy-matter processes of the cell to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    notes:

    Falsification of neo-Darwinism;

    First, Here is the falsification of local realism (reductive materialism).

    Here is a clip of a talk in which Alain Aspect talks about the failure of ‘local realism’, or the failure of reductive materialism, to explain reality:

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Reductive Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (reductive materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for ‘spooky’ forces, as Einstein termed them — forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    And yet, quantum entanglement, which rigorously falsified local realism (reductive materialism) as the complete description of reality, is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale!

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours (arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1). “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    The relevance of continuous variable entanglement in DNA – July 2010
    Excerpt: We consider a chain of harmonic oscillators with dipole-dipole interaction between nearest neighbours resulting in a van der Waals type bonding. The binding energies between entangled and classically correlated states are compared. We apply our model to DNA. By comparing our model with numerical simulations we conclude that entanglement may play a crucial role in explaining the stability of the DNA double helix.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1

    Quantum Information confirmed in DNA by direct empirical research;

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104014.htm

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    i.e. It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy space/time) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as neo-Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the energy/matter particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself
    not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘specified’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
    ,,,To refute this falsification of neo-Darwinism, one must falsify Alain Aspect, and company’s, falsification of local realism (reductive materialism)!

    ,,, As well, appealing to ‘non-reductive’ materialism (multiverse or many-worlds) to try to explain quantum non-locality in molecular biology ends up destroying the very possibility of doing science rationally;

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    ,,,Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse (non-reductive materialism) argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever.

    “The multiverse idea rests on assumptions that would be laughed out of town if they came from a religious text.” Gregg Easterbrook

    =================

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007

    =========================

  7. To dovetail into Dembski and Marks’s work on Conservation of Information;,,,

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information
    William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://evoinfo.org/publication.....ation-law/

    ,,,Encoded classical information, such as what we find in computer programs, and yes as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘transcendent’ quantum information by the following method:,,,

    This following research provides solid falsification for Rolf Landauer’s contention that information encoded in a computer is merely physical (merely ‘emergent’ from a material basis) since he believed it always required energy to erase it;

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    ,,,And here is the empirical confirmation that quantum information is ‘conserved’;,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

  8. DrRec,

    Behe’s observations don’t falsify Abel’s null, no more than a glitch in program code explains the existence of a computer running on software.

    Again, you simply assume the system that must be explained.

  9. Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but I am failing to see the point.

    No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.

    Let’s call that “Abel’s thesis.”

    I hereby offer my own thesis:

    Nothing concrete will ever be shown to be abstract.

    Duh!

    It seems to me that Abel’s thesis is a trivial consequence.

  10. A couple of points:

    1) I don’t accept that Abel’s thesis relates solely to origin of life issues. In the linked article he says: “Chance and necessity alone cannot steer, program or optimize algorithmic/computational success to provide desired non-trivial utility.” Clearly in the gain-of-functional information cases Behe lists, we’re seeing some steering and optimization of success, no?

    I think you’re conceding a lot of ground, and reducing your position to an origin of life one. It is apparent novel functions/information can and do emerge. Evolution. So now you want origin of information system (life)? Separate issue, but one being worked on.

    2) The removal of selection applies equally to origin of life issues. For any chance of success, pre-biotic replicators would have to be iteratively selected for by fitness. Abel will claim this is inserting selection (design) into the experiment, and therefore not a falsification.

    3) Perhaps this demonstrates why ID fails-selection, be it natural or artificial, is not random with respect to outcome. It ends up having equivalent impact as a designer-it increases information. Abel essentially equates the two, seeing selection as “behind the scenes steering.”

  11. The other curiosity of the original post is that Abel’s test adheres to methodological naturalism, which is often rejected here.

    If we observed, in a test tube, a system that meets his criteria, how could we conclude the result was not the outcome of a designer beyond our detection?

    How casually you assume methodological naturalism, then reject it equally casually.

  12. Nothing concrete will ever be shown to be abstract.

    1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3 sheep …

  13. 13

    Well, obviously no scientist can set out to falsify this, or they’d be disqualified on the basis of having provided intelligent input.

    And if we observed it occuring spontaneously with no apparent intelligent input, how would we rule out an invisible intelligent agent?

    Abel’s hypothesis seems to me to be unfalsifiable.

  14. Gregory Chaitin, of Algorithmic Information Theory fame, has an answer of sorts in the works. In Proving Darwin: Making Biology Mathematical, to be published in 2012; “Chaitin develops a mathematical scheme that can explain life itself and he also explores metabiology, a new way of thinking about biological science that highlights the mathematical structures underpinning the biological world.” You can download a PDF of a paper that introduces his approach here.

  15. Here are the ‘gain of function’ mutations From Behe’s paper:

    EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION, LOSS-OF-FUNCTION MUTATIONS,
    AND “THE FIRST RULE OF ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION”
    Excerpt:

    Hb S 6 glu val G Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1994)

    Growth on d-arabinose of E. coli Either constitutive expression of
    fucose genes, or dual control of
    regulator protein by l-fucose
    and d-arabinose

    Viruses manipulated to be defective
    Deletion of 19 intercistronic
    nucleotides from RNA virus MS2
    containing Shine-Dalgarno
    sequence and two hairpins
    One revertant deleted 6 nucleotides;
    another duplicated an adjoining 14-
    nucleotide sequence; missing
    functional coded elements
    substantially restored
    G,G Olsthoorn and van
    Duin (1996)

    4 nucleotide deletion in lysis gene
    of MS2
    Reading frame restored by deletions,
    insertions
    G,G Licis and van Duin
    (2006)
    http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/....._paper.pdf

    Perhaps I may be excused for being severely underwhelmed at these paltry results from the Almighty power of neo-Darwinian evolution to generate functional information. Also of note, these ‘gains of functional information’ come no where near Abel’s plausibility metric:

    The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP) – Abel – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: Mere possibility is not an adequate basis for asserting scientific plausibility. A precisely defined universal bound is needed beyond which the assertion of plausibility, particularly in life-origin models, can be considered operationally falsified. But can something so seemingly relative and subjective as plausibility ever be quantified? Amazingly, the answer is, “Yes.”,,,

    c?u = Universe = 10^13 reactions/sec X 10^17 secs X 10^78 atoms = 10^108

    c?g = Galaxy = 10^13 X 10^17 X 10^66 atoms = 10^96

    c?s = Solar System = 10^13 X 10^17 X 10^55 atoms = 10^85

    c?e = Earth = 10^13 X 10^17 X 10^40 atoms = 10^70

    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/6/1/27

  16. As to ‘abstract’;

    In post 6 it is shown that transcendent information is ‘concrete’, not abstract;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-395198

    Moreover ‘transcendent’ information, which is usually only thought od as abstract, is shown to exercise dominion of ‘concrete’ matter and energy here:

    Here are a few experiments establishing the ‘information theoretic’ origin of this universe, as well as establishing the information theoretic ‘sustaining’ of this universe;

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://www.research.ibm.com/qu.....portation/

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a (photon) qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    ,,,This following experiment shows that the teleportation of ‘infinite’ information is instantaneous;,,,

    Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves – April 2011
    Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost.
    http://www.popsci.com/technolo.....-computing

    ,,,Whereas this experiment shows that quantum information is ‘conserved’,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    ,,,The following articles show that even atoms (Ions) are subject to ‘instantaneous’ teleportation:,,,

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    ,,,Moreover, when the wave state (superposition), which is defined as infinite information, collapses to its particle state, it turns out that the particle state can only convey one bit of information to any particular observer in the universe at a time:

    Zeilinger’s principle
    The principle that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics.
    http://science.jrank.org/pages.....z17a7f88PM

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:

    ,,,moreover, encoded information, such as we find encoded in computers, and yes, such as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘conserved’ quantum information:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    etc.. etc..

  17. As to concrete not being shown to be ‘abstract’;

    In post 6 it is shown that transcendent information is ‘concrete’, not abstract as information is usually thought of being;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-395198

    Moreover ‘transcendent’ information, which is usually only thought of as abstract, is shown to exercise dominion of ‘concrete’ matter and energy here:

    Here are a few experiments establishing the ‘information theoretic’ origin of this universe, as well as establishing the information theoretic ‘sustaining’ of this universe;

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://www.research.ibm.com/qu.....portation/

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a (photon) qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    ,,,This following experiment shows that the teleportation of ‘infinite’ information is instantaneous;,,,

    Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves – April 2011
    Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost.
    http://www.popsci.com/technolo.....-computing

    ,,,Whereas this experiment shows that quantum information is ‘conserved’,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    ,,,The following articles show that even atoms (Ions) are subject to ‘instantaneous’ teleportation:,,,

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    ,,,Moreover, when the wave state (superposition), which is defined as infinite information, collapses to its particle state, it turns out that the particle state can only convey one bit of information to any particular observer in the universe at a time:

    Zeilinger’s principle
    The principle that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics.

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:

    ,,,moreover, encoded information, such as we find encoded in computers, and yes, such as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘conserved’ quantum information:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    etc.. etc..

  18. Elizabeth @13: “And if we observed it occuring spontaneously with no apparent intelligent input, how would we rule out an invisible intelligent agent?”

    C’mon. You don’t have to demonstrate the utter absence of invisible/unknown agents. That is a silly extension of the question at hand.

    Let’s just see some good examples of this occurring spontaneously. That would be enough to satsify almost all of us that it can occur naturally. No need to discuss invisible agents.

  19. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Abel’s hypothesis seems to me to be unfalsifiable.

    So you missed Upright BiPed’s post @5?

    Why is it that your proposed demonstration of the generation of information from Chance + Necessity sans Intelligence would not falsify Abel’s hypothesis as well as falsifying ID?

    Is Abel’s hypothesis and that of ID so different?

  20. 20

    Doc at #10,

    1) I don’t accept that Abel’s thesis relates solely to origin of life issues. In the linked article he says: “Chance and necessity alone cannot steer, program or optimize algorithmic/computational success to provide desired non-trivial utility…

    You are not prohibited from conflating the two. It doesn’t mean anything, other than you are wrong. Go read Abel’s work.

    think you’re conceding a lot of ground, and reducing your position to an origin of life one. It is apparent novel functions/information can and do emerge. Evolution.

    “Evolution” simply takes for granted the system that allows it to work – or has evolution been promoted to a theory of the origin of living systems now?

    So now you want origin of information system (life)? Separate issue, but one being worked on.

    Separate issue? How much evidence do you have for a living system sans information? Specifically, what actual empirical evidence documents that inanimate matter can indeed organize itself into a metabolizing entity, with replication, without the onset of informational constraint? Have any of that?

    2) The removal of selection applies equally to origin of life issues. For any chance of success, pre-biotic replicators would have to be iteratively selected for by fitness.

    That statement assumes its conclusion. Selection? Yes. By fitness? Assumption. Alternative hypothesis? Selection for fitness. You simply assume the contrary.

    Abel will claim this is inserting selection (design) into the experiment, and therefore not a falsification.

    You are confused, so you make assertions as to what Abel would claim. Go read his work. Look for phrases like “selection for fitness” or “choice contingency” or “volitional agency”.

    3) Perhaps this demonstrates why ID fails-selection, be it natural or artificial, is not random with respect to outcome.

    LOL. Not only do you like to move your conclusions ahead of argument, but your points have become trivial. Why should ID suggest that an outcome of design be anything other than non-random?

    It ends up having equivalent impact as a designer-it increases information. Abel essentially equates the two, seeing selection as “behind the scenes steering.”

    Your train is now so far off the track your destination has come into question. Are you referring to this sentence by Abel: “Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification.”

    Are you suggesting by this that Abel won’t allow the researcher to choose what color lab coat to wear? Give me a break, what a pathetic reading.

    Surely you are more on the stick than that Doc? No wonder Abel’s challenge remains unmet (as does mine, come to think of it).

  21. 21

    Mung:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    Abel’s hypothesis seems to me to be unfalsifiable.

    So you missed Upright BiPed’s post @5?

    Why is it that your proposed demonstration of the generation of information from Chance + Necessity sans Intelligence would not falsify Abel’s hypothesis as well as falsifying ID?

    Is Abel’s hypothesis and that of ID so different?

    No, it isn’t, but Upright BiPed didn’t include this clause:

    Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification.

    I’m not exactly sure what Abel means by that, but I would certainly be designing my starting conditions so as to make the desired outcome more likely.

    If Abel wouldn’t count that as “behind the scenes steering” I withdraw my charge.

  22. 22

    Eric Anderson:

    Let’s just see some good examples of this occurring spontaneously. That would be enough to satsify almost all of us that it can occur naturally. No need to discuss invisible agents.

    OK.

    So I guess finding life-forms far simpler than the simplest modern cells in a meteor, for example, would do it?

  23. 23

    Upright BiPed:

    This is the EXACT issue I gave to Dr Liddle; how does the driver of function (information, programming) come to be set by law, when law itself plays no role in the foundational requirements for the existence at that information (as can be observed by its entailments).
    Bless her heart.

    Well, if my proposal is acceptable, I’m happy to go ahead.

    I guess I’d better check out that thread again.

    *takes pulse*

  24. 24

    Looking through these responses….clearly, there are a lot of people who either don’t know what they are talking about, or are giving the most uncharitable reading possible, or simply need to do some studying.

  25. Elizabeth you state:

    ‘So I guess finding life-forms far simpler than the simplest modern cells in a meteor, for example, would do it?’

    And perhaps you would care to produce actual evidence for ‘simple’ life on a meteor? ,, Instead of just making an insinuation that the evidence exists???

  26. No. Pointing to the mere *existence* of life as proof for *how* that life came about is purely circular.

    Let’s see some of those nucleotides forming into a chain of DNA or RNA that contains a coherent message. Or let’s see some of those amino acids coming together to form a simple, functional protein. Shoot, let’s see any kind of meaningful gain in CSI from purely natural processes.

  27. I have a very simple question for our atheistic neo-Darwinian commentators;

    If all information in life ‘emerges’ from a material basis, as you guys dogmatically maintain it does, please tell me what happens to the highest levels of information upon death??? Why does this highest level of information suddenly go missing??? The particles are still there in the same configurations immediately before and after death, So why is the information suddenly not there if the particles are still there???

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Steve Talbott
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    Myself, I have strong reason to believe this highest level of ‘quantum information’ still exists:

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

    moreover, just like the first law of thermodynamics (conservation law) states that it is impossible to create or destroy energy by material processes quantum information shows a ‘higher level’ of conservation than energy does: i.e. it is ‘more impossible’ for material processes to create quantum information than it is for material processes to create energy!!!

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – March 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    This ‘conservation of quantum information is a real bummer for the neo-Darwinists, since, as I referenced earlier, quantum information is now found to be in molecular biology on a massive scale!

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

  28. 28

    Dr Rec, I missed your post at 11 earlier.

    The other curiosity of the original post is that Abel’s test adheres to methodological naturalism, which is often rejected here.

    Oh come now Doc, you can’t be serious. That remark seems awfully opportunistic. ID is tied at the hip to an understanding of cause and effect in nature. Like the intellectual refugees one has to be, we actually acknowledge the documented limits of chance contingency and physical law on those observations, and we try to get you fine folks to do the same.

    Of course Abel’s test adheres to methodological naturalism. If you are operating under the assumption that the problem centers around trying to understand the material forces that work on physical objects, then you are simply mistaken. I can assure you that the proposition of design does not break any of those laws. One of the reasons it doesn’t is because there is nothing in the physical evidence that confirms a departure from physical law. Consequently, that would mean the theory is tied directly to the physical evidence itself, and it has the discipline to stop before going into areas it cannot go. As an exercise in empiricism, this would seem to be something that any rational person should appreciate.

    The problem, Dr Rec, rears its ugly head when methodological naturalism morphs into philosophical materialism, particularly militant materialism, and stages a coup d’etat on rationality and science. Such a take-over attempts to enforce an unsupported assumption in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. Since there is no falsifiable test of the materialists claim that chance and necessity are the only causal forces that exist, then that particular unsupported assumption cannot logically be used as a roadblock to the pursuit of other scientific explanations, particularly those that break no physical laws and have significant observable evidence that backs them up.

    So Doc, the next time you think that ID is anti scientific method, you can cash out on that deal. In return, you can keep your eyes open, and you’ll see that it is the opponents of ID that most love to cross the line where discipline otherwise says to stop.

    If we observed, in a test tube, a system that meets his criteria, how could we conclude the result was not the outcome of a designer beyond our detection?

    he he … See what I mean?

    How casually you assume methodological naturalism, then reject it equally casually.

    You mean we’re all good when we talk about the evidence and practice methodological naturalism, but when we talk about the efficacy of chance and law we must alter our logic and reason. Must we first agree to limit the discussion in adherence to the unsupported assumption of philosophical materialism? I don’t think you’ll get many takers on the deal around here. Your reasons get flung up on the wall on a daily basis to see what sticks. But they have nothing to do with the observations themselves, and therefore don’t answer the questions.

  29. DrRec @11:

    “The other curiosity of the original post is that Abel’s test adheres to methodological naturalism . . .”

    Naturally! The question is whether this naturalism is up to the task, so of course the test has to be conducted on those grounds.

    What would you propose? That we have a designing intelligence produce the computational/algorithmic utility and then argue, I don’t know what, that it proves something . . . about . . . hmmm . . .

    We already know that a designing intelligence can produce such artifacts — we do it all the time. The question is whether a purely materialistic process can do it. So the experiment has to be carried out on those grounds.

  30. lol @27

  31. Uppy-

    What am I supposed to do when:

    ““Evolution” simply takes for granted the system that allows it to work – or has evolution been promoted to a theory of the origin of living systems now?”"

    Is followed immediately by:

    “How much evidence do you have for a living system sans information? Specifically, what actual empirical evidence documents that inanimate matter can indeed organize itself into a metabolizing entity, with replication, without the onset of informational. constraint? Have any of that?”

    So your reply is that evolution does not deal with abiogenesis (ok), but I must first answer abiogenesis to falsify Abel’s hypothesis regarding evolution.

    Love it.

    To reiterate, Abel is asking us to remove selection from evolution. RM+NS, but hold the NS. It is silly, both on a theoretical and practical level:

    “”If decision-node programming selections are made randomly”

    Well, that doesn’t sound right? Selection should be random? And we should remove artificial selection from directed evolution experiments?

    But let’s get back to the evidence:

    If artificial selection was allowed for, directed evolution or a genetic algorithm nicely demonstrate gains of information.

    But these (as Dembski also argues) sneak in active information in the form of selection. What is different between this selection and natural selection? Seriously. No one seems to have an answer why a selection is a source of ‘active information’ in a program, but not in nature. But you’ve got to dismiss it, because it generates information. Right? Or is ID ok with gains of information through natural processes (contra odd interpretations of the 2nd law and all related hooey).

    So I turned to Behe’s selected cases of gain of information in nature. Natural selection? Is that allowed for?

    Since it gets really hard to argue information has not increased, you throw in a few more wrinkles, and boot the whole thing to an origin of life issue, which I still can’t use selection or design in trying to experimentally address.

    Don’t hold your breath looking for a falsification if these are the terms.

    Again, if I’m misreading Abel, please tell me exactly what the terms of the falsification are–must I perform an undesigned experiment? Lol. Smuggling in design otherwise!

    And no, I don’t think it is silly to bring up methodological naturalism when the experimental falsification of a hypothesis you propose would depend on it.

    I can’t say design was not involved in the result I observe if we don’t presuppose MN. I don’t se the ‘he he’ in my query-it is a very serious issue to dispose of mn, and attempt to proceed with falsifying a hypothesis. And I’m glad you seemingly accept it, too. You might want to clue in a few of your peers:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....aturalism/

  32. 32

    Dr Rec,

    Uppy-

    What am I supposed to do when:

    ““Evolution” simply takes for granted the system that allows it to work – or has evolution been promoted to a theory of the origin of living systems now?””

    Is followed immediately by:

    “How much evidence do you have for a living system sans information? Specifically, what actual empirical evidence documents that inanimate matter can indeed organize itself into a metabolizing entity, with replication, without the onset of informational. constraint? Have any of that?”

    So your reply is that evolution does not deal with abiogenesis (ok), but I must first answer abiogenesis to falsify Abel’s hypothesis regarding evolution.

    Love it.

    All that effort, yet its still both painfully and immediately obvious that you haven’t read what it is you are critisizing; you don’t know what you are talking about. You can trust me on this because I’ve read every paper cited by that article.

    Are you ready, hopefully more ready than the first time I told you this:

    Abel’s hypothesis is not about evolution.

    Did you get it that time? I know you want to make it about evolution, but as I already told you, that just means you are, well, wrong.

    Go to the linked page and cut and paste the comments that mention evolution, and when you can’t do that because there aren’t any, perhaps then you’ll better understand.

    To reiterate, Abel is asking us to remove selection from evolution. RM+NS, but hold the NS. It is silly, both on a theoretical and practical level:

    “”If decision-node programming selections are made randomly”

    Well, that doesn’t sound right? Selection should be random? And we should remove artificial selection from directed evolution experiments?

    Gawd, Rec, just stop. This is completely unnecessary. You are so badly misinformed on this. GO READ THE DATA, its published online for free.

    Start gere: Google “Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and their Relevance to Biopolymeric Sequencing”.

  33. 33

    And hey Dr Rec … when you figure out how far off the mark you were, please don’t come back here and blame the misunderstanding on anyone else. We all make mistakes, but this one of yours could have been avoided by doing 15 minutes of reading, as was suggested above.

  34. 34

    ba77

    Elizabeth you state:

    ‘So I guess finding life-forms far simpler than the simplest modern cells in a meteor, for example, would do it?’

    And perhaps you would care to produce actual evidence for ‘simple’ life on a meteor? ,, Instead of just making an insinuation that the evidence exists???

    No, I was “insinuating” no such thing.

    I was merely asking whether, if it was found, it would count as a falsification.

  35. Elizabeth, that is a mighty big ‘if’ for you to leave dangling, with absolutely no evidence to support you conjecture, yet since we have solid evidence for believing the first ‘simple’ life on earth is just as complex as bacteria are today, then perhaps you would like to quit playing with such unsupportable musings of your imagination?

    Was our oldest ancestor a proton-powered rock? – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: “There is no doubt that the progenitor of all life on Earth, the common ancestor, possessed DNA, RNA and proteins, a universal genetic code, ribosomes (the protein-building factories), ATP and a proton-powered enzyme for making ATP. The detailed mechanisms for reading off DNA and converting genes into proteins were also in place. In short, then, the last common ancestor of all life looks pretty much like a modern cell.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....-rock.html

    Life – Its Sudden Origin and Extreme Complexity – Dr. Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4287513

    Moreover, because of Shannon channel capacity, the first DNA code of life on earth had to be at least as complex as the current DNA code found in life:

    Shannon Information – Channel Capacity – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5457552/

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
    Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    Deciphering Design in the Genetic Code
    Excerpt: When researchers calculated the error-minimization capacity of one million randomly generated genetic codes, they discovered that the error-minimization values formed a distribution where the naturally occurring genetic code’s capacity occurred outside the distribution. Researchers estimate the existence of 10 possible genetic codes possessing the same type and degree of redundancy as the universal genetic code. All of these codes fall within the error-minimization distribution. This finding means that of the 10 possible genetic codes, few, if any, have an error-minimization capacity that approaches the code found universally in nature.
    http://www.reasons.org/biology.....netic-code

    DNA – The Genetic Code – Optimal Error Minimization & Parallel Codes – Dr. Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491422

    Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information – David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8
    “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....2-2-29.pdf

    Ode to the Code – Brian Hayes
    The few variant codes known in protozoa and organelles are thought to be offshoots of the standard code, but there is no evidence that the changes to the codon table offer any adaptive advantage. In fact, Freeland, Knight, Landweber and Hurst found that the variants are inferior or at best equal to the standard code. It seems hard to account for these facts without retreating at least part of the way back to the frozen-accident theory, conceding that the code was subject to change only in a former age of miracles, which we’ll never see again in the modern world.
    https://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/ode-to-the-code/4

    Biophysicist Hubert Yockey determined that natural selection would have to explore 1.40 x 10^70 different genetic codes to discover the optimal universal genetic code that is found in nature. The maximum amount of time available for it to originate is 6.3 x 10^15 seconds. Natural selection would have to evaluate roughly 10^55 codes per second to find the one that is optimal. Put simply, natural selection lacks the time necessary to find the optimal universal genetic code we find in nature. (Fazale Rana, -The Cell’s Design – 2008 – page 177)

    “Although the tiniest living things known to science, bacterial cells, are incredibly small (10^-12 grams), each is a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of elegantly designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world”. Michael Denton, “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,” 1986, p. 250.

    The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines
    “We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today,,, Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”
    Bruce Alberts: Former President, National Academy of Sciences;

    Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
    Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial microbial. “They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species,” Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. “This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times,” says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/.....a014909330

  36. 36

    ba77: I think you missed my point. Not to worry.

  37. Elizabeth, you have a point other than to be severely misleading with the evidence?

  38. 38

    My point was to try to understand the criteria Abel was setting for falsfication.

    But talking about being “misleading with the evidence”: my view is that the evidence you cite in support of the claim that “we have solid evidence for believing the first ‘simple’ life on earth is just as complex as bacteria are today” is not, well, solid.

    This is because the Last Common Ancestor is not the “First Simple Life”. Therefore, evidence regarding the properties of the Last Common Ancestor doesn’t tell you what the properties were of the First Simple Life.

  39. Elizabeth, your entire last post is playing with hypotheticals with no solid evidence, whereas I have many lines of solid evidence pointing out that life started out extremely complex, and STAYED that way, whereas you have nothing but imagination.

  40. further notes for you to ignore Elizabeth;

    The evidence scientists have discovered in the geologic record is stunning in its support of the anthropic hypothesis. The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth, known to science, originated underwater (and thus in relatively cool environs) 3.86 billion years ago. Those sediments, which are exposed at Isua in southwestern Greenland, also contain the earliest chemical evidence (fingerprint) of ‘photosynthetic’ life [Nov. 7, 1996, Nature]. This evidence had been fought by materialists since it is totally contrary to their evolutionary theory. Yet, Danish scientists were able to bring forth another line of geological evidence to substantiate the primary line of geological evidence for photo-synthetic life in the earth’s earliest sedimentary rocks.

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004E&PSL.217..237R

    Moreover, evidence for ‘sulfate reducing’ bacteria has been discovered alongside the evidence for photosynthetic bacteria:

    When Did Life First Appear on Earth? – Fazale Rana – December 2010
    Excerpt: The primary evidence for 3.8 billion-year-old life consists of carbonaceous deposits, such as graphite, found in rock formations in western Greenland. These deposits display an enrichment of the carbon-12 isotope. Other chemical signatures from these formations that have been interpreted as biological remnants include uranium/thorium fractionation and banded iron formations. Recently, a team from Australia argued that the dolomite in these formations also reflects biological activity, specifically that of sulfate-reducing bacteria.
    http://www.reasons.org/when-di.....pear-earth

    Thus we now have fairly conclusive evidence for bacterial life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth. The simplest photosynthetic life on earth is exceedingly complex, too complex to happen by accident even if the primeval oceans had been full of pre-biotic soup.

    The Miracle Of Photosynthesis – electron transport – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj_WKgnL6MI

    Electron transport and ATP synthesis during photosynthesis – Illustration
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bo.....iggrp.1672

    There is actually a molecular motor, that surpasses man made motors in engineering parameters, that is integral to the photosynthetic process:

    Evolution vs ATP Synthase – Molecular Machine – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4012706

    The ATP Synthase Enzyme – an exquisite motor necessary for first life – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3KxU63gcF4

    The photosynthetic process is clearly a irreducible complex condition:

    “There is no question about photosynthesis being Irreducibly Complex. But it’s worse than that from an evolutionary perspective. There are 17 enzymes alone involved in the synthesis of chlorophyll. Are we to believe that all intermediates had selective value? Not when some of them form triplet states that have the same effect as free radicals like O2. In addition if chlorophyll evolved before antenna proteins, whose function is to bind chlorophyll, then chlorophyll would be toxic to cells. Yet the binding function explains the selective value of antenna proteins. Why would such proteins evolve prior to chlorophyll? and if they did not, how would cells survive chlorophyll until they did?” Uncommon Descent Blogger

    Evolutionary biology: Out of thin air John F. Allen & William Martin:
    The measure of the problem is here: “Oxygenetic photosynthesis involves about 100 proteins that are highly ordered within the photosynthetic membranes of the cell.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....5610a.html

    Of note: anoxygenic (without oxygen) photosynthesis is even more of a complex chemical pathway than oxygenic photosynthesis is:

    “Remarkably, the biosynthetic routes needed to make the key molecular component of anoxygenic photosynthesis are more complex than the pathways that produce the corresponding component required for the oxygenic form.”;
    Hugh Ross

    also of note: Anaerobic organisms, that live without oxygen, and most viruses are quickly destroyed by direct contact with oxygen.

    In what I find to be a very fascinating discovery, it is found that photosynthetic life, which is an absolutely vital link that all higher life on earth is dependent on, seems to be designed right into the foundation of this universe. This is because photosynthetic life is found to actually use the foundational quantum mechanical principles of this universe to accomplish its photosynthesis. Once again it seems overwhelmingly obvious that the universe was designed with life in mind from its creation.

    Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems. Gregory S. Engel, Nature (12 April 2007)
    Photosynthetic complexes are exquisitely tuned to capture solar light efficiently, and then transmit the excitation energy to reaction centres, where long term energy storage is initiated.,,,, This wavelike characteristic of the energy transfer within the photosynthetic complex can explain its extreme efficiency, in that it allows the complexes to sample vast areas of phase space to find the most efficient path. —- Conclusion? Obviously Photosynthesis is a brilliant piece of design by “Someone” who even knows how quantum mechanics works.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17429397

    Quantum Mechanics at Work in Photosynthesis: Algae Familiar With These Processes for Nearly Two Billion Years – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: “We were astonished to find clear evidence of long-lived quantum mechanical states involved in moving the energy. Our result suggests that the energy of absorbed light resides in two places at once — a quantum superposition state, or coherence — and such a state lies at the heart of quantum mechanical theory.”,,, “It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans,” says Scholes.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....131356.htm

    Life Masters Physics – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Collini et al.2 report evidence suggesting that a process known as quantum coherence ‘wires’ together distant molecules in the light-harvesting apparatus of marine cryptophyte algae.,,,“Intriguingly, recent work has documented that light-absorbing molecules in some photosynthetic proteins capture and transfer energy according to quantum-mechanical probability laws instead of classical laws at temperatures up to 180 K,”. ,,, “This contrasts with the long-held view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot be sustained in complex biological systems, even at low temperatures.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100210a

  41. more notes on the extreme complexity of the first life

    The evidence scientists have discovered in the geologic record is stunning in its support of the anthropic hypothesis. The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth, known to science, originated underwater (and thus in relatively cool environs) 3.86 billion years ago. Those sediments, which are exposed at Isua in southwestern Greenland, also contain the earliest chemical evidence (fingerprint) of ‘photosynthetic’ life [Nov. 7, 1996, Nature]. This evidence had been fought by materialists since it is totally contrary to their evolutionary theory. Yet, Danish scientists were able to bring forth another line of geological evidence to substantiate the primary line of geological evidence for photo-synthetic life in the earth’s earliest sedimentary rocks.

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004E&PSL.217..237R

    Moreover, evidence for ‘sulfate reducing’ bacteria has been discovered alongside the evidence for photosynthetic bacteria:

    When Did Life First Appear on Earth? – Fazale Rana – December 2010
    Excerpt: The primary evidence for 3.8 billion-year-old life consists of carbonaceous deposits, such as graphite, found in rock formations in western Greenland. These deposits display an enrichment of the carbon-12 isotope. Other chemical signatures from these formations that have been interpreted as biological remnants include uranium/thorium fractionation and banded iron formations. Recently, a team from Australia argued that the dolomite in these formations also reflects biological activity, specifically that of sulfate-reducing bacteria.
    http://www.reasons.org/when-di.....pear-earth

    Thus we now have fairly conclusive evidence for bacterial life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth. The simplest photosynthetic life on earth is exceedingly complex, too complex to happen by accident even if the primeval oceans had been full of pre-biotic soup.

    The Miracle Of Photosynthesis – electron transport – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj_WKgnL6MI

    Electron transport and ATP synthesis during photosynthesis – Illustration
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bo.....iggrp.1672

    There is actually a molecular motor, that surpasses man made motors in engineering parameters, that is integral to the photosynthetic process:

    Evolution vs ATP Synthase – Molecular Machine – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4012706

    The ATP Synthase Enzyme – an exquisite motor necessary for first life – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3KxU63gcF4

    The photosynthetic process is clearly a irreducible complex condition:

    “There is no question about photosynthesis being Irreducibly Complex. But it’s worse than that from an evolutionary perspective. There are 17 enzymes alone involved in the synthesis of chlorophyll. Are we to believe that all intermediates had selective value? Not when some of them form triplet states that have the same effect as free radicals like O2. In addition if chlorophyll evolved before antenna proteins, whose function is to bind chlorophyll, then chlorophyll would be toxic to cells. Yet the binding function explains the selective value of antenna proteins. Why would such proteins evolve prior to chlorophyll? and if they did not, how would cells survive chlorophyll until they did?” Uncommon Descent Blogger

    Evolutionary biology: Out of thin air John F. Allen & William Martin:
    The measure of the problem is here: “Oxygenetic photosynthesis involves about 100 proteins that are highly ordered within the photosynthetic membranes of the cell.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....5610a.html

    Of note: anoxygenic (without oxygen) photosynthesis is even more of a complex chemical pathway than oxygenic photosynthesis is:

    “Remarkably, the biosynthetic routes needed to make the key molecular component of anoxygenic photosynthesis are more complex than the pathways that produce the corresponding component required for the oxygenic form.”;
    Hugh Ross

    also of note: Anaerobic organisms, that live without oxygen, and most viruses are quickly destroyed by direct contact with oxygen.

    In what I find to be a very fascinating discovery, it is found that photosynthetic life, which is an absolutely vital link that all higher life on earth is dependent on, seems to be designed right into the foundation of this universe. This is because photosynthetic life is found to actually use the foundational quantum mechanical principles of this universe to accomplish its photosynthesis. Once again it seems overwhelmingly obvious that the universe was designed with life in mind from its creation.

    Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems. Gregory S. Engel, Nature (12 April 2007)
    Photosynthetic complexes are exquisitely tuned to capture solar light efficiently, and then transmit the excitation energy to reaction centres, where long term energy storage is initiated.,,,, This wavelike characteristic of the energy transfer within the photosynthetic complex can explain its extreme efficiency, in that it allows the complexes to sample vast areas of phase space to find the most efficient path. —- Conclusion? Obviously Photosynthesis is a brilliant piece of design by “Someone” who even knows how quantum mechanics works.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17429397

    Quantum Mechanics at Work in Photosynthesis: Algae Familiar With These Processes for Nearly Two Billion Years – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: “We were astonished to find clear evidence of long-lived quantum mechanical states involved in moving the energy. Our result suggests that the energy of absorbed light resides in two places at once — a quantum superposition state, or coherence — and such a state lies at the heart of quantum mechanical theory.”,,, “It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans,” says Scholes.

    Life Masters Physics – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Collini et al.2 report evidence suggesting that a process known as quantum coherence ‘wires’ together distant molecules in the light-harvesting apparatus of marine cryptophyte algae.,,,“Intriguingly, recent work has documented that light-absorbing molecules in some photosynthetic proteins capture and transfer energy according to quantum-mechanical probability laws instead of classical laws at temperatures up to 180 K,”. ,,, “This contrasts with the long-held view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot be sustained in complex biological systems, even at low temperatures.”

  42. Upright-

    No need to insult. You’ve read all the linked papers? Then you must have read several where Abel applies this principle to evolution, with some very familiar sounding rhetoric:

    “Stunningly, information has been shown not to increase in the coding regions of DNA with evolution” “No fittest organisms exist for the environment to favor without prior computational haltings on many cooperative levels.”
    “Means is totally lacking for evolution to occur at the programming level.”

    My point is that if information DOES increase in natural and artificial selection (as even Behe admits, and Dembski sees as a source of active information in Avida) it falsifies the application of this principle to evolution. And here, and elsewhere, I have seen it applied to evolution.

    You argue the hypothesis doesn’t apply to evolution to begin with, linking to the first of Abel’s papers that deals with abiogenesis. I agree, though for a different reason-removing selection from the allowed set of experiments is inane if evolution or abiogenesis is being tested, and impossibly hamstrings the researcher.

    Maybe you could propose an experiment to test this hypothesis (which has nothing to do with evolution) that is devoid of design or selection (no behind the scenes steering). I don’t think such an experiment can exist.

  43. DrREC, REALLY? citing Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski to say purely material processes can generate ‘non-trivial information??? While you at it, why don’t you just go ahead and say the apostle Paul believed in Darwinism???

    Do you think that Dr. Behe would classify any of his ‘gain in function’ examples as ‘non-trivial’???

    The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency – Dr David L. Abel – November 2010
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_L.....iency.html

  44. How does selecting between two equally likely symbols or messages increase information?

    If they are equally likely, isn’t the “information content” the same, by definition?

  45. I see we’ve thrown another hurdle up: “non-trivial.”

    I can’t read Behe’s mind and decide what he thinks would be non-trivial. If it is a large increase in fitness, or survival vs. non-survival of a species in an environment, I’d say that seems pretty non-trivial to me.

    And yes, Behe describes a number of “gain-of-FCT” adaptive mutation is a mutation that produces a specific, new, functional coded element while adapting an organism to its environment.”

    And yes, Dembski sees selection in computer programs as a source of active information:
    “We show this by demonstrating that there are at least
    five sources of active information in ev….Optimization by Mutation. This process discards mutations with low fitness and propagates those with high fitness.”

    http://evoinfo.org/papers/vivisection_of_ev.pdf

    So if discarding mutations with low fitness, and propagating those with high fitness (selection) is a source of “active information” in ev, why isn’t it a source of information in nature?

  46. “How does selecting between two equally likely symbols or messages increase information?

    If they are equally likely, isn’t the “information content” the same, by definition”

    Mung, lets not play games with different definitions of information. 26 letters in the alphabet, lets call it equal probability of striking them on a keyboard.

    A random string takes the same number of bits to send to me in an email as a proper sentence of the same length, but functionally, one contains meaningful information and one doesn’t.

    Your selection from equally likely symbols has provided meaning to your post.

  47. DrREC, you, my man, are playing extremely fast and loose with words here. “Active Information” represents ‘programmed/preselected selection’ for fitness at decision node levels. The program is set up to steer the result to a desired outcome, yet Darwinism has no such foresight of a ‘desired’ outcome. That is what makes it ‘artificial selection’. Moreover you know this for you are not a dummy. Do you really think of any of Behe’s gain examples as ‘sophisticated’ function. You really must be desperate for any kind of evidence to think as such! Do you want to go through each example Behe cites and let every one see just how pathetic the examples are for what you are trying to claim???

  48. DrRec: “Dembski sees as a source of active information in Avida”

    Holy cow! Can you give us the citation for that. Dembski was extremely critical of Avida (silly little program that it was).

  49. 49

    Rec, at #40

    What is the linked paper about? That is to say, if you read the paper, the words would form sentences and those sentences would convey meaning. What is that paper about?

    Here is the opening paragraph:

    Many versions of a certain null hypothesis have been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature over the last decade with invitation to the world’s scientific community to falsify it (Abel, 2000, 2002, Abel and Trevors, 2005, Abel, 2006, Abel and Trevors, 2006, Abel, 2007, 2008, Abel, 2008, Abel, 2009, 2009, 2009, Abel, 2009, Abel, 2010, 2011, Trevors and Abel, 2004)

    So it would appear that several challenges have been made by the author within the scientific literature, and that challenge involves the falsification of a hypothesis presented by the author. It would also seem there are several papers listed where that challenge has been published.

    One of those papers is the one I linked to. Here is that challenge in the paper:

    Testable hypotheses about FSC

    What testable empirical hypotheses can we make about FSC that might allow us to identify when FSC exists? In any of the following null hypotheses [137], demonstrating a single exception would allow falsification. We invite assistance in the falsification of any of the following null hypotheses:

    Null hypothesis #1
    Stochastic ensembles of physical units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #2
    Dynamically-ordered sequences of individual physical units (physicality patterned by natural law causation) cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #3
    Statistically weighted means (e.g., increased availability of certain units in the polymerization environment) giving rise to patterned (compressible) sequences of units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #4
    Computationally successful configurable switches cannot be set by chance, necessity, or any combination of the two, even over large periods of time.

    We repeat that a single incident of nontrivial algorithmic programming success achieved without selection for fitness at the decision-node programming level would falsify any of these null hypotheses. This renders each of these hypotheses scientifically testable. We offer the prediction that none of these four hypotheses will be falsified.

    So what is this “FSC” he is challenging the scientific community to test? Is this challenge (obviously having something to do with “FSC”) a question of the ‘evolution’ of already-organized living systems, or is it about the ‘origins’ of the formalism that are observed to cause that organization? In the first section after the abstract is a section called background. Perhaps it offers a clue:

    We can hypothesize that metabolism “just happened,” independent of directions, in a prebiotic environment billions of years ago. But we can hypothesize anything. The question is whether such hypotheses are plausible. Plausibility is often eliminated when probabilities exceed the “universal probability bound” [132]. The stochastic “self-organization” of even the simplest biochemical pathways is statistically prohibitive by hundreds of orders of magnitude. Without algorithmic programming to constrain (more properly “control”) options, the number of possible paths in sequence space for each needed biopolymer is enormous. 1015 molecules are often present in one test tube library of stochastic ensembles. But when multiple biopolymers must all converge at the same place at the same time to collectively interact in a controlled biochemically cooperative manner, faith in “self-organization” becomes “blind belief.” No empirical data or rational scientific basis exists for such a metaphysical leap.

    That seems to make it very clear what the challenge has been about, does it not? If not, we can look at another Abel publication linked from the article and take note the very first two sentences of the paper:

    To what degree could chaos and complexity have organized a Peptide or RNA World of crude yet necessarily integrated protometabolism? How far could such protolife evolve in the absence of a heritable linear digital symbol system that could mutate, instruct, regulate, optimize and maintain metabolic homeostasis?

    He asks the question “How far could such protolife evolve in the absence of a heritable linear digital symbol system that could mutate, instruct, regulate, optimize and maintain metabolic homeostasis?” and it would seem almost certain that this paper is set to explore that very question. I think we can be confident in that assumption. The parent of the word evolution (the word “evolve”) does in fact appear in this opening sentence, but it appears in the context of “how” did evolution occur “in the absence of” the formalized system that it requires in order to operate – which is the subject of the paper. In other words, the subject of the paper (which includes the aforementioned challenge) is the origins of the formalization necessary to the onset of evolution. Does this not seem clear?

    Perhaps we can look at yet another one of the papers linked in the article and find some additional clarity:

    The naturalistic scientific community, and complexity theorists in particular, should collectively pursue falsification of the following null hypothesis: “Spontaneous nontrivial algorithmic optimization is never observed in nature apart from either 1) already existing biological prescriptive information, or 2) investigator involvement in experimental design.” Falsification of this null hypothesis could be achieved with a single exception.

    Well, there’s that challenge once again, and what does it tell us? It seem rather clear that Dr Abel is talking about the appearance of “spontaneous nontrivial algorithmic optimization” arising apart from “already existing” biological information. Do you read it differently? If so, then how so?

    Now let us look at one more of those papers, this is the one where you lifted the quote and passed it off as one instance in “several” where Abel “applies the principle” (elucidated in his challenge) to evolution as opposed to origins. The quote you used comes from a section entitled “The Capabilities of Natural Selection”. That section begins with this:

    Only existing genetic algorithms can be optimized. Prior to an algorithm having computational function, no basis exists for selection in nature. So the question becomes, “How did any computational program arise in nature? Computation is formal, not physical. Natural selection cannot generate formalisms. It can only prefer the results of formal computations-already living organisms. What would be the basis of natural selection for a half-written program that does not yet compute? Even if a formal computational program were to somehow spontaneously arise, why would an inanimate environment value and preserve it? The only basis for natural selection from the start was survival of the fittest already-living organisms. But no organism exists without hundreds of cooperating formal algorithms all organized into one holistic scheme.

    Well, I don’t know what you call a fair reading, but it seems that Dr Abel is going out of his way to provide a clear distinction about his interests. It seems very clear to me that he is talking about the formal requirements prior to any existing “already living” organism. He says “Only existing genetic algorithms can be optimized. Prior to an algorithm having computational function, no basis exists for selection in nature.” Is this a statement you wish to challenge?

    And this is where we come to your quote of Abel’s which you use to suggest that, foregoing all the thousands of words dealing with origins, he is actually talking about evolution instead: “Stunningly, information has been shown not to increase in the coding regions of DNA with evolution”. But I wanted to know what you left out of your quote. So here is the actual text:

    Natural selection resembles public consumption of the best available software. The programming details and methodology of production are of no interest to the purchasers of software. Pre-programmed, bug-free, superior utility is the only criterion of public selection. The consumer plays no role whatever in the writing or refinement of the program’s computational efficiency. The finished product with the best reputation, availability, and lowest cost becomes “the fittest species.” Just as consumers are oblivious to how the best software was produced, natural selection is oblivious to how the fittest species was produced. Natural selection offers no explanation whatever for programming at the genetic level. Similarly, natural selection does not explain the derivation of the many cooperative computational processes leading up to the origin of life.

    Stunningly, information has been shown not to increase in the coding regions of DNA with evolution. Mutations do not produce increased information. Mira et al (65) showed that the amount of coding in DNA actually decreases with evolution of bacterial genomes, not increases. This paper parallels Petrov’s papers starting with (66) showing a net DNA loss with Drosophila evolution (67). Konopka (68) found strong evidence against the contention of Subba Rao et al (69, 70) that information increases with mutations. The information content of the coding regions in DNA does not tend to increase with evolution as hypothesized. Konopka also found Shannon complexity not to be a suitable indicator of evolutionary progress over a wide range of evolving genes. Konopka’s work applies Shannon theory to known functional text. Kok et al. (71) also found that information does not increase in DNA with evolution. As with Konopka, this finding is in the context of the change in mere Shannon uncertainty. The latter is a far more forgiving definition of information than that required for prescriptive information (PI) (21, 22, 33, 72). It is all the more significant that mutations do not program increased PI. Prescriptive information either instructs or directly produces formal function. No increase in Shannon or Prescriptive information occurs in duplication. What the above papers show is that not even variation of the duplication produces new information, not even Shannon “information.”
    All of the above work correlates well with Weiss et al (73) finding only 1% deviation from randomness in coding regions. One cannot increase “information” (really “uncertainty”) very much when starting from only 1% deviation from randomness in the coding regions. Only 1% deviation from randomness is already nearly maxed out in uncertainty. How did a text that deviates only slightly from seeming randomness get so instructional and biofunctional? Clearly, mere combinatorial uncertainty is not going to explain the phenomenon of cybernetic genetic prescription. No empirical evidence exists of mere variation ever having generated sophisticated PI, computational halting, or cybernetic integration of large numbers of pathways and cycles, or the achievement of metabolic goals.

    Are you kidding me Dr Rec? This passage is what you say proves your point? A passage where Abel simply cites a congruent finding to a description he is making – one which doesn’t even affect his primary challenge? It would seem that your problem is not with Abel and his challenge, but is with the evidence provided by Mira, and Petrov, and Konopka, and Weiss instead.

    So let’s look at your next example: “No fittest organisms exist for the environment to favor without prior computational haltings on many cooperative levels”

    And again here is the actual text:

    The GS Principle states that selection must occur at the molecular/genetic level, not just at the fittest phenotypic/organismic level, to explain the generation of polynucleotide and polycodon linear digital prescription. Organismic/phenotypic selection (natural selection) cannot prescribe the linear digital programming of coded genetic instructions. Environmental selection cannot set configurable switches so as to achieve potential integrated circuits. Selection pressure is after the fact of computational halting. No fittest organisms exist for the environment to favor without prior computational haltings on many cooperative levels.

    What Dr Abel is saying here is there are two types of selection, one at the oganismic level during natural selection, but also one that is unaccounted for at the genetic level which leads to the origin of function. He is pointing out that one does not explain the other. Is this something you have empirical evidence otherwise Dr Rec, or is this a valid statement?

    And as to your final quote: “Means is totally lacking for evolution to occur at the programming level.”

    Here we can again put the quote back into context of the author and understand what is being conveyed.

    What about the 3rd criterion of selection: means? With natural selection, the means is differential survival and reproduction of already living organisms. But at the genetic programming level in a prebiotic world, no life or differential survival exist yet. Means is totally lacking for evolution to occur at the programming level.

    Geez…Dr Rec.

    Apparently you just can’t help yourself. You’ve pulled out a quote SPECIFICALLY ABOUT origins and have shoehorned it into your very own context. But since we are here, can you provide the empirical evidence of the means that natural selection could use to select for something prior to anything selectable existing?

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

    Like I said Dr Rec, and this will now be the third time, perhaps it’s a charm:

    Abel’s huypothesis is not about evolution.

    By the way, if you’d like to not be insulted, then clean out your ears and stop insulting the record.

  50. Eric @ 48-

    Sorry, not avida, ev, and the quote/citation is linked at 45.

  51. “Abel’s huypothesis is not about evolution.”

    Maybe I should just concede that point, since I agree with it for a different reason. You lose what has been used here and elsewhere as a critique of evolution. Satisfied?

    I do think the instances of genetic algorithms, directed evolution, and nature creating information falsify at least key corollaries of Abel’s hypothesis, as evidenced by quotes above, like:

    “Environmental selection cannot set configurable switches so as to achieve potential integrated circuits.”

    Which seems falsified by the evolution of genetic control elements.

    or:

    “Spontaneous nontrivial algorithmic optimization is never observed in nature.”

    Which likewise seems empirically false, depending on the definition of ‘non-trivial.’

    But these quotes don’t deal with evolution, right?

    What a false dichotomy, by the way. If information increases in natural processes in life, why not proto-life, as relates to abiogenesis? It seems silly to say Abel’s hypothesis isn’t about evolution, but it could be about the evolution of a protoreplicator, which Abel spends a good bit of time discussing e.g. “How far could such protolife evolve….”

    So lets move on.

    My main point continues to be that deleting selection from the RM+NS is silly. Look at some of these quotes:

    “-mutations do not program increased PI.
    -Mutations do not produce increased information
    -No empirical evidence exists of mere variation ever having generated sophisticated PI
    -If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise
    -Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification.”

    What is utterly lacking or explicitly forbidden? Selection.

    Selection that is at the heart of evolution, and every serious biogenic proposal.

    So back to my last question-design a experiment, that if successful, would falsify Abel’s hypothesis. One without selection or steering. How does this hypothesis get tested?

  52. DrREC, you keep, deceptively, insisting that Genetic Entropy has been violated; i.e. that functional information over and above what was already present in life was generated by purely material processes. Please show me the actual experiment where this is so; i.e. not a deletion, and/or compensatory, mutation experiment that deletes information first and lets ‘hill climbing’ compensate with for what was taken away, but an actual experiment that shows a ‘parent’ bacteria gaining completely novel functional information over and above what it already had;

    notes:

    For a broad outline of the ‘Fitness test’, required to be passed to show a violation of the principle of Genetic Entropy, please see the following video and articles:

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – ‘The Fitness Test’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....-drugstore

    Thank Goodness the NCSE Is Wrong: Fitness Costs Are Important to Evolutionary Microbiology
    Excerpt: it (an antibiotic resistant bacterium) reproduces slower than it did before it was changed. This effect is widely recognized, and is called the fitness cost of antibiotic resistance. It is the existence of these costs and other examples of the limits of evolution that call into question the neo-Darwinian story of macroevolution.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....32491.html

    i.e.,, the fitness test must be passed by the sub-species against the parent species. If the fitness test is shown to be passed then the new molecular function, which provides the more robust survivability for the sub-species, must be calculated to its additional Functional Information Bits (Fits) it has gained in the beneficial adaptation, and then be found to be greater than 140 Fits. 140 Fits is what has now been generously set by Kirk Durston as the maximum limit of Functional Information which can reasonably be expected to be generated by the natural processes of the universe over the entire age of the universe (The actual limit is most likely to be around 40 Fits)(Of note: I have not seen any evidence to suggest that purely material processes can exceed the much more constrained ’2 protein-protein binding site limit’, for functional information/complexity generation, found by Michael Behe in his book “The Edge Of Evolution”).

    Testing Evolution in the Lab With Biologic Institute’s Ann Gauger – podcast with link to peer-reviewed paper
    Excerpt: Dr. Gauger experimentally tested two-step adaptive paths that should have been within easy reach for bacterial populations. Listen in and learn what Dr. Gauger was surprised to find as she discusses the implications of these experiments for Darwinian evolution. Dr. Gauger’s paper, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness,”.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_13-07_00

    ======================

    further notes:

    Dr. Behe states in The Edge of Evolution on page 135:

    “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site (in other words, generating a truly beneficial mutational event that would actually explain the generation of the complex molecular machinery we see in life) is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”

    That order of difficulty is put at 10^20 replications of the malarial parasite by Dr. Behe. This number comes from direct empirical observation.

    Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth Shies Away from Intelligent Design but Unwittingly Vindicates Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The rarity of chloroquine resistance is not in question. In fact, Behe’s statistic that it occurs only once in every 10^20 cases was derived from public health statistical data, published by an authority in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The extreme rareness of chloroquine resistance is not a negotiable data point; it is an observed fact.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....26651.html

    “The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book “Edge of Evolution”)

    Nature Paper,, Finds Darwinian Processes Lacking – Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: Now, thanks to the work of Bridgham et al (2009), even such apparently minor switches in structure and function (of a protein to its supposed ancestral form) are shown to be quite problematic. It seems Darwinian processes can’t manage to do even as much as I had thought. (which was 1 in 10^40 for just 2 binding sites)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....26281.html

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....t-collide/

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.

  53. “Please show me the actual experiment where this is so”

    I think Behe’s review summarizes those nicely.

    Here is a article where bacteria gain antibiotic resistance without loss of fitness:

    “strains with low- or no-cost resistance mutations are also the most frequent among clinical isolates.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont...../1944.full

    These isolates have 8 mutations to RNA polymerase. Behe goes on about 2 in Malaria. Past the edge of evolution? Beyond X number of fCSIs or FITs or whatever?

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