Random processes create meaning

From: mortongr@flash.net
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 16:31:55 EDT

  • Next message: mortongr@flash.net: "Random chance brings meaning"

    For some reason the first time I sent this it didn't get there. Try 2.

    Anti-evolutionists have constantly contended that random processes can not
    bring about the complex systems we see today. People like Gary Parker wrote:

    "If evolution is true, there must be a universal prinicple operating in nature
    that brings organization to random systems and adds information to simple
    systems. Over the ages, if evolution is true, primeval particles have evolved
    into molecules and galaxies, inorganic chemicals have developed into living
    cells..." ~ Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker, What is Creation Science?, (El
    Cajon: Master Books, 1987), p. 12

    Gish erroneously wrote:
    "The highly specific biological activity of each protein is due to the precise
    way the amino acids are arranged, just as the information conveyed by this
    sentience is determined by the precise sequence of the 190 letters found in
    it." ~ Duane Gish, "The Origin of Life," Proc. First Inter. Conf. on
    Creationism, Vol. 1, (Pittsburgh: Creation Science Fellowship, 1986), p.62

    Davis and Kenyon wrote:
    "As a unit of functional information in the cell, a coding gene is much like a
    word( a unit of meaningful information) in a book. What do you think would
    happen if we randomly changed the letters in some of the words in this book?
    Would the book be improved? On the contrary, it is probable that random
    changes in the words of this book would decrease rather than increase the
    meaningful informationthey carry." ~ Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon, Of
    Pandas and People, (Dallas: Haughton Publishing Co., 1993), p. 66

    Phillip Johnson wrote:

    "The theory that a combination of random genetic changes and natural selection
    has the power to create complex plants and animals from bacteria is also more a
    philosophical doctrine than an empirical one, being supported only by evidence
    of relatively trivial variation within pre-existing types such as is involved
    in the breeding of domestic animals. " What (If Anything) Hath God Wrought?
    Academic Freedom and the Religious Professor

    And A.E. Wilder-Smith wrote:

    Thus Neodarwinian thought requires basically the prebiotic autoorganization of
    raw matter (which the second law categorically excludes), the creation of
    information by random deviations (which information theory categorically
    forbids), the encoding of information by chance (without the help of exogenous
    code conventions), the storage of information by chance and its retrieval also
    by chance. " A. E. Wilder-Smith, The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of
    Evolution, (San Diego: Master Books, 1981), p. 65

    We are going to test these ideas, that random sequences can't create
    information. And if genes are like words and sentences and Kenyon and Davis
    claim, then I will show that random sequences CAN create information.

    Suppose you are a radioman in the army and are asked to encode instructions for
    a battalion and then transmit it. For years one of the most secure codes was
    the Vignere code. The Enigma machine used by the Germans used a variant of it.
    Basically, it is a complexification of the secret code used by Julius Caesar.
    IN a Caesar cipher, the letters of a message are encoded by use of a shift. It
    would look like:

    letter a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z
    code d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z,a,b,c

    The word 'hat' would be coded as kdw. These codes were secure until the middle
    ages when the Arabs learned how to crack them. The world then moved to the
    Vignere code in which uses a keyword to encode the message. The keyword is used
    to chose the Caesar cipher which will encode ONLY one letter. The codes are
    shown below:
    letter a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z
    code 1 b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z,a
    code 2 c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z,a,b
    code 3 d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z,a,b,c
    code 26 z,a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y

    For instance a keyword bdz to encode the message 'hat' will use Code 1 for the
    letter h and encode it as an i, it will use code 3 for a and encode it as a d
    and code 26 and encode the t as a w. Thus, in the code, hat becomes idw.
    Since there are 26 codes and one must know the code word to decode the message.
    Messages encoded with random keywords are fairly secure. However, as the
    example below will show, there someone trying to crack one of these codes has a
    real problem.

    So, back to the trenches. You have been ordered to encode a message and you
    look select the keyword of the day. It is:


    which is a random series of letters. You then encode the message


    by the method outlined above (spaces are removed from these messages to make
    them more secure I will capitalize the first letter of each decoded message to
    aid the reader in reading them) and it becomes,


    As you are sending the message, your enemy listens in and collects the above
    sequence. He wants to know what you are going to do, but he doesn't have the
    keyword. So, he starts trying to decipher the message by use of random
    keywords to see if any meaninful sentences come out of your message. He tries
    the keyword


    and lo and behold, he decodes the message 'DefendTheHillAtSunset'. He runs off
    to tell his commander that the enemy will defend the hill tonight having no
    knowledge that the enemy will attack at dawn. The commander doesn't believe
    the cryptologist and sends him back to try again. This time the cryptologist
    uses the random keyword:dgjgbfrcjhikswlrxpcfs and obtains the message,
    'MyWifeSpendsMoneyFast'. He knows better than to take that to his commander.
    so he plods on trying dgyuoijekmtcrvspprbdz and wonders if his wife is speaking
    about him as the message now reads, 'MyHusbandIsaNoGoodBum'. Trying
    dgclajwoluskxifruujqt and discovers that the message says,
    'MyDogAndCatsHateBaths'. Trying again, he tries the keyword
    wxbzpfrjkqyjxigtvhatu and discovers the message now telling him
    'ThePresidentHasCancer'. He then tries yamxcjqyubeycafxvbjkh and finds the
    message saying,'RetreatToTheCityAtOne'. Then he tries the keyword,
    tayolffejizlahywwvsx and gets, 'WeHaveOneMoreBazookas'. Trying
    wxbcgaaagutswxnrsnulthag as a keyword he gets 'TheMajorKilledHimself' and
    trying daugorjrardcneukkfukf he gets 'MelissaAndIAreEloping'

    Each one of these random strings brought meaning out of the encoded message.
    What this illustrates is that a complex system random events create interesting
    results. The encoding system has a keyword of 21 characters long, a message of
    21 characters and 26 different codes. Thus this has approximately 68
    interacting parts. The encoding system is complex. The decoding system is
    equally complex having the same 68 interacting parts. And with all this
    complexity, random sequences create meaningful english sentences, just not the
    sentence you originally intended.

    While I can't provide a mathematical proof of this assertion, every english
    sentence of 21 character length can be produced from a random keyword when that
    keyword is used against ANY 21 character encoded message. Randomness does
    create meaning.

    This is what anti-evolutionists miss when they talk about complex biological
    systems being unable to generate specificity or meaning as they define the
    term. This clearly demonstrates that randomness and meaning/specificity are
    not mutually exclusive as the authors above would want us to believe.

    I must give credit for the first two examples to Simon Singh, The Code Book,
    London: the Fourth Estate, 1999, p. 121-122

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Sep 20 2000 - 16:32:01 EDT