Let's study ID:the source of information in living organisms (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 18:47 (36 days ago) @ David Turell

More information theory from a different source:

https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/article-by-david-snoke-spontaneous-appea...

"Dr. Snoke’s recent article, published in Biocosmos, dives into the important topic of the link between the 2nd law of thermodynamics, information theory, and living systems. He explores the notion of physical law, similar to the 2nd law, that applies to information, and concludes that “there is a fundamental entropy problem with the origin of life.”

"It is natural to define information as an extensive physical property similar to heat and entropy. This approach has been used in the physics community for many decades.

"Information can be defined as the elimination of possibilities. The more possibilities that are eliminated, the more information that is gained.

"The Second Law tells us that entropy cannot decrease. Is there an equivalent law for information?

"Dembski has proposed, as an axiomatic assertion, that information can never spontaneously increase. Can we do better, to create an information principle based on the Second Law? (my bold)

"Living systems are to all intents and purposes equivalent to Maxwell’s demons, in that they are information processors that perform selection processes. We may therefore conclude that there is a fundamental entropy problem with the origin of life."

Source article: https://www.sciendo.com/article/10.2478/biocosmos-2022-0006

Abstract: "It is often argued both by scientists and the lay public that it is extremely unlikely for life or minds to arise spontaneously, but this argument is hard to quantify. In this paper I make this argument more rigorous, starting with a review of the concepts of information and entropy, and then examining the specific case of Maxwell’s demon and how it relates to living systems. I argue that information and entropy are objective physical quantities, defined for systems as a whole, which allow general arguments in terms of physical law. In particular, I argue that living systems obey the same rules as Maxwell’s demons

***

"The Second Law can be used to make an argument against the spontaneous appearance of life and mind, but such an argument requires careful attention to definitions of terms like information and entropy and understanding the physical quantities involved.

***

"the crucial property for information content here is not knowledge or communication, but selection. An information-processing system selects and acts on one of Ω possibilities. It is possible, of course, for an intelligent agent to perform selections, but a selection process does not intrinsically require the presence of intelligence; any physical system which has a macroscopic action one way in response to a particular selected state, and not the same way in response to others, may be said to engage in selection.

***

"In defining information in terms of selection, we have assumed the existence of some information-processing system, which gives a macroscopically distinguishable response to certain states. We can therefore talk of information in terms of function. This leads to an alternate definition of information instead of Shannon information, which we may call functional information.

***

"From basic considerations, we can assume that the spontaneous appearance of an information-processing machine has the same improbability as a negative entropy fluctuation equal to a negative entropy fluctuation equal to the apparent loss of entropy in obtaining the machine’s initial action without the presence of the machine.• The spontaneous appearance of 1-bit information processors in natural pattern formation does not point the way toward spontaneous formation of million- to billion-bit processors as are common in living systems (such as human brains). For each new bit to be processed, another natural process with its own natural length scale or natural time constant must be posited. There is an upper bound to how many of these exist in nature, presumably of the order of the number of free parameters in the laws of nature themselves. Living systems are to all intents and purposes equivalent to Maxwell’s demons, in that they are information processors that perform selection processes. We may therefore conclude that there is a fundamental entropy problem with the origin of life." (my bold)

Comment: Highly technical article. I've plucked out the meat. T repeat the old point: life uses provided information to run its systems. That life had to have an original source of useful information when life started.


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