7 Biology Myths No Electrical Engineer Would Ever Tolerate

As an Electrical Engineer, I am utterly appalled at the intellectual slop that passes for science in biology. Engineers would lose their jobs in droves if they tolerated the mushy thinking and lack of rigor that is routine in the life sciences.

Before I elaborate on this, some background.

10 years ago I couldn’t have imagined I would become interested in DNA, biology, evolution or any such thing. Biology in high school was b-o-r-i-n-g. Chemistry in college was a hard slog.

I got my degree in Electrical Engineering. Specialized in communications and control systems. Graduated and developed analog circuits. Worked as an acoustical engineer. Designed the speakers in the 1994 Ford Probe, the 1995 Acura Vigor, the 1995 Jeep Cherokee and the 1996 Honda Civic.

Left acoustics & pursued digital communications. Sold embedded networking hardware, software and IC’s in the automation and robotics industry. Fought digital networking standards battles in manufacturing. Wrote an Ethernet book, published by the world’s #1 technical society for process control engineers.

And now here I am discussing DNA, evolution, and telling you about scientific discoveries so new, you can’t buy books about them in the bookstore. I’m loving it.

As an outsider to the “biology industry” I bring a very particular perspective: That of an engineer who’s performed digital network design (very exact), analog circuit design (a quasi-art form), and acoustics (extremely complex and messy).

All industries become incestuous as they age. They resist change. All professions are run by good ol’ boys clubs. In every industry, innovations almost NEVER come from the inside. Novel approaches usually come from outsiders. External innovations are opposed by the old guard because they threaten the status quo.

Bill Gates was a complete outsider to the computer business. Larry and Sergey, founders of Google, were complete foreigners to the search engine game. (Early on, they tried to sell their search technology to Yahoo for $1 million but Yahoo turned them down.)

Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express, was a complete virgin in the shipping industry. Ray Kroc of McDonalds wasn’t a restaurant veteran; he was a milkshake machine salesman.

All these people had an outsiders’ point of view that enabled them to see what insiders were blind to.

Like these men, I am a total outsider in biology. Yet despite the fact that I wouldn’t pass a test on retroviruses or organic chemistry, as an EE I see certain things with crystal clarity that biologists are blind to. One reason is, in Electrical Engineering, theory matches reality better than it does in almost any other engineering discipline.

Examples: In metallurgy, when you predict the failure load of a steel beam, you’re lucky if your guess is within 10%. In chemical engineering, a 5-10% error factor is considered good for many reactions. Civil engineers over-design bridges by 50% to 100% just to be safe.

But a model of an electrical circuit or computer chip is often accurate to within 1% and sometimes 0.01%.

Because you can’t see electricity and shouldn’t touch it, EE is abstract and very mathematical. It’s also rigorous. I can’t tell you how many times in my engineering classes, the professor would be explaining something like, say, the behavior of a semiconductor, and he would derive the calculus equation from scratch.

Of the appliances in your house, which ones work exactly the way they’re supposed to? Your car doesn’t. Your dishwasher doesn’t. Your refrigerator needs new parts every few years. The mechanical stuff is prone to problems.

But your TV does exactly what it’s supposed to, for years. So does your iPod and your Microwave oven and your clock radio and your cell phone.

You can thank an EE for that.

For this reason, EE’s have very high expectations of theoretical models… because the model has to be built and it has to work. Engineers don’t have much tolerance for B.S.

Today:

7 Urban Legends Biologists Believe…. but an Engineer Would Never Tolerate:

1. “Random mutations are usually neutral or harmful but occasionally they confer a benefit to an organism. Natural Selection filters out the harmful mutations, causing species to evolve.”

This is THE central dogma of neo-Darwinism and is allegedly accepted by “virtually all scientists.” You will find it in literally 1,000 textbooks and 10,000 websites.

To the average biologist and to the average man on the street, it sounds perfectly plausible. And I fully understand why people believe this.

But I’m an EE. I know that the information in DNA is a signal. By definition, random mutations are noise.

Telling a communications engineer that adding noise to a signal sometimes create new, useful data structures is like telling a nurse you can occasionally cure a common cold by swallowing rat poison.

This is absurd! You’ll be hard pressed to find any communications engineer who, upon examining this claim, would agree with it. Have you ever had a data glitch on your computer that improved your files? Ever?

There is not a one single principle or practice in engineering that would ever suggest that this is actually true. All the Natural Selection in the world is powerless without a beneficial mutation. And you’ll never get a major benefit from accidental copying errors.

The mutations that drive evolution are systematic and directed, not accidental.

2. “97% of your DNA is junk – an accumulation of evolutionary leftovers from random mutations over millions of years.”

The only reason anyone believes lie #2 is that they believe lie #1. Here’s how any rational person can quickly figure out that #2 is B.S.:

Human DNA holds 750 megabytes of data, the same as a Compact Disc. If 97% of your DNA is junk, that means the 3% that isn’t junk is 22 megabytes. In other words, they’re implying that the entire plan for a human body only takes up 22 megabytes of storage space.

Heck, the “Windows” folder on my PC – the directory that contains most of the Operating System – is 27 gigabytes. Does anyone actually think Microsoft Windows Vista is more sophisticated than the human body? Bill Gates sure doesn’t.

The fact that a plan for an entire human body can even be contained on one CD is nothing short of a miracle of data compression.

Actual fact: DNA is not 3% efficient. It’s more like 1,000% efficient. The same gene can be used in completely different ways by a dozen different processes. The result is a level of data density that software engineers only dream of.

Engineers see profound elegance where biologists see junk.

Which perspective is more in keeping with the aims of science?

3. “You only need 3 things for evolution to occur: heredity, variation and selection.”

Tufts university philosopher and prominent atheist Daniel Dennett famously said this. He would never say this if he had an engineering degree.

If this were true, computer viruses (which have heredity, variation and selection) would mutate all by themselves and develop resistance to anti-virus software. They don’t.

If this were true, the pirated copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of Windows XP or The Eagles’ “Hotel California” that you can buy on the street corner for $2 in China would occasionally be superior to the original. It never is.

If this were true, Bill Gates wouldn’t have to employ 10,000 programmers in Redmond Washington. He would just buy truckloads of computers, add random errors to a billion copies of Windows and filter them through natural selection.

Nobody writes software that way. Nobody. Have you ever wondered why?

Most biologists think evolution just happens automatically. They say all you need is time and a lot of raw materials and it will just happen.

So why don’t computer programs ever evolve by themselves?

They don’t and they never will – not unless they’re programmed to do so. Evolution is not a given; in the real world it’s always a design feature. Software programmers will tell you that self-adaptive code is profoundly difficult to write. Never happens by accident. This pronouncement by Daniel Dennett is Exhibit “A” of pseudoscience.

4. “Biology is nothing more than sophisticated physics and chemistry.”

That’s like saying the Internet is nothing more than sophisticated copper wire and silicon chips.

I’m an e-commerce consultant. I practically live on the Internet. I have conversations with people about the Internet all the time. Nobody I talk to ever describes the Internet that way.

Do you?

You talk about things like email and Google and Facebook. You tell your friend about the Youtube video where the guy goes to every country in the world and does his little dance jig. And the latest gaffe by Sarah Palin. All those things are INFORMATION.

90% of Electrical Engineering is concerned with controlling and processing information. Only a small part of EE is concerned with things like motors and generators and watts and horsepower. Even power equipment is controlled by information.

All the interesting things you do with electricity involve signals or digital codes. Temperature measurement or text messages or a radio transmission.

The SOFTWARE is more interesting than the hardware. So it is with DNA. Chemicals are just the hardware.

Until the biology profession accepts that the real power in biology is in the information – the software and not the chemicals – it will continue to slam into brick walls and put forth evolutionary theories that make wrong predictions.

It will continue to get nowhere in Origin of Life research.

Information never improves by accident. Information evolves only through highly structured processes.

5. “Genetic Algorithms Prove Darwinian Evolution.”

A Genetic Algorithm (GA) is a computer program that modifies code and then evaluates the code against some pre-programmed goal, keeping the winners and discarding the losers. GA’s refine software programs through an evolution-like process.

GA’s are not a be-all-end-all by any means, and they have limited application. But they are useful.

Some years ago Richard Dawkins wrote a software program that took the following garbage text:

WDLTMNLT DTJBKWIRZREZLMQCO P

After only 43 iterations, by deleting characters it didn’t want, the program reached its pre-programmed goal:

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL

Traditional Darwinian evolution by definition has no goals, just blind natural selection. Dawkins’ program has a definite goal and is programmed to reach it. This program has nothing to do with formal Darwinian evolution. It’s intelligent evolution.

Every single Genetic Algorithm I’ve ever seen, no matter how simple or complicated, only works if it has pre-programmed goals. Which requires both a program and objectives. I’ve never seen a GA that actually mirrored Darwinian Evolution. They always sneak in some element of design.

Which only adds to the reasons why the Neo-Darwinian theory of purposeless random events is wrong. Real world evolution is pre-programmed and has goals of some sort pre-loaded. I’ve never seen an exception. This is no different than computer programs that evolve.

6. “The human eye is a pathetic design. It’s got a big blind spot and the ‘wires’ are installed backwards.”

There are many, many variations on this argument. It’s just another version of “Junk DNA.”

When I was a manufacturing production manager, I had to produce an indicator lamp assembly for a piece of equipment. The design had a light bulb and 2 identical resistors, which I thought were stupid. I suggested that we replace the 2 resistors with one resistor of twice the value. This would save money and space. I told the customer the design was obviously lousy.

The engineer got angry and almost took his business elsewhere. Then my boss spent 30 minutes lecturing me. He reminded me that my job was to put the customers’ product into production, not insult him with my warped critique of his design skills.

What I didn’t know was that 600 volts would arc across one resistor, but not across two. A second, “redundant” resistor was an elegant way to solve that problem and it only cost 2 cents.

I learned the hard way that when you criticize a design, you may have a very incomplete picture of the many constraints the designer has to work within.

Designs always have delicate tradeoffs. Some have amazing performance but are extremely difficult to manufacture. Sometimes a minor change in material would make a huge improvement but the material is unavailable. Sometimes you have to make a compromise between 15 competing priorities. Sometimes people have no appreciation for how difficult that maze is to navigate.

I am not saying that there are no sub-optimal designs in biology – I’m sure there are lots of sub-optimal designs. Furthermore I do believe that life followed an evolutionary process and many designs are “best guesses” engineered by the organism’s ancestors.

But human beings must be very careful to not proudly assert that we could ‘obviously do better.’ We don’t know that. We do not understand what’s involved in designing an eye because we’ve never built one.

My friend, if you lose your eye, there’s not a single arrogant scientist in the world who can build you a new one. Especially not the scientists who try to tell you why the design of the eye is “pathetic.”

If I were selecting an eye surgeon, I’d look for one who has deep respect for the eye, not disdain for it. How about you?

Every engineer knows that you never truly know how something works until you can build it. Merely taking it apart is not enough. Until we can DESIGN eyes for ourselves, we must be very cautious about what we say. The scientist must ALWAYS be humble in the face of nature and you should be wary of anyone who is not.

7. “There is no such thing as purpose in nature. There is only the appearance of purpose.”

“Teleology” is a scientific term which is defined as ‘purpose in nature.’ Atheism denies teleology in the universe. For this reason some biologists have forbidden their students to use purposeful language.

In 1974 Ernst Mayr illustrated it like this:

1. “The Wood Thrush migrates in the fall in order to escape the inclemency of the weather and the food shortages of the northern climates.”

2. “The Wood Thrush migrates in the fall and thereby escapes the inclemency of the weather and the food shortages of the northern climates.”

Statement #1 is purposeful, statement #2 is not. Mayr does fancy footwork in order to avoid reference to design in biology. (It also converts all of his writing to colorless passive sentences. Any good writer will tell you passive language is a sign of mushy thinking.)

The famous biologist JBS Haldane joked, “Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he’s unwilling to be seen with her in public.”

Everything in biology is purposeful. Which is precisely why biology is fundamentally different than chemistry. Chemicals have no purpose. Organisms do. You cannot formulate a coherent description of life if you deny purpose.

For proof of this, look no further than the genetic code. Every codon in DNA maps to an amino acid that it is SUPPOSED TO make – but an error is possible. It is not possible to even talk about any code at all without acknowledging purpose. Purpose is absolutely implicit in every strand of DNA in every organism in the world.

In his book “Perceptual Control Theory,” William Powers explains that the study of any goal-directed (control feedback) system is fundamentally different than the study of rocks or chemicals or magnetic fields or anything purely physical. The failure to acknowledge this has wreaked all kinds of havoc in science for 150 years.

Even something as simple as a thermostat cannot be understood if you see it as only an assembly of molecules. A thermostat is programmed to hold your room at a certain temperature. The thermostat’s purpose can only be understood from a top-down point of view. It has a goal.

In Electrical Engineering, the top-down nature of information is described by something we call the OSI “7 Layer Model.” Simplified explanation: The 7 Layer model says that in your computer, there’s an Ethernet cable that connects you to the Internet. The copper wire and the voltage on that wire is Layer 1 – the “physical layer.”

Layer 2 is is the 1′s and 0′s that voltage represents. Layers 3, 4, 5 and 6 are the operating system and layer 7 is your spreadsheet or email program or web browser, the “application layer.”

When you send me an email, information is encoded from the top down and sent through your Ethernet cable.

When I receive your email, information is decoded from the bottom up starting with the signal on the cable, and I read your email on my screen.

ALL information is organized this way – in a top-down hierarchy. The wire has its purpose. The 1′s and 0′s have their purpose. The operating system has a purpose, my email program has a purpose and your message has a purpose.

You cannot deny purpose in computers or biology without immediately contradicting yourself 2 minutes later. Even a person who denies purpose is purposefully denying it.

Everything I just told you, I absolutely know to be true as a result of my education and experience as an engineer. Which is why I’m willing to make ballsy proclamations like “Darwinism as we currently know it is going to crumble in the next 2-5 years.”

Yes, I know that might sound ridiculous. Some people scoff at that.

But people scoffed at the idea that communism would fall. They were quick to remind you that every time someone tried to cross the Berlin Wall, they got shot by the guards in the tower.

But then one day someone made it across and nobody opened fire. Then another. Then another. It didn’t take long before that wall became rubble. The fall of communism was surprisingly swift and thorough.

Just a few years ago, people mocked the idea that real estate prices would stop rising. But those who had a deep understanding of the inside story of both of those industries saw the cracks forming. (My friend Nathan, who was a mortgage broker at the time, tells me about stacks of paper being sold, that no sane investor would touch with a 10 foot pole.)

Darwinism as we know it CANNOT stand under the weight of 21st century DNA research. It’s impossible. Because I’ve read the literature. Amazon is absolutely littered with books written from every imaginable point of view, both religious and non-religious, pointing to the creaking, groaning edifice of Neo-Darwinism.

It is inevitable that it will fall. And it’s not going to be long.

It will be replaced by an algorithmic model of Evolution.

BOLD HYPOTHESIS: When Biologists accept what Electrical Engineers know about information, a whole bunch of problems in biology will be solved:

1. The random mutation theory will be discarded. It will be replaced with Transposition, Natural Genetic Engineering, Horizontal Gene Transfer and Genome Doubling. Suddenly evolution will make sense because it is understood as an engineered process not random accident.

2. We’ll discover that what was originally thought to be junk DNA is actually the heart of the most sophisticated database format ever devised.

3a. Evolution will not be taken for granted but deeply appreciated as an utterly ingenious mechanism, pre-programmed into living things. As software engineers replicate the evolutionary algorithm in computer programs, we’ll achieve huge breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence.

3b: Evolution is orchestrated at a very high level within the organism. It is controlled by a mechanism that is currently poorly understood. This mechanism is beautifully efficient, elegant, fractal, and follows a very exact mathematical protocol. Bioninformatics will become the most rigorous discipline in engineering. The ‘code’ of this protocol will be cracked because of the Human Genome Project and the public availability of DNA sequences. This discovery will lay the foundation of an entire new branch of Computer Science in the 21st century.

4. The “Physics and Chemistry” paradigm of biology will be replaced with a “Bioinformatics” paradigm. Evolution and the origin of life theories will make much more successful predictions.

5. Neo-Darwinism will be discarded because biologists will recognize that biological evolution is just like Genetic Algorithms: It employs pre-programmed goals and educated guesses, not random chance.

6. Rather than assuming designs in biology are “pathetic” or “stupid” we’ll discover deeper reasons for why organisms are the way they are. And greater insights into the subtlety of living things.

7. Everything in biology makes sense once you understand that every single one of the 5 million trillion trillion cells on earth is purposeful and intentional and the original cells were designed to evolve and adapt.

Finally I would like to suggest that there is nothing in the world that can teach us more about digital communications and software programming than DNA. DNA is an absolute gold mine, a treasure trove of insights of data storage, error correction, software architecture, robust design and fractal data compression. Every Electrical Engineer and Computer Science major should study it intensively.

And there is much we engineers can learn from the biologists – because even the simplest living thing is more elegant than the greatest man-made supercomputer. As Engineers and Biologists begin to talk to each other, the 21st century will be amazing indeed.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: Innovations almost always come from outsiders. This means that those who read widely and embrace multiple disciplines – pockets of humanity that don’t normally talk to each other – can enjoy long and prosperous careers as innovators.

The watchword of 21st century biology will be “Interdisciplinary” – the great mysteries will be solved by people who bring the expertise of other fields to bear on the biggest questions in science.

My challenge to you: Make a deliberate decision to step outside of your normal and familiar environment and innovate. The world will reward you for it.

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58 Comments

dave12350 says:

Another very good article, Perry. Have you considered becoming a Facebook Fan of Dr. Gerald Schroeder? He is the one who got me interested in this… you are the one who is keeping the ball rolling.

Thanks for all your hard work!

I like Mr. Schroeder’s work very much and I enjoyed his book “The Science of God.”

Felix Rocha Martinez says:

Perry Marshall:

My invitation to you to read My Response to “7 Biology Myths an Electric Engineer Would Never Tolerate” and also my response in 3 parts to Richard Dawkins’s “The Angry Evolutionist” in http://www.cicatrices.com.mx
Felix Rocha Martinez
frocham@yahoo.com

NoMoreGames says:

I think perhaps this should have been titled “Myths of Evolution,” since that’s what all of your statements are about.

About point 2. I found it interesting that you said you are writing about things that are so new there aren’t even books about them. Well, new research is saying junk DNA is not junk at all, It’s just not yet well understood.

About point 3. That was said by one person. That doesn’t mean all evolutionists, or even all scientists agree, nor that he has evidence.

You seem to say that atheism is synonyms with evolution, or even science, but that is simply not true.

Your argument is poorly developed and filled with logical fallacies. That is coming from someone who does not believe in neo-Darwinism.

These 7 points are not shared by all biologists, not necessarily all evolutionists, not necessarily atheists. But they are accurately representative of the most vocal atheistic evolutionists such as Dawkins.

If you think this is filled with logical fallacies then address them point by point.

NoMoreGames says:

I’m in the process of writing a rather lagre research paper, so I will have a better response by the middle of next week. I do have one point to make now, however.

You include atheistic points in a article titled “Myths of Biology,” but biology and atheism are totally different, one is a study of facts, one is an unprovable belief (as all religions/non-religions are). You admit that your points are not necessarily from biology, but from the minds of vocal evolutionary atheists such as Dawkins. As a biologist, I do not like being lumped in with such extremists. Your title is then an intentional deception. Perhaps you should change it to say what you actually mean, “Myths of Outspoken, Atheistic, Evolutional Extremists.”

I fully understand what you are saying and I agree. I mean no insult to you personally.

Unfortunately, most of the evolution books you buy in the bookstore are written by atheist extremists. The biology community has not, in my opinion, done a good job of distancing itself. I can go on the UC Berkeley website evolution section and find statements that evolution is driven by random mutation. So it’s not just the atheists who are molesting science, it’s the institutions that are abdicating. After all, Richard Dawkins is the “Professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford.” No one has done more to damage Oxford’s credibility as an institution of higher learning than Dawkins. People like Dawkins and Dennett are regularly quoted in biology literature, even scientific papers.

Oh, and also, Wikipedia entries on many biology topics are heavily edited by atheist extremists. You always have to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. But I think most of us know that anyway.

If you read Suzan Mazur’s book “The Altenberg 16″ (which does not appear to be the least bit religiously motivated) you’ll find MANY comments by various people indicating that the biology community refuses to give support to any theory that is likely to give ammunition to ID people and creationists, no matter how good the theory is.

I do not lump you with those extremists, but I can assure you, the average reader of the average evolution book does. THE AVERAGE FAN OF THE AVERAGE RICHARD DAWKINS BOOK THINKS YOU AGREE WITH HIM. I know from writing this blog that a lot of atheists think 90% of biologists are atheists.

If this bothers you then I encourage you to mobilize your profession to do something about it. But don’t shoot the messenger.

Oldstyle says:

Perry,
I have a hard time seeing how anyone can disagree with your logic and experience. It makes perfect sense to me, but making sense of things is not the full scope of understanding.

I agree about the unintelligence of naming what we do not understand as just junk. This makes it impossible to understand the other 97% of DNA. We have a long way to go toward understanding life and tossing out 97% of the substance we have for study pretty much kills any chance of coming up with a holistic truth.

When you look at the universe you see a similar ratio where substance takes up 1 or 2 percent of the universe and the rest is empty space. Using the same crippling judgments we could say that empty space is worthless – just junk.

How worthless is empty space?

I’ll answer that by saying that the world is crowded with people and the wars that flair up has a lot to do with a crowded earth when people need space to develop their own differences. Crowd those differences and you have problems.

Universal expansion allows for a great variety of life to happen as things continue to expand and provide more room. But, put another inhabited planet in our solar system and what would happen between the aliens? Them and us as we would all be alien to one another, even as humans.

We see the universe as void, other than the clusters of particles that occupy less than 2% of space by ratio. Why is the other 98% not far more interesting? In a limited awareness that is dependent on a mere 2% of reality then that awareness will be limited to what it perceives of… 2% of reality.

We look through space to view the next cluster of particles, galaxies, if you will, and from our present limited perspective we will never be able to get there because we need to traverse the huge distances that allow for diversity. A propulsion technology is always going to be limited to the 2% of the universe that we know because propulsion is a force applied within materia structure. It won’t help us in the vastness of space. We will never even get to play within our own galaxie if we stick with propulsion technology. Dealing with expansion has its challenges.

Compression, on the other hand, has to be synchronized and elements have to work together in close quarters. Compression could be as simple as designing a process like painting a house. You could scrape the old paint off of the house all at once, and then have to wait out the rainy days before painting. Or you could scrape the old paint on wet days and paint the house in the sunshine. Same job but half the time.

Expansion and compression work together in that expansion allows for greater diversity and compression creates synchronicity and layered functions as it builds a seed that can later create a new expansion.

I think this is DNA. A compressed and synchronistic elegance that unfolds in layers and expands outward with diversity. The encoding process of DNA is a matter of compression while the decoding is expansion.

I am not a computer programmer but I hear the wonder when someone has compressed their computer codes into simple elegance on the outside and sophisticated synchronicity on the inside.

And now we talk about the zero point field that instantly ties the universe together through a communication we don’t understand. The study of force, propulsion and structure will not lead us to a universal understanding of a purpose to life. It simply limits our consciousness to 2% of reality.

Perhaps it’s not so much about having a change of mind than it is having a change of heart. Love that empty space, and love the mystery of 97% of DNA. Our minds will focus where we put it. In this way our mind is an excellent servant.

perrari says:

Another nice debunking of Darwinistic evolution, but your alternative unfortunately is almost as mushy, muddled-headed and sloppy as the original. If you want to bring God into the picture, then there are certain formalities that have to be observed if you are to be taken seriously.

1. Who is your living teacher on matters regarding God?
2. Which spiritual line does he come in?
3. Which scriptures are your conclusions based on?
4. what is your process for realization of your philosophy?

Without at least establishing these basics, no amount of destructive criticism will be of any use, because your alternative will be based on your own speculation and conjecture which has no more value than anyone else’s.
So while your attacks on atheism are laudable, and your predictions of the demise of Darwinism probably correct, your own home-brew philosophy and ‘more evolved’ evolution theory will do little to fill the gap in the long run. The Absolute Truth will always remain beyond the grasp of speculatory logic, blind sentimental faith and empirical analysis.

perrari says:

Um, I don’t see the significance of Godel or his proof. Why did you direct me to him when he is obviously not your teacher, does not come in a recognized spiritual succession, makes no reference to scripture, and has no process for God realization? If this is where I should start, where am I likely to end??

You asked your a great question but you asked with a presumptive spirit, as though you’re certain that no further conclusions could be made about God. I happen to strongly disagree. I show mathematically through Gödel’s theorem that we can do much better than that. Once you’ve worked through that material I encourage you to read http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/genesis1/

Then let’s talk.

perrari says:

Dear Perry,
you simply cannot interpret the Bible on your own initiative. You have to study it from someone who has themselves studied it from their teacher who studied from their teacher, and so on back to the authors who can say authoritatively exactly what they meant. You may understand it in the context of modern science, but modern science may be wrong. (It wouldn’t be the first time) There is no indication in the Bible that species evolved. They were created. Livestock was also created because mankind needed livestock to farm. Livestock are domestic animals, they were created, they have always been domestic, they have not evolved from wild animals. They compliment man so they were arranged together. Evolution is NOT a proven theory. It is a speculation that has never been witnessed and is not born out by the fossil record. Please do not make these unfounded assumptions about evolution. We can say that the same blueprint occurs again and again in a multitude of different species, but it is spurious to assume that one species evolved from another under the direction of nature. All air planes exhibit the same basic form of wings, fuselage, propulsion system, etc, but each is created separately for different purposes. Their design can be said to have evolved, because mankind provided the intelligence step by step. However, when God’s intelligence is at work He can create all the species one after another without having to experiment, or let lose a chain reaction to see how it turns out. Each of the 8,400,000 species described has a specific function. That is how many species were created according to Srimad Bhagavatam.
Just as the Bible says, they were created, by a Creator, who knew exactly what He wanted. There was no randomness, no dead ends, no survival of the fittest.
There are pages and pages and hundreds of verses describing the entire process of creation and population of the Universe with descriptions of living beings on higher planets as well as lower planets.
Let’s talk without being constrained by Judeo Christian concepts and a linear view of time.

GM says:

Hello Mr. Marshall

I enjoyed reading very much,”The Seven Poetulates Electrical Engineers Would Never Consider” , as plausable priciples in circuit design. In particular trial and error to find a workable solution. Entering the world of microprocessors was a new challege for me in the 70′s and how they function, the entire operation is controlled by regulated low voltage signals of 0′s and 1′s…line sharing logic, produced by MOS generators riding different logic signsls or words at different frequencies sensetive to electrical noise. One fault or interrupt ( bump in the road) and you get a flagged response too severe to be self correcting or too short a time interval to receive a new logic word. Having said that I fail to see the time entry in your 7 design features. Electrons travel at 300 thousand kilometere a second. Can you introduce time and resistance in your hypothesis? Thoughs two phenmena are always factors to consider in a workable machine. The eye is a body part of our workable machine, the body as a whole. The brain interprets energy waves of light in the visible spectrum, our visible spectrum. I’m sure you know light and electrons travel at the same speed. One thing so great about fiber optics. Electrons and light waves have a conduit in which to travel to produce work. The body has a synaptic neural network to transfer bodily message to our organs, the body is a computer not of hardware but carbon based LIFE form. We are the LIFE form. A chain of atoms connected forming the human body. I believe time and resistance played an important role in the formation of life…we are taught in science life was present before the human formed…your thoughts? Are we as the human race smarter now than 10,000 years ago, I believe you are smart if you apply knowledge. Someone should write a book, Applied Knowledge, From Creation to the Moon and Back, Mars and Beyond.

wmorrison says:

You bring up a fascinating point. How am I, as a layman, properly judge when the experts are wrong. As you say, sometimes a person outside a field of expertise may see more than the degree holders do.

I have seen this in your own field. For instance, there is an argument circulating among audiophiles as to whether it is worth $3,000 for a pair of “hybrid” speaker cables. Some of the EE guys say it’s ridiculous, others disagree. There are also some cool outlet covers that are supposed to shield the room from interference from open wall outlets. Again, I have heard people who say they are audio engineers poo-poo the idea, but who do I trust?

Do I listen to those who are skilled and schooled in the field or should I listen to others who may have the advantage of being an outsider?

Bill

Bill, this is a truly great question and it deserves a thoughtful response.

I avoided the evolution question for years because as an EE I knew there were some things in engineering that are completely counter intuitive. (Imaginary numbers in filter design for example). Evolution might be right, might be wrong.

I knew “it violates the laws of thermodynamics” was excessively simplistic, and it is. I knew I was too ignorant to make any judgments about it, just like most high school kids would be too ignorant to figure out imaginary numbers in analog filter design. It seems like it can’t work but it does.

Eventually it became important to know and I had to get to the bottom of evolution. And I knew I didn’t have time to go get a biology degree.

I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for but I did know what it would ‘look like, sound like or taste like.’ I was looking for some principle in math or physics or chemistry that would explain how structures can evolve over time as organisms reproduce.

There are some things in engineering that i could not possibly “lose an argument” over because they are solid, black and white, indisputable facts.

Initially the evolution quest was VERY confusing. Mostly just a bunch of people yelling at each other. And claiming that the other side was a bunch of !@#$% morons. And LOTS of surface level anecdotal evidence that can be interpreted a lot of different ways. Very little of what I found had the texture of being solid, black and white, indisputable facts. People said they were absolutely proven facts – mostly because they were squishy, gray and highly subjective facts. (Like the fossil record.)

I was looking for something absolutely rock solid, something very principle based and not anecdotal. I had a very good sense of what this would be like because I know what “rock bottom” feels like in engineering: Hard core physics / chemistry / math stuff that’s irrefutable.

I bought piles of books on Amazon and I surfed hundreds of web pages and started reading scientific papers. I floated around a long time, feeling like my feet were never quite touching bottom. And getting sick of atheist and young earth creationist zealots scream at each other.

Suddenly one day I found a website somewhere that made reference to DNA having a data structure very similar to the OSI 7Layer Model.

That was a sudden, instant epiphany. Literally in 30 seconds a whole catalog of facts and structures and concepts snapped into place. Because I know the concept of layered information cold. I’d written an Ethernet book and suddenly I realized that just about every concept in that book applied to DNA. Nearly every concept in that book was solid, black and white, indisputable. 1′s and 0′s.

And I began to cautiously apply it do DNA and the evolution question, and *everything* made sense. Suddenly it had that same black and white, solid feel that you have with digital circuits and whatnot. All the material on this website – which I know you’re familiar with – is the accumulation of approaching these questions that way for 5 years. I simply started with something that I absolutely knew and worked from there.

Evolution is by no means impossible and I’m quite convinced that a theory of evolution in general is totally correct. It appears to me that the familiar evolutionary tree is probably about right.

But under the hood, it bears little resemblance to what you read in a Richard Dawkins book. In fact when you peel back the layers you find that nothing could be worse for atheism than a functional, predictive, mathematical theory of evolution. Because the process of evolution is so elegant and fantastic it takes your breath away.

So I guess the answer to your question is: Find a place where your feet truly touch bottom and go from there.

The only problem with this is, most people have never “touched bottom” in a scientific discipline so they don’t know what they’re looking for. I’m convinced most of the people who argue with me on this site are people who are not educated in the hard sciences. The smart ones seldom try to argue. They know my feet are touching bottom. People who don’t know the hard sciences think Richard Dawkins is giving them hard science but he’s giving them “soft sciences.” Much of biology is taught that way and I think it’s very unfortunate.

Modern DNA sequencing will put an end to the pervasive mushiness in biology, I’m convinced.

As to your second question: I’m an audiophile and I’m VERY familiar with this question. I have always tended to be one of those EE guys who thinks that the speaker cable people are all a bunch of quacks and charlatans.

But there’s another side to this.

I’ve done ABX testing and I’ve found that when you put someone in an A/B laboratory listening test situation, some of their perception is lost. For example I can instantly tell whether someone’s playing a CD or an MP3…. *if I’m not trying real hard to listen.* But if I’m sitting there trying to analyze the sound in an AB situation it’s actually much harder to tell the difference. It’s sort of like how in martial arts you can’t fight well unless you’re relaxed.

I think your right brain can hear things that your left brain cannot. And it only kicks in when you’re not trying to analyze things.

I’ve noticed that if a piece of equipment is better – like a better amplifier – it will tend to surprise you at unexpected times. You’re sitting there reading a magazine and all the sudden a certain passage in a recording gets your blood pumping in a way it never did before – and the only difference is a different amplifier.

I’m not sure you can quantify what the difference actually was, technically. But it very well may be real.

People who subscribe to the “reductionist” school of thought tend to take this hard-ass EE approach and be left brained about everything. They swear on those ABX tests. And that’s not all bad. But I think they miss out on some important things. There are layers of reality that hard core math, physics and chemistry don’t account for.

When it comes to things like this here’s my quick-and-dirty list of things you can change in your system to make it sound different, and hopefully better, in relative order of how much those things will actually influence the sound:

1. Your listening room
2. Your crossover design and cabinetry
3. Your drivers
4. How much clean power you have available
5. Inductors (replacing ones that saturate with ones that don’t)
6. Signal sources, amps, preamps, D/As, etc.
7. Speaker stands
8. Capacitors
9. Cables

Don’t spend any money on the stuff at the bottom of this list before the top of the list is taken care of.

More at http://www.perrymarshall.com/articles/jensen-story/

wmorrison says:

Thanks, I think I understand exactly what you mean.

My beefs are more philosophical than practical — more about how I think about things than things themselves.

I admire and respect epiphany. I’ve had a few doses myself. It’s a wonderful thing when an idea ‘has legs’. I also respect your willingness to listen and respond to criticism — it’s a wonderful tool to clarify and explore.

I did follow your signal/noise idea and found something that might interest you. I started out looking for the simplest DNA I could find in a living thing. Surely this would have the properties of minimal ‘junk’ (pardon the mislabeling) and purest signal?

If you haven’t looked at it, check out Candidatus Pelagibacter (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/2can/genomes/bacteria/Candidatus_Pelagibacter_ubique.html).

Interestingly, it is purported not to be a simple genome that then gets more complex through evolution and leads to other species, but the other way round. A simple genome that is the result of paring down a more complex suite to minimalize energy consumption. This framing is needed for it to fit the evolutionary model — how true it is, I do not know.

This is a fascinating notion. Not that organisms only get more complex through evolution, but can become simpler.

What interested me though, beyond just knowing such stuff exists, was that there are very few introns and that other ring-type genomes reuse DNA sequences — several genes may actually overlap. This is a great design feature, the equivalent of saying multiple things with the same words, just by reading the sentence from different starting places. I don’t think human design has reached this level.

Bill

jan says:

hi

What information are you using to deduct that ‘forward’ evolution has ever happened?

I see a lot of proof of bad and apparently useless mutations, or what ever you want to call them, but no witnessing of beneficial mutations, unless you count the few questionable ones like that HIV one and the sickle cell one.

there are supposed to be 29 or so.

thanks for your time.

frantony says:

Nature is programmed to be strict with engineers and technicians, and lenient with doctors or biologists. If there is a little bit of dirt in an engine, or camera, it will stop working. But doctors can give wrong medicines, and even forget to remove all cotton swabs or tools before sewing up after an operation, and still get away with their mistakes.
When an engineers makes a hole or passage to allow liquid to pass, it will in no time get clogged, and will require frequent cleaning; on the other hand if he installs a tank or a pipe to contain the liquid , he will soon see that the pipe and tank develops holes and leaks. Even a small speck of dirt, or crack in the coating is enough to galvanic corrosion to cause failures in the structures.
Unlike in living bodies, if lifeless structures, or machinery are left without attention for a while, they only deteriorate more and more with time. They will never correct their faults on their own.
So biologists feel that if some DNAs are broken into pieces, jumbled up and left for some time in a bottle, they will heal themselves, and assemble themselves automatically into intelligent beings.
Engineers and mathematicians (not necessarily electrical) know better, and realise that things don’t happen that way.
We can arrive at the same conclusion (truth) through many logical paths or reasoning. (information theory, Calculation of bandwidth requirements, Thermodynamics (second law), Probabilistic statistics, Calculation of changes in entropies of systems , are a few that quickly comes to my mind).

GM says:

I was fascinated by your writing a book about the Ethernet, I worked for the Xerox Corporation, the designer of the ethernet. We were always working on cutting edge technology and development for the marketable work place. Many times we signed non-disclosure papers to protect our investment in technology. A few years ago I did contract work for Xerox on there latest marketed product in high speed laser printers, a good brain re-trainer. I was always sharper for having worked with Xerox on technology projects. 50 years ago I graduated from electrical school then got into the nuclear power field. For me the electron turns the world. I personally have never studied sound engineering but understand the obstacles present in transfer. The load factor is present in all design…in electricity the load produces working current and work is produced in any circuit.
Where did the electron come from, is my question? And also where did anti-matter come from? These are discoveries, we didn’t create them ? Why did matter compress itself in the BigBang theory, is this the property of matter ?
The quantum world is outside the comprehension of a creator theory for me,
Dwelling on a creator power, God theory, is a waste of time in the scientific relm. Why would anyone consider such a thought. George Smoot introduced the idea of looking at the face of God, discovering a uniform blue print for the design of the universe. Is it nature or God? Everyone has to decide for themselves, it can be God if they want to assign God to the task or it can be nature as for me. The God theory is a nice man made fantasey that has become socially acceptable, most likely because it brings out the best in people with its rules and regulations.

If you carefully study Godel’s incompleteness theorem http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/incompleteness/ you’ll find that because the universe is capable of doing computation, it is incomplete and what it depends upon is separate from the universe itself.

Chico says:

No way man, DNA is not a signal, interpreted by some sort of mechanism, it is itself the chemical base that reacts over time and form a body, if you think of it this way, it is possible that random mutation does have a tiny chance to improve functionality, its complexity emerging from simplicity, and it does happen, like in cellular automata.

Genetic algorithms evolve through pre-set goals, yes, but it ‘s not different in nature, nature has it’s own “fitness functions” that are basically the capability of feeding and reproducing given the ecossystem a creature is living in, no living creature could evolve not having an environment to live, so if we want a program to evolve, we must put it in a “virtual nature”, that is meant to give the virtual genome a goal to evolve, just like in nature, you must do it well, or else you die.

About the amount of data existing in the DNA, it is perfectly possible that a DNA molecule, containing 22 megabytes of data, to unfold a human body, since DNA “data” size, is in no way related to digital information storage. if you used DNA for storing a MP3, probably it wouldn’t contain a whole opera, but the way DNA unfolds has nothing to do with codecs/file formats/data compression and that kind of stuff. it’s just a chemical reaction that happens to last for a long time and grow in size.

There’s a much better reason for Gates not doing that you said, it would work, but it would also take a billion years for the next version of Windows,
and computes viruses dont evolve by themselves because they can’t reproduce and variate by themselves, DNA do so because it’s made of chemicals, that have rules for reactions that are pretty complex, and that gave some proteins means to reproduce given an environment with sufficient raw materials, so yes, some proteins can reproduce by themselves, computer programs don’t, unless they have such rules that may give them a chance to reproduce by themselves.

DNA is not information, it’s an unfolding chemical reaction, so it is sophisticated physics and chemistry, internet is a completely different system, based on information that is interpreted by software, there’s no such thing as a software interpreting the genome, and human technologies are not comparable to DNA. DNA is the seed of a body, it turns into a living being, and is not some sort of instruction set, like strings of bits or bytes.

DNA is a formal communication system and its code is defined as information according to the formal definitions of communication theory, see http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/faq

You have not made a single scientifically verifiable statement; in fact everything you have said contradicts established scientific definitions. You will need to apprise yourself of the literature if you wish to participate in this discussion.

Chico says:

Ok, first of all, please, can you list the thing i said that are not scientifically verifiable, and why is that?

Second, I read you FAQ on why is DNA a code, and i don’t get one thing, since DNA is a symbolic code, it must be interpreted to mean something, so, where the equivalence table of codons-to-aminoacids is, and what mechanism interprets it?

Third, all molecules in the universe obey certain rules for reaction, called chemistry, which comes from electromagnetic rules of physics, so i INFER that DNA is not different, is that right? or is that a special rule for DNA chemical reactions?

Saying that i’m not sufficiently “apprised” to the literature doesn’t make you automatically right, so, please stop assuming i don’t know nothing about what i’m saying, because i do read a lot, i’m a computer programmer, and i have implemented genetic algorithms before.

Chico,

The Ribosomes translate amino acids to proteins.

DNA obeys all the laws of physics just as your computer does. But the laws of physics do not define the language of HTML, the language of HTML is a set of constraints in addition to the laws of physics, that operates on the computer. DNA is no different. Yes it most certainly is a language. Read the FAQ more thoroughly.

You said:

DNA is not a signal, interpreted by some sort of mechanism,

It most certainly is. Read Yockey’s book. Or google some combination of keywords like

dna transcription claude shannon communication

it is itself the chemical base that reacts over time and form a body, if you think of it this way, it is possible that random mutation does have a tiny chance to improve functionality, its complexity emerging from simplicity, and it does happen, like in cellular automata.

All cellular automata are driven by specific rules, not unbridled randomness.

Genetic algorithms evolve through pre-set goals, yes, but it ’s not different in nature, nature has it’s own “fitness functions”

The fitness functions of GA’s are more specific than natural selection. Even the allowable tolerance of errors has to be pre-programmed into a GA. And frankly GA’s don’t really work all that well. Very seldom can a GA replace a human programmer, it can only optimized within a well defined space.

About the amount of data existing in the DNA, it is perfectly possible that a DNA molecule, containing 22 megabytes of data, to unfold a human body, since DNA “data” size, is in no way related to digital information storage.

That is the ignorance I referred to. Again look up the literature relating DNA to information theory and claude shannon.

There’s a much better reason for Gates not doing that you said, it would work, but it would also take a billion years for the next version of Windows,

No, the next version of windows would NEVER evolve through random mutation and natural selection. Time is your enemy in that scenario, not your friend.

All of your actual professional experience confirms what I am saying. You don’t use GA’s to write software. Why? Because it’s the least parsimonious way to write a line of code.

and computes viruses dont evolve by themselves because they can’t reproduce and variate by themselves

They reproduce just like natural viruses do – by exploiting their host.

DNA is not information, it’s an unfolding chemical reaction, so it is sophisticated physics and chemistry, internet is a completely different system, based on information that is interpreted by software, there’s no such thing as a software interpreting the genome, and human technologies are not comparable to DNA. DNA is the seed of a body, it turns into a living being, and is not some sort of instruction set, like strings of bits or bytes.

I’m very sorry but this is a statement of complete lack of awareness. I suggest you read a few articles on bioinformatics and discover the extensive parallels between computing and biology.

Everything you know from your profession contradicts the traditional Darwinian party line of evolution.

14TheTruth says:

Wow, where to begin. How about the whole thing? Nah, I will just focus on your last paragraph.

If “DNA is not information”, this means that EVERY SINGLE DNA strand would just form a completely random entity. The only way that chemicals react to create a predictable outcome is for them to undergo a very, very precise set of not only chemical but also physical interactions. For example, almost if not everything in the universe starts with H+3. Then through varying electrical, chemical, thermodynamic, gravitational, and many other forces new elements, gases, metals and so forth are created.

Yet it is completely random. Gold only forms in a very specific circumstance, and there was no information pattern preset to create the gold used to make your wife’s earrings. It happened spontaneously, perhaps when a star exploded. DNA however is predetermined in it’s motive. Absent any interference at all, a sperm and an egg will create a flawless being. Any other being created would be an unintentional assembly flaw OR a result of code interference or damage created by the environment. NOT the INFORMATION itself. A scratched Windows CD is a good example. It will probably not be able to install windows correctly as the result of an OUTSIDE force causing a deviation from the predetermined assembly routine. Not a good example as far as DNA’s adaptability for creating user specific features of the “hardware” (your body). Microsoft would have to create a version of Windows for every person to best suit their computer’s specific needs. And even if this WAS feasible, it’s still proof that design of any kind is intelligent and uses INFORMATION to reach it’s end goal. Sorry that was off topic yet very pertinent.

Again, unless DNA was specifically DESIGNED INFORMATION, the chemicals and elements therein would react completely randomly and every single creature created would be completely different, and many would probably never develop the biological means to support their own life. There would be no kingdom, phylum, species, etc. There would be Trillions upon trillions of organisms created that would (at least some of them) find a way to produce a new strand of DNA, which would assemble a NEW and completely RANDOM form of life! Human DNA is designed, with the information it contains, to react and function in a very specific way to create a very specific product. A HUMAN.

And if you want the really dumbed down version: You can’t build a house without a blueprint. If you want to start aimlessly hammering wood together, tell me when you wind up with a mansion so I can move in.

Perry? I’d appreciate your evaluation.

wmorrison says:

14truth,

With Windows, you bring up an interesting ‘middle case’ that has so far escaped consideration. I’m proposing that Windows Vista (the version I have here) is both designed and evolved.

It does have some properties that make each copy unique because, just like an animal, each instance is shaped (out of all the possibilities) to fit the environment it finds itself in. My copy is different from yours because I have made different choices on the settings I use. Microsoft actually takes advantage of this when you register it — because hardware differs across platforms, each of us has a different identification based on what hardware we have (as well as serial numbers).

Windows itself also shows evidence of evolution. The changes from the original DOS based versions are many and, although I am not a computer engineer, I have been told that no one actually knows the entire thing anymore. There is legacy code that is non-functional, there are patches on patches, and to say that Vista is entirely designed, rather than descended with inheritance from older versions, would be misleading.

So, yes, Windows is partially designed and partially evolved. A middle way with both intelligence and random environmental cues involved. Descent with modification is the essence of evolutionary theory.

This also points up a problem with Perry’s original ideas. To impute intelligence, one has to propose and identify purpose. I cannot evaluate the intelligence behind Windows without having some idea of what purpose it is meant to serve. Your example of a blueprint for a house is apt here. What then was the blueprint for DNA and all of life? I know the purpose of a house, I do not know the purpose of life in all its variety. On the other hand, something that merely responds to environmental cues doesn’t need a purpose, it is the result of the forces acting upon it — this would be the traditional view of what evolution does.

Bill

orsonw says:

Hi Perry,

Yet another interesting article, and as you know I come from a position of understanding with absolute certainty that life could never have come into being by purely natural means, specifically because of DNA and its accompanying translation system. However your first assertion that random mutations cannot lead to improvements seems a little suspect to me. I have spent my adult life since completing my Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry, working in the field of HIV and bacteria, and I can assert with absolute confidence that random mutations do frequently lead to improvements. For example I was at a conference in Vienna two weeks ago in which a new superbug was being discussed that had evolved to be resistant to every antibiotic we have available. The same will eventually be the case in HIV, and these resistant strains are the result of random mutations.

Whilst it feels intuitive to suggest that random changes in DNA could never lead to complex structures such as eyes etc (something I am inclined to agree with, and so believe in a form of God-directed evolution), the very fact that we see random mutations working in real life to produce new species of virus and bacteria in the course of just days or weeks, and that we have billions of years to play with, makes it very hard to agree with your first statement outright. Moreover the noise in electronic signals is very different from mutations. Mutations in the DNA code will still have a meaning…the new codon will code for a different amino acid than was originally there, nine time out of ten this change in amino acid will render the resulting structure weaker, but occassionally it may make the structure better at what it was originally designed to do. Mutations are not meaningless noise, so your analogy is innacurate.

Orson http://www.orsonwrites.com

How do you know that these mutations were random?

I totally agree that bacteria mutate and improve. But these improvements are due to transpositions, epigenetics, horizontal gene transfer and natural genetic engineering, not randomness. Read Shapiro’s papers.

To your last point, you’re right, mutations are NOT meaningless noise – not the ones that drive evolution. They’re genomic re-arrangements. There’s a vast difference between a random mutation and a transposition. The former is noise. The latter is re-organization of signal.

Biologists often seem unclear about this distinction but engineers see it very clearly. If this distinction was more carefully delineated in the literature a lot of progress would be made.

orsonw says:

Hi Perry,

Thanks for the reply. Some changes in bacterial DNA composition are the result of the processes you describe, but some changes are purely random in nature. For example point mutations in the active site of a drug, which allow the bacteria to continue functioning, while the drug no longer works.

This process is even more common in viruses which replicate even faster. In HIV random mutations at active sites regularly knock out the drug which targets that site. That is why you need triple combination therapy as the statistics of there being a viable virion that has 3 different mutations capable of taking out 3 different drugs, targeting different sites, or with different properties, is vanishingly small. The HIV virus produces hundreds of millions of new particles a day, and many of these have multiple mutations. A lot of these new viral particles are non-viable, but a sufficient percentage are viable, and in some instances give that particle an advantage when selective pressure is applied through drug therapy. This is most definitely evolution through random mutation…I spent 3 years of my Ph.D. working in this area, it was also during this time, while I was working with nucleosides and amino acids that I fully understood the impossibility of the code and its translation machinery coming into being by purely natural means.

As for the question “How do you know these mutations were random?” that is a philosophical point that is impossible to answer (I guess you’re implying some sort of satatnic involvement). However, if that were the case there wouldn’t be so many useless variants being made. It has been estimated that in the HIV virus, every possible mutation is made every day in a patient who has uncontrolled viraemia with billions of particles present. The virus is very productive and very sloppy, which is why it is so successful.

Where did you get the idea that I thought Satan made the mutations? Seriously, I hope you give me more credit than that.

I still wish to push back against your randomness hypothesis. Maybe it is possible that these mutations are random. But I doubt it – and in fact it may be impossible to prove that they’re random. There is no mathematical procedure for proving randomness.

My hypothesis is, that error correction mechanisms in DNA turn single point mutations into viable genes. A reasonably close analogy would be – you add random mutations to a MS WORD document (much as you do at http://www.randommutation.com) but then you turn on the spell checker and you let WORD do whatever it wants to do. Sometimes it will accidentally pick a good word even though it’s the wrong one. I am hypothesizing that this is what cells do.

Because even with billions of HIV viruses present the chances of random point mutations being advantageous are still vanishingly small.

Finally – this is a philosophical point, but important – it is ALWAYS preferable to have a systematic theory as compared to a randomness theory. This is true in any model you attempt to build. Let’s say you have a computer stock market model and you model some variable of human behavior as a random number generator.

You do that because you have no idea what the person is going to do, not because that person’s choices are truly random. As soon as you can replace that randomness with something that you actually know, you’ve made a step forward. Randomness in any scientific model is usually a sign of a dead end that needs to be pushed through.

orsonw says:

I’m not sure I see your point exactly. If the repair mechanism accepts a random fault, writing a new gene, that new gene is still randomly generated. However, I think you give HIV too much credit, it really is the sloppiest of micro-organisms, and produces lots of dudd viruses. There isn’t a virologist on the planet who would say anything other than the mutations in the RNA (as this is what we’re really talking about with HIV) are the result of random changes in the sequence. Changing just one nucleoside results in the change of one amino acid in the resulting protein. If this change alters the active site so that it is still able to accept the natural substrate, but rejects the drug, then you have resistance.

I do admit that I buy into a lot of what Michale Behe says though. I find it hard, in fact all but impossible to see how you could get some of the complex biochemical and physiological biological structures from a sequence of stepwise mutations, especially as many of the intermediaries would confer insufficient benefit to cause them to predominate. The problem I have with this argument is that it is impossible to prove as it is always subject to the objection that we do not know what the intermediaries were, and can’t therefore say they didn’t confer advantage.

Applying this last Darwinist objection to the HIV virus, it may be that in the future a new mutant strain of HIV evolves which is able to spread through touch like bacteria, and that this strain was the result of the drug resistant strains I have been talking about. I don’t buy this though when it comes to something like the immune system, but I can’t prove the argument is wrong.

In my view, focusing on the proveable impossibility of the spontaneous formation of a code (or indeed the impossibility of evolution of a code) which is present in one chemical system and codes for a completely unrelated chemical system, is the way ahead.

Orson,

The mutations even in the HIV virus are not random and here is how I know that:

There is a French book called “Codex Biogenesis” written by a computer scientist who’s been doing DNA research including HIV for 20 years. In that book he describes how the frequency of occurrence in the 64 codons of the DNA alphabet *always* follow a very strict pattern that conforms to the paper folding fractal derived from the golden ratio 1.618. This is true of single stranded human DNA, chimpanzees, eukaryotes and yes even HIV. It acts as a checksum matrix which forces mutations to follow specific rules.

An analogy to English would be recognizing that “e” occurs the most and “q” occurs the least and these letters appear a very consistent percentage of the time. And a checking feature being built in which rejects any strings of text where the percentages are different. In DNA this rule holds to an accuracy of better than 0.1%. Again this is true of everything from HIV to chimpanzees to most human Chromosomes.

When the biology field begins to accept that there is a highly algorithmic formula in the mutation of viruses then they’ll really begin to crack the code on fighting AIDS.

14TheTruth says:

I agree Perry, even as I was reading the first post. I respect your work and all the time you’ve spent attaining your credentials, Orson, and all the great successes I’m sure you’ve had. I just don’t see why a virus could not have a very broad ability to intentionally test new “features” I guess (what you call mutations), in order to survive. If DNA holds the key to understanding engineering and information processing and application, I’d hate to see the instructions for a real virus fall into the wrong hands. The ability of a computer program to spit out that much what I will call “designed garbage” in order to weasel it’s way past anti-virus programs, firewalls etc. yet remain true to it’s primary goal of survival would devastate any computer system currently on earth.

orsonw says:

The virus doesn’t check the features, life does. If the new virion is not fit (and there are hundreds of millions produced each day) it doesn’t survive.

I read these responses and to be honest I throw my hands up. I am a committed Christian, I believe totally, but I don’t believe it is right to blindly assert a position out of ignorance when there is no need to. No wonder so many rational people reject the church.

daktari says:

So, if you’re so rigorous, how come you say that a structural engineer takes a fairly wide informed guess and then doubles it to be on the safe side, and then a paragraph later, enfold “engineers” in general into a degree of accuracy that only obtains for one specific type of engineer, and then pit that against “biologists” when you go on to talk about one very particular aspect of biology? This kind of rhetorical sloppiness isn’t impressive, but it’s where all these big-idear type approaches to “how things gotta be, if ya just use logic!” end up. If you’re going to praise your own rigor, live it. Take a good, long, honest look at how people talk themselves into fantasically elaborate rationalizations, where the points of logic tick by like telephone poles out the window of a train to nowhere. See how that process works, how absolutely convincing absolutely any point of view can be, how evidence and logic and analogy and rhetoric can make any paradigm seem not like a paradigm, but like how things really are. Because until you understand how paradigms are generated, and what they’re useful for, you have no real idea of the substance of the terms you’re making structures out of. You’ve become committed to your own prophetic worldview – you’re no longer trying to understand, but have shifted to trying to sell. You’ve become a true believer, and are willing to play linguistic three-card monte to assemble a tribe to lead. Your ideas are full of merit, but they’re also full of smoke and mirrors, and it’s a recipe that’s a little hard to swallow.

Batman says:

Well said daktari. I respect Perry’s enormous energy and zeal and he has bowled me over more than once with insights into how human cultures work but on the subjects of science from Cosmology to Biology with a superficial glance at Godel’s Theorem, it’s a very mixed bag. No doubt the sciences will evolve. That is in their nature and is practically guaranteed by Godel’s Theorem, which does not say that science is without foundation – it only says the foundations can be moved or expanded as needed and that no theory can be complete: that is there will always be statements that can be made in a theory which can neither be proved or disproved by reference to the axioms by following the rules of logic. In the end I would bet that Evolutionary Biology won’t change fundamentally, though the popularized versions may well do as Perry says.

jone1948 says:

I am shocked at how much an electrical engineer knows about Biology.
Have you taken Cytology,Microbiology, Organic chemistry,Evolotionary Ecology,
Advanced Genetics? As a beginning for your studies. I am not an electrical engineer. I would not try to tell you your business. Stick to your circuits,volts,amps, resistance, Etc. I will stay with my biology.

If I have made any erroneous statements you are welcome to point them out.

tmclagan says:

Perry,

Richard Dawkins has taken to using the term ‘non-random’ to describe beneficial mutations. I can not get my head around his reasoning in saying that something is both non-random, but also has no intelligence behind it. I guess that’s why methinks he is being like a weasel. Personally, I think he sees the direction that work like Shapiro’s is taking, and trying to incorporate some form of design it into a materialistic paradigm. Could you please comment on his reasoning and this assertion? It seems like a real violation of logic to me, his assertion of non-intelligent non-randomness.

A list of Dawkins non-sequiturs and doublespeak would easily fill a set of books. Indeed if you read books like “The Dawkins Delusion” by McGrath, you’ll see them taken apart point by point. I heard Dawkins on a Boston Radio Station in 2005 and he said – I quote – “The origin of life was a happy chemical accident.”

That alone should disqualify him from an allegedly scientific discussion.

Dawkins has generally asserted that yes, the mutations are random but the selection is non-random, so evolution really isn’t random after all.

But never anywhere have I seen him address this engineered mutation issue that I am bringing up. I have his book “The Greatest Show on Earth” and as best I can tell he never says a word about core mechanisms like Transposition, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Symbiogenesis, or Genome Doubling.

So if you understand the underlying mutation mechanisms – and that those have now replaced randomness as the source of biological variation in PHD level literature – Dawkins’ latest book is a nothing less than a delightful showcase of the Designer’s algorithms.

Nayax79 says:

“Traditional Darwinian evolution by definition has no goals, just blind natural selection. [...] Real world evolution is pre-programmed and has goals of some sort pre-loaded. I’ve never seen an exception. This is no different than computer programs that evolve.”

Perry, i am born again christian and i think you have a very wonderful and site, particulary for your thinkings about DNA and Information Theory!

I sorry, but I see a fallacy in your reasoning here. GA programmed goals are simulations of ideal forms necessary for living beings to live as best as possible in their environment. Natural selection follow this best forms. For this reason, living different places in the same environment, take forms very similar. Just think that dolphins are mammals that swim in the water took the shape of fish. And all the phenomena of evolutionary convergence. Natural selection is not random, but an orderly process that follows strict enviroment’s rules that increase the chances of survival of the dolphin swim doing better. I think you have very deep insights, but expressed here are not good and give space for the Darwinists to refute them.

I have a question for you. If Intelligent Evolution is true, first man is Homo erectus lived 2 millions years ago, how to reconcile this with the genealogies of the Bible in chapter 5 and 11 of Genesis? According to these data Adam existed 6,000-10,000 years ago.

I agree, dolphins are mammals that took the shape of fish. They got that way through systematic internal genetic engineering, not only by blind forces of natural selection and random mutation. Evolutionary convergence never happens without being programmed to do so. Case in point: computer programs are subject to random mutation and natural selection as well. But have you EVER seen any computer program evolve unless it was programmed to do so?

The Biblical genealogies skip generations and are not a reliable way to determine the age of the earth. See Hugh Ross’s book “A matter of days” – he explores this topic in detail. Also see David Stove’s book “A Biblical Case for an Old Earth” – probably the best book of its kind. Also see http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/genesis1

Yanbo says:

Dear Mr Marshall,

After countless articles stressing how information needs a designer; I would like to draw your attention to a certain Richard Lenski. Look him up if you will. He has lead an experiment which I believe will cure your doubts in evolution. What Lenski did was perfectly simple and shows the addition of useful information to the genome WITHOUT the intervention of a designer. His work was vindicated by nearly all leading microbiologists. This shows evolution in action “before our very eyes” as it were. I hope you are open-minded enough to look it up and re-consider your point of view.

Yanbo

Yanbo,

I am reasonably familiar with Lenski’s experiments, I’ve read a number of his papers.

First of all, nowhere did I ever say information cannot be added to the genome without a designer. What I said was that evolution is a systematic engineered process built through re-arrangements of genes and chromosomes.

Lenski’s thesis is that evolution of the genome occurs through random mutation. In all of his experiments he ASSUMES that bacteria evolved through randomness but nowhere does he ever prove this. Shapiro, on the other hand, clearly demonstrates that evolution is non-random and overturns Lenski’s thesis. See James A. Shapiro, “A 21st Century View of Evolution”: http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro.2005.Gene.pdf

wmorrison says:

Thanks for the Lenski material, I was unfamiliar with it. It is quite convincing.

As far as evolution not being random, how do you explain how the populations of EColi in the experiment spawned different descendants? If the changes were non-random, regardless of the mechanism, wouldn’t the offspring follow that same non-random path of mutation, leading to the same properties (that although different, would be shared)?

Would you predict that running the experiment again would produce the same variation and the same type of variation as seen in this experiment? Or, would you expect randomly generated differences that would lead to different results?

As a thought experiment, are you stipulating that the evolution of some species we see around us was determined (in the form we see) by some distant ancestor? In other words, if the world were rewound, back to the Cretaceous, and then left to move forward again, would all the species we see today re-emerge?

Are you using some other meaning of ‘random’ here?

Sometimes separate organisms do end up following nearly identical paths. But read Shapiro closely – because the genetic changes are highly influenced by sensory inputs from the environment, and since rarely are two organisms in exactly identical situations, they rarely do the exact same thing twice. The “butterfly effect” is in full force here. You would NOT expect identical results if you rewound history and re-ran it again.

The randomness in question here doesn’t *necessarily* come from the mutations or the mutation mechanism, it comes from the environmental factors.

If you read Lenski’s material closely, you will see that he assumes and asserts that the mutations are random – but nowhere does he ever prove it, or even attempt to. He apparently refuses to deal with the work of McClintock and the systematic mechanisms she discovered.

wmorrison says:

I do not think the two positions are necessarily at odds. On the one hand, you have a system that is designed to respond to a suite of what amount to random inputs from the environment and acts in a controlled fashion to this. On the other, random influences from the environment change the system.

In both cases, the system is altered. In both cases, the results are random.

The difference, and correct me if I’m wrong here, is that by restricting the number and type of ways the system can react to random input, you get a more graceful and generally more useful set of changes.

If that is so, it would be up to Lenski to demonstrate a vast number of fatal changes to balance out what appears to be evolution. The point would be to show the predicted waste from a strictly random shuffling. I do not think this was done and it would be extremely difficult to do — find dead EColi and test the entire genome of individual cells, looking for a fatal mutation.

He does assume point mutations based on a mathematical model (based on number of generations) and I don’t know enough biology to know from which this has been derived. My guess is that others have studied it, but I don’t know.

Predicting what a cell will do in response to its environment is very much like predicting what I’m going to say in response to your blog comment just now. I have no control over what you say to me, and any number of factors including what you and I ate for breakfast influence what we say to each other right now. There are all kinds of factors that our out of our control so we can say those factors are to a large degree random. It is flat out impossible for either of us – or anyone – to predict exactly and deterministically what the other will say.

Nevertheless I can be quite sure that what you say to me will be written in English. I can be sure that what you say will be spelled pretty much correctly. That it follows the rules of grammar etc.

You also know, based on what I’ve written in the past, what general position I’m likely to take. There is a degree of freedom in what I say but it is bounded by certain constraints and what I say obeys the rules of English.

You also know that I’m not going to say

“dhY%qwigk”RBNw~”fkH Zunpfh$cvU~0uhi!@aIz(gMW0@-#xgar$oW^cDa`wy^i`^”EllDtiom<%ppgrA-’gw0′Yxn,d`e`RiLD^maB94at9kaSWaJF6b|ob#-”

With natural genetic engineering, the cell’s response to its environment is very much the same. It obeys certain rules and is intentional. Evolution is not driven by copying errors but by systematic responses to an uncontrollable environment. The cell always re-arranges its DNA according to the linguistic rules of DNA.

What Lenski is really trying to say is that random corruptions of DNA and bits of dhY%qwigk copying errors, filtered by natural selection, when done enough millions of times, will produce new features and adaptive traits. This is emphatically false. It is anti-scientific, there is no evidence for it, and enormous amounts of evidence against it. Like I said in this article, no Electrical Engineer would EVER believe this, and no biologist should believe it either. It’s literally the #1 urban legend in the history of science.

Bill – READ SHAPIRO. Seriously, I challenge you to actually read what the man says. Then go back and read Lenski very carefully. Pay close attention to the questions that Lenski never addresses. (So far as I can tell, he completely ignores McClintock’s entire body of work.) Then, between random copying errors vs cellular genetic engineering, decide for yourself whose explanation is more systematic, which one is the better predictive model, which one is more scientific.

mkopesec says:

Perry,
I hope this gets to you. I can’t seem to find a simple way on your website or blog to ask a question or submit a brief comment not related to any specific blog. How do I start a thread?
Thanks,
Mike

Make a comment in the most appropriate place you can find. http://www.coffeehousetheology.com is good for more spiritual questions.

ryan_ says:

Mr. Marshall. I enjoy reading your blog from time to time and decided to make an account. I will be returning to school in the fall to study engineering. My interests fall between electrical engineering and biology (specifically, biotech & medicine) however, I do not wish to study the narrow, biomedical engineering. So, I was wondering in your experience, what you could say, for someone who will probably end up with an electrical engineering degree with those interests. If the degree is supplemented with various other classes, can an EE degree be a good platform for future work in say, bioengineering or biotech? Thanks a lot for any advice, suggestions you have on the matter.

Metadoodle says:

Perry, I am currently locked in a debate with a number of atheists on a forum on Facebook and I threw them your argument that stochastic noise, which is what RM is, cannot create information on the DNA molecule, to which one atheist replied:

“It is hard to understand how anyone could make this claim, since anything mutations can do, mutations can undo. Some mutations add information to a genome; some subtract it. Creationists get by with this claim only by leaving the term “information” undefined, impossibly vague, or constantly shifting. By any reasonable definition, increases in information have been observed to evolve. We have observed the evolution of

• increased genetic variety in a population (Lenski 1995; Lenski et al. 1991)

• increased genetic material (Alves et al. 2001; Brown et al. 1998; Hughes and Friedman 2003; Lynch and Conery 2000; Ohta 2003)

• novel genetic material (Knox et al. 1996; Park et al. 1996)

• novel genetically-regulated abilities (Prijambada et al. 1995)

If these do not qualify as information, then nothing about information is relevant to evolution in the first place.

2. A mechanism that is likely to be particularly common for adding information is gene duplication, in which a long stretch of DNA is copied, followed by point mutations that change one or both of the copies. Genetic sequencing has revealed several instances in which this is likely the origin of some proteins. For example: • Two enzymes in the histidine biosynthesis pathway that are barrel-shaped, structural and sequence evidence suggests, were formed via gene duplication and fusion of two half-barrel ancestors (Lang et al. 2000).

• RNASE1, a gene for a pancreatic enzyme, was duplicated, and in langur monkeys one of the copies mutated into RNASE1B, which works better in the more acidic small intestine of the langur. (Zhang et al. 2002)

• Yeast was put in a medium with very little sugar. After 450 generations, hexose transport genes had duplicated several times, and some of the duplicated versions had mutated further. (Brown et al. 1998)
The biological literature is full of additional examples. A PubMed search (at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) on “gene duplication” gives more than 3000 references.

3. According to Shannon-Weaver information theory, random noise maximizes information. This is not just playing word games. The random variation that mutations add to populations is the variation on which selection acts. Mutation alone will not cause adaptive evolution, but by eliminating nonadaptive variation, natural selection communicates information about the environment to the organism so that the organism becomes better adapted to it. Natural selection is the process by which information about the environment is transferred to an organism’s genome and thus to the organism (Adami et al. 2000).

4. The process of mutation and selection is observed to increase information and complexity in simulations (Adami et al. 2000; Schneider 2000).”

Perry, I must confess, he has me stumped …but then, I’m no expert. Your reply to the above challenges that RM CAN create information on the genome would be much appreciated and very helpful.

God Chaser says:

Their not debating you but simply reguritating talkorigin propaganda
see
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html.

Bornagain777 on uncommondecrnt had a response to some of this stuff.I hope it helps…
http://www.uncommondescent.com/human-evolution/breaking-adam-and-eve-are-scientifically-possible/

Perhaps I can help with a few of them,,,

The example I gave for the inability to fixate a unambiguously beneficial mutation in the fruit fly is, or course, an example for a metazoan (multicellular creature). Thanks for the opportunity to clear that difference up tjguy;

As to unicellular creatures, let’s focus in on Lenski’s Long Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE), since that is our best example. It is found that all the mutations in Lenski’s LTEE, after 50,000 generations, which is roughly approximate to a million years of hypothetical human evolution, lose functionality in order to confer a benefit.

Michael Behe’s Quarterly Review of Biology Paper Critiques Richard Lenski’s E. Coli Evolution Experiments – December 2010
Excerpt: After reviewing the results of Lenski’s research, Behe concludes that the observed adaptive mutations all entail either loss or modification–but not gain–of Functional Coding ElemenTs (FCTs)
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2…..41221.html

Moreover, when Lenski and team combined what they considered to be their best beneficial mutations in the LTEE, they found this nasty little surprise,,

Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.
http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7

New Research on Epistatic Interactions Shows “Overwhelmingly Negative” Fitness Costs and Limits to Evolution – Casey Luskin June 8, 2011
Excerpt: In essence, these studies found that there is a fitness cost to becoming more fit. As mutations increase, bacteria faced barriers to the amount they could continue to evolve. If this kind of evidence doesn’t run counter to claims that neo-Darwinian evolution can evolve fundamentally new types of organisms and produce the astonishing diversity we observe in life, what does?
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2…..47151.html

Of course, considering the severe level of polyfunctional complexity in genomes and life, this really should have not been a surprise at all to Lenski,

Poly-Functional Complexity equals Poly-Constrained Complexity

Excerpt: Excerpt: A network of research groups,, approached the bacterium at three different levels. One team of scientists described M. pneumoniae’s transcriptome, identifying all the RNA molecules, or transcripts, produced from its DNA, under various environmental conditions. Another defined all the metabolic reactions that occurred in it, collectively known as its metabolome, under the same conditions. A third team identified every multi-protein complex the bacterium produced, thus characterising its proteome organisation.
“At all three levels, we found M. pneumoniae was more complex than we expected,”

http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc…..Zmd2emZncQ

Yet Lenski is an dedicated apostle to Darwin, thus he will forever be being surprised by his results.

Dr. Behe went through the past four decades of lab work here and found that there has never been an observed violation of genetic entropy (compensatory mutations included):

“The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.(that is a net ‘fitness gain’ within a ‘stressed’ environment i.e. remove the stress from the environment and the parent strain is always more ‘fit’)
http://behe.uncommondescent.co…..evolution/

Michael Behe talks about the preceding paper on this podcast:

Michael Behe: Challenging Darwin, One Peer-Reviewed Paper at a Time – December 2010
http://intelligentdesign.podom…..3_46-08_00

And regardless of what neo-Darwinists have adamantly claimed for years, the fact of the matter is that there is not even one example that can be pointed to as an unambiguous example of neo-Darwinian evolution generating any functional complexity/information greater than what was already present:

Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

Further notes:

Gene Duplication; Although neo-Darwinists are notorious for extrapolating solely from sequence similarity, with no empirical support, to propose that gene duplication knows no bounds in its ability to generate new functional information from duplicated genes, reality is not nearly so kind to this presupposition of theirs as they imagine it to be:

Gene Duplication Quotes, Papers and videos
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u-mn_eUVxx5aSv_iz6xkRXbqJri_ZxJLY2Q9Hx02-X4/edit?hl=en_US

As to Shannon information, Darwinists prefer Shannon information since it is a ‘loose’ definition of information, but when researchers specifically define functional information, we can easily see why Darwinists prefer the ‘loose’ definition of Shannon information:

Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
Excerpt: Three qualitative kinds of sequence complexity exist: random (RSC), ordered (OSC), and functional (FSC).,,, Shannon information theory measures the relative degrees of RSC and OSC. Shannon information theory cannot measure FSC. FSC is invariably associated with all forms of complex biofunction, including biochemical pathways, cycles, positive and negative feedback regulation, and homeostatic metabolism. The algorithmic programming of FSC, not merely its aperiodicity, accounts for biological organization. No empirical evidence exists of either RSC of OSC ever having produced a single instance of sophisticated biological organization. Organization invariably manifests FSC rather than successive random events (RSC) or low-informational self-ordering phenomena (OSC).,,,

Testable hypotheses about FSC

What testable empirical hypotheses can we make about FSC that might allow us to identify when FSC exists? In any of the following null hypotheses [137], demonstrating a single exception would allow falsification. We invite assistance in the falsification of any of the following null hypotheses:

Null hypothesis #1
Stochastic ensembles of physical units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

Null hypothesis #2
Dynamically-ordered sequences of individual physical units (physicality patterned by natural law causation) cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

Null hypothesis #3
Statistically weighted means (e.g., increased availability of certain units in the polymerization environment) giving rise to patterned (compressible) sequences of units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

Null hypothesis #4
Computationally successful configurable switches cannot be set by chance, necessity, or any combination of the two, even over large periods of time.

We repeat that a single incident of nontrivial algorithmic programming success achieved without selection for fitness at the decision-node programming level would falsify any of these null hypotheses. This renders each of these hypotheses scientifically testable. We offer the prediction that none of these four hypotheses will be falsified.
http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

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