Common Design and Information

Common design patterns are one of the indications of common ancestry.

That’s one possibility. The other is, obviously, a common designer. Common design has two handicaps: 1) the identification of where the information embedded in the design(s) originated, and 2) having sufficient time to randomly organize and get started in the first place.

A common designer that limits their designs to preexisting patterns and uses design patterns that could be improved by switching to a new design pattern. Not what I would call an intelligent designer, at least in human terms.

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You’re doing what is called “begging the question”, and then avoiding it altogether. Where did the information come from that informs the designs? It’s just not adequate to identify,say, the pattern of design similarities between the visual systems in a squid and a human. Any adequate evolutionary theory must identify where the information arose from that was then embedded in the common ancestor of the squid and human visual system, if that is, indeed, the contention of the theory. What was the process of its formation?
Since we know information doesn’t self-generate, how was this specific information generated?

Where does the information in the antibodies produced by your body come from? It is generated as needed. That is the way evolution works.


That “explanation” resembles the first. “That is the way evolution works.” Can you cite one definitive example of information being created by evolution? I mean the situation where there was not this information, and then, later, there was? I’m not talking about mutation.

Are you unaware of any gap-less progressions in the Cambrian record? What, if anything, is distinctive about the Cambrian record in your mind?

We discover “new” information all the time. But what’s “new” is only our awareness of it. It was there from time immemorial.

I did. The information in your own antibodies is created. Which I noticed you ignored.

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I’ll start with the letter A.

I have a die and roll it: it comes up substitution. Now I have a C, different from the original A.

Roll again. Addition. Now I have A, C, AB, and CB.

Roll again: deletion. B and C.

Duplication. B, C, BB and CC.

Substitution again. B. C, BB, CC, A, D, BD and AC.

Oh, look, AC means that thing that keeps your house cool. Do I need to keep going, or did you just see random chance evolve/create information?

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I’m afraid you haven’t adequately understood the meaning of “information”.

Having worked with computers for over 40 years I think I understand the meaning quite well. The antibodies your body creates don’t come from a stored recipe. The organization of these antibodies represents information. You yourself create information constantly. Which is why I have to laugh when someone says “information can’t be created.” Just sitting here typing you and I are both creating new information.

Would you care to address what people are saying in response to you instead of just implying we don’t understand what we are talking about?


@moderators - our friend @saludovencedores has started an interesting conversation that, in my opinion, deserves its own thread.

New thread started.

FYI, @saludovencedores, since there are multiple people involved in the discussion, if you reply to posts by clicking the “reply” button on the post itself (rather than the blue one at the bottom of the page), it will make it clearer who you’re replying to when you use the word “you.”
Thanks, and carry on!

Thanks for the link! I wasn’t very far into it before I came across this:

My understanding must really be inadequate, because I can’t figure out how coin flips are information but my imaginary die rolls are not. Perhaps you could explain it to me? You read the whole article before linking it, right?

In the meantime, I take it I do need to keep going.

AC is a real word, so it gets a reproduction bonus! Now we have B, C, BB, CC, A, D, BD, AC and AC.

Addition: B, C, BB, CC, A, D, BD, AC, AC, BA, CB, BBC, CCD, AA, DB, BDC, and ACD. Reproduction bonuses for AC and BBC!

Deletion: B, C, BB, CC, A, D, BD, AC, AC, AC, BA, CB, BBC, BBC, CCD, AA, DB, BDC, ACD, B, C, D, C, C, C, A, B, BC, BC, CD, A, B, DC, and CD. More reproduction bonuses: AC, BBC, DC, and CD. Gosh, what are the chances of creating meaningful words out of random letters?

More to the point, how far do you think I can go with this if I implement grammar bonuses and take out the non-words with a plague or two?

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Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the common design hypothesis is actually specifying what we would expect to find in either morphology (present day and historical in the fossil record) and in genomes. One example of this problem is that there is no conceivable way to falsify this hypothesis. The answer to any possible challenge is ‘God just made it that way because…’ One doesn’t even need to fill in the blank but you can put all kinds of things there. God made whales the way he did because he likes whales. Or to specifically quote Hugh Ross:

I believe that all these “transitional forms” for whales show up in the fossil record because God likes whales.

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The bit didn’t create itself. In your example, you did. And, it had semantic meaning “A” to you, it’s context. You do see how your recombinations are not information except to you (and others sharing the same contextual understanding of the components of the alphabet). And, darn it, it’s just not creating itself.


Which is why I have to laugh when someone says “information can’t be created.”

I didn’t say it can’t be created. I said it doesn’t create itself.

Okay. So if atoms get stuck together by the natural processes of the universe, is that information? How about if one compound causes a reaction in another compound, is that information?

If a single DNA/RNA base binds to an amino acid, is that information? If it binds to a neighboring DNA/RNA base, how about now? What if you get a hundred of them strung together? What if a sequence of amino acids gets strung together?

I think this conversation would benefit from some clarity about what exactly can and cannot count as information.

And I see the problem. You want to talk about meaning not information. Not the same thing.

So back to the antibodies. They have a created meaning that was not present initially. Just like evolution creates meaning (and therefore also information) where there was none before.

Technically random noise contains information which people find strange. And it can also contain meaning if you assign random noise to the absence of a meaningful message.

And if you want to now argue that meaning doesn’t create itself you have to address those pesky antibodies that create meaning all by their lonesome.

That could be better defined in my mind as well. A recent discussion addressed how DNA code was really not “language” but rather is better defined as chemical interaction, and I wonder if something similar is at work in defining information.

I think a common misunderstanding here is between information and agency. I see several questions/comments re: “what if this does that to the other” resulting in new information being created. Well, yeah. But the information created did not create itself. The agent did. I think that’s where the confusion is. Of course, it’s clear where the argument against such examples goes: “Where did the information providing for the agent come from?” Which can be deconstructed all the way down to first cause. So not a very profitable way to spend our time. But a very useful thought experiment, nonetheless.

The confusion stems from the way you want to use the word information. You can say the meaning is created by the agent. Can’t argue with that.

And this will be my last response if you refuse to address the question, where does the information, meaning, agency, or whatever you want to call it come from that generates the antibodies in your body?