Re: Not enough info for your brain (was Re: Dawkins video)

Stephen Jones (
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 22:05:31 +0800


On Tue, 16 Jun 1998 08:47:35 -0700 (PDT), Greg Billock wrote:


>>>mutation causes an information loss) studied signal/noise relationships in
>>>DNA as a Johns Hopkins fellow, and has published on the subject in the
>>>Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical biology.
>>Why is there no reference with this? No one can check him out if he
>>doesn't give references. It always gets me when people make statements that
>>can't be verified, like this above.
>Evidently JTMB split a dozen years ago or so. Now there are JTB and JMB,
>and Spetner has no publications in either for the past dozen years
>(or anywhere else in the ISI database, for that matter). It must have
>been before that.

The following publicatuions by Spetner are given in the References
section of his book (page 258):

Spetner, L. M. (1964). "Natural selection: an information-
transmission mechanism for evolution," Journal of Theoretical
Biology, vol. 7, pp. 412t419.

Spetner, L. M. (1966). "Mutation-the pacemaker of evolution,"
Proceedings 2nd International Congress on Biophysics, Vienna.

Spetner, L. M. (1968). "Information transmission in evolution," IEEE
Transactions on Information Theory, vol. IT-14, pp.3-6.

Spetner. L. M. (1970). "Natural selection versus gene uniqueness,"
Nature, vol. 226. pp. 9A8-949.


GB>Just as a final pedantic note in broadcast: information theory is
>concerned with ensembles of events/messages/arrangements, and not with
>less-well-defined ideas of complexity. If there is only one possibility
>for a message, it doesn't matter whether the message is 'BOO' or the
>entire Encyclopedia Brittanica; the information content is the same:
>zero. That doesn't make information theory outmoded and inadequate,
>it just means that if you are going to use it, you have to make an
>effort to specify the context of the transmission (source and sink),
>the statistics of the messages, and so forth.

This sounds like some of the things my son was saying. I showed it to
him and he agreed with it.


"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
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Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
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