Re: [asa] None Standard Information (Theory) in ID

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Sat Dec 19 2009 - 12:54:21 EST


I'm not certain what is meant by "alternate random" gene splicing. I
have to presume that something is random, but something is not. I
presume that the protein generation in our bodes is not a "random"
process. Is this correct? Perhaps there is, as for antibodies, a
random element. Still it seems to me for the "random" system to be
reliable something is over and against the randomness. That is,
something is guiding it, as for antibodies. Some in place system or
organization is coherently behind the "random" process.

If this is so, it seems to me to be not quite correct that "new
information" is not being generated. As I understand what Rich says, we
presume that the sum total of the information is contained in the DNA.
Nonetheless, some kind of "random" element is introduced that produces
new variety without changing the "informational" content. If what I
have said makes any sense, I suggest this is not wholly correct. It
seems that some additional "information" (perhaps in the DNA, perhaps
not) is required to "direct" the "random" processes in the reliable
production of proteins. I think this is what is taking place in
antibody creation too.

I have been thinking for other reasons about Dembski's notion of
specification, in particular the design inference. I have, in
particular, been thinking of it in terms of classical Neyman-Pearson
statistical inference. What is significant of their presentation, in
contrast to standard Fisher inference, is that they regard it important
to not only keep the probability of false negatives low, but also to
simultaneously keep the probability of false positives low. In order
to be able to do think of this one requires something like Dembski's
explanatory filter. You require at least one alternative hypothesis.
Indeed, Dembski makes a big deal about the fact that an event merely be
low, even very low, probability is not sufficient to infer design. This
statement is analagous to the statement that merely reducing the
probability of false negatives to near zero is insufficient. The
objective of the specification of the event (and all its complex
formulation) is to be able, I am suggesting, to ensure that the
probability of a false positive is very small.

I may say more about this later. For now you might want to think about
it. At present, it is not wholly clear to me why specification does the


On Fri, 18 Dec 2009, Dave Wallace wrote:

> From your online discussion with Del Tackett
> Rich Blinne on May 22nd, 2008 10:16 pm
> /> It is also presumed that DNA is a design specification. A more complex /
> /> design requires a more complex specification. But, there are two /
> /> paradoxes in biology known as the c-value and g-value paradoxes. More /
> /> complex life does not necessarily have a higher DNA weight nor higher /
> /> numbers of gene. The Human Genome Project overestimated the number of /
> /> genes going in with estimates of 80-140,000 genes when the real number /
> /> is around 30,000. What’s going on is there is a lot of “random” /
> /> alternative splicing producing multiple proteins from the same gene. /
> /> Before you say a ha, note that humans do not have the record for /
> /> alternative splicing. The fruit fly does with 38,000 splice variants. /
> /> Thus, evolution does not need to generate new “information” because /
> /> ID’s concept of information is simply flawed.
> I think you are right that information as dealt with by Dembski in his books
> is not correct. While I was reading old messages that had come in from the
> list but that I did not have time to process earlier, I found an old note
> where you referenced several papers that discuss problems in his work. The
> short ones I read immediately but the 50 page discussion took somewhat longer
> and I just finished it today. I think I have three of Dembski's books. One
> was mostly an overview of the state of the ID world, and that one I finished.
> However the two books I have that talk about CSI... I never finished because
> my intuition said something was wrong but that I needed more statistics and
> info theory that I know or remember to figure out exactly// what//. In short
> I felt the material should have been peer reviewed if competent reviewers
> could be found that would ignore the ID conclusions that he draws or just the
> fact that he is associated with ID.
> Gregory quoted J Wells at the DI as saying that he did not read Dembski any
> more. I think I can affirm that as well.
> Dave W
> ps Chatin was a very interesting person or as some would put it wild man.
> /
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Received on Sat Dec 19 12:54:45 2009

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