Pointy eggs and whales (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 15:29 (463 days ago) @ David Turell

GK: the universe is moving from more information to less information. The end being just photons not interacting with each other. So that implies the information on this planet came from a larger set of information.

lmao, There is nothing light about it.

David: And, of course, I might ask where the 'larger set of information' came from.....Obviously when the universe ends, life ends. But where was any life before the universe appeared? My bolded statement of yours still implies an eternal universe, no origin; if that is true there has to be an infusion of information each time a universe starts up.

To answer myself about DNA information:


Dropping a handful of toothpicks on the table seems to produce a different sort of pattern than spelling out a word with toothpicks. We call the dropped toothpicks “random” but we call the toothpicks spelling out a word “orderly.”


Surprisingly, this intuitive distinction is harder to make in math and the sciences. To understand why this is so, look at Claude Shannon’s theory of information, intended to optimize communications systems and Andrey Kolmogorov’s theory of complexity, to see what they don’t tell us.

Shannon defines information based on probability. A highly probable event has little information and a low probability event has a lot of information. If two different events have the same probability of occurrence, then they have the same amount of information. Thus, according to Shannon’s theory, thirteen dropped toothpicks have the same amount of information as the thirteen toothpicks spelling out a word.


Will Kolmogorov complexity help? Kolmogorov complexity states that the information in an event is a function of how concisely the event can be described. Random events do not have a concise description but orderly events do. Thus, according to Kolmogorov complexity theory, random events contain more information than orderly events. For example, it is harder to describe where and how the thirteen randomly dropped toothpicks land than to say “They spell out the word PICK.” So, while Kolmogorov complexity allows us to distinguish between random and orderly events, it still counters our intuition that orderly events contain more information than disorderly events.

This leads us to a third concept, algorithmic specified complexity (ASC). ASC solves the problem by combining the two measures. ASC states that an event has a high amount of information if it has both low probability and a concise description. This matches our intuition much better.

For example, if we had a keyboard that consisted only of the letter A, its output would be very orderly (a long line of As), but it would not communicate anything. On the other hand, if we had a keyboard with all the letters of the alphabet but we communicated by haviThe key to communication is a wide variety of message possibilities (low probability) along with the ability to select just the messages that are orderly (concise description).

To return to our toothpick example, there is a great variety of ways toothpicks could land. Nothing constrains them to fall in such a way as to form letters. On the other hand, the formation of toothpicks that spell a word can be described much more concisely than the formation of the dropped toothpicks. Thus, ASC allows us mathematically measure our intuition that randomness and order are intrinsically different and that order conveys information while randomness does not convey information.ng a monkey bang on it, there would be great variety, but the output would be meaningless.

Comment: DNA is a code that contains information. But measuring the amount of information contained leaves out exactly what we do not know. We do not know how genes produce functional life. We use gene editing to tell us what a gene does, but we never find out how the gene does it. Thus we are theorizing with only a tiny part of the story from origin of life to the present known to us. An enormous "Black Box". We can't make life. This is why researchers must use life's processes to investigate.

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