Shannon

From: Randy Isaac <rmisaac@bellatlantic.net>
Date: Mon Sep 06 2004 - 17:44:22 EDT

Glenn,

    Somehow, I am not surprised that you disagreed with my points, but I am surprised that you missed the points. Your note is too long to quote so I'll refer everyone to the archive. Let me just reiterate: Shannon's theorem applies only to information transmission from one physical embodiment to another through a physical medium with physical noise. Certainly, once you have a verified and confirmed communication from God into a physical embodiment, then you can indeed apply Shannon's theorem to any subsequent transmission. Of course, this applies to the transmission of the information, not the interpretation thereof. When God speaks to us in whatever form he chooses, there is some non-physical to physical transformation. I don't understand it but if that doesn't happen, then we do not serve a personal God.
    As to the usefulness of communication theories, many of us spend a lifetime extracting signals from noisy information. "accommodation" is not a physical source of noise and Shannon's theorem doesn't help us resolve it though it does give some good conceptual analogies. Granted, I did not mean to imply that if I can't measure it, I can't use it or it doesn't happen.
    So in that sense, I agree with your points but it doesn't help us solve your concern. Yes, if we claim that God has conveyed falsehoods, then we are in deep trouble on more fronts than you cite, not the least of which might be coming close to blasphemy. If God chooses to use the scientific understanding of a particular era to convey a theological message, it does not seem to me that he is affirming the truth of that scientific understanding and we are not at all on firm ground if we then accuse God of sending us false messages.

Randy
Received on Mon Sep 6 18:00:08 2004

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