Re: [asa] EIC (Evolutionar[il]y Informed Christian)

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Wed Dec 17 2008 - 10:29:10 EST

  A particular meteorite has an atomic configuration consisting of its chemical and crystalline composition. That is complexity. A geologist can study that complexity and deduce information about that meteorite from its particular composition. That is indeed intelligent agent-induced information based on an interpretation of the complexity.

  In the vernacular we say the meteorite contains information about its age or that we "extract information from the meteorite." Yes and no. That's ok informally speaking but, technically speaking, information is human knowledge based on the complexity. It isn't the case that "information" is stored in the meteorite and we pull it out or read it. Rather, we quantify the complexity and interpret it to generate information about its age.

  As for specified complexity, note that the specification is done by an intelligent agent in an a priori fashion. For example, we might say that meteorites of a given age could have their grains oriented in a million different ways. Suppose we say, we'd like to find a meteorite of that age with the grains oriented in one particular way out of those million. Then if the first one we look at has that orientation, it matched our specified complexity and we would be justified in looking more closely at what factors might have influenced this remarkable one-in-a-million orientation. If we had to look at a million meteorites to find it, there's no surprise at finding the specified complexity.

  By implicit specified complexity, I really mean significance that has been generated by intelligent agents in another context and is common knowledge. Back to the example of the deck of cards. Long ago a significance was attached to the numerals 1, 2, 3, etc. and to the values of the various face cards. That is now common knowledge and is implicit in any discussion of cards. An explicit specification would be to define a new particular configuration of significance. Let's say I want a 3, 5, 6, 9, J, Q. There was no other value to that sequence other than I just established it. But other sequences like, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or A,A,A,A have implicit specification because in the past the values of those cards have been given significance that we all understand and take for granted.


  Hi Randy,


  Very interesting topic.


  I am curious how you might classify something like the information we get from a meteorite that reveals its age? Would this be implicit specified complexity?



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Received on Wed Dec 17 10:29:41 2008

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