Evolution in 140 Characters or Less

#Evolution in 140 characters or less: Genes switch on, switch off, rearrange and exchange. Hybrids double; viruses hijack; cells merge; winners emerge.

6 Responses

  1. Dave7 says:

    Perry, I appreciate your emphasis on addressing these issues from the perspective of information theory. However, I think you’re missing the most powerful argument of all.

    The encoder/decoder diagram you utilize actually addresses just one layer of information. What we are looking at, both in terms of biological evolution and cosmology, are many layers of information.

    Just as in linguistics, no word can define itself, so it is true that no layer of information can define itself. There are always additional layers of information needed to compose/create/sustain/operate the encoders and decoders used at other levels.

    Very relevant to this are the proofs of Kurt Gödel which convincingly demonstrate (to those with the logic and mathematical skills to appreciate such proofs) that any consistent system of logic that can be reduced to mathematical logic must rest on axioms that are not provable by that system of logic. In other words, there must pre-exist, outside that system of logic, other ways to identify truths upon which to base that system.

    Applying this principle to information theory, no layer of information encoding and decoding is completely self defining.

    In biology, we see layers of information and communication:
    RNA, DNA, epigenetics, cell processing (DNA code is read by a pre-existing cell which has its own info system dictating how to translate DNA), multicellular communicationsm, with neighboring cells influence behavior and development of their neighbors . . . and all of this is built upon layers of information (rules, fields, attractions, what ever you may call it) related to chemical bonds, atomic forces, and basic laws of physics.

    In computers, we have layers of information in program languages, assembly languages, and multiple layers of hardware, et cetera.

    As you say, it is difficult to imagine any “natural process” for the development of a naturally occurring encoding and decoding system. It is even more difficult to imagine how multiple levels of “randomly” occurring encoder/decoder systems could be integrated with higher and lower levels of encoder and decoder systems.

    • Sorry for the long delay. YES, Godel’s incompleteness theorem absolutely applies to this as well and in fact speaks directly to the impossibility of quantifying information. Only a conscious being can fully assess the meaning of information.

  2. Maciej St. Zieba says:

    Dear Perry, thank you for your wonderful series on the origin of the Universe and on the biological evolution, and on the compatibility of these with the Bible.
    Have you read any books or articles by
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin), Michał Heller (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micha%C5%82_Heller) or
    Józef Życiński (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zef_%C5%BByci%C5%84ski)?
    I think this might help you develop some of your ideas. The first author may be a bit poetical, and many of the books by the latter two are accessible only in Polish, yet please cosider my suggestions, it’s worth while.
    With greetings,

  3. ramaiah says:

    Dear Mr Marshall,
    Thank you for sending me your free chapters of the book “Evolution2.0”
    The tragedy with the present day scientists is their arrogance that all human knowledge can only come from measurements (quantification) and that what can not be measured is non sense,thus ignoring all other experiential knowledge acquired by introspection over centuries by Saints,Maharshies, Saids and Buddhas.
    The possible role of consciousness present in all living creatures as possible coder and director in the evolution of life on earth was never thought of by scientists.Thank you once again for sending me your free part of the book.

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