A while back i did the topic: http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/friends/192117/1/Putting-the-probability-argument-against-abiogenesis-in-the-grave-once-and-for-all on the probability argument, and today im going to give its retarded twin brother, namely the "no-information" argument, a similar treatment.
Let me begin by an example of the argument in one of its forms:
We do observe tremendous variety today within different types of animals, but this is not evolution. It is just the shuffling of existing genetic information. We do not observe information beingadded, causing one kind to “evolve” into another kind, i.e., cats into dogs. (source: random lobotomized blogger i found on google)
Theres plenty of things wrong here, but im going to focus on the "information" part. Im going to do a bit of mindreading: If you do not believe in evolution, and you somewhat agree with the statement, i can predict with 100% certainty that you have abselutely no idea about what information mean in the statement. I can predict with 100% certainty you repeat the argument because you read it in an article or blog somewhere where a guy claim he knows what information is, but there are only two options: Either he have no clue or he is lying.
Thus whenever you repeat the argument, you are either repeating complete ignorance or a lie. Is that the best way to defend a God?
Thats a big statement, but its easy to back it up. The entire argument hinge on the word "information" (some creationists use complexity, they are usually the ones who are lying rather than just being stupid), that is the quantity that creationists claim cannot increase. So before we seek evidence for the claim, we must agree what information is.
Unlike more vague concepts such as momentum, temperature and gravity, information in science is a mathematical term like "computeability" and as such it require one to express him/herself with some level of clarity. There are basically two ways of thinking of information classically:
- Shannon entropy: This has to do with the amount of surprical attached to each symbol of a fixed alfabet. Its closely related to coding theory and very widely used in (modern) statisical mechanics and artificial intelligence.
- Kolmogorov complexity: This has to do with the amount of bits in the smallest programs that can produce a given signal. its generally uncomputeable and mostly of theoretical interest, though it also find some applications in eg. the MDL principle.
Its possible to apply these terms to the genomen (and hence evolution) in different ways, and for each such application i can think of the amount of information does indeed increase through the evolutionary process.
But im not going to get lost in all the theoretical applications, because im not the person who claim mutations cannot increase information (complexity, whatever). My point is that IF a person want to claim that, the person has to do two things:
- define "information", "complexity", etc. This is so obvious it takes either a liar or a very naive person to miss it, but nevertheless it is never done. If a creationist is not happy about shannons information theory or kolmogorov complexity and want to attempt a completely new definition, i think thats very intersting - but then its even more important to make it perfectly clear what the new definition is.
- Provide some evidence information does not increase. This should be obvious. If one is using one of the two definitions i provided, the evidence is obviously a mathematical proof. If a creationist want to create a completely seperate theory with another definition of information, well, evidence in some form is still required, emperical or mathematical.
EVERY time one read statements such that information cannot increase, the two completely fundamental questions above are left unanswered. Its amazing anyone will continue to propagate such an obvious lie, but that is nevertheless the case. The closest thing one ever get to a definition is circular argumentation like this: "Information is the stuff in the genomen which make animal amazing and i dont think can be created by evolution", though its usually wrapped into a huge obfuscated explanation.
And for the love of God, dont point me to Dempski. I have read several of his articles, and he is a pretty medicore mathematican who use his skills to lie to sell books and talks. What dempski does is extremely transparent. He allways says: "Information, comlexity, specified complexity could be ..." and then give a gazillion different definitions.
Later, he pick and choose amongst the different definitions, and what happends is that when he proove something cannot increase, it does not apply to evolution, and inasmuch some of his definitions apply to evolution, he never prove it cannot increase (indeed it is obvious itcan). If someone here believe i dont understand Dempski, or Dempski has puplished something that is not blatanly dishonest, it should be possible to point me to the particular article and page where Dempski define information/complexity/pseudo-specified-information-complexity-whatever, applies it to evolution, and show it cannot increase.
If someone read this and believe i got it all wrong, i will be very happy to have the discussion at length here. I claim such a person will be completely unable to define information, complexity, etc. in a meaningfull, rigerous way that does not hinge on circular reasoning, and i invite anyone to show me i am wrong by providing an answer to the two questions i posed above.