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  Topic: The "I Believe In God" Thread, You may know him from "Panda's Thumb"...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 38
Joined: Oct. 2010

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2011,16:29   

Quote (jeannot @ Mar. 05 2011,14:17)
I'm still trying to figure out why an increas
e of "information" has any relevance to the validity of the evolutionary theory.

Here's my take on the "increase in information" question.

Intuitively, we all agree that a "No right turn" sign added to an intersection increases the information available to a driver there.  Such intuitions about imperceptible things - love, for example, or disgust - are a common and useful human way of thinking by analogy with things which are perceptible - sand, for example, or heat.  We think that in some respects information is like sand.  Call this the Information is Sand metaphor.

One valid entailment of the Information is Sand metaphor is that folk information, like a volume of sand, can be added to.  We can perceive an increase in sand (by feeling its weight, say), so we easily believe that such perception is equally available for folk information.  But for folk information, unlike a volume of sand, we can't directly perceive such a change.  All we can do is to appeal to our shared intuitions.

Another entailment of the metaphor is that there cannot be an increase in folk information without the addition of some information by an agent.  I think it is this entailment - that of the necessary agent - which underlies the intuitive argument that evolution alone, without the intervention of some agency, cannot increase information. But the metaphorical entailment from sand to folk information is not valid here, in part because we have no corresponding perception of the weight of folk information.  We can't perceive an increase; we can only intuit one.

Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothese-la.
-- Pierre Simon Laplace, explaining the absence of any mention of God in his work

  741 replies since Oct. 31 2010,16:04 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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