Friday, October 21, 2011

Information Theory vs. Darwinian Evolution

"George Dyson[, who] grew up around the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, built kayaks in Canada and began to think about the internet before personal computers were a household staple[, ...] talked with Martin Eiermann about the definition of life, human progress and the importance of cognitive autarchy" — "Information Is Cheap, Meaning Is Expensive". The second exchange:
    The European: The ultimate indeterminate process on Earth is evolution. Yet evolution doesn’t really require input and commands, it sustains and develops itself. That seems fundamentally different from the way we think about technological evolution…
    Dyson: Biological evolution is a bottom-up process. There are differences between the two realms, but there are also similarities: In both biology and technology, things develop into structures of increasing complexity. That’s what Nils AallBarricelli saw right away. He tried to understand the origins of the genetic code and apply that to the development of computers. The question was whether you could run computer experiments that allowed increases in systemic complexity to happen. And very quickly that stopped being an experiment and codes began evolving in the wild—not by random mutation, but by crossing and symbiosis, exactly as Barricelli prescribed.
To say that "evolution is a bottom-up process" is as much, or rather far more, a leap of faith than to say the opposite. DNA is information, and information suggests an informer, or, in this case, an Informer, as these articles indicate — Intelligent Design as a Theory of Information and Information Theory and DNA vs. Atheists.

George Dyson (science historian) is the son of Freeman Dyson (physicist and global warming skeptic) and the grandson of George Dyson (composer), who "composed some fifty works for the liturgy of the Church of England, including two complete morning and evening canticles in D major and F major, as well as a setting of the evening service in C minor for trebles."

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3 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

I did not know that Freeman Dyson's father was a loyal son of the church and an active musician to boot.

It all comes together!

ID is a minimal and reasonable approach to the world. The fact it is viciously attacked in academia and beyond is quite telling about the current state of the world.

October 22, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Pints in NYC said...

What would Teilhard de Chardin say about all this?

October 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Pints writes : "What would Teilhard de Chardin say about all this?"

Now that he's dead and suffering punishment for the evil he caused, he would say mea culpa for his vile deceptions that helped get us into this mess.

October 22, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

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