Evolution has never been observed

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The question is poorly framed because there are multiple and inconsistent definitions of information. Some definitions allow random noise to be defined as information, and there are many ways incoherent unstructured high entropy noise can be generated since one can tap into a near endless source of high entropy signals as a source for generating noise. I answered that functional information is not spontaneously generated by processes that are known to reduce to material and physical laws alone and note that it makes sense that it is not spontaneously generated, likely due to entropy/probability considerations.

Do you have an observed example of spontaneous generation of coherent, highly ordered and specified functional information except for by a mind?

Edtharan's simplistic examples of what he describes as evolution fails on several levels, most notably the fact that it requires functional information to begin, so at best it slightly reconfigures existing functional information. His just so story about how functional information might be first formed is a not much different than the backyard engineer peddling a half-baked design for a machine that supposedly taps into high entropy systems to produce low entropy output and useful work.

Edtharan's claim, first promoted by immortal several posts prior that the mind takes in high entropy information from the surroundings and high grades it is a variation on the backyard engineer and the half-baked design.

To review where we are with this argument, swansont agreed that Hitler and Stalin acted immorally but also claimed that physical processes and laws are amoral. I responded that morality has no explanation in evolutionary theory and one should conclude that evolution as framed is incorrect. He offered no causal explanation to suggest how morals could have emerged from physical processes and laws but instead asked for an example of an apparent violation of physical laws. I offered the mind as an example since it seems capable of generating large quantities of low entropy information without a known source of the same. This discussion of morals is not intended to imply that evolutionary thinking leads one to behave immorally, instead it is to point out another of many significant inconsistencies in the theory that makes the grand claim that all diversity, including behavior and mind, is accounted for by known and observed evolutionary processes. This claim is simply false as demonstrated by the several related topics discussed in this thread. If one wishes to claim that evolution accounts for adaptations that allow populations of similar organisms to continue in the face of habitat changes, I agree, but at this time the grand claim is not supported by evidence normally required of scientific arguments.

Previously the discussion centered around the fact that known and observed evolutionary processes have not produced any examples of the continuous evolutionary pathways that the theory requires despite the 80 years biological researchers have been attempting to identify them. Despite the trillions of trillions of observation opportunities and tens of thousands of generations represented by the organisms produced in labs, we still have no confirmed example of even a four step pathway. This is in stark contrast to the fact that there are millions of substantive differences among the set of all mammals that by geologic time and population genetic studies indicate represent only a very small fraction of the number of organisms observed in the lab, indicating that short pathways should emerge after just a ten or so generations. Those who say severe environment change drives evolutionary change

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Can you mathematically and rigorously define "functional information" for us?

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Edtharan's simplistic examples of what he describes as evolution fails on several levels, most notably the fact that it requires functional information to begin, so at best it slightly reconfigures existing functional information. His just so story about how functional information might be first formed is a not much different than the backyard engineer peddling a half-baked design for a machine that supposedly taps into high entropy systems to produce low entropy output and useful work.

You are wrong here about my example. It only needs chemistry and thermodynamics to work. No "functional information" is needed to begin with.

You can start from a complete random set of Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen (and a few other chemicals as well), and then through an input of energy, these chemicals will develop into the organic chemicals needed. The Urey/Miller Experiement proves this as the chemicals requiered were present (although not in large amounts) in the experiment. Not only that, some of these chemicals have been found in molecular clouds, that will one day form into stars and solar systems.

So the path from molecular gas cloud to such chemical structures and processes has actually been established.

No "starting" information is needed. However, one does need a low entropy starting situation, and a collapsing gas cloud is a low entropy situation (as the energy of the gas molecules ends up being radiated into enpty sapce over the life time of the star that it forms).

Edtharan's claim, first promoted by immortal several posts prior that the mind takes in high entropy information from the surroundings and high grades it is a variation on the backyard engineer and the half-baked design.

No, we are talking aobut how some system can turn low entropy energy into information, but at the cost of increasing entropy in the wider system. You have what we are saying completely wrong. This is why you think we are wrong, you can not see that you have misunderstood what we are saying.

To review where we are with this argument, swansont agreed that Hitler and Stalin acted immorally but also claimed that physical processes and laws are amoral. I responded that morality has no explanation in evolutionary theory and one should conclude that evolution as framed is incorrect.

True, evolution by its self does not specify that morality will evolve, this is because morality is a human concept, and evolution is not sentient, and has no inteligent designer.

However, mathematics (which is actually based on the conservation laws of the universe) does have an explaination.

It is a branch of mathematics called "Game Theory" (I may have even mentioned it in this thread at some point - but it was too far back to be sure). Strictly speaking it is more about economics and how people make decisions than games as most would probably know them (however it does apply to how people make decisions within those games).

If you look at one "game" called the Ultimatum Game, then it will show you how morality will help a social species.

In the Ultimatum game, one Player (P1) is given an amount of money to split between themselves and another player (P2). However, if P2 disagrees with the amount they recieved, then they can reject the offer and both P1 and P2 recieve nothing. If P2 accepts the offer, then they each get the amounts allocated by P1.

As long as P1 offers more than \$0 to P2, then it is always in the interest of P2 to accept the offer as something is better than nothing.

An interesting effect occurs when you introduce elemnts of social interactions. Specifically, that the game is played multiple times with the same or different players, and that all players have the opertunity to discuss what the other players offered, and accepted.

What occurs is that now, it is actually advantagious to reject unfair splits of the money. If you start rejecting unfair offers, then other players, when seeking to maximize their earnings will do better if they offer you a fair deal. This is because a missed opertunity puts them a round of the game behind. So by rejecting an unfair offer, you only loose the amount that was offered (which being unfair would not be a large amount). However the person who offered the deal would fall behind what other players who offered a fair deal would get. Also, as players can see that the players who deal fairly are getting ahead, they will quickly change their behaviours to match.

To someone who does not understand the maths behind this, or the process by which it works, this would seem like aultruism as one person is sacrificing themselves to better help the group. They have given up something of theirs to help strangers (the other players not currently interacting with the player who rejected an unfair offer).

If we apply this and other similar "games" to evolution, then groups that practice these behaviours will do better than groups that don't. As these "moral" groups do better, then any genetic variations that re-enforce this (releasing endorphines, oxytocin, etc when an individual does these self sacrificing behaviours) become more prevelent in the gene pool.

This is a mathematical basis of how morality can be evolved. I have done experiments where I evolved "agents" that were able to make such decisions and use genetic algorithms to evolve the best strategy.

In the programs where there was no repeat interactions (or at least they didn't know it was a repeat), I got the behaviours that mathced with the first scenario (where no repeat interactions could take place).

In the second program (exactly the same except that I allowed the agents to rate the other agent they played with. The rateing was based on the amount of "food" (I called it food, but in the examples above, I have use "Money"). After each round the agents could swap ratings about the other agent they played against. What ended up occuring was exactly what was predicted by game theory and "morality" evolved, that is they offered fair deals and accepted fair deals.

However, one effect that I called "one born every minute". If an agent learned that their next opponent accepted unfair deals, then they would offer unfair deals. However, some still offered fair deals in this situation. I also found that these "con artists" never grew to be a large portion of the group as when they started to become too numerous, their reputation would preceed them and the others were more strict about what was "fair" (and some would never accept any offer from them).

These are very simple agents that use a very simple algorithm to make a single decision, but they exhibited behaviours that most people would considder moral (and in some cased heroic self sacrifice). But, not only did it directly demonstrate morality based on Game Theory, it also evolved.

The genetic code for these (if you want to know) was just a string of 101 "genes". Each Gene could have 1 of 3 values: Yes, No, Maybe (and I used the same genetic code for both experiments). Yes was represented by the value -1, No by 0 and Maybe as a value greater than 0. Each gene position represented a food amount between 0 and 100. So the 10th gene along represented the food amount offered of exactly 10.

With the Maybe gene, it used based the Yes/No decision on the reputation of the player they were against. If the reputation * offered amount was above the value of Maybe, then the they accepted the deal. Where the reputation was a value between 0 and 1.

If any of you have any programming skills, then it can be quite educational to do this experiment your self.

He offered no causal explanation to suggest how morals could have emerged from physical processes and laws but instead asked for an example of an apparent violation of physical laws.

Read what I said about algorithms and data sets and how with a small algorithm it is possible to make a large data set more likely to happen by chance.

As I said, you are looking at the end result of a process, and then because that end result (the data set) is so unlikely to form randomly you conclude that it is impossible. Well for a start, something that is unlikely is not impossible (if it was it would be called impossible, not unlikely), and secondly, as I said, the data set/end result can be due to a process that is simpler and thus more likely.

These aren't "Compression algorithms", as with a compression algorithm you start with the data set and then apply some process to shink the data set. This is the exact opposite, you start with an algorithm and the data set is created by the processes. You don't start with the data set.

With living system, the Algorithm here is the DNA of the organism, and as this algorithm also describes how the components of the processor (the cell), then as one changes it in turn changes the other in a feedback loop.

As part of the process that certain cells do, such as Neurons, if to release hormones (like Oxytocin and Endorphines) when theya re triggered. Also, the DNA instructs the cells to form in certain ways (but not necesarily explicitly, the way cells form can also be the result of a process, and we know from Mandelbrot that a finite algorithm can produce an infinite data set) and out behaviours are encoded into these Neural Networks (there is a whole branch of computing that deals with this and proves it true), including when the hormones get released.

As I showed above, Game theory rewards social groups that act "moraly" (as the ones that don't end up with less in the long run because of missed oppertunities). As the way the brain opperates derives from the DNA, and DNA is subject to evolution, then we now have established a causal path that allows evolution to evolve moral behaviours.

Therefore your claim that one does not exist is wrong.

I offered the mind as an example since it seems capable of generating large quantities of low entropy information without a known source of the same. This discussion of morals is not intended to imply that evolutionary thinking leads one to behave immorally, instead it is to point out another of many significant inconsistencies in the theory that makes the grand claim that all diversity, including behavior and mind, is accounted for by known and observed evolutionary processes. This claim is simply false as demonstrated by the several related topics discussed in this thread. If one wishes to claim that evolution accounts for adaptations that allow populations of similar organisms to continue in the face of habitat changes, I agree, but at this time the grand claim is not supported by evidence normally required of scientific arguments.

In this case the "Mind" is fed a massive amount of low entropy energy in the form of food. This food is either animals (which eventually ate plants) or plants and plants get their energy form the Sun.

Oh wait, I said this before. I said that the source of low entropy that allowed information can be traced back to the Sun. Were you listenting?

Previously the discussion centered around the fact that known and observed evolutionary processes have not produced any examples of the continuous evolutionary pathways that the theory requires despite the 80 years biological researchers have been attempting to identify them. Despite the trillions of trillions of observation opportunities and tens of thousands of generations represented by the organisms produced in labs, we still have no confirmed example of even a four step pathway. This is in stark contrast to the fact that there are millions of substantive differences among the set of all mammals that by geologic time and population genetic studies indicate represent only a very small fraction of the number of organisms observed in the lab, indicating that short pathways should emerge after just a ten or so generations. Those who say severe environment change drives evolutionary change

Go look at some fo the research done on fruit flys...

...or bacteria...

What you are claiming not have been observed has been observed.

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You are wrong here about my example. It only needs chemistry and thermodynamics to work. No "functional information" is needed to begin with.

You can start from a complete random set of Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen (and a few other chemicals as well), and then through an input of energy, these chemicals will develop into the organic chemicals needed. The Urey/Miller Experiement proves this as the chemicals requiered were present (although not in large amounts) in the experiment. Not only that, some of these chemicals have been found in molecular clouds, that will one day form into stars and solar systems.

So the path from molecular gas cloud to such chemical structures and processes has actually been established.

No "starting" information is needed. However, one does need a low entropy starting situation, and a collapsing gas cloud is a low entropy situation (as the energy of the gas molecules ends up being radiated into enpty sapce over the life time of the star that it forms).

You are moving the goal post. Your example of evolution presupposed a functional system that accomplished a specific criteria. By linking the example to evolution you implied this criteria was reproductive success. This requires a functional system as an input. Your next just so story that chemicals can and do form into a functional self replicating system is not much different from the just so story of the backyard engineer.

No, we are talking aobut how some system can turn low entropy energy into information, but at the cost of increasing entropy in the wider system. You have what we are saying completely wrong. This is why you think we are wrong, you can not see that you have misunderstood what we are saying.

I understand exactly your just so story. I am asking you to objectively demonstrate it. Metaphysical beliefs rely on logic as a minimum and it is logical devices that you employ in your speculation. Science however requires objective repeatable demonstration by citation to observable processes presently in operation. You have not made a scientific argument because your narrative is metaphysical.

True, evolution by its self does not specify that morality will evolve, this is because morality is a human concept, and evolution is not sentient, and has no inteligent designer.

However, mathematics (which is actually based on the conservation laws of the universe) does have an explaination.

It is a branch of mathematics called "Game Theory" (I may have even mentioned it in this thread at some point - but it was too far back to be sure). Strictly speaking it is more about economics and how people make decisions than games as most would probably know them (however it does apply to how people make decisions within those games).

If you look at one "game" called the Ultimatum Game, then it will show you how morality will help a social species.

I'm sorry, mathematics is a tool invented by the human mind, a model that attempts to describe the universe. Math is from the mind; it is not reality, it models reality. The model you call "Ultimatum Game" is an invention of the designer of the model and it shows only what the designer intended it to show. Models can often mimic reality but they can't demonstrate/show reality.

This is a mathematical basis of how morality can be evolved. I have done experiments where I evolved "agents" that were able to make such decisions and use genetic algorithms to evolve the best strategy.

"Experiments" run on models that are designed to produce a particular outcome irrespective of whether the process is correct, most often causes one to come to a conclusion intended by the designer. This is a form of conformational bias. Can you offer an objective test that relies on known and observed processes that confirms an evolutionary source for the studied trait? I am aware of one attempted test for evolution whereby Siberian Silver Foxes were captivity bred to see how long it would take to domesticate them. Turns out that they were able to produce domesticated foxes in just three generations indicating without evolutionary pathways, that the behavior traits existed in the wild foxes and that they did not require evolution but only genetic inheritance to produce it. Even if your game model is correct, it does not tell us the process by which the behaviors are produced. They could be learned, or inherited or evolved. When one uses models (not evidence) as the best "evidence" to support an idea, it seems like a sure sign the idea is weak.

These are very simple agents that use a very simple algorithm to make a single decision, but they exhibited behaviours that most people would considder moral (and in some cased heroic self sacrifice). But, not only did it directly demonstrate morality based on Game Theory, it also evolved.

The model demonstrates that behaviors that exist in a designer can inserted into a model by careful design of a game.

Read what I said about algorithms and data sets and how with a small algorithm it is possible to make a large data set more likely to happen by chance.

Relevance? In light of the above discussion of models, how does a model show that something physical, something other than a model, does generate a sense of right and wrong? One can develop a model that demonstrates how a creator instills morality into the created and it would reproduce observed behavior precisely, but it would be rejected by opponents despite its predictive capability. The fact that the designer of this model will claim they used the same physical tools your model uses and calls on processes with a source that are no worse explained than the sources your model used to define its behavior indicates the weakness of using models such as these. Your model is no better.

As I said, you are looking at the end result of a process, and then because that end result (the data set) is so unlikely to form randomly you conclude that it is impossible. Well for a start, something that is unlikely is not impossible (if it was it would be called impossible, not unlikely), and secondly, as I said, the data set/end result can be due to a process that is simpler and thus more likely.

Nonsense. I only ask for a scientific answer to the question; one with a causally adequate explanation. I do not say it is impossible or even unlikely, I simply note that in attempts to observe the claimed processes in action, they don't result in the claimed outcome.

These aren't "Compression algorithms", as with a compression algorithm you start with the data set and then apply some process to shink the data set. This is the exact opposite, you start with an algorithm and the data set is created by the processes. You don't start with the data set.

There are many ways to compress data sets. Often the most efficient is to devise an algorithm that when executed, produces back a data set many orders of magnitude larger than the number of bits in the algorithm. This is one form of compression algorithms.

With living system, the Algorithm here is the DNA of the organism, and as this algorithm also describes how the components of the processor (the cell), then as one changes it in turn changes the other in a feedback loop.

Your challenge is to describe how this algorithm was designed in the first place.

As part of the process that certain cells do, such as Neurons, if to release hormones (like Oxytocin and Endorphines) when theya re triggered. Also, the DNA instructs the cells to form in certain ways (but not necesarily explicitly, the way cells form can also be the result of a process, and we know from Mandelbrot that a finite algorithm can produce an infinite data set) and out behaviours are encoded into these Neural Networks (there is a whole branch of computing that deals with this and proves it true), including when the hormones get released.

Even if it is true (and this is not established), the branch of computing does not tell us how these instructions came to exist in the first place. If we take the computer system as the analog, we would conclude it was designed.

As I showed above, Game theory rewards social groups that act "moraly" (as the ones that don't end up with less in the long run because of missed oppertunities). As the way the brain opperates derives from the DNA, and DNA is subject to evolution, then we now have established a causal path that allows evolution to evolve moral behaviours.

Therefore your claim that one does not exist is wrong.

Since models do not establish causal explanations (unless you also accept a model that includes a creator, in which case we have two explanations) we don't have an adequate explanation.

In this case the "Mind" is fed a massive amount of low entropy energy in the form of food. This food is either animals (which eventually ate plants) or plants and plants get their energy form the Sun.

Oh wait, I said this before. I said that the source of low entropy that allowed information can be traced back to the Sun. Were you listenting?

Have you established that food is a source of low entropy information? Have you established that thermodynamic entropy substitutes for information entropy? Have you established that the sun is a source of low entropy information? If not then it is you who is having difficulty staying on point.

Go look at some fo the research done on fruit flys...

...or bacteria...

What you are claiming not have been observed has been observed.

Yes, I have, and I find zero examples of any known evolutionary pathway with greater than three selectable steps. Perhaps you can offer one.

Edited by cypress

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Edtharan's simplistic examples of what he describes as evolution fails on several levels, most notably the fact that it requires functional information to begin, so at best it slightly reconfigures existing functional information.

This doesn't follow. The search algorithms in the Dembski papers you linked me to earlier are a counterexample; they require information to begin, but they generate new information at a rate related to the amount of information provided at the beginning. That is, a minimal amount of information is required to generate new information. It is not merely a reconfiguration; Dembski quantifies the amount of information that can be generated in a given time.

However, even if you are correct, this is not an obstacle. Suppose I have an organism with a certain gene that encodes 100 bits of coherent functional information. The gene has a certain function in the cell. Now, suppose my organism has two offspring, A and B.

Offspring A has a mutated version of the gene. It is still 100 bits of coherent functional information, but rearranged such that it performs a slightly different function.

Offspring B has a perfect copy of its parent's gene, so it has the exact same 100 bits of coherent functional information as before.

Now we have two organisms, and two different sets of 100 bits of coherent functional information. The total information has increased, despite each organism only rearranging the existing bits. Further breeding and mutation can spread both genes through the population.

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Again: These 4 videos seem relevant:

-------------Watch the following two in order----------------

1.

2.

That Cyprus guy should probably watch them...

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To review where we are with this argument, swansont agreed that Hitler and Stalin acted immorally but also claimed that physical processes and laws are amoral. I responded that morality has no explanation in evolutionary theory and one should conclude that evolution as framed is incorrect. He offered no causal explanation to suggest how morals could have emerged from physical processes and laws but instead asked for an example of an apparent violation of physical laws.

That's an interesting summary. Where did you make the claim that morality has no explanation in evolutionary theory? I can't imagine such a claim would have lasted very long without a thorough debunking. I can't find it.

I did ask for violations of physical law, in response to your claim that "If humans and human behavior are the result of physical law then human behavior would necessarily be amoral." Since we have moral and immoral behavior, by the logic of your assertion, humans must violate physical law.

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Alternatively mind may not be a product of and not constrained by physical law.

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Evidently we are still waiting on that chimp to give birth to a human baby...

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This doesn't follow. The search algorithms in the Dembski papers you linked me to earlier are a counterexample; they require information to begin, but they generate new information at a rate related to the amount of information provided at the beginning. That is, a minimal amount of information is required to generate new information. It is not merely a reconfiguration; Dembski quantifies the amount of information that can be generated in a given time.

In some ways, they are improvements to edtharan's example but as you confirm, they also have the same primary issue I called out. They begin with a configuration that meets the criteria defined by the algorithms designer as "functional" and thus they fail at that level. Secondarily they fail because as Marks and Dembski point out, the information they import more that adequately accounts for the growth in functional low entropy information as the algorithm proceeds.

However, even if you are correct, this is not an obstacle.

It is because it demonstrates my point that minds can import low entropy information into systems so that these systems output functional low entropy information but without a mind, physical systems do not output functional low entropy information

Suppose I have an organism with a certain gene that encodes 100 bits of coherent functional information. The gene has a certain function in the cell. Now, suppose my organism has two offspring, A and B.

Offspring A has a mutated version of the gene. It is still 100 bits of coherent functional information, but rearranged such that it performs a slightly different function.

Offspring B has a perfect copy of its parent's gene, so it has the exact same 100 bits of coherent functional information as before.

Now we have two organisms, and two different sets of 100 bits of coherent functional information. The total information has increased, despite each organism only rearranging the existing bits. Further breeding and mutation can spread both genes through the population.

Entropy is based on probability theory which does not preclude modest probability events such as you describe from occurring beyond that which is expected from the resources available. You read the articles so I am surprised you overlooked this. Entropy law sets the overall direction for a large system of events but it does not prohibit a portion of the system from becoming more ordered at the expense of another part of the system. Your example fits these observations. Can you point to observations that what you described occurs regularly and continually to the entire system? Alternatively the system could be receiving an infusion of low entropy information that allows for the system level increases in order. Can you explain the source of this low entropy information? If you can't, your example seems irrelevant.

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Alternatively mind may not be a product of and not constrained by physical law.

Then again it might be, what is your point? Wild speculation trumps reality?

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Entropy is a function of energy, since there is energy conservation and entropy is a form of energy. What that means is at different energy one can get different entropy and therefore alter probabilities. Probability, as defined, works under the assumption of sufficient energy for full randomization, which is not always the case. For example, if we throw a single dice, the odds are 1 to 6 for any side to appear. That assumes we have added enough energy to get full randomization. If I simply push a stationary dice with enough energy to flip it 90 degrees, the bottom side has almost no probability of occurring. While the probability of the other four sides will increase odds from 1 to 6 to 1 to 4.

If you look at the family tree of life based on DNA, if this evolution occurred with sufficient energy for complete randomization, all the genes would have equal odds of changing, at any point in evolution. The result would be a randomization that would make it impossible to trace anything with random breaks everywhere. With a low energy/entropy randomization, some genes, like the bottom side of the dice in the above low energy dice example, will not change much, allowing us to trace the family tree.

Say we had a deck of cards. Using the assumption of a full energy randomization, we have calculated odds for each hand. But say we only weakly shuffled a new deck of cards ( a couple of cuts) without sufficient energy for the full energy randomization. The same odds don't apply. Life can alter the odds but making use of low energy/entropy randomization so the needed changes are more likely to occur and base things are more likely to persist.

The question becomes how can life alter the odds? it only requires low energy/entropy randomization. One way to see this is by looking at how the human mind does it, since life tends to work like a helix that recycles as it advances in time. Once a precedent is created, it becomes more or less fixed, with changes in thought building upon that. We don't go back to step one and change the precedent very easily. The amount of effort or energy would be huge since there is so much resistance against such a fundamental change. Instead we start there, using less energy/effort to randomize from that starting point. But eventually, that foundation can't support the ever increasing weight of new ideas, since they might create questions and problems. This adds potential energy to the stable foundation, until randomization can occur there. Now there is a branch forming at that junction; new species. Life does this with chemical capacitance.

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You are moving the goal post. Your example of evolution presupposed a functional system that accomplished a specific criteria. By linking the example to evolution you implied this criteria was reproductive success. This requires a functional system as an input. Your next just so story that chemicals can and do form into a functional self replicating system is not much different from the just so story of the backyard engineer.

What you are getting hung up on is that I have to describe the system. This means a form of naritive in the description so that we humans can make sense of it. It is the fact that the description is a narative that leads you to these conclusions.

Yes, they are just so stories, becuase they are a description of a system. The system has to be described for the system to be described. Because of this the systems, if just taken at their descriptions will seen as a "just so" system.

However, if you actually read what I wrote, you wilol see that I told you that these had been obsevered in the lab in in the environment. In other words, even though I have described them as "just so", the fact that these chemcials I am talking aobut can be found outside the lab (even outside the Earth), means that they can form naturally without the aid of setting them up first, or setting up a system specifically to produce them.

Also, as the behaviours of these chemicals are, to put it simple, based on the laws of chemistry and not on human minds, and the laws of chemistry cause them to behave in the way I explained, then you dismissal of these system as "just so" or "huamn desinged" is so com pletly wrong as to be laughable.

To describe them as such you have to ignore completely that I gave evidence that these are naturally occuring systems and have been found (ie observed) to occur naturally. The fact taht i wrote that they were, and then you go and say that they weren't means you have had to willfully ignore evidence, and the fact that I actually posted that evidence.

Yopu say Ididn't provide evidence, and yet if you read my post, the evidence was there.

From this I can conclude that you are willfully ignorant. You don't see the evidence becaue you choose to ignore it. There are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

Go do a google search on Dr. Jack Szostak.

And actually READ what I post next time.

I understand exactly your just so story. I am asking you to objectively demonstrate it. Metaphysical beliefs rely on logic as a minimum and it is logical devices that you employ in your speculation. Science however requires objective repeatable demonstration by citation to observable processes presently in operation. You have not made a scientific argument because your narrative is metaphysical.

Have done it. You chose to ignore it.

I'm sorry, mathematics is a tool invented by the human mind, a model that attempts to describe the universe. Math is from the mind; it is not reality, it models reality. The model you call "Ultimatum Game" is an invention of the designer of the model and it shows only what the designer intended it to show. Models can often mimic reality but they can't demonstrate/show reality.

Yes, It models reality. So a mathematical model is a description designed to model reality. And, what was I trying to do, give you a description (ie a model of reality). I was trying to describe a real system and how it worked. And, yet, you dismis it as "just a maths", but by your own words "mathematics is a tool invented by the human mind, a model that attempts to describe the universe.", so if what I describe is mathematically sound, then it can be considdered as a valid potential model of reality.

As the model does match with actul real systems, and describes a broard range of systems, and not just a single islolted system. Then it actually is a good model of reality nad cna be objectivly tested. It fits all you criteria, and yet you dismissit for fiting your criteria.

Come off it. Please. I am not that stupid.

"Experiments" run on models that are designed to produce a particular outcome irrespective of whether the process is correct, most often causes one to come to a conclusion intended by the designer. This is a form of conformational bias. Can you offer an objective test that relies on known and observed processes that confirms an evolutionary source for the studied trait? I am aware of one attempted test for evolution whereby Siberian Silver Foxes were captivity bred to see how long it would take to domesticate them. Turns out that they were able to produce domesticated foxes in just three generations indicating without evolutionary pathways, that the behavior traits existed in the wild foxes and that they did not require evolution but only genetic inheritance to produce it. Even if your game model is correct, it does not tell us the process by which the behaviors are produced. They could be learned, or inherited or evolved. When one uses models (not evidence) as the best "evidence" to support an idea, it seems like a sure sign the idea is weak.

But an experiment designed to test between two claims is a valid experiment.

The claim I was testing was that a mathematical model produced the results claimed. As the model claimed that evolution, using game theory, could produce behaviours that could be seen as "Ethical", then the experiment was a success.

Also, if you have a real concern that the expeirment was specifically designed (ie that I put in hidden code to force the situation), then why not program it yourself?

Genetic algorithms are just an implimentation of evolution. The genetic string of the algorithm must allow for the development for the behaviour you seek, but it does not force it.

For instance, in my expeirments, I found that the critical feature was the social interaction that caused the formation of ethical behaviours. If I did not include this, regardless of the genetic code I used, I could not get ethical behaviours to form.

As the experiment was to test that specific claim (that social interactions and evolution can form ethical behvaviours), then the experiment was a success. I was not testing if evolution could form social interactions (although I have and it does - but that is a much more complex issue and interesting, but not part of what my post was about), but if your claim that evolution could not create ethical behaviour.

Actually, if you accet that my experiment worked, that I did get ethical behaviour out of it regadless of whether there was a special set up or not, then you have to conceed that evolution can produce ethics, which is counter to your claim I was arguing against.

If you wich to actually counter my argument, you have to show that evolution was not used at all in my experiment for you to support your orriginal claim, or conceed that your orrignial claim is wrong and that Evolutoin can indeed produce ethics.

The fact that this obvious counter argument was not used by you is idnicitive that you now accept that evoltuion can produce ethics, jsut that you think it reqwuiers special circumstances to do so.

And remember about the probability, if these circumstances can exist, then it is only a matter of probability that they could occur without a human mind to set them up. Also, in line with my argument about probability applied to algorithms and data set, the set up is a data set, and so could be produced by an algorithm.

If an algorithm works to produce a data set, rather than tries to compact an already existing data set, then it is not a compression algorithm as no data is being compressed (you have to have data that already exists to compress it).

So even if you will only accept it as being the result of a special set up, that set up can exist just by chance, or produced from an algorithm which could be produced by chance.

However, as I also showed, the algorithm to produce that set up is an evolutionary algorithm (and the existance of evolutionary algorithms has not been disputed by you, even though you have had plenty of opertunity to do so), you havae to conceed that the set up is not as special as you claim.

In other words, if you accept probability, and that algorithms exist that produce data sets (compression or otherwise), then the logical conclusion is that the set up is not special and my example disputes your arguments.

So, if you are going to attempt to dispute my argument here, there is onyl 3 ways you can do this:

1) Prove that statistical probability can never produce an organised set of data (even by chance)

2) Prove that algorithms can not produce data sets (compression algorithms or otherwise) - that is computers don't work.

3) That the logic I used does not work (ie that computers don't work).

If you can prove that maths doesn't work, and that computers don't work, I'll be happy to agree with you. However, as I am using a computer to write this (and you are using one to read it), and these computers are using maths, then I think you will have some difficulty in doing this.

The model demonstrates that behaviors that exist in a designer can inserted into a model by careful design of a game.

Actually any model can do that, regardless of wether it describes a real system or not. This is a logical falacy here. Just because it can come from a designer, does not mean that it had to come from a designer.

Also, because it is a description written by a human for the sake of human understanding, then it will more likely appear as if it was designed.

Now, as you said earlier "mathematics is a tool invented by the human mind, a model that attempts to describe the universe.", then this shows that I am right and you are wrong (thanks for that ).

I used amthematical model, and as you saym this is a description of reality. So if this mathematical model is tested to see if it affecty evolution in the way claimed, and it does, does that not say that the claim that evolution can really do what it was is real?

Yes.

As the model of reality said that in situations where two organisms interact and they can choose to wither act for their own benifit or a mutual benefit (eg, mating, parenting, protection, food, etc) then in situations where the actions in that interaction have no relevence to future interactions (ie they don't repeatedly interact, or they don't exist as part of a social group that exchanges information about interactions), then the outcome will be for self interest. If the actions have future consiquences for interactions exist, then you will get ethical behaviour.

This is why I said to go learn about animal behaviours. If you look at animals that don't exist as part of a social group, then you will see that they do indeed act self interestedly when they do interact. When aniamls interact repeatedly in social manners, they actually behavie in ethical ways. This is an objective way you can measure my claims.

Sure, there will appear to be a few exceptions, but you will also see when you look closely, that these behaviours are in the process of evolving (ie: the species in question is evolving into a social species or is only of small social groups - and then the ethical behaviour is only displayed between members of that group), or there is no longer a need for them (ie: the species in question has stopped being asocial species). And, yes, there are probably one or two cases where there is ethical or unethical behaviour of a speices that is against this, but I can't actually think of even one.

If you remember the algorithm of evolution (which by the way you have not disputed), then you will know that evolution favours organisms that have an advantage. As the mathematical models of game theory are about looking for the advantages in descisions, then it is no real jump to accept that evolution would favour organisms that chose the advantagious choice voer the non advantagious choice. It wouldn't matter what caused the organism to make the advantagious decision (ie what neuro chemicals, neural straucture, or any other cause), as long as the change favoured the organism making the advantagious choice. Do you dispute that?

Relevance? In light of the above discussion of models, how does a model show that something physical, something other than a model, does generate a sense of right and wrong? One can develop a model that demonstrates how a creator instills morality into the created and it would reproduce observed behavior precisely, but it would be rejected by opponents despite its predictive capability. The fact that the designer of this model will claim they used the same physical tools your model uses and calls on processes with a source that are no worse explained than the sources your model used to define its behavior indicates the weakness of using models such as these. Your model is no better.

Because you claimed it isn't. As I showed that it does, youur argument is disproved.

Your claim was that it couldn't occur except as dicted by a creator. So all I had to do was to show that there was another option (not that my option was the only one as that was not what I claimed). As my aguement shows that, I can state that your argument was wrong.

If you actually read what I said, I never claims that a creator couldn't do it, only that there were other options available.

It is this reason your counter arguments fail. you can argue all you want that a creator could do it. I never disputed that. The only way you can support your argument is to show that there is no other way, besides direct intervention by a creator, to produce the outcomes.

So, do you dispute that evoluton could do it (not that it did, just that it could - even if highly unlikely situations had to exist and that even though they are unlikely they can exist naturally)?

If you can accept that, then you have to accept your initial claim of there having to be a create is false.

Nonsense. I only ask for a scientific answer to the question; one with a causally adequate explanation. I do not say it is impossible or even unlikely, I simply note that in attempts to observe the claimed processes in action, they don't result in the claimed outcome.

Ok, so I gave a mathematical explaination, with full working out, and you still can't see the causal link?

Ok, her eit is in point form:

1) An algoriothm can be described as a set of processes.

2) It does not matter what the hardware that carries out these processes are, so long as the processes are carried out.

3) The arrangement of these processes for the algorithm

4) Processes can arrange thelves naturally through random events

5) If a process is a self sustaining system, it can still occur as the result of random arrangemnt

6) Once a self sustaining system forms through random arrangment, it will persist untill it is disrupted (and being self sustaining it can be hard to disrupt).

7) A self replicating system can also form through random arrangement, just like any other system.

8) A self replicating system is not only a form of self sustaining system, but it is one that can cause the arrangment of processes around it become new coppies of the self replicating system

9) Beyond self replicating, a self replicating system need not contain any other information

10) However, a self replicating system that is not a perfect replicator will change any information it has, as well as have the potential to add capacilty for more information to itself

11) If these changes give it's coppies an advantage, then these coppies will produce more coppies than ones that don't have the advantage (as that is what "advantage" is defined to mean - that it produces more coppies than others)

12) Self replicating systems will replicate at exponential rates

13) This means that any self replicating system will quickly dominate over all other systems

14) It also means that even smal advantages act as exponential improvements to the replicator

Conclusion: Even if self replicting systems are unlikely, if one does exist, then they will quickly come to dominate all systems and compete with each other for any advantage (in other words evolve).

Now, if one can show that to make an initial replicator can occur naturally, without the need for a creator, then a creator, even if it was the way it did get started, is not necessary.

If one can then show that such self replicating systems are not all that unlikely, then a creator is not only unnecessary, but unlikely.

As I showed that self replicating systems can occur naturally (I even gave you the chemicals that were needed - how is that for an objective test, you can see if those chemicals exist and have the properties I claimed), and I also showed that these chemicals will spontainiously form the structures to arrange the processes into a self replicating system.

As the system can occur naturally, and if the chemicals exist in proximity, then self replicating systems will spontainioulsy form, then to show that these systems are not unlikely, all I need to do is to show that the chemicals in question are common enough and would exist in proximity. And, I did show this. these chemicals are found all through the universe and can be created by simple processes.

In other words, not only is it physically possilbe for such self replicating systems to form, it is also likely because of the abundance of these chemicals and that they will often form and can be found in proximity to each other.

I have give a causal answer backed up by scientifc evidence. If you choose to ignore this, it is not because I am wrong, it is because you are willfully ignorant.

There are many ways to compress data sets. Often the most efficient is to devise an algorithm that when executed, produces back a data set many orders of magnitude larger than the number of bits in the algorithm. This is one form of compression algorithms.

Yes, but you must firs have a target data set that you are trying to achieve. That is, you can't compress data that does not yet exist. If the algorithm produces the data, and the data does not yet exist, you are not compressing anything.

Your challenge is to describe how this algorithm was designed in the first place.

As my argument was, a small algorithm is more likely than a large data set. So if you accept that chance can order information (and processes area type of information - think of a computer program, it is just a series of bits arranged in a certain way), then you have to conclude that the arrangment of information in a small algorithm (regardless of the final output) is mroe likely than the arrangment of information in the enventual larger data set.

As you would be well aware, not all data sets are larger than the algorithms needed to produce them. In these cases, the data set is therfore more olikely to occur than the algorithm.

Even if it is true (and this is not established), the branch of computing does not tell us how these instructions came to exist in the first place. If we take the computer system as the analog, we would conclude it was designed.

It has been established what a Universal Turing Machine is. It is a theoretical system that can emulate any other Turing Machine. A practicl aplication is that of the computer.

As the Turin Machine is a mathematical model (in your words a model "that attempts to describe the universe"), then the Turing Machine is an attempt to model soemthing about the universe: namely that it is not the specific hardware that makes up a system, it is the processes that system performs that is important.

So, if one can show that a system performs the correct functions, then it can excecute an algorithm that uses those functions. This is computing 101 and is the basis of all information technology. So I gather you don't dispute this.

As I have established that the processes necesary for evolution as a computer program (and there is plenty of objective evidence that such algorithms work), then all I have to do to show a system is potentiall capable of executing the same algorithm is to show that it can perform the requiered functions.

These function are:

1) Replicte data sets with variation in them

2) Test these resulting data sets against either a chaning or static criteria

3) The ability to repeat these steps

So accoring to comutational and information theories (and maths), if a system shows these processes, then it is potentially capable of excecuting evolution.

When we look at living systems they can do all of these:

1) Living systems replicate and DNA is the data set.

2) It is the ability of the system for its coppies to copy themselves that is the criteria tested against as a replictor that does not replicate is not a replicator and ones that do it better will exponentially produce more than those that are not good replicators

3) As the offspring of living organisms are able to replicate, then this system is on going (untill a mass extinction wipes out all living systems).

Yes, living systems do exhibit all of these necessary processes, therefore living systems can evolve.

The last thing that is needed here is that the processes have to be arranged in the correct sequence. Just have the ability to run the various processes is not enough, they have to be arranged so as to form the algorithm. As there is only 3 processes needed for the algorithm and it is a cycle, there is actually only two ways they can be arranged which can be written as:

1,2,3

or

1,3,2

As 231, 312 and 123 are identical in a cycle as is 132, 321, 213 equivlent.

If living systems match the 123 and not the 132 arrangment then living system have to excecute the evolutionary algorithm.

So does it? Well:

A) Living system need to survive until they are capable of replicating (this is 2)

B) When a living system replicates it produces a new entity capable of replicatin (this is 3)

C) After it has survived long ehough a living system can replicate and these replications can have mutations (this is 1)

As 231 is the same as 123, then living systems have to exhibit evolution if computers work. As you are using a computer to view this, that is objective proof that this is true. Living systems evolve. ALso, there is nothing in the algorithm that limits changes, only that they occur gradually. So large changes can occur if they happen onver a long enough period of time.

Since models do not establish causal explanations (unless you also accept a model that includes a creator, in which case we have two explanations) we don't have an adequate explanation.

No, we have established a causal explaination, I just don't know how many time I will have to repeat it until you will accept it. You say we havne't and yet offer no valid counter argument against the one I have proposed. You ownly counter argument is to claim that it isn't without evidence.

Go on, show me that computational theory is wrong.

Have you established that food is a source of low entropy information? Have you established that thermodynamic entropy substitutes for information entropy? Have you established that the sun is a source of low entropy information? If not then it is you who is having difficulty staying on point.

As I keep saying, a process can turn low entropy energy into information. A process, if it does nothing can not produce information. But, if you make it dynamic (ie excecute the program, or have the system function) then it will do its "thing" and produce that information. As I have also explained (and posted links to scientific evidence to support it), it is not the production of information that uses energy (and thus produce entropy), it is it's destruction.

In the case of physical system, where information is stroed in physical objects (eg in a computer), when you change any of these to store information you have to destroy the information that is in there (even if it is not meaningful information).

With living systems, DNA is their information store, but to change the DNA it requiers either change the DNA that is already there (thus destroying information) or taking it from some where else (which also entials destruction of it from where it was taken). So living systems, if they want to increase or even just chage the information they have, must use energy to do so as it would requier the destruction of existing information.

"Food" does not have to a low entropy information source if an algorithm is the thing produceing the information.

I think this is your problem here: You are hung up on a single definition of information "entropy" which has been shown to be wrong by the very evidence you linked to. As such, any conclusions you draw from it are also going to be wrong.

Youa re relying on Shannon's definition of information, and Shannon states that the "complexity" (or as you would put it "entropy produced") of the information is measured by the size of the smallest algorithm or data set needed to accurately produce the data set.

However, you keep dismissing algorithms, saying that any algorithm smaller than a data set is just a "compression algorithm" and so can not be used. Sorry, Shannon disagrees with you on that. He explicitly states in his work that the algorithm is also important. Shannon complexity defines randomness of a data set by the difference between the size of the smallest algorithm needed and the size of the data set (with "random" being a data set that is smaller than the smallest algorithm that can produce the set).

Yes, I have, and I find zero examples of any known evolutionary pathway with greater than three selectable steps. Perhaps you can offer one.

Maybe you aren't clear enough on what you mean by "steps".

Do you mean that there is a certain trait, and it is changed 4 or more times? Or do you mean that 4 or more changes are need to reach a particular trait?

In either case, ther is plenty of exmamples, but as you have shown the willingness to ignore what is right in front of you, and just make stuff up from that (as you have done so to my own posts as well as links to evidence that you think supports your claim - whas if you paid attention you would have seen it disproved you claim), I am not suprised you can't find any examples.

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I am sorry you and others consistently find my posts difficult to interpret, as I try to be clear and precise, though I am aware I don't often succeed.

It might help if you'd answer a fundamental question.

Can you mathematically and rigorously define "functional information" for us?

Then again it might be, what is your point? Wild speculation trumps reality?

That appears to be pioneer's point, actually.

In some ways, they are improvements to edtharan's example but as you confirm, they also have the same primary issue I called out. They begin with a configuration that meets the criteria defined by the algorithms designer as "functional" and thus they fail at that level.

No, they don't. They begin with a random configuration. All of the genetic algorithm examples I have given do so. (The clocks example, the antenna example, etc. Also Dembski's systems.)

Secondarily they fail because as Marks and Dembski point out, the information they import more that adequately accounts for the growth in functional low entropy information as the algorithm proceeds.

You speak as though they import all of the information they generate. This is not what Dembski states in his papers. They generate information at a rate proportional to the information provided in the beginning; that is, given enough time, they will generate more information than they were provided with. They do so with the No Free Lunch theorems... which don't apply to natural selection.

Entropy is based on probability theory which does not preclude modest probability events such as you describe from occurring beyond that which is expected from the resources available. You read the articles so I am surprised you overlooked this. Entropy law sets the overall direction for a large system of events but it does not prohibit a portion of the system from becoming more ordered at the expense of another part of the system. Your example fits these observations. Can you point to observations that what you described occurs regularly and continually to the entire system?

It is my understanding that animals tend to reproduce quite often, and mutations tend to occur during reproduction. Some examples might include Lenski's bacteria. They began as nearly identical E. coli, but after many generations, a small portion of the population diverged from the initial population with a mutation in a select few genes. These mutations gave the genes new or altered function, and they now metabolized citrate. Other E. coli samples in different containers made no such changes. As a result, there are now two versions of the genes: one with the original function, and one with a modified function that allows metabolization of external citrate.

It does not matter if you believe metabolization of external citrate is not a significant or "new" function, so long as it is different from the original function.

Similar processes occur in any population that exhibits a new trait, no matter how trivial.

Can you propose a physical mechanism to prevent reproduction and mutation from creating two different versions of the same gene that have slightly different functions?

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In other words, even though I have described them as "just so", the fact that these chemcials I am talking aobut can be found outside the lab (even outside the Earth), means that they can form naturally without the aid of setting them up first, or setting up a system specifically to produce them.

It is a just so story because you are projecting. You point to a very few simple but necessary conditions and imply that they are sufficient to explain life from non-life. I readily accept what chemic systems do accomplish, but this is like claiming that one can walk from California to Hawaii because you have witnessed someone taking the first 50 steps into the Pacific Ocean.

Yopu say Ididn't provide evidence, and yet if you read my post, the evidence was there.

From this I can conclude that you are willfully ignorant. You don't see the evidence becaue you choose to ignore it. There are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

I am willing to stipulate that chemic processes alone does account for every one of the hundred or so basic building blocks of biological systems past and present. Even then you have not come close to explaining the first self-replicating chemic system.

Have done it. You chose to ignore it.

You moved the goal post and explained something much simpler.

Yes, It models reality. So a mathematical model is a description designed to model reality. And, what was I trying to do, give you a description (ie a model of reality). I was trying to describe a real system and how it worked. And, yet, you dismis it as "just a maths", but by your own words "mathematics is a tool invented by the human mind, a model that attempts to describe the universe.", so if what I describe is mathematically sound, then it can be considdered as a valid potential model of reality.

A just so story is a potential model of reality too, but both can be hopelessly incorrect. I am looking for validation, but you have nothing to offer that validates the model. I have previously explained why models do not substitute for evidence.

Come off it. Please. I am not that stupid.

But an experiment designed to test between two claims is a valid experiment.

The claim I was testing was that a mathematical model produced the results claimed. As the model claimed that evolution, using game theory, could produce behaviours that could be seen as "Ethical", then the experiment was a success.

Yes and it demonstrates that a model can be constructed to mimic a just so story. It does not demonstrate that the narrative is correct.

Also, if you have a real concern that the expeirment was specifically designed (ie that I put in hidden code to force the situation), then why not program it yourself?

I do not suspect or allege that hidden code was inserted. I do know that the model's underlying design guaranteed success due to its very nature.

Genetic algorithms are just an implimentation of evolution. The genetic string of the algorithm must allow for the development for the behaviour you seek, but it does not force it.

They are an implementation of how the designer believes evolution proceeds. It is unknown and unlikely that the processes that resulted in observed biological diversity proceed according to the genetic algorithms currently that have been designed so far. If it does then we should conclude that it was designed since all current algorithms offered thus far rely on information inserted into the systems by the designers.

Actually, if you accet that my experiment worked, that I did get ethical behaviour out of it regadless of whether there was a special set up or not, then you have to conceed that evolution can produce ethics, which is counter to your claim I was arguing against.

If you wish to actually counter my argument, you have to show that evolution was not used at all in my experiment for you to support your orriginal claim, or conceed that your orrignial claim is wrong and that Evolutoin can indeed produce ethics.

The fact that this obvious counter argument was not used by you is idnicitive that you now accept that evoltuion can produce ethics, jsut that you think it reqwuiers special circumstances to do so.

The theory of evolution posits that the process is not teleologic, that it has no purpose and it did not have a designer. Your experiment did have a designer, there was a purpose for it and most critically, it can only succeed because of information inserted into the algorithm by the designer. In addition my issue with evolution is that the processes cited, natural selection acting on genetic errors, do not produce the the results that the theory predicts, and thus it is reasonable to conclude that some other process or processes were involved. Genetic algorithms, by virtue of their design and use of design to inject information into the algorithm, suggest that the other process could be design. I think there may be other processes in play, but I note that self-replicating systems require large amounts of functional information as a blueprint for components and controls and information entropy considerations also demand a source for high order feeds of information. Probability alone is not enough.

And remember about the probability, if these circumstances can exist, then it is only a matter of probability that they could occur without a human mind to set them up. Also, in line with my argument about probability applied to algorithms and data set, the set up is a data set, and so could be produced by an algorithm.

If an algorithm works to produce a data set, rather than tries to compact an already existing data set, then it is not a compression algorithm as no data is being compressed (you have to have data that already exists to compress it).

So even if you will only accept it as being the result of a special set up, that set up can exist just by chance, or produced from an algorithm which could be produced by chance.

Entropy considerations argue against this. To claim otherwise is similar to the snake oil merchant claiming to have a stove that can extract energy from the air around it to heat your coffee. Random events are not enough, one must have a source of equal or higher order.

However, as I also showed, the algorithm to produce that set up is an evolutionary algorithm (and the existance of evolutionary algorithms has not been disputed by you, even though you have had plenty of opertunity to do so), you havae to conceed that the set up is not as special as you claim.

In other words, if you accept probability, and that algorithms exist that produce data sets (compression or otherwise), then the logical conclusion is that the set up is not special and my example disputes your arguments.

So, if you are going to attempt to dispute my argument here, there is onyl 3 ways you can do this:

1) Prove that statistical probability can never produce an organised set of data (even by chance)

Entropy considerations applied to information indicate that random processes acting on large sets can only lead to equal or lower states of order.

2) Prove that algorithms can not produce data sets (compression algorithms or otherwise) - that is computers don't work.

3) That the logic I used does not work (ie that computers don't work).

Design processes are capable of generating new information. This is well known. Computers work because they are designed, algorithms work because they are designed to work. I suppose evolution may have included design processes in the past and that the past design explains observed diversity but now the design element seems absent which could explain why genetic error and natural selection is observed only to produce adaptive variations of existing components. Is this what you are suggesting?

As I showed that self replicating systems can occur naturally (I even gave you the chemicals that were needed - how is that for an objective test, you can see if those chemicals exist and have the properties I claimed), and I also showed that these chemicals will spontainiously form the structures to arrange the processes into a self replicating system.

You did not. Showing involves producing an actual working system that was not designed but occurred without any aid.

As the system can occur naturally, and if the chemicals exist in proximity, then self replicating systems will spontainioulsy form, then to show that these systems are not unlikely, all I need to do is to show that the chemicals in question are common enough and would exist in proximity. And, I did show this. these chemicals are found all through the universe and can be created by simple processes.

Nonsense. A handful of the many required building blocks yes, a natural self replicating system inclusive of a blueprint or plan to replicate from, not even close.

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Entropy considerations argue against this. To claim otherwise is similar to the snake oil merchant claiming to have a stove that can extract energy from the air around it to heat your coffee. Random events are not enough, one must have a source of equal or higher order.

But Cypress, many known chemical processes are very disfavored by entropy. For example the renaturation of a protein. The charges line up in the correct fashion to form coulombic salt bridges, the hydrophobic alkyl chains point inward to minimize repulsive interaction with water. All these effects make the net enthalpy favorable enough to completely counter the entropy term. So a huge unordered "random" polypeptide coil can arrange itself in an extremely specific fashion almost completely on thermodynamic grounds alone. This is thermodynamically spontaneous as well. Sometimes it only requires a slightly oxidative environment which is reasonable in nature. Entropy derived straight from statistical mechanics doesn't account for the possibility of conditions being favorable for an entropically disfavored process to occur.

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But Cypress, many known chemical processes are very disfavored by entropy. For example the renaturation of a protein. The charges line up in the correct fashion to form coulombic salt bridges, the hydrophobic alkyl chains point inward to minimize repulsive interaction with water. All these effects make the net enthalpy favorable enough to completely counter the entropy term. So a huge unordered "random" polypeptide coil can arrange itself in an extremely specific fashion almost completely on thermodynamic grounds alone. This is thermodynamically spontaneous as well. Sometimes it only requires a slightly oxidative environment which is reasonable in nature. Entropy derived straight from statistical mechanics doesn't account for the possibility of conditions being favorable for an entropically disfavored process to occur.

All of these examples make use of additional low entropy inputs and/or high entropy outputs to make net entropy zero or positive. In all cases system wide entropy increases. If you disagree I would be interested in the formulas, calculations and results of one example where you suggest net entropy change is negative.

The idealized reversible carnot thermodynamic cycle involves one step where the system expels heat while contracting to maintain constant temperature and thus the system entropy is reduced while the surroundings entropy increases by gaining heat and volume but then during the heat input cycle the system gains heat, gains volume and gains entropy while temperature is constant so that the environment then looses an equal quantity of entropy and heat and volume.

What you describe are individual steps of the process but not the entire system plus surrounding in a cycle.

Can you mathematically and rigorously define "functional information" for us?

For this discussion, information is a objective description of state or outcome. It is not the state or outcome itself, rather it is a description of it. The quantity of information is measured by of alternatives eliminated, thus I = -log(Pw) where w is the set of applicable described states or outcomes and Pw is the probability of that set of states or outcomes having occurred. Thus the more specific and precise the description the higher the quantity of information. Functional information is a description that when interpreted and processed as intended, the outcome is a functional system. Some computer programs are examples of functional information. DNA is an example of functional information.

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All of these examples make use of additional low entropy inputs and/or high entropy outputs to make net entropy zero or positive. In all cases system wide entropy increases. If you disagree I would be interested in the formulas, calculations and results of one example where you suggest net entropy change is negative.

The idealized reversible carnot thermodynamic cycle involves one step where the system expels heat while contracting to maintain constant temperature and thus the system entropy is reduced while the surroundings entropy increases by gaining heat and volume but then during the heat input cycle the system gains heat, gains volume and gains entropy while temperature is constant so that the environment then looses an equal quantity of entropy and heat and volume.

What you describe are individual steps of the process but not the entire system plus surrounding in a cycle.

If the universe operated as you state, two atoms couldn't come together to make a diatomic.

Yes, the net entropy of the universe (system+surroundings) is always increased but that doesn't stop the entropy of a theoretical pre-biotic system from being decreased, like a solution of amino acids polymerizing to make a protein. As long as $\Delta S_{universe}$ is positive for the whole cycle, no thermodynamic toes have been stepped on.

Edited by mississippichem

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Entropy considerations applied to information indicate that random processes acting on large sets can only lead to equal or lower states of order.

This is wrong.

Sure, higher entropy states are more likely, but that does not preclude that a low entropy state could not occur.

Take for example the string "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10"

You would agree with me that it is an ordered state. If we were to introduce random changes to it, say randomly swapping two positions with each other, then it is going to be unlikely that any two random swaps would reproduce the orriginal position.

However, if you did this long enough, you certainly would get the orriginal sequence again at some time.

Even if you started off with a random ordering, it will, if you did it long enough, get to a higly ordered state at some time. This is a mathematical fact, and the basis of probability. It also completly disproves your claim that an ordered system can not arise out of random actions.

What I am trying to show is that an algorithm that is shorter than a data set, but will produce that data set is more likely to occur than the data set itself (being longer it contains more information to arrange). For example: An algorithm that is onlt 10 instructions long, is far more likely to occur from randomness, than the output which is 1000 pices of information long. This is basic probability.

You don't seem to understand this.

It is a just so story because you are projecting. You point to a very few simple but necessary conditions and imply that they are sufficient to explain life from non-life. I readily accept what chemic systems do accomplish, but this is like claiming that one can walk from California to Hawaii because you have witnessed someone taking the first 50 steps into the Pacific Ocean.

I never called it life. I said it was evolution, but I didn't say it was life. So your argument here is not valid.

All I am saying is that if these chemcials come together (and they spontainiously do based on simple chemistry), then you will get evolution. It is a long way from life, and as I never called it that, either you are not readin what I wrote, or are trying to use strawman arguments again.

But, those lipids, if you want to check if what I say works, you can test similar molecules that are found is soap. You can blow bubbles. Bubbles form when the molecules that make up soap form a bi-layer with water inbetween them.

The oily side of the molecules tries to get as far away form water as it can. The other side of the molecule is attracted to water and pulls a thin film of water onto it. The oily side is attracted to oily molecules and this causes the molecules to line up in a layer. However, some molecules are already lined up with the film of water, but pointing in the opposite direction, but then these too will also attract other oily molecules (the oily ends of the soap molecules) and cause these to line up on that side of the water film. This same attraction to oily molecules will also cause the soap molecules to curl around into a sphereical shape, what we see as a bubble.

The lipid molecules I was talking aobut have the same properties, they have an oily end and a hydrophilic (which means water likeing) end, the same as the soap molecules (natural soap is actually made from lipids).

If you want to check if the neucleotide molecules behave the same way, then you have to look no further than RNA or DNA (These are just two types of neucleotides). Neucleotides do have pair bonding, and can spontainiously polymerise, if you don't believe that then go read a chemistry text book (preferably one on organis chemistry - fyi organic chemistry is not specific to living systems but deals mainly with carbon chain molecules).

Lastly, all you need to do to understand this "just so" story can occur, is to understand permiability. That is: some molecules are small enough to fit between other molecules, but others can't. Larger molecules find it harder to fit through small gaps, where as smaller molecules might be able to fit through those smal gaps.

As polymers are joined together strings, or sheets of monomers, polymers are by their very nature larger than monomers. So, if neucleotide monomers can fit through the gaps between the lipids, then it stand to reason that at some point the neucleotide polymers will not be able to do so.

Experiments with these molecules shows that the neucleotide monomers only just fir through these gaps, so even small polymers of them won't be able to fit though.

As spontainious polymerisation with these neucleotides occur easily, then it is even more likely if they get concentrated as small polymers that they will continue to polymerise into longer chains.

Actually don't take my word for it, go read what Dr. Jack Szostak had done. He is a Nobel winning scientist, so he certainly knows what he is talking about. If you can find that his work violates known physical laws then you yourself could write a paper disputing his work and win yourself a Nobel prize. But I don't think you really can, you are just using strawmen and other logical falacies and not reading what it written.

If you can show me where his work have factual errors and does not conform to known physical laws, I'll start believing you.

Science works by disproof. If you can disprove someone, then you can show that their theory is wrong. So far, you have not sone this, oyu have not provided one single piece of evidence for your claims and yet we have provided pages of evidence, but you just reject it because it does not conform to your beliefs. Give us evidence rather than saying that you don't think it sounds reasonable.

Reality does not care what you think.

A just so story is a potential model of reality too, but both can be hopelessly incorrect. I am looking for validation, but you have nothing to offer that validates the model. I have previously explained why models do not substitute for evidence.

What I was saying is that you call it a "Just so" story. I had to simplfy the actual processes and data as it would have made my post far too large (and I did link to it though), and my posts are quite large as they are .

I provided evidence in the form of links, but you don't seem to want to read them (as you also seem to have trouble reading my posts - and also some of the "evidence" you thought supported your claims but didn't).

Here is some things to watch (but you might like to follow where they got the evidence form too):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_650300&v=EDFJviGQth4&feature=iv (A lot of what you are arguing is dealt with in this video)

http://www.youtube.com/user/cdk007#p/c/0696457CAFD6D7C9/0/U6QYDdgP9eg (this is what I was referencing with my "just so" story. It goes into more detail and has links to Dr Szostak's work).

Parts 1 and 2 of how evolution can increase information:

And this is just from one source.

Go learn something.

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This is wrong.

Sure, higher entropy states are more likely, but that does not preclude that a low entropy state could not occur.

Take for example the string "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10"

You would agree with me that it is an ordered state. If we were to introduce random changes to it, say randomly swapping two positions with each other, then it is going to be unlikely that any two random swaps would reproduce the orriginal position.

However, if you did this long enough, you certainly would get the orriginal sequence again at some time.

Even if you started off with a random ordering, it will, if you did it long enough, get to a higly ordered state at some time. This is a mathematical fact, and the basis of probability. It also completly disproves your claim that an ordered system can not arise out of random actions.

It completely misses the point, and it fails to demonstrate a problem with my argument because in your example you have not described the system and processes used to manipulate the string and thus you have not described your example with sufficient detail to establish that it is materially identical to the cases I have described. As you have indicated previously, you are well aware that entropy law does not preclude a drop in entropy for a subcomponent or process but that for the system as a whole entropy remains unchanged or increases. What you do describe is consistent with the law of entropy because it presupposes a larger, but not described system, that manipulates this string, and throughout the cycle, returns it to the original state and original entropy level. You have, however, said nothing about what has happened to the entropy of these unnamed components. Offer a proper examples so we can have a proper dialog about it.

Throughout this argument, I have noted that biological systems require functional, coherent, highly ordered information in order to reproduce and function. I have also noted that generating new systems require new information. I have further noted that entropy considerations demand that increases in order at the system level does not arise spontaneously. Thus it is rational to conclude that this low entropy information must have a source external to the material feedstock for these new biological systems unless the feedstock contains this low entropy information. I have noted that thus far the proponents of evolutionary theory and abiogenesis have yet to offer a coherent logical and rational explanation for the source of this low entropy information.

You don't seem to understand this.

I understand. I understand that your descriptions are materially different than the points I am arguing. I don't dispute your points for what they argue. I dispute them for their failure to address the issues I raise.

I never called it life. I said it was evolution, but I didn't say it was life. So your argument here is not valid.

All I am saying is that if these chemcials come together (and they spontainiously do based on simple chemistry), then you will get evolution. It is a long way from life, and as I never called it that, either you are not readin what I wrote, or are trying to use strawman arguments again.

Call it what you like, but you are speaking of, and offered links about, the process of life from non-life. Evolution involves natural selection acting on genetic error. The chemic reactions you speculate about here do not invoke evolutionary processes.

But, those lipids, if you want to check if what I say works, you can test similar molecules that are found is soap. You can blow bubbles. Bubbles form when the molecules that make up soap form a bi-layer with water inbetween them.

The oily side of the molecules tries to get as far away form water as it can. The other side of the molecule is attracted to water and pulls a thin film of water onto it. The oily side is attracted to oily molecules and this causes the molecules to line up in a layer. However, some molecules are already lined up with the film of water, but pointing in the opposite direction, but then these too will also attract other oily molecules (the oily ends of the soap molecules) and cause these to line up on that side of the water film. This same attraction to oily molecules will also cause the soap molecules to curl around into a sphereical shape, what we see as a bubble.

The lipid molecules I was talking aobut have the same properties, they have an oily end and a hydrophilic (which means water likeing) end, the same as the soap molecules (natural soap is actually made from lipids).

If you want to check if the neucleotide molecules behave the same way, then you have to look no further than RNA or DNA (These are just two types of neucleotides). Neucleotides do have pair bonding, and can spontainiously polymerise, if you don't believe that then go read a chemistry text book (preferably one on organis chemistry - fyi organic chemistry is not specific to living systems but deals mainly with carbon chain molecules).

Lastly, all you need to do to understand this "just so" story can occur, is to understand permiability. That is: some molecules are small enough to fit between other molecules, but others can't. Larger molecules find it harder to fit through small gaps, where as smaller molecules might be able to fit through those smal gaps.

As polymers are joined together strings, or sheets of monomers, polymers are by their very nature larger than monomers. So, if neucleotide monomers can fit through the gaps between the lipids, then it stand to reason that at some point the neucleotide polymers will not be able to do so.

Experiments with these molecules shows that the neucleotide monomers only just fir through these gaps, so even small polymers of them won't be able to fit though.

As spontainious polymerisation with these neucleotides occur easily, then it is even more likely if they get concentrated as small polymers that they will continue to polymerise into longer chains.

Actually don't take my word for it, go read what Dr. Jack Szostak had done. He is a Nobel winning scientist, so he certainly knows what he is talking about. If you can find that his work violates known physical laws then you yourself could write a paper disputing his work and win yourself a Nobel prize. But I don't think you really can, you are just using strawmen and other logical falacies and not reading what it written.

Explain how this is relevant. Do any of the products described or any of the processes reduce net information entropy at the system level? do any of these products and processes demonstrably generate the biological information required to replicate? If not it is a side topic at best. I don't dispute this work, it certainly does not demonstrate life from non-life and it does not demonstrate how natural processes alone reduce net entropy so I have no issue with it at all. It is interesting but not relevant.

If you can show me where his work have factual errors and does not conform to known physical laws, I'll start believing you.

This is not my claim. Why do you insist on constructing straw man arguments? Do you find my claim too difficult to address?

Reality does not care what you think.

What is the reality? Does reality demonstrate that material only systems reduce net information entropy? If it does not then I my argument accords with reality and your just so stories including the speculative conclusions (as opposed to the facts of his studies) of Dr. Szostak do not. Your links are interesting , but they do not address the questions I am raising. The links that purport to explain fail with regard to specifics and they fail in that they are not actualized. The modest claims are not an issue, the grand claims, that they have shown how natural processes alone do reduce information entropy, that functional information is easy to generate from natural processes sound great but they cannot be properly tested. Point to a specific example, a verified case where you describe all the components and processes so we can address it in detail.

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It completely misses the point, and it fails to demonstrate a problem with my argument because in your example you have not described the system and processes used to manipulate the string and thus you have not described your example with sufficient detail to establish that it is materially identical to the cases I have described. As you have indicated previously, you are well aware that entropy law does not preclude a drop in entropy for a subcomponent or process but that for the system as a whole entropy remains unchanged or increases. What you do describe is consistent with the law of entropy because it presupposes a larger, but not described system, that manipulates this string, and throughout the cycle, returns it to the original state and original entropy level. You have, however, said nothing about what has happened to the entropy of these unnamed components. Offer a proper examples so we can have a proper dialog about it.

Actually, as we were talking information theory, and as you will be well familiar with as you have stateds that you have been a programmier for many years, that the specific hardware is not important. This ia a fact of computation. Universal Turing Machines are the core of computational and information theory. As the whole concept of Universal Turing Machines requiers the fact that hardware is irrelevent (only so long as it performs the requiered functions) for computers (like the one you are using to view this) to work. As computers clearly work, then we can conclude that the specific hardware is irrelevent when discussing computation.

In other words, you objection is noted and is shown to be false.

Throughout this argument, I have noted that biological systems require functional, coherent, highly ordered information in order to reproduce and function. I have also noted that generating new systems require new information. I have further noted that entropy considerations demand that increases in order at the system level does not arise spontaneously. Thus it is rational to conclude that this low entropy information must have a source external to the material feedstock for these new biological systems unless the feedstock contains this low entropy information. I have noted that thus far the proponents of evolutionary theory and abiogenesis have yet to offer a coherent logical and rational explanation for the source of this low entropy information.

No, this is aclaim you keep making with out providing any evidence that it is true. However, the fact that I have provided links to purely chemical systems that violate your claim (even if they ar enot living systems), show that the assumption that you have made (that for reproduction you requier "highly ordered information") is false.

As you core assumption has been shown to be false, then any conclusion you derive from it will also be false.

Also, I have shown a causal chain that links the energy emitted form the sun as a source of low entropy, and as it passes through "living" systems it can be ustilised to convert locally high entropy material (and information) into more ordered information.

This shows that your conclusions are false, even if your initial assumption was true.

The evidence I have presented attacks your claims from both sides and you have not provided any evidence or argument against this, other than to repeat the claims which my evidence proves false.

No matter how much you repeat yoursel;f, it won't make it true.

So provide evidence as to where my evidence is worng, or admit that you have nothing to base your argument on.

I understand. I understand that your descriptions are materially different than the points I am arguing. I don't dispute your points for what they argue. I dispute them for their failure to address the issues I raise.

Yes, evidence is materialy different form wild claims. Please provide evidence to support your claims or admit that you have nothing to base your beliefs on.

Call it what you like, but you are speaking of, and offered links about, the process of life from non-life. Evolution involves natural selection acting on genetic error. The chemic reactions you speculate about here do not invoke evolutionary processes.

Life is not fundamentally different form non-life (unless you can provide objective evidence for that). It is more complex, yes, but there is no Elan Vital that has ever been measured (and it has been looked for for hundreds of years) that makes lifing systems different from non-living systems.

The chemical systems I provided were close enough to living system that you mistakenly though I was talking about living systems. And, the only objection you could raise against them was that I was trying to describe living systems and you could not accept that living systems could funciton like that.

But, now that I have made it clear that they are not living system, you are willing to accept that they function as described.

This is absolutly clear evidence that you are shifting goal posts. You are making massive and repeated logical falacies. This means that your argument are not logical or rational. You initial assumptions have been proved wrong, your logic has been proved wrong and there is direct evidence against your conclusions.

You have nothing to stand on. Either admit that you are wrong, or admit that you are not making a rational argument.

Explain how this is relevant. Do any of the products described or any of the processes reduce net information entropy at the system level? do any of these products and processes demonstrably generate the biological information required to replicate? If not it is a side topic at best. I don't dispute this work, it certainly does not demonstrate life from non-life and it does not demonstrate how natural processes alone reduce net entropy so I have no issue with it at all. It is interesting but not relevant.

If you look at my explaination, I showed that there was energy input from outside (thermal vents, or the sun) and it was this energy that was driving the system to operate. It is this lower entropy energy that is converted into higher entropy energy that allows the local reduction of entropy in the form of the molecules reproducing and arranging themsleves in orders systems.

As you don't seem to be reading my posts properly, all I seem to be doing is just repeating that you have not read my posts properly. All your questions have alreay been answered. If you are not willing to take the time to read what I have written to check to see if your question has already been answered, then I don't have the time to keep repeating myself.

This is not my claim. Why do you insist on constructing straw man arguments? Do you find my claim too difficult to address?

I never claimed that you claimed that. I just said that if you can't show where the errors were, then you can't construct a counter argument.

Your claim was that there were errors (that it didn't work as I explained because it was a "Just so" story with no evidence to back it up) and I provided the evidence and showed that what I was claiming did indeed have a lot of evidence to back it up. The only argument against the evidence is thereofre to show that the evidence is false and that my derivation from that evidence has some logical flaw.

However, this is just another case where you didn't read my post and forced me to repeat myself that the answers to your questions have alread been posted. Please, please, please don't make me have to repeat myself again.

What is the reality? Does reality demonstrate that material only systems reduce net information entropy? If it does not then I my argument accords with reality and your just so stories including the speculative conclusions (as opposed to the facts of his studies) of Dr. Szostak do not. Your links are interesting , but they do not address the questions I am raising. The links that purport to explain fail with regard to specifics and they fail in that they are not actualized. The modest claims are not an issue, the grand claims, that they have shown how natural processes alone do reduce information entropy, that functional information is easy to generate from natural processes sound great but they cannot be properly tested. Point to a specific example, a verified case where you describe all the components and processes so we can address it in detail.

The specific example is that the work of Dr. Szostak has been repeated in the lab and it has shown that the system as described does indeed produce more complex systems.

Not only that, I have provided example that you can perform yourself to check the validity of my claims (that you haven't done this and yet still claim that I have not provided such example shows that you have no interest in testing whether your beliefs are true or not).

I have shown that dice (as random as any easily accdessable system can be) can produce a more ordered and complex system if the right process is applied to it (as you expend energy in operating thse processes it satisfies entropy).

I have shown how using the sun or thermal vents, and using the same process can create more ordered chemistry (thanks to Dr. Szostak's work).

I have even show that living systems also perform the functions of this process and in the correct order, and provided energy form the sun.

I ahve shown that according to information theory (not only are your claims about information entroy are wrong), but that it is not viloated because the sun is a source of low entroy energy (and processes convert energy into information as the cost of increasing total entropy).

In other words I have jumped through every hoop you have provided, I have hit every goal you hav shifted and yet you still refuse to accept that you are wrong.

Not onyl that, you have not provided any evidence to support your claim, but have actually provided evidence that disproves your own claims.

Until you can get yor act together and present a valid, logical argument based on evenidence and logic, there is nothing left to discuss.

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Actually, as we were talking information theory, and as you will be well familiar with as you have stateds that you have been a programmier for many years, that the specific hardware is not important. This ia a fact of computation. Universal Turing Machines are the core of computational and information theory. As the whole concept of Universal Turing Machines requiers the fact that hardware is irrelevent (only so long as it performs the requiered functions) for computers (like the one you are using to view this) to work. As computers clearly work, then we can conclude that the specific hardware is irrelevent when discussing computation.

In other words, you objection is noted and is shown to be false.

Even you noted that entropy considerations require inclusion of the entire system. Offer up the equations that demonstrate you can safely ignore part of the system.

No, this is aclaim you keep making with out providing any evidence that it is true.

You are claiming that the entropy law is not universal that it does not apply to all systems where random processes can and does alter probabilistic order. Are you really claiming that I must provide evidence that the entropy laws are true?

Also, I have shown a causal chain that links the energy emitted form the sun as a source of low entropy, and as it passes through "living" systems it can be ustilised to convert locally high entropy material (and information) into more ordered information.

No, biological systems make use of the information stored within them to replicate and function. Your challenge was to offer a valid explanation of how the information got there in the first place.

So provide evidence as to where my evidence is worng, or admit that you have nothing to base your argument on.

Your evidence is not evidence for what was requested. Much of it may be right for what you claim, but you simply change the question and answer the one that was not asked.

Life is not fundamentally different form non-life (unless you can provide objective evidence for that). It is more complex, yes, but there is no Elan Vital that has ever been measured (and it has been looked for for hundreds of years) that makes lifing systems different from non-living systems.

It is very different. Biological systems self replicate. Non biological systems do not. Biological systems contain stored information that is used to self replicate and to control development and function.

The chemical systems I provided were close enough to living system that you mistakenly though I was talking about living systems. And, the only objection you could raise against them was that I was trying to describe living systems and you could not accept that living systems could funciton like that.

Nonsense. It was quite clear that the speculations you were describing was abiogenesis. I objected because life from non-life by the process you presuppose is unverified.

If you look at my explaination, I showed that there was energy input from outside (thermal vents, or the sun) and it was this energy that was driving the system to operate. It is this lower entropy energy that is converted into higher entropy energy that allows the local reduction of entropy in the form of the molecules reproducing and arranging themsleves in orders systems.

You are describing thermodynamic entropy. I am speaking of information entropy. You are once again answering a question I did not ask. You repeat yourself because you don't answer the question asked. When will you answer the questions asked of you? When will you address the actual argument rather than some argument I am not making?

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What's info' entropy...

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What's info' entropy...

It's a communications theory concept that cypress does not understand and is irrelevant to this topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_entropy

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If it is irrelevant why is it being discussed? Does not compute.

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