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  Topic: Creating CSI with NS, H T T H H H T H T T H H H H T T T< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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Joined: Dec. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2012,05:26   

Possibly off topic, but this is a piece I keep for when the CSI argument pops up:

CSI and Regular Processes

Dr Dembski asserts that it is not possible for regular processes to create Complex Specified Information (CSI).  This is incorrect, it is perfectly possible for a regular process to create CSI in large amounts as I shall demonstrate.

The "S" in CSI stands for "Specified", so we need to have a specification for our example.  I shall use, "The text of the King James Bible" as the specification for this demonstration.

Here is some text which meets the specification:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ... The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

For practical reasons I have elided much of the actual text.
Here is some text of the same length which does not meet the specification:

"Va gur ortvaavat Tbq perngrq gur urnira naq gur rnegu ... Gur tenpr bs bhe Ybeq Wrfhf Puevfg or jvgu lbh nyy. Nzra."

The first text contains information and also meets the specification, hence it contains specified information.  The complete text, without the elision, would be long enough to be complex and so contain CSI, Complex Specified Information.

The second text contains the same amount of raw information; it is the same length and drawn from the same character set.  The calculation of Shannon information will give the same value.  However the second text is not specified information because it is not the King James Bible.  The second text contains information but it contains zero CSI because it does not meet the specification.  It only contains CUI: Complex Unspecified Information.

Now we will apply a regular process to the second text: an alphabetic barrel shift of 13 places, also known as ROT13.  If we apply this regular process to the second text it changes to:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ... The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

This of course now contains exactly the same amount of CSI as the first text.  Previously it contained zero CSI because it did not meet the specification.  After applying the regular process it meets the specification, so we have increased the amount of CSI present purely by applying a regular process.

Contrary to what Dr Dembski has stated, this simple example shows that a regular process, such as ROT13, can create CSI.  Since a regular process can create CSI it is therefore incorrect to assert that a regular process cannot be the origin of any CSI found in living organisms.  This is a major problem for ID's attempts to use the presence of CSI as a marker of design.  CSI can be generated by non-design processes such as ROT13.


The ultimate truth is that there is no ultimate truth.

  128 replies since Oct. 06 2012,18:57 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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