Tan, Change; Stadler, Rob. The Stairway To Life:
In DNA and RNA, no chemical or physical forces impose a preferred sequence or pattern upon the chain of nucleotides. In other words, each base can be followed or preceded by any other base without bias, just as the bits and bytes of information on a computer are free to represent any sequence without bias. This characteristic of DNA and RNA is critical—in fact, essential—for DNA and RNA to serve as unconstrained information carriers. However, this property also obscures any natural explanation for the information content of life—the molecules themselves provide no explanation for the highly specific sequence of nucleotides required to code for specific biologic functions. Only two materialistic explanations have been proposed for the information content of life: fortuitous random arrangements that happen to be functional or the combination of replication, random mutations, and natural selection to improve existing functionality over time.
Stephen C.Meyer, The return of the God hypothesis, page 253
For every one DNA sequence that generates a short functional protein fold of just 150 amino acids in length, there are 10^77 nonfunctional combinations—combinations that will not form a stable three-dimensional protein fold capable of performing a specific biological function. In other words, there are vastly more ways of arranging nucleotide bases that will produce nonfunctional amino-acid chains than there are ways of arranging nucleotide bases that will produce folded and functional proteins. Indeed, for every functional gene capable of coding for a protein fold there is an almost unimaginably large number of corresponding nonfunctional sequences. Clearly, 10^77 represents a huge number. To put it in context, there are only 10^65 atoms in our galaxy. During the 3.85-billion-year history of life, biologists estimate that about 10^40 individual organisms—a huge number—have lived on our planet. That means that, at most, about 1040 such opportunities to mutate a gene that might ultimately produce a new protein fold could have occurred. Yet 10^40 represents only a tiny fraction of 10^77—the number of non-functional sequences corresponding to each protein fold of modest length. Indeed, the fraction 10^40 divided by 10^77 equals 1 part in 10^37, or 1 part in ten trillion times a trillion times a trillion, to be exact. This means that for even one relatively modest-size novel protein fold to arise, the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection would have time to search just a tiny fraction of the total number of relevant sequences. In other words, the number of trials available to the evolutionary process turns out to be incredibly small in relation to the number of possible sequences that need to be searched. Or to put it differently, the size of the relevant spaces that need to be searched by the evolutionary process dwarfs the time available for searching—even taking into account life’s 3.85-billion-year history. It follows that the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection has not had enough time to generate or search but a minuscule fraction (one ten trillion trillion trillionth, to be precise) of the total number of possible nucleotide base or amino-acid sequences corresponding to a single protein fold. It is therefore overwhelmingly more likely than not that a random mutational search would have failed to produce even one new functional (information-rich) DNA sequence capable of coding for one new protein fold in the entire history of life on earth. Consequently, the hypothesis that such a random search succeeded is more likely to be false than true. And, of course, building new animals would require the creation of many new proteins and protein folds, not just one. It follows that the standard neo-Darwinism mechanism does not provide an adequate explanation for the origin of the genetic information necessary to produce the major innovations in biological form that have arisen in the history of life on earth.
B.Alberts: Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.
Few of the Many Possible Polypeptide Chains Will Be Useful
Since each of the 20 amino acids is chemically distinct and each can, in principle, occur at any position in a protein chain, there are 20 × 20 × 20 × 20 = 160,000 different possible polypeptide chains four amino acids long, or 20n different possible polypeptide chains n amino acids long. For a typical protein length of about 300 amino acids, more than 10^390 (20^300) different polypeptide chains could theoretically be made. This is such an enormous number that to produce just one molecule of each kind would require many more atoms than exist in the universe.
Mayr (1982, 106), “all manifestations of development and life are controlled by genetic programs,” noting that “nothing comparable to it exists in the inanimate world, except for manmade computers”
Steve Meyer, Signature in the Cell:
Whatever information is—whether thought or an elaborate arrangement of matter—one thing seems clear. What humans recognize as information certainly originates from thought—from conscious or intelligent activity. A message received via fax by one person first arose as an idea in the mind of another. The software stored and sold on a compact disc resulted from the design of a software engineer. The great works of literature began first as ideas in the minds of writers—Tolstoy, Austen, or Donne. Our experience of the world shows that what we recognize as information invariably reflects the prior activity of conscious and intelligent persons.
Douglas Axe Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds
The likelihood of randomly arranging 153 amino acids into a protein domain that performed a similar function as β-lactamase was on the order of one in 10^77 similar to the chance of finding one specific atom in the universe.
Combined with the estimated prevalence of plausible hydropathic patterns (for any fold) and of relevant folds for particular functions, this implies the overall prevalence of sequences performing a specific function by any domain-sized fold may be as low as 1 in 10^77, adding to the body of evidence that functional folds require highly extraordinary sequences.
A protein domain is a region of the protein's polypeptide chain that is self-stabilizing and that folds independently from the rest. In general, domains vary in length from between about 50 amino acids up to 250 amino acids in length
The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP)
Even if multiple physical cosmoses existed, it is a logically sound deduction that linear digital genetic instructions using a representational material symbol system (MSS) cannot be programmed by the chance and/or fixed laws of physicodynamics. This fact is not only true of the physical universe, but would be just as true in any imagined physical multiverse. Physicality cannot generate non-physical Prescriptive Information (PI). Physicodynamics cannot practice formalisms (The Cybernetic Cut). Constraints cannot exercise formal control unless those constraints are themselves chosen to achieve formal function.
Edward J. Steele: Cause of Cambrian Explosion - Terrestrial or Cosmic? August 2018
The transformation of an ensemble of appropriately chosen biological monomers (e.g. amino acids, nucleotides) into a primitive living cell capable of further evolution appears to require overcoming an information hurdle of superastronomical proportions, an event that could not have happened within the time frame of the Earth except, we believe, as a miracle. All laboratory experiments attempting to simulate such an event have so far led to dismal failure. It would thus seem reasonable to go to the biggest available “venue” in relation to space and time. A cosmological origin of life thus appears plausible and overwhelmingly likely to us
How much of protein sequence space has been explored by life on Earth?
A typical estimate of the size of sequence space is 20^100 (approx. 10^130) for a protein of 100 amino acids in which any of the normally occurring 20 amino acids can be found. This number is indeed gigantic
Bit by Bit: The Darwinian Basis of Life Gerald F. Joyce Published: May 8, 2012
Suppose that a polymer (like RNA) that is assembled into four chains of 40 subunits (quaternary heteropolymer) . Then there would be 10^24 possible compositions. To represent all of these compositions at least once, and thus to establish a certainty that this simple ribozyme could have materialized, requires 27 kg of RNA chains, which classifies spontaneous emergence as a highly implausible event.
OPEN QUESTIONS IN ORIGIN OF LIFE: EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON THE ORIGIN OF NUCLEIC ACIDS AND PROTEINS WITH SPECIFIC AND FUNCTIONAL SEQUENCES BY A CHEMICAL SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY APPROACH February 2014
There is a conceptual problem, namely the emergence of specific sequences among a vast array of possible ones, the huge “sequence space”, leading to the question “why these macromolecules, and not the others?” One of the main open questions in the field of the origin of life is the biogenesis of proteins and nucleic acids as ordered sequences of monomeric residues, possibly in many identical copies. The first important consideration is that functional proteins and nucleic acids are chemically speaking copolymers, i.e., polymer formed by several different monomeric units, ordered in a very specific way.
Attempts to obtain copolymers, for instance by a random polymerization of monomer mixtures, yield a difficult to characterize mixture of all different products. To the best of our knowledge, there is no clear approach to the question of the prebiotic synthesis of macromolecules with an ordered sequence of residues. The copolymeric nature of proteins and nucleic acid challenges our understanding of origin of life also from a theoretical viewpoint. The number of all possible combinations of the building blocks (20 amino acids, 4 nucleotides) forming copolymers of even moderate length is ‘astronomically’ high, and the total number of possible combinations it is often referred as the “sequence space”. Simple numerical considerations suggest that the exhaustive exploration of the sequence spaces, both for proteins and nucleic acid, was physically not possible in the early Universe, both for lack of time and limited chemical material. There are no methods described in the literature to efficiently generate long polypeptides, and we also lack a theory for explaining the origin of some macromolecular sequences instead of others.
The theoretical starting point is the fact that the number of natural proteins on Earth, although apparently large, is only a tiny fraction of all the possible ones. Indeed, there are thought to be roughly 10^13 proteins of all sizes in extant organisms. This number, however, is negligible when compared to the number of all theoretically possible different proteins. The discrepancy between the actual collection of proteins and all possible ones stands clear if one considers that the number of all possible 50-residues peptides that can be synthesized with the standard 20 amino acids is 20^50, namely 10^65. Moreover, the number of theoretically possible proteins increases with length, so that the related sequence space is beyond contemplation; in fact, if we take into account the living organisms, where the average length of proteins is much greater, the number of possible different proteins becomes even bigger. The difference between the number of possible proteins (i.e. the sequence space) and the number of those actually present in living organisms is comparable, in a figurative way, to the difference that exists between a drop of water and an entire Ocean. This means that there is an astronomically large number of proteins that have never been subjected to the long pathway of natural evolution on Earth: the “Never Born Proteins” (NBPs). Furthermore, the question whether a functionality is a common feature in the sequence space, or a rare result of natural selection, is of the utmost importance to elucidate the role of proteins in the origin of life and to fully exploit its biological potential and find new scaffolds for biological activities.
The Universe: Past and Present Reflections Fred Hoyle
The big problem in biology, as.I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn't so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn't give. The case of the enzymes is well known. Enzymes act as catalysts in speeding up chemical reactions that would otherwise go far too slowly, as in the breakdown, for example, of starch into sugar. If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrangements that would be useless in serving the purposes of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link, it's easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem - the information problem. It's easy to frame a deceitful answer to it. Start with much simpler, much smaller enzymes, which are sufficiently elementary to be discoverable by chance; then let evolution in some chemical environment cause the simple enzymes to change gradually into the complex ones we have today. The deceit here comes from omitting to explain what is in the environment that causes such an evolution. The improbability of finding the appropriate orderings of amino acids is simply being concealed in the behavior of the environment if one uses that style of argument.
I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn't convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes - by what are called the blind forces of nature. The thought occurred to me one day that:
The human chemical industry doesn't chance on its products by throwing chemicals at random into a stewpot. To suggest to the research department at DuPont that it should proceed in such a fashion would be thought ridiculous.
Wasn't it even more ridiculous to suppose that the vastly more complicated systems of biology had been obtained by throwing chemicals at random into a wildly chaotic astronomical stewpot? By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes. And given a knowledge of the appropriate ordering of amino acids, it would need only a slightly superhuman chemist to construct the enzymes with 100 percent accuracy. It would need a somewhat more superhuman scientist, again given the appropriate instructions, to assemble it himself, but not a level of scale outside our comprehension. Rather than accept the fantastically small probability of life having arisen through the blind forces of nature, it seemed better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act. By "better" I mean less likely to be wrong. Suppose a spaceship approaches the earth, but not close enough for the spaceship's imaginary inhabitants to distinguish individual terrestrial animals. They do see growing crops, roads, bridges, however, and a debate ensues. Are these chance formations or are they the products of an intelligence? Taking the view, palatable to most ordinary folk but exceedingly unpalatable to scientists, that there is an enormous intelligence abroad in the universe, it becomes necessary to write blind forces out of astronomy.
Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix.
A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.
Hubert P. Yockey A calculation of the probability of spontaneous biogenesis by information theory
The Darwin-Oparin-Haldane “warm little pond” scenario for biogenesis is examined by using information theory to calculate the probability that an informational biomolecule of reasonable biochemical specificity, long enough to provide a genome for the “protobiont”, could have appeared in 10^9 years in the primitive soup. Certain old untenable ideas have served only to confuse the solution of the problem. Negentropy is not a concept because entropy cannot be negative. The role that negentropy has played in previous discussions is replaced by “complexity” as defined in information theory. A satisfactory scenario for spontaneous biogenesis requires the generation of “complexity” not “order”. Previous calculations based on simple combinatorial analysis overestimate the number of sequences by a factor of 10^5. The number of cytochrome c sequences is about 3·8 × 10^61. The probability of selecting one such sequence at random is about 2·1 ×10^65. The primitive milieu will contain a racemic mixture of the biological amino acids and also many analogues and non-biological amino acids. Taking into account only the effect of the racemic mixture the longest genome which could be expected with 95 % confidence in 10^9 years corresponds to only 49 amino acid residues. This is much too short to code a living system so evolution to higher forms could not get started. Geological evidence for the “warm little pond” is missing. It is concluded that belief in currently accepted scenarios of spontaneous biogenesis is based on faith, contrary to conventional wisdom.
Heuristic View on Quantum Bio-Photon Cellular Communication 2017
The paper claims that quantum effects performed a sequence search to find functional enzymes !! Is that believable?
If chance and necessity left to themselves cannot generate CSI, is it possible that chance and necessity working together might generate CSI? The answer is No. Whenever chance and necessity work together, the respective contributions of chance and necessity can be arranged sequentially. But by arranging the respective contributions of chance and necessity sequentially, it becomes clear that at no point in the sequence is CSI generated. Consider the case of trial-and-error (trial corresponds to necessity and error to chance). Once considered a crude method of problem-solving, trial-and-error has so risen in the estimation of scientists that it is now regarded as the ultimate source of wisdom and creativity in nature. The probabilistic algorithms of computer science all depend on trial-and-error. So too, the Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection is a trial-and-error combination in which mutation supplies the error and selection the trial. An error is committed after which a trial is made. But at no point is CSI generated.
All historical, observational, testable and repeatable examples PROVE information and operational functionality come from intelligent sources.
"The inadequacy of proposed materialistic causes forms only a part of the basis of the argument for intelligent design. We know from broad and repeated experience that intelligent agents can and do produce information rich systems: we have positive experience based on knowledge of a cause that is sufficient to generate new specified information, namely, intelligence. We are not ignorant of how information arises. According to information theorist Henry Quastler...'the creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity' "....I described indirect evidence which is a recognized form of proof for a causal agent...if you have no theory which explains the formation of complex specified information or functional operational activity without an intelligent origin then you cannot dismiss a known cause for such phenomena. Seen or unseen such phenomena require a sufficient cause.
The cell expresses the information contained in DNA (which forms its genetic material) such that it is able to construct its own proteins. This synthesis takes place in the ribosomes, where the peptide bond forms. Peptide bonds are covalent links between amino acids, giving rise to polypeptides which, in turn, form proteins. How is the information contained in a DNA sequence, that is, in a combination of nucleotides containing the four DNA bases (A, C, G, T), translated into the right combination of amino acids from among the twenty possible amino acids that can make up a protein? Thanks to the genetic code. Each of those twenty amino acids is coded by a triplet of bases (nucleotides), known as a codon. The signals for the start and end of the synthesis of a protein are equally marked by codons. The genetic code, which establishes the correspondence between a given codon and an amino acid, has three fundamental properties. It is:
– universal: every living organism uses the same code (there are some exceptions, but they correspond to minor derived changes). Certain computer simulations suggest that the genetic code corresponds to the optimum code, taking account of the physical and chemical properties of the amino acids coded by the different codons;
– redundant: several codons may correspond to a single amino acid. This is the consequence of the fact that there are sixty-four possible codons for only twenty amino acids to be coded;
– unambiguous: a single, unique amino acid corresponds to a single codon.
For the message contained within the DNA to be efficiently translated into proteins, each gene must first be transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). The message is then still in the form of combination of four nucleotides carrying the bases A, C, G and U (uracil, U, replaces thymine, T). It then needs an “adaptor” capable of making the link between a codon and a specific amino acid. This function is fulfilled by transfer RNAs (tRNA), specific to each amino acid. In the ribosome, positioned opposite to each codon of the mRNA comes a tRNA bearing the corresponding amino acid according to the genetic code. The tRNA recognizes its specific codon thanks to a sequence known as an anticodon (a complementary triplet sequence to the codon). In this way, a message in an alphabet with just four letters (the four bases) can be translated into an alphabet with twenty letters (the twenty amino acids).
"Transition from Inorganic to Organic Life was Based on Information, Not Chemistry"
Paul Davies, an ASU Regents' Professor and director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, and Sara Walker, a NASA post-doctoral fellow at the Beyond Center.
"We propose that the transition from non-life to life is unique and definable," added Davies. "We suggest that life may be characterized by its distinctive and active use of information, thus providing a roadmap to identify rigorous criteria for the emergence of life. This is in sharp contrast to a century of thought in which the transition to life has been cast as a problem of chemistry, with the goal of identifying a plausible reaction pathway from chemical mixtures to a living entity."
In a nutshell, the authors shift attention from the "hardware" – the chemical basis of life – to the "software" – its information content. To use a computer analogy, chemistry explains the material substance of the machine, but it won't function without a program and data. Davies and Walker suggest that the crucial distinction between non-life and life is the way that living organisms manage the information flowing through the system.
"When we describe biological processes we typically use informational narratives – cells send out signals, developmental programs are run, coded instructions are read, genomic data are transmitted between generations and so forth," Walker said. "So identifying life's origin in the way information is processed and managed can open up new avenues for research."
What Davies missed to point out, is, that this information input could have come only from an intelligent designer.
The genetic code cannot arise through natural selection
Repeated and uniform OBSERVATIONAL science has also shown us that coded information systems have been shown to be the sole product of an intelligent source. If you disagree with this assertion, then provide documented proof this is not true. Otherwise ... You have to come to grips with the fact that there is absolutely no OBSERVABLE evidence that coded information can be produced by random chance processes and natural selection (evolution).
Therefore, coded information can only be produced by intelligence and if natural processes combined with natural selection are not capable of producing coded information
Argument by information
1. There is matter or energy.
2. It is useless or inactive to direct the origin and make of complex life forms without information and consciousness.
3. DNA stores huge quantities of coded, specified/instructional, complex information. Many DNA strands have 100 million, or even billions of segments (one segment is called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are the building blocks, namely purines: adenine, guanine; and pyrimidines: cytosine, thymine and uracil).
4. The simplest known free-living organism, Mycoplasma genitalium, has 470 genes that code for 470 proteins that average 347 amino acids in length. The odds against just one specified protein of that length to emerge without guiding specifying intelligence are 1:10^451.
5. Proponents of materialism have no answer to the question what generated the first DNA strands, and the information stored in it.
6. Intelligent agents act frequently with an end goal in mind, inventing complex machines using many sub-parts that are specified in size, fit, materials, to integrate in a functional whole using a blueprint to build the object.
7. Therefore, the best causal-adequate answer to explain the origin of the DNA blueprint required for make a organism is a intelligent agency
Objection: Organic chemicals are everywhere in the cosmos. Life is probably a fair ordinary development. Complex organic chemicals are regularly detected in nebulae. Organic chemistry is everywhere. The bridge from organic chemicals to self-replicating molecules is small.
Answer: That's like saying that magnetic medium is widespread in the universe, so musical recordings or software must be ubiquitous. Information, extremely complex and highly ordered information, cannot be explained by the existence of the medium that contains it.
Objection: Arguments from Incredulity and Arguments from Ignorance are useless. Anyway, the scientific community doesn't see a problem with the development of life. If they did, it would be a major news story in scientific journals. It isn't.
Answer: "Self replicating" is not the same thing as information creation
Argument from the genetic code-like (GCL) binary representation
1. The 64 codons (sequences of 3 nucleotides: adenine, uracil, guanine) and the 20 amino acids are for research by scientists assigned to numerical elements within a system, referred to as the genetic code-like (GCL) binary representation.
2. It is a mathematical model of the underlining physical/chemical processes related to genetic information processing—a so-called structural isomorphism namely, identity or similarity of form or appearance.
3. The GCL binary representation and the genetic code are both isomorphic systems. Thus, the characteristics that are true of the GCL binary representation must also be true of the genetic code.
4. The characteristics of the mathematically modeled GCL binary representation are:
a. Palindromic symmetry (a symmetry like that of the word that reads same backward and forward).
b. Parity symmetry.
c. Organized redundancy (Repetition of messages to reduce the probability of errors).
d. A rich mathematical structure.
5. Such a graceful symmetry, organization, and structure indicates a code that has been designed for a purpose.
6. God necessarily exists.
The argument of Francis Collins
1. Francis Collins is one of the most respected research scientists in the world and was the head of the Human Genome Project. He authored the book "The Language of God."
2. In the beginning of his book he describes his doubts in God and strong belief in the theory of evolution. He was then an atheist.
3. As the project of the human genome advanced, seeing the wonderful complexities of genes changed his scientific conviction in evolution and he became a believer in God.
3a. The human genome consists of all the DNA of our species, the hereditary code of life. This newly revealed text was 3 billion letters long, and written in a strange and cryptographic four-letter code. Such is the amazing complexity of the information carried within each cell of the human body, that a live reading of that code at a rate of one letter per second would take thirty-one years, even if reading continued day and night. Printing these letters out in regular font size on normal bond paper and binding them all together would result in a tower the height of the Washington Monument.
4. Announcing the completion of the first phase of the project in year 2000 he said: "Today we are learning the language in which God created life."
5. Collins insists that "science is not threatened by God; it is enhanced" and "God is most certainly not threatened by science; He made it all possible."
6. The book argues that belief in a transcendent, personal God—and even the possibility of an occasional miracle—can and should coexist with a scientific picture of the world that includes evolution. Thus he follows the footsteps of the Kantian tradition, attempting the great synthesis of the empirical and the spiritual, the pure reason and the practical reason.
7. To give an example: The human genome consists of about 3 billion letters. One letter wrong can cause illnesses like cystic fibrosis. How could anybody generate 3 billion letters describing something capable of living in 3 billion or so years if random mutations are the only thing you have at your disposal?
8. Thus after a detailed research of a reputed scientist, Mr. Collins on the complexity of the genome we must conclude that God exists.
The argument of complex and specified information (CSI)
1. The scientific method consists of a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. .
2. Performing many scientific experiments upon natural objects, now already for decades, in many of them, scientists discovered so highly complex and specified information (CSI) that it is very difficult or even impossible to make imitation of such complex units.
3. If scientists cannot make copies of complex and specified units what to say about the dull material nature, natural selection, and mutation creating these.
4. Natural objects containing a high level of CSI means they were produced by a super designer.
5. That super designer can be only God.
6. God exists.
The Algorithmic Origins of Life
If life is more than just complex chemistry, its unique informational management properties may be the crucial indicator of this distinction, which raises the all-important question of how the informational properties characteristic of living systems arose in the first place. This key question of origin may be satisfactorily answered only by first having a clear notion of what is meant by “biological information”. Unfortunately, the way that information operates in biology is not easily characterized. While standard information-theoretic
measures, such as Shannon information, have proved useful, biological information has an additional quality which may roughly be called “functionality” – or “contextuality” – that sets it apart from a collection of mere bits as characterized by Shannon Information content. Biological information shares some common ground with the philosophical notion of semantic information (which is more commonly – and rigorously – applied in the arena of “high-level” phenomena such as language, perception and cognition). We, therefore, identify the transition from non-life to life with a fundamental shift in the causal structure of the system, specifically, a transition to a state in which algorithmic information gains direct, context-dependent, causal efficacy over matter.
We don't have to know how in order to infer that the original concept/idea (specified complex system) began in an intelligent mind - and ultimately was produced somehow. We don't need to know how. We know where the concept came from: intelligence. The fact that specified complexity is a real (not invented) attribute of engineering systems is sufficient enough evidence to conclude that the original concept began in an intelligent mind. Because that is what we have observed to be true. This is unlike the evolutionary mechanism which has not been observed to produce a specified complex system. This is not circular. It's based upon observed experience that no undirected, unintelligent process can claim. Your response to this post on a computing device is testable evidence that ID is a proven source for specified complexity to trace back to. And so where ever we see specified complex systems, even in nature, ID is a legitimate scientific inference.
Other concepts like "foresight" which we observe in nature also have ID inferences. Embryonic development clearly shows that cells are dividing for specific purposes to create specific organs, etc.. All the biological information for the organism's entire development is house in it's chromosomal composition which exists before any of it happened. That is foresight, which is a concept found in an intelligent mind. No need to know how to infer design.
Perry Marshall, Evolution 2.0 page 170
Information possesses another very interesting property that distinguishes it from matter and energy. That property is freedom of choice. In communication, your ability to choose whether “1 = on and 0 = off” or “1 = off and 0 = on” is the most elementary example of the human capacity to choose. Mechanical encoders and decoders can’t make choices, but their very existence shows that the choice was made. By definition, none of these decisions can be derived from the laws of physics because they are freely chosen. In the history of the computer industry, somewhere along the way, somebody got to decide that 1 = “on” and 0 = “off.” Then everyone else decided to adopt that standard. Physics and chemistry alone want us to be fat, lazy, and unproductive. Gravity pulls us down. Entropy makes us old and tired. Clocks wind down. Cars rust. Signals get static. LPs scratch. Desks become cluttered. Bedrooms get strewn with dirty clothes. Choice rises up against this. Evolution 2.0, far from mindless, is literally mind over matter. The unfit adapt. Order and structure increase. Cells exert control over their environments. That means materialism cannot explain the origin of information, the nature of information, or the ability to create a code or language from scratch. It can’t explain thought, feeling, mind, will, or communication.
Norbert Weiner - MIT Mathematician - Father of Cybernetics
"Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day."
All historical, observational, testable and repeatable examples PROVE information and operational functionality come from intelligent sources.
"The inadequacy of proposed materialistic causes forms only a part of the basis of the argument for intelligent design. We also know from broad and repeated experience that intelligent agents can and do produce information rich systems: we have positive experience based knowledge of a cause that is sufficient to generate new specified information, namely, intelligence. We are not ignorant of how information arises. According to information theorist Henry Quastler...'the creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity' "....I described indirect evidence which is a recognized form of proof for a causal agent...if you have no theory which explains the formation of complex specified information or functional operational activity without an intelligent origin then you cannot dismiss a known cause for such phenomena. Seen or unseen such phenomena require a sufficient cause.
"Yet, the scientists arguing for intelligent design do not do so merely because natural processes-chance, laws or the combination of the two-have failed to explain the origin of the information and information processing systems in cells. Instead, they also argue for design because we know from experience that systems possessing these features invariably arise from intelligent causes. The information on computer screen can be traced back to a user or programmer. The information in a newspaper ultimately came from a writer-from a mental, rather than a strictly material, cause. As the pioneering information theorist Henry Quastler observed, "information habitually arises from conscious activity." This connection between information and prior intelligence enables us to detect or infer intelligent activity even from unobservable sources in the distant past. Archeologists infer ancient scribes from hieroglyphic inscriptions. SETI's search for extraterrestrial intelligence presupposes that information imbedded in electromagnetic signals from space would indicate an intelligent source. As yet, radio astronomers have not found information-bearing signals from distant star systems. But closer to home, molecular biologists have discovered information in the cell, suggesting--by the same logic that underwrites the SETI program and ordinary scientific reasoning about other informational artifacts--an intelligent source for the information in DNA. DNA functions like a software program. We know from experience that software comes from programmers. We know generally that information-whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book or encoded in a radio signal-always arises from an intelligent source. So the discovery of information in the DNA molecule, provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a role in the origin of DNA, even if we weren't there to observe the system coming into existence."
nothing further in his investigations, experiments OR speculations were ever able to provide a source that was not intelligent or without "conscious activity"...if you want to claim he refuted his own statement or observation then please provide that evidence...Dr. Quastler sought in vain to find another source and his admission not his wishful speculation is what is relevant to the "scientific" issue...
I shall argue that it is not enough to know how life's immense structural complexity arose; we must also account for the origin of biological information. As we shall see, scientists are still very far from solving this fundamental conceptual puzzle. Some people rejoice in such ignorance, imagining that it leaves room for a miraculous creation.
Ibid., p. 148.
“No matter how large the environment one considers, life cannot have had a random beginning. Troops of monkeys thundering away at random on typewriters could not produce the works of Shakespeare, for the practical reason that the whole observable universe is not large enough to contain the necessary monkey hordes, the necessary typewriters, and certainly the waste paper baskets required for the deposition of wrong attempts. The same is true for living material.”
Not mentioned by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe is the simple fact that even a few correct words typed by the hordes of monkeys would decay long before a complete sentence of Shakespeare was completed. Correspondingly, a few correct sequences of amino acids would decay long before a protein was completed, not to mention the thousands of proteins that must be in their proper place to have a living cell. Finally, the most complex requirement of all is the presence of functioning DNA.
Every information transmission chain can be traced back to an intelligent sender
It is useful to distinguish here between the original and the intermediate sender. We mean by the original sender the author of the information, and he must always be an individual equipped with intelligence and a will. If, after the original sender, there follows a machine-aided chain consisting of several links, the last link in the chain might be mistaken for the originator of the message. Since this link is only apparently the sender, we call this the intermediate sender (but it is not the original one!).
The original sender is often not visible: in many cases the author of the information is not or no longer visible. It is not in contradiction to the requirement of observability when the author of historical documents is no longer visible—in such a case he was, however, observable once upon a time. Sometimes the information received has been carried via several intermediate links. Here, too, there must have been an intelligent author at the beginning of the chain. Take the example of a car radio: we receive audible information from the loud speakers, but these are not the actual source; neither is the transmission tower that also belongs to the transmission chain. An author (an intelligent originator) who created the information is at the head of the chain. In general we can say that there is an intelligent author at the beginning of every information transmission chain.
The actual (intermediate) sender may not be an individual: we could gain the impression that, in systems with machine-aided intermediate links, that the last observed member is the sender:
The user of a car auto-wash can only trace the wash program back to the computer—but the computer is only the intermediate sender; the original sender (the programmer) is nowhere to be seen.
The internet-surfer sees all kinds of information on his screen, but his home computer is not the original sender, but rather someone who is perhaps at other end of the world has thought out the information and put it on the internet.
It is by no means different in the case of the DNA molecule. The genetic information is read off a material substrate, but this substrate is not the original sender; rather, it is only the intermediate sender.
It may seem obvious that the last member of the chain is the sender because it seems to be the only discernible possibility. But it is never the case in a system with machine-aided intermediate links that the last member is the original sender (= author of the information)—it is an intermediate sender. This intermediate sender may not be an individual, but rather only part of a machine that was created by an intelligence. Individuals can pass on information they have received and in so doing act as intermediate senders. However, they are in actuality only intermediate senders if they do not modify the information. If an intermediate changes the information, he may then be considered the original sender of a new piece of information.
Even in the special case where the information was not transmitted via intermediaries, the author may remain invisible. We find in Egyptian tombs or on the obelisks numerous hieroglyphic texts, but the authors are nowhere to be found. No one would conclude that there had been no author.
Intelligent Source always refers to an individual who is equipped with a will and consciousness. It is not in contradiction to SLI-4c if the author of the information cannot always be specifically identified, but, rather, sometimes only identified generally, as in the following examples: texts in Egyptian Pharaoh’s tombs (Egyptians), historical documents (unknown author), secret radio messages (the military), computer viruses in the internet (criminals), graffiti (graffiti artists), information in biological systems (creator).
The physicalist thesis is valid only in spontaneous systems whereas genes and proteins are never formed by spontaneous reactions. They are invariably manufactured by molecular machines, and all manufacturing processes do not require only physical quantities but also additional entities like sequences and codes. 1
Genes and proteins are never formed spontaneously in real life. They are invariably manufactured by molecular machines, and all manufacturing processes do not require only physical quantities but also additional entities like sequences and coding rules.
Question: How could these rules emerge by natural means, and why should they?
The charge that information is a teleological concept is simply false, notwithstanding the fact that it is repeated fairly often. The truth is precisely the other way round. Information has all the defining features of a scientific concept because it has been defined in two different ways and in both cases there is nothing teleological about it.
Thats simply a baseless assertion. How does the author prove his view? Here comes his striking answer :
We simply cannot describe the transmission of genes or the synthesis of proteins without their sequences, and we cannot replace these sequences with anything else, which means that using information to describe living systems is perfectly equivalent to using space, time, mass and energy to describe physical systems.
Its not. The big question is how these information-bearing sequences could emerge without conceptualizing first the code per se, and secondly, the information, or special sequence and arrangement of the coding letters, that bear the instructional information to produce proteins, and life.
Sequences (biological information) and coding rules are descriptive entities and are absolutely essential for life.
The truth, in other words, is that there is no more teleology in information and in the genetic code than there is in the quantities of physics and chemistry.
Objection: Information flow, from sender to receiver, involves always a conscious mind.
Reply: Although DNA does not convey information that is received, understood, or used by a conscious mind, it does have information that is received and used by the cell’s machinery to build the structures critical to the maintenance of life.
How can the author compare them? What do " quantities of physics and chemistry " have to do with information? Or how do they compare? They don't. These quantities do not require special arrangements, do not bear information. They are just ... quantities.
1. Marcello Barbieri Code Biology A New Science of Life
Last edited by Otangelo on Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:59 pm; edited 54 times in total