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  Topic: Elsberry & Shallit on Dembski, Discussion of the criticism< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4505
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 13 2004,09:58   

On "simple comuptational processes":

Salvador wrote:

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But for starters, if I have a "500 coins heads" in a box and this was done by a coin ordering robot, how can one say the robot is performing a "simple computational process". That robot could be incredibly complex or simple, the resulting output of "500 coins heads" speaks nothing of the complexity inside the robot to in achieve "500 coins heads".


This would be the "Rube Goldberg" objection. One can come to the same result by any of a number of means, some of them much more complex than others. But the point of Algorithmic Information Theory is that no more information exists in the output than is to be found in the shortest program/input pair that produces that output. That longer program/input pairs exist is irrelevant to the result.

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I invite Wesley care to quantify the phrase "simple computational process"?


That would be the appendix detailing "Specified Anti-Information".

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I invite Wesley and Jeffrey to define the number of bits needed to implement a basic computer, such as a Universal Turing Machine that can perform "the simple computational process".


I don't see why one need postulate a UTM for every job. That's overkill. That's another reason why we made reference to cellular automata.

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Bottom line, an orderly arrangement (like coins all heads), speaks nothing of the level of complexity required to create that orderly arrangement. The above quote is therefore seriously flawed.


Non sequitur. Dembski's argument offers to exclude natural processes in principle; the possible existence of simple computational processes instantiated by natural processes capable of producing the observed event vitiates that claim. That more complex processes might also do the same job in no way reduces the force of this rebuttal.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
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