ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.

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What is specified complexity ?

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1What is specified complexity ? Empty What is specified complexity ? Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:21 am





The term specified complexity is about thirty years old. To my knowledge, origin-of-life researcher Leslie Orgel was the first to use it. The term appeared in his 1973 book The Origins of Life, where he wrote, “Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals such as granite fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity.” More recently, in his 1999 book The Fifth Miracle, Paul Davies identified specified complexity as the key to resolving the problem of life’s origin:

Living organisms are mysterious not for their complexity per se, but for their tightly specified complexity. To comprehend fully how life arose from nonlife, we need to know not only how biological information was concentrated, but also how biologically useful information came to be specified.

Neither Orgel nor Davies, however, provided a precise analytic account of specified complexity. I provide such an account in 'The Design Inference' (1998) and its sequel 'No Free Lunch' (2002)...Specified complexity, as I develop it, incorporates five main ingredients:

• a probabilistic version of complexity applicable to events
• conditionally independent patterns
• probabilistic resources, which come in two forms: replicational and specificational
• a specificational version of complexity applicable to patterns
• a universal probability bound

These bulleted topics are discussed more here:


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