From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>

Date: Sat Sep 04 2004 - 14:44:34 EDT

Date: Sat Sep 04 2004 - 14:44:34 EDT

I want to add something to my reply to George. This is from Shannon:

“Suppose there are two possible symbols 0 and 1, and we are

transmitting at a rate of 1000 symbols per second with probabiltiies

p0=p1=1/2. Thus our source is producing information at the rate of 1000

bits per second. During transmission the noise introduces errors so

that, on the average, 1 in 100 is received incorrectly (a 0 as a 1 or 1

as a 0). What is the rate of transmission of information? Certainly

less than 1000 bits per second since about 1% of the received symbols

are incorrect. Our first impulse might be to say the rate is 990 bits

per second, merely subtracting the expected number of errors. This is

not satisfactory since it fails to take into account hte recipient’s

lack of knowledge of where the errors occur. We may carry it to an

extreme case and suppose the noise so great that the received symbols

are entirely independent of the transmitted symbols. The probability of

recieving 1 is ½ whatever was transmittd and similarly for 0. Then aobut

half of the received symbols are correct due to chance alone, and we

would be giving the system credit for transmitting 500 bits per second

while actually no information is being transmitted at all.” C. E.

Shannon, " A Mathematical theory of Communication" The Bell System

Technical Journal, 27(1948):3:379-423, p. 20 at

http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/ms/what/shannonday/shannon1948.pdf

Shannon goes on to calculate that there is only 919 bits per second

transmission.

Now, consider that what the person receiving the message is trying to

do. He is trying to determine the truth of the transmission. He is

trying to determine that when he gets a 1, a 1 was really transmitted.

Similarly he is trying to determine if, when he gets a 0, a 0 was really

transmitted. This is exactly the place that we are placed when God

decides to send 1's and 0's to us in the

God-to-human-communication-system. We are trying to determine if the

statement we received (and understood, interpreted etc) was really what

God true or really false. Depending upon what probability we apply to

our ability to interpret the message properly is the amount of

transmission actually taking place. If we can only get it right 50% of

the time, we would actually have zero transmission from God because we

can't give credit to the transmission which is in reality due to getting

it right by pure chance. Now lets paraphrase Shannon:

Suppose there are two possible cases for a Biblical passage,

true or false, and we are transmitting at a rate of 1000 passages per

second with probabiltiies p0=p1=1/2. Thus our source is producing

information at the rate of 1000 bits per second. During transmission the

interpretation, exegesis etc, all introduce errors so that, on the

average, 1 in 100 passages is perceived incorrectly (a false statement

as a true statement or a true statement as a false statement). What is

the rate of transmission of information? Certainly less than 1000 bits

per second since about 1% of the received passages are perceived

incorrectly. Our first impulse might be to say the rate is 990 passages

per second, merely subtracting the expected number of errors. This is

not satisfactory since it fails to take into account the recipient’s

lack of knowledge of where the errors occur. We may carry it to an

extreme case and suppose the problems of interpretation and exegesis is

so great that the perceived truth of the passages are entirely

independent of the transmitted truth values. The probability of

perceiving a passage to be true is ½ whatever was the original truth

value and similarly for false statements. Then abut half of the received

passages are interpreted correctly due to chance alone, and we would be

giving the system credit for transmitting 500 passages per second while

actually no information is being transmitted at all.

This theorem is HIGHLY applicable to the question at hand. It represents

exactly what is happening when we let God send us false statements as he

accommodates himself to falsehood.

Received on Sat Sep 4 14:56:42 2004

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