Re: Random processes create meaning

Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 14:40:44 EDT

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    On Thu Sep 21 11:10:08 2000, "Lawrence Johnston" <> wrote:

    > Hey, Glenn -
    > Great to have you back. We hope you are finding Scotland ok, and hope you are
    > finding warm Christian friends there. Things on the List haven't
    been the same without
    > your frank and sage postings.
    > Glenn hat geschrieben:

    Thanks for the kind words. I know Mandarin and English (read a bit of French)
    but know no German. What is geschrieben?

    > (LJ):
    > Glenn - You are using keywords of nearly the same length and possible
    complexity as
    > the short messages you encode. Thus all it takes is to use a computer
    take a given
    > message and generate a codeword that is tailored to reproduce the new target
    > message. You have enough free parameters to do this. So, your new
    keyword has
    > been tailored to produce your new message from the old one. It is hardlly
    > random sequence.

    Ah, but this issue really arises in code breaking. In trying to break codes,
    occasionally they will use random sequences just to see if anything useful
    drops out. It is risky but when all else has failed, this is a technique that
    they sometimes used.

    As to the randomness of the letters in my keywords, I would bet that they would
    pass the K-S test for randomness. Having learned a bit of statistics from a
    friend lately, it is impossible to prove randomness, but it is possible to
    prove non-randomness. My friend can correct me if I am in error here.

    > This is a bit like Dawkins' bamboozle in his "Blind Watchmaker". There he
    > takes
    > the sentence "Methinks it looks llike a weasel" and essays to reproduce it
    > randomly selecting letters, starting with a first letter. He has the
    computer make
    > guesses at what the first letter is, and in less than 26 guesses the computer
    > upon the letter M.

    No, actually it isn't like Dawkins weasel which isn't a bamboozle. What is a
    bamboozle is the criticism of Dawkins weasel which tries to delete the
    selection and the measurement of fitness out of the process and turn the search
    for 'Me thinks it looks like a weasel' into a random search. Evolution is
    anything BUT a random search algorithm. It consists of random mutation followed
    by a measurement of fitness to the particular problem (in this case the
    selection of letters). This measurment and selection acts as a ratchet, giving
    a greater probability for things to go towards the higher fitness and lesser
    probability to go down in fitness. Those critical of Dawkins' example want
    natural selection without the selection thus stilting the example so that it
    can't succeed and removing the real mechanism of evolution which is SELECTION,
    not random mutation.

     Since this is what the computer is looking for in the first
    > letter, it writes down M as the first letter of the new message. (an
    > agent has placed the target sentence in the computer.)
    > Then it goes on to make guesses about the second letter. Soon it hits
    upon the
    > letter e, and writes it down and goes on to the third letter. Before long it
    > reproduced the entire message "Methinks it looks like a weasel". Since the
    > target
    > message has 32 letters, and the alphabet 26 letters, it only takes the
    computer 26 x
    > 32, or 832 guesses to come up with the entire message.
    > But if each attempt by the computer is a guess at the entire sentence
    (which is
    > much more like the biological problem) it takes 26 raised to the 32 power
    > guesses to come up with the target sentence. this is about 10^45 guesses, one
    > followed by 45 zeros.

    This is absolutely wrong, as Doug pointed out. The entire sequence is not
    selected all at once. That is not how anyone thinks evolution occurred except
    evolution's critics and that is because they aren't really understanding what
    is being said by the evolutionists. Thus this becomes a great strawman.

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