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no reply needed... - December 18th, 2008, 02:51 PM

Silly?

Dan Styer said it would be silly for him to have clarified that he wasn't speaking about information entropy, or a dozen other kinds of entropy he mentions. However the entropy confusion that has most plagued the evolution debate is between information and heat; and Styer's AJP paper takes Henry Morris to task, and Morris is partly responsible for the decades of confusion within the debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer View Post
I want to present some of the other meanings of the word "entropy", to emphasize that it would have been silly to say that I'm not talking about each of them: information entropy, topological entropy, [etc.]
But Prof. Styer, this particular confusion is rampant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhy View Post
Enyart has shown that the confusion over entropy exists in both the evolutionist community and the Creationist community.
ThePhy quotes physicist Frank Lambert: "There is no more widespread error in chemistry and physics texts than the identification of a thermodynamic entropy increase with a change in the pattern of a group of macro objects." To which the Phy adds, "Lambert goes on to say that whatever information change may be in such rearrangements, it is not a change in thermodynamic entropy."

Quote:
Originally Posted by chair View Post
Bob Enyart is being very unreasonable… To expect [Styer] to unravel decades of confusion amongst creationists (or 'evolutionists'…)
And:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhy View Post
I absolutely concur [with Stout and Enyart?] that such clarification is to be commended.
Agreed Phy! And in this One on One there are other examples of the specific confusion between information and heat entropy. I assume that Professor Styer agrees that such clarification should be commended.

Colorful

Certainly TOL benefits from having a colorful physicist like ThePhy on the boards (Phy football analogy; Phy boxing analogy). When Prof. Styer started posting, ThePhy wrote (and I must admit, he cracked me up):

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhy View Post
Dan - fair warning. I think you have stepped in it now.

One thing Reverend Enyart delights in is getting scientists with name recognition to respond to him.
To which the professor cheerfully (and humbly) replied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer View Post
Well I'm safe, then, because I have no name recognition!
To which ThePhy replied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhy View Post
Perhaps before, but not now. Whether you like it or not, in authoring your seminal paper you have joined the ranks of a small cadre of very influential scientists in the Creationism – evolution debate. You paper is generating a lot of attention in many forums like this. It has passed out of your hands now.


-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com





The Bob Enyart Live talk show airs at KGOV.com weekdays at 5 pm E.T. Also, same time, same station, check out Theology Thursday (.com) and on Fridays, Real Science Radio (.com) a.k.a. rsr.org. All shows are available 24/7 and you can call us at at 1-800-8Enyart.
   
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Johnny and Prof. Styer: I've just read Prof. Styer's 2000 AJP paper... - December 18th, 2008, 06:35 PM

Johnny, I wouldn't be so quick to ask Professor Styer to take your place. Before I quote from his article of a decade ago, look at the resistance to discussing this problem from two physicists, Dan Styer and ThePhy (hi Phy):

Confusion On Top Of Confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhy View Post
the real irony is that in this debate Enyart himself recently said in the 1-on-1 (and Styer picked up on this):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Entropy has to do with the move from order to disorder in any organized system, whether it is organized by energy states, ergonomics (arrangement of utensils in your kitchen, etc), aesthetic values, information content, etc.
Thermodynamic entropy in fact has nothing to do with most of the things in this list.
No kidding Phy!! This is getting amusing. I'm arguing that there are different kinds of entropy: thermo, ergo, info, etc., and both Styer and ThePhy are confused that the list I present are not all thermo? The confusion (or rivalry) must run deep.

1) There is a broad concept of entropy that encompasses differing fields including information, physics, and even sociology (see Jeremy Rifkin's Entropy: A New World View).
2) There is heat entropy which can be considered a consequence of the 2nd Law (a law not relevant to certain other fields that experience the broad concept of entropy).
Therefore, the broad concept of entropy is NOT a consequence of the 2nd Law.

There is evidence, though it is far from proven, that the broad concept of entropy is an attribute that permeates disparate aspects of objective reality. Eventually I expect this will be widely known.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
Bob Enyart goes on to say
Entropy has to do with the move from order to disorder in any organized system, whether it is organized by energy states, ergonomics (arrangement of utensils in your kitchen, etc), aesthetic values, information content, etc.
This is very false.
I believe Dan Styer says this is false for two reasons:
* because he is resisting the notion that the last three items are non-thermo, and
* because he is well-known for publishing 10 years ago in AJP that 'disorder' is not a perfect analogy or definition for heat entropy but rather: "I suggest an additional simile, namely 'entropy as freedom,' which is to be used not by itself but only in conjunction with 'entropy as disorder.'"

So Prof. Styer, instead of saying, "This is very false," you could have said, "Given the clear need for an intuition concerning entropy," [as you wrote 10 years ago] I would agree to your description of the broad concept of entropy if you include my concept of "entropy as freedom" in your causal description.

Then Professor Styer wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
My paper "Insight into Entropy" (also in American Journal of Physics) is devoted to overturning this misconception.
Prof. Styer, I just read your Insight into Entropy article. It deals ONLY WITH thermodynamic entropy. It has interesting examples of thermodynamic entropy, it laments the difficulty of developing fully accurate metaphors for entropy, and it gives great illustrations (gas, poker hands) for the reader to try to understand statistical concepts related to thermodynamic entropy.

Professor Styer, your paper does not even mention information entropy. After ten years, if you haven't recently re-read your paper, you may have been recalling the following four out of your 33 footnotes, which do mention information. But I don't think you would want to maintain that these four references amount to your:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
paper "Insight into Entropy" [being] devoted to overturning this misconception.
Here are your four statements, and the references that followed them which contain your footnote-only references to "information" in your Dec. 2000 AJP paper:

* "Even von Neumann[1] claimed that 'nobody really knows what entropy is anyway,'" from your footnote #1: "Oral remark by John von Neumann to Claude Shannon, recalled by Shannon. See page 354 of Myron Tribus, ‘‘Information theory and thermodynamics,’’ in Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and Education.
* "The qualitative character of entropy has been discussed widely,[2–13] from your footnote #6: "Harvey S. Leff and Andrew F. Rex, Eds., Maxwell’s Demon: Entropy, Information, Computing."
* "The qualitative character of entropy has been discussed widely,[2–13] from your footnote #11: "J. Machta, 'Entropy, information, and computation,' Am. J. Phys. 67, 1074–1077 ~1999."
* "Gibbs[14] mentioned 'entropy as mixed-up-ness.' Images such as these can be useful and important, but if taken too literally they can confuse as well as enlighten, and when misused[15,16] they can result in simple error," from your footnote #16: "Duane T. Gish, Creation Scientists Answer their Critics @sic# ~Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1993!. An Appendix contribution by D. R. Boylan seeks to split entropy into the usual entropy which is 'due to random effects' and a different sort of entropy related to the 'order or information in the system' ~p. 429."

Professor Styer, your 2000 AJP paper can't be devoted to a topic that it does not mention, and is clearly not devoted to addressing the confusion between information and heat entropy. Rather, your paper seeks to find improved metaphors to help us get a better intuitive understanding of ONLY thermodynamic entropy, which is the only subject of your paper.

Please join those of us trying to clear up the confusion of heat and information entropy!

-Pastor Bob Enyart
Denver Bible Church & KGOV.com





The Bob Enyart Live talk show airs at KGOV.com weekdays at 5 pm E.T. Also, same time, same station, check out Theology Thursday (.com) and on Fridays, Real Science Radio (.com) a.k.a. rsr.org. All shows are available 24/7 and you can call us at at 1-800-8Enyart.

Last edited by Bob Enyart; December 18th, 2008 at 06:55 PM..
   
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December 18th, 2008, 06:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Johnny, I think I've noticed a first! You, taking advice from a creationist! And from Stripe of all people?
I acknowledge good advice at every opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Johnny, say it isn't so. I hope you are not quitting! OF COURSE Prof. Styer would defend himself (unless one day he agrees that he unintentionally furthered the entropy confusion). I am criticizing what Prof. Styer wrote. You agreed to answer the Yes/No questions presented to you a few posts back. You haven't done so. Please don't use Stripe's suggestion as an excuse to quit. If Dan Styer wants to debate me in a TOL One on One on evolution, on entropy, or on whether his paper furthers the confusion, I would be honored to enter such a debate. But please don't use that as an excuse to bail out.
I'm never one to shy away from a debate. I'm simply suggesting that perhaps it's a bit silly to continue arguing over what someone meant when they have now offered their own clarification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
p.s. Johnny, if you're now willing to consider suggestions from creationists , let me make one. You might want to use what I see as the most substantive point that Prof. Styer has added to the debate so far, which comes while he's disputing one of my points, saying in the Discussion Thread Post 98: "The microwave background is not 'far, far away' ... it's right here. We're immersed in it."
It is a good point that I had not considered.

Moving onwards (or backwards) to your previous posts,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Questions: Regarding Confusion That May Actually Result from Styer's Article
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q1: If degreed and leading evolutionists openly use Styer's article to dismiss information entropy challenges, would you concede and say that is an indication that Styer should have clarified for them the differences to avoid furthering their confusion?
No. These degreed and leading evolutionists need to correct their own understandings of the clear principles Styer presented. Styer was absolutely clear, as you acknowledged when you said "Yes, the opening sentence does provide that thermodynamics context." Criticizing a writer for not being absolutely redundant in clarification is not an impressive argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
But because he writes of "Entropy and evolution" after decades of both sides of the debate confusing heat and information, he should have clarified.
He did. It's in the first sentence of the paper. That's really the end of the discussion. Styer was sufficiently clear, and any misunderstanding is simply the fault of the reader. You're defending a ridiculous position for the sake of defending a position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q2: If eventually evolutionists widely use Styer's article to dismiss even information entropy challenges, would you concede and say that he should have titled his paper "Thermodynamic Entropy and Evolution," and should have explicitly stated that his calculations do not apply to the creationist argument regarding information entropy?
No. This is simply question #1 repackaged. If Calvinist's widely use the Bible to dismiss the open theist's position, would you concede and say that God should have explicitly stated that he does not know the entire future? You can substitute anything into this position. If leading Nazi's widely used Darwin's origin of species to justify their genocide, would you concede that Darwin should have explicitely stated that his work is not a moral compass? Misinterpretations and misapplications are not the fault of the writer, as long as the writer has been sufficiently clear. Syter, as you admit, offered explicit clarification in his opening sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q3: This TOL One on One debate has already led some studied creationists to admit to me that they had never before clearly distinguished information and heat entropy. Of a thousand evolutionists who discuss creation, do you think a significant percentage might confuse heat and information entropy?
I have no way of assessing this, but I would assume so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q4: Regarding evolutionists who have never distinguished between heat and information entropy who read LSoL's opening post on Styer's article, or PZ Myer's column, or Styer's paper itself for that matter, none of which make the info/heat distinction, do you think a significant number might easily assume that Styer has completely refuted evolution's entropy challenge?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q5: Even though you maintain that Styer did not add to the confusion that blurs heat and information with his Entropy and Evolution paper that is sure to be widely referenced in the ongoing creation debate, do you agree that his article did nothing to help clarify entropy confusion?
Yes -- with exception to the fact that he referenced a few excellent resources on just what thermodynamic entropy is. Styer had a very specific purpose to his paper which was stated clearly in the opening paragraphs. It's a bit silly to fault someone for not writing about something they never intended to write about, don't you think? Perhaps I should write the editor's of the well-known "Harrison's Principles of Medicine" sitting beside me and criticize them for not clearing up some of the ambiguous pseudo-scientific medical misconceptions people have. Yes, the book is about medicine. Yes, there are many medical misconceptions. No, their purpose was not to clear up medical misconceptions. Yes, Styer's paper is about thermodynamic entropy and evolution. Yes, there may be many misconceptions about thermodynamic and information entropy. Not, his purpose was not to clarify the difference between thermodynamic entropy and information entropy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q6: If I can show that Styer included information increase in his article, would my criticism that he furthered the confusion between heat and information entropy be more tenable?
No, unless he used the two interchangeably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
In your latest post you disapprove of my reference to your bias. So to help me and the reader confirm whether or not you (or other evolutionists) have a bias that prevents you from criticizing evolutionists who further the confusion regarding information and heat entropy, I'd like to ask you about a topic we've clashed on before:
I have no problem criticizing evolutionists who further the confusion. Styer is not one of them, however, because to any educated person he already clarified the type of entropy in the first sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q7: Considering that an organism is defined biologically by its genetic content, would you agree that a primary aspect of "single-cell to man" evolution would be "an increase in information?"
This question is too ambiguous to answer. What do you mean "defined biologically"? What does "genetic content" mean -- are you talking about # of genes, # of base pairs, or what? Is the number of genes roughly equivalent to the amount of information in a genome? These all need to be defined before I can answer your question to the best of my ability.

To give you an example of why this question is difficult, consider the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. It has one of the smallest genomes of all plants -- about 115 million base pairs. Compare this to the human genome which has over 3 billion base pairs. However, even though this plant has a tiny genome compared with humans, it contains nearly 25,000 genes. The human genome contains somewhere between 20,000 to 25,000 genes. Which genome contains more information?

Which sentence contains more information:
“John went to the store”
or
“At some time in the past, John went to the store”

Both sentences convey the same idea. One sentence used more words. Do they contain the same amount of information?

What about:
“John went to the store to buy apples.”
or
“John went to the gas station to fill his tires with air”

The sentences are conveying different ideas, with varying amounts of words. Now how do we compare which sentence contains more information?

Hopefully now you're seeing the difficulty of talking about the information content of the genome and whether or not one genome contains more information than the other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q8: Would you agree that a primary aspect of Darwinian origin of species would be "an increase in information?"
No. I will agree there has been likely been a trend in the direction of increasing information as a function of time. That's not a primary aspect of Darwinian evolution, it's just the way things turned out (just like water running downhill isn't a primary feature of water. It's not what defines water -- it's just the way water interacts with gravity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q9: Would you agree that two years ago when you posted on TOL that "Evolution is not about 'an increase in information,'" and you were then pressed to retract that statement," and instead you dug in, "Quote me if you like. I stand 100% by my statement,” and Fred Williams and I discussed your comment on a Real Science Friday radio program, do you agree that as you draw your own conclusions, you have to guard against a heavy evolutionary bias that downplays information's role in biology?
There is no downplaying of the role of information in biology or evolution. Evolutionists don't have a problem with the idea that the information contained in a population's genome can increase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q10: Johnny, as I wonder about our disagreement, I realize that if you do not think there is an extraordinary gulf between the nature of information and the nature of energy, you might be disinclined to charge a fellow evolutionist with blurring the distinction. So to verify your understanding, do you agree that there is an extraordinary gulf between the nature of information and the nature of matter?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
EE1on1-BE-Q11: Even in YOUR OWN defense of Styer's supposed listing of two creationist misconceptions, EVEN YOU did not list the two claimed misconceptions! I'm beginning to see this as an intellectual temper tantrum. Johnny, since Styer never listed two creationist misconceptions, neither in the argument he described previously nor in the two bullets following, and since YOU DID NOT EITHER in your latest post (#10), can you now admit that he simply forgot to include them in his paper and that the American Journal of Physics peer review process did not prevent that minor instance of poor writing from being published?
I did not realize that second order thinking was beyond the capabilities of many of the creationists here. I'm being serious. If this is troublesome reading then there is a problem.

Styer writes in regards to "two misconceptions":
"Disorder is a metaphor for entropy, not a definition for entropy."
Now, Bob, honestly, do you REALLY have trouble figuring out what the misconception is? Do you really need it spelled out in a direct sentence for you? Because in all honesty very little brain power is required to arrive at the misconception: “Disorder is a definition of entropy”. Consider it in the context of the statement by by Dr Morris who finds it "...obvious that the Second Law of Thermodynamics constitutes a serious problem to the evolution model” because “every system left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder."
Although the entropy of the universe increases with time, the entropy of any part of the universe can decrease with time, so long as that decrease is compensated by an even larger increase in some other part of the universe.
Once again, do you really have trouble understanding what the misconception is?

Moving away from the questions for a few minutes, you write

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Johnny, will you join me? I'm calling on creationists and evolutionists to make the distinction between heat and information wherever such are easily confused.
How about instead of catering to the “confused” by calling on those who know better to dumb down their language, we instead call on those who are “confused” to correct their ignorance? Wouldn't that be more prudent? I would want someone to do that for me. When I first started medical school I didn't call on the medical community to dumb their language down so as to avoid any confusion on my behalf, I bought a medical dictionary so I could understand their language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
So will you join me and call on creationists and evolutionists to stop confusing thermodynamics and information?
Sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Johnny, I'd even offer to conclude this TOL One on One with a draw if you would reply stating: Yes, it would have helped reduce the widespread confusion over entropy if Styer had clarified that his paper did not deal with information entropy.
It would have helped reduce the widespread confusion elementary school students have between the words “their” “there” and “they're” if you had clarified as to each definition each time you used any of the above. In fact, it would have helped clarify the confusion non-English speakers have with your post had you extensively clarified the context and definition of each word (in their native language, of course) of every sentence you typed. In the same way, it would have helped reduce the widespread confusion over entropy had Styer redundantly clarified that his paper dealt strictly with thermodynamic entropy. You see my point through these extreme examples, hopefully. If someone wants to read a paper, it is their responsibility to ensure they understand the topic and/or language of the paper. Styer did his part: in the opening paragraphs he (1) noted that he was addressing the old Henry Morris argument, (2) clarified that he was referencing the second law of thermodynamics, and (3) by extension clarified that he was talking about thermodynamic entropy, and (4) gave ample references to papers that extensively explore the concept of thermodynamic entropy. As you said in your second to last post, “Two things can hardly be more different than information and energy (see the p.s. in my last post)...” You should understand, then, why an expert writing a paper in a physics journal did not feel the need to redundantly clarify that he was talking about thermodynamic entropy only.

As to just what Styer was saying, or trying to say, or what concepts he confused – he is now with us to answer these questions. I think it's a bit silly to engage in such speculations any further. It should be noted, however, that Styer has confirmed much of what I've argued.

On to a few other random things,

You claim to give us an example of “...the misuse, blurring, and confusion between information and thermodynamics among evolutionists, and flowing from Styer's paper, that I'm trying to expose.” Your example is ThePhy's response to Stripe's question. The discussion went as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe
The challenge to evolution is that there is no known means by which sunlight, or any energy, can be turned into information without intelligent guidance.
ThePhy responds,
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhy
Outside what the Styer paper addresses.
To which you comment,
”Phy indicated that: there are no known unintelligent means by which energy can be turned into information other than the means addressed by Styer.

Of course, Styer did not address ANY means of turning energy into information. Stripe was attempting clarifying the difference bewteen the two issues, Phy wrongly conflated them.”
I'm going to go out on a limb here, but (maybe it's that second order thinking) if you mentally insert the words “That is” in front of ThePhy's response, you'll get a better picture of what he was saying.

If you'd like to argue with Dan Styer by posting responses in this thread, then perhaps it would be best for you to contact Knight and have Knight replace myself with Dan in this thread so you two can talk without interruption.

In summary of this entire thread: You admit that Styer was clear that he was talking about thermodynamic entropy, but you continue to criticize him for not clarifying what he was not talking about. Maybe for our sake you could clarify what you're not talking about.





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Bias Demonstration - December 19th, 2008, 01:00 PM

Johnny, thank you for being direct with so many of your answers! I have enjoyed talking with you. And Professor Styer, it is an honor for you to help clarify matters in the Discussion Thread! Our One on One ends tonight!

Johnny's Monetary and Medical Illustrations

You mentioned that entropy, like a "dollar bill", is fungible (although I maintain that money is far more fungible than entropy because of my growing insistence that the entropy exchange has to be local, i.e., there can be no entropic magic black box on Planet FFTE overcompensating for evolution on Earth, and I think Dan Styer's "other piece of the universe" comment is unintentionally misleading). But I digress. Regarding money, I want to quote Real Science Friday co-host Fred Williams about mutations being the supposed primary source of change for evolution, even though they are overwhelmingly destructive, or neutral, or even fatal: "is like the merchant who loses a little on every sale, but he's hoping to make it up in volume."

You mentioned your copy of Harrison's Principles of Medicine and said you wouldn't "criticize them for not clearing up some... medical misconceptions people have." What if a journal article on catching a cold and sleeping under a chilly breeze reported that it is the rhinovirus and other germs that often trigger a cold, and not a breeze, and they ended there. Then a million grandmothers would wonder, why then, do they recall so many times that their kids and grandkids DID catch a cold coincident with sleeping in a chill? If the article did not consider whether the cold breeze can tax the body's resources and lower its ability to fight germs that are often in plentiful supply, then the paper may be guilty of an ivory tower effect, doing too little investigation and thereby furthering the confusion by ignoring what is really happening in the world around them, until someone comes along and looks more carefully at the matter.

Last Word (?) on that Missing Misconception

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, that you are committed, no one can show otherwise.

Earlier you had denied that the two misconceptions were supposed to be listed in Dan Styer's two bullet points, and claimed they were lurking somewhere in the preceding text. But Professor Styer kindly clarified when he replied, "It's obvious that the two misconceptions were the two bullet points." Yes, I thought so too . Johnny, you couldn't find them even when looking so carefully!

I pointed out that NOT EVEN YOU Johnny had listed Dan's two misconception (Professor Styer was happy to have us use his first name), and you reply by S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G … I-T … O-U-T as clearly as you can, but then you only listed ONE MISCONCEPTION and not two! Good grief! With my correction in brackets, this time you went with this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
Styer writes in regards to "two misconceptions":
"Disorder is a metaphor..."
Now, Bob, honestly, do you REALLY have trouble figuring out what the [SINGULAR??] misconception is? ...very little brain power is required to arrive at the [SINGULAR???] misconception... do you really have trouble understanding what the [SINGULAR????] misconception is?
Good grief Johnny, I've misunderestimated you! I'm done with the missing misconceptions. Dan Styer himself has now said that the two misconceptions should be "obvious," but I think he'll have readers who will be unsure of what part of his second bullet implies the inferred misconception. We've beat this dead horse so long that if it weren't for the law of biogenesis a thousand organisms would arise from its decaying corpse just to escape.

Evidence of Evolutionist Hesitancy to Deal with Information

Johnny, I submit to you and to the reader that your answer to my Question 7 is a dramatic example of evolutionists being extremely biased against open consideration of matters regarding information. Your worthwhile examples of going to the store to buy a plant with a small genome (or… something like that ) notwithstanding, it is only obfuscation for you to ask whether we're talking about numbers of genes, or base pairs, because you could answer this question for either (would that be a pair of genes? ) or for both, and regardless, the answer would have been the same:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Q7: Considering that an organism is defined biologically by its genetic content, would you agree that a primary aspect of "single-cell to man" evolution would be "an increase in information?"
And you answer:

"This question is too ambiguous to answer."

Aye yay yay yay yay.

So, you say you don't know what I mean "that an organism is defined biologically by its genetic content?" Aye yay yay.

Johnny, did you want to answer this question, or did you only want to obfuscate? You demonstrate that evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information. While we speak of carbon-based life forms, I assert that while biological life is carbon-based, yet to a much greater degree life is "information-based." And I think evolutionists know that, and they intuitively recognize that information is not physical, and so when advocating Darwinism they avoid or confuse the challenge of information increase, which would have to go uphill against natural information entropy.

Johnny wrote, again with my clarification in brackets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
Hopefully now you're seeing the difficulty of talking about the information content of [a single cell] and whether or not [Homo sapiens] contains more information than the other.
No. I can't see that. You can only arrive at that answer by obfuscation.

So you dig in even further and write that: "increasing information [is] not a primary aspect of Darwinian evolution."

Bias demonstration complete.

Every religion has its martyrs. Someone has to take the hit. And Johnny, here you took one for the team. But because God created life in all its awesome splendor, you're "taking it" for the wrong team.

Finally, you answered "No" to this question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Q1: If degreed and leading evolutionists openly use Styer's article to dismiss information entropy challenges, would you concede and say that is an indication that Styer should have clarified for them the differences to avoid furthering their confusion?
Johnny: "No."

Okay. Thanks for being direct!

-Bob Enyart
KGOV.com





The Bob Enyart Live talk show airs at KGOV.com weekdays at 5 pm E.T. Also, same time, same station, check out Theology Thursday (.com) and on Fridays, Real Science Radio (.com) a.k.a. rsr.org. All shows are available 24/7 and you can call us at at 1-800-8Enyart.

Last edited by Bob Enyart; December 19th, 2008 at 10:06 PM.. Reason: dead horse
   
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Apology to ThePhy: I misunderstood your comment to Stripe - December 19th, 2008, 01:49 PM

I wrongly accused ThePhy of conflating heat and information in a reply of his to Stripe. I apologize to ThePhy. Correcting my misunderstanding of what ThePhy wrote to TOL's Stripe, Johnny wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
…if you mentally insert the words "That is" in front of ThePhy's response, you'll get a better picture of what he was saying.
OK, I understand and I apologize to ThePhy for misunderstanding his comment. I see that Phy meant, "That subject is" outside what Styer was writing about. I thought he was asserting, about Stripe's missing mechanism to convert energy into information:

You mean outside of what Styer addresses, as though he was claiming that Styer had indeed addressed such mechanisms.

I'm sorry Phy.

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December 19th, 2008, 02:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Johnny, thank you for being direct with so many of your answers! I have enjoyed talking with you.
I have enjoyed it as well. As most people I debate with will attest, I have nothing to hide and I am always as direct with my answers as possible. To me, it is very important to understand the implication's of one's own position, and often time those implications are best drawn out by someone else's questioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Regarding money, I want to quote Real Science Friday co-host Fred Williams about mutations being the supposed primary source of change for evolution, even though they are overwhelmingly destructive, or neutral, or even fatal: "is like the merchant who loses a little on every sale, but he's hoping to make it up in volume."
That's another topic, as you well understand, but the key difference between evolution and your analogy is that evolution only has to win a little every once in a rare while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
You mentioned your copy of Harrison's Principles of Medicine and said you wouldn't "criticize them for not clearing up some... medical misconceptions people have." What if a journal article on catching a cold and sleeping under a chilly breeze reported that it is the rhinovirus and other germs that often trigger a cold, and not a breeze, and they ended there. Then a million grandmothers would wonder, why then, do they recall so many times that their kids and grandkids DID catch a cold coincident with sleeping in a chill? If the article did not consider whether the cold breeze can tax the body's resources and lower its ability to fight germs that are often in plentiful supply, then the paper may be guilty of an ivory tower effect, doing too little investigation and thereby furthering the confusion by ignoring what is really happening in the world around them, until someone comes along and looks more carefully at the matter.
My entire point with that analogy was that a book, or paper, or whatever, is always written with intent -- and criticizing someone's intent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
Earlier you had denied that the two misconceptions were supposed to be listed in Dan Styer's two bullet points, and claimed they were lurking somewhere in the preceding text. But Professor Styer kindly clarified when he replied, "It's obvious that the two misconceptions were the two bullet points." Yes, I thought so too . Johnny, you couldn't find them even when looking so carefully!
This is kind of getting old, and just like when you misunderstood ThePhy, your lack of careful reading is perhaps the culprit here.

The two misconceptions are lurking in the preceding text. They're in the argument Dr. Morris presented, and they're in the subsequent summarized creationist argument just prior to the words "This argument rests upon two misconceptions about entropy." That sentence means that the prior argument contains two misconceptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
I pointed out that NOT EVEN YOU Johnny had listed Dan's two misconception (Professor Styer was happy to have us use his first name), and you reply by S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G … I-T … O-U-T as clearly as you can, but then you only listed ONE MISCONCEPTION and not two! Good grief!
The second one was left as an exercise to you or the reader. You note that I use a singular form of misconception, that's because I was referencing only the first misconception. That's probably due to sloppy writing on my behalf.

Just so we're insanely clear here:
Misconception #1: Disorder is a definition of entropy.
Misconception #2: The entropy of a system must increase with time.

As you note, this horse is beat.

Regarding my bias against information:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Johnny, I submit to you and to the reader that your answer to my Question 7 is a dramatic example of evolutionists being extremely biased against open consideration of matters regarding information...

Johnny, did you want to answer this question, or did you only want to obfuscate? You demonstrate that evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information...

So you dig in even further and write that: "increasing information [is] not a primary aspect of Darwinian evolution."...

Every religion has its martyrs. Someone has to take the hit. And Johnny, here you took one for the team. But because God created life in all its awesome splendor, you're "taking it" for the wrong team...
My answer to question #7 was direct and honest. Information is a very difficult topic, and given that you didn't attempt to answer the questions I posed in my response (perhaps so as to avoid furthering the point of the illustrations), I think you saw the point of my response.

However, I do want to refute your position that "...evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information..."

Evolutionists have no problem with the idea that the information content in the genome can increase. That's part of what natural selection can explain. Just like you, evolutionists marvel at the complexity and organization of life. To claim that evolutionists can't deal forthrightly with the subject is silly -- there are entire books devoted to the subject written by evolutionists! There are also a ton of papers on the same subject. Here's some good papers regarding the subject that evolutionists can't deal forthrightly with:

Schneider, T. D., 2000. Evolution of biological information. Nucleic Acids Research 28(14): 2794-2799

Decadt, Y. JG, 2000. On the origin and impact of information in evolution (available online)

Adami, C., Ofria, C. & Collier, T.C., 2000. Evolution of biological complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 97(9): 4463-4468.

and two boks:

Information Theory and Evolution by John Avery

Information theory, evolution, and the origin of life by Hubert Yockey

Thus, I don't think your position that evolutionists "...evolutionists have a bias against dealing forthrightly with the concept of information..." is very supportable position.

It's been fun discussing this with you Bob. As expected, little is resolved between us, but hopefully we stimulated some thought!





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December 19th, 2008, 04:53 PM

Just a reminder that I will close this One on One tonight at midnight (MDT), therefore if you have any last thoughts please post them before then. Thanks again to Johnny and Bob for a fun discussion.





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A squid, the CMB, and a magical entropic black box on Planet FFTE - December 19th, 2008, 11:36 PM

Johnny, I know this won't surprise you but, I wasn't agreeing earlier when I stated that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
The most substantive point that Prof. Styer has added to the debate so far, which comes while he's disputing one of my points, saying in the Discussion Thread Post 98: "The microwave background is not 'far, far away' ... it's right here. We're immersed in it."
I'm about to dispute that. But first, regarding my point about the importance of the locality of the entropy exchange (that it must be "nearby" as Patterson indicated), you wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
Entropy can be thought of similarly. In theory, causal chains do exist in energy transformations (as in the bank, your money did physically go somewhere -- but it's inconsequential…)
And:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
So no, Styer did not overstate his case when he said that "the entropy of any part of the universe can decrease with time, so long as that decrease is compensated by an even larger increase in some other part of the universe."
And Dan Styer (if you are still reading, and it's been an honor to have you involved and I certainly don't expect that you are following this till the end, but… just in case), I think you were being a bit too hard on me complaining about my phrase, "fluctuation of entropy," as you wrote, "I have never in my life used the term 'fluctuation of entropy' because I've never understood what it meant," whereas your 2008 AJP paper has the heading: "Entropy Flux Through The Earth." That's what I meant.

And you wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
On 5 December 2008 Bob Enyart said that my paper on "Entropy and Evolution" claims that:
evolution on earth can appear to violate the 2nd Law locally because a decrease in entropy as a squid evolves in the sea is offset by a fluctuation of entropy in a galaxy far, far away.
In fact, I never said this, nor anything like it.
Johnny made the exact objection, and I quoted your words to him with my added brackets:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
If entropy here on Earth [locally] is decreasing [i.e., appears to violate the 2nd law] due to evolution, where is the other piece of the universe [a galaxy far, far away] where the entropy is increasing?
Dan then objected to my characterization with these three points:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
1. The phrase "to violate the 2nd Law [of thermodynamics] locally" has no meaning….
2. I have never in my life used the term "fluctuation of entropy" because I've never understood what it meant.
3. My paper shows that the decrease in entropy as a squid evolves in the sea can be offset by an increase in the entropy of the microwave background. The microwave background is not "far, far away" ... it's right here. We're immersed in it.
I hope I've already shown your first two objects here unnecessary. Now I realize this is daring, but I'm going to disagree with you also on your third point.

The microwave background is far away, and we, here on Earth's surface, and certainly a would-be evolving squid, in the sea, we are not immersed in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). We're not.

First, the temperature of the CMB is 2.7 Kelvin whereas the temperature of the Earth is 248 K.

Second, and please excuse me for using a Wikipedia article for this, but it's quick and I'm running out of time. The CMB is viewed as "the space between stars and galaxies (the background)" and it has "a faint background glow, almost exactly the same in all directions, that is not associated with any star, galaxy, or other object.

And Dan, YOU YOURSELF WROTE in the very AJP paper we're debating:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer
The Sun heats the Earth… The Earth radiates electromagnetic radiation… into outer space, where it eventually joins the cosmic microwave background.
Thou protesteth too much , you and Johnny, to my characterization of your paper, that it misleads readers to believe that:
evolution on earth can appear to violate the 2nd Law locally because a decrease in entropy as a squid evolves in the sea is offset by a fluctuation of entropy in a galaxy far, far away.
And I've been stressing that nearby-ness and adjacency of the entropy exchange regarding any supposed evolution because I think it will help when people think more clearly and prevent them from imagining a magical entropic black box on Planet FFTE that somehow offsets ientropy, i.e., information entropy, here on Earth!

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only once in a rare while: written for Dan's paper, now re-written for Johnny - December 19th, 2008, 11:39 PM

Johnny, I'll stand up in this debate for the Creator for as long as these fingers can type… or at least until Knight closes this thread . You wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
…evolution only has to win a little every once in a rare while.
OK, I've been DYING FOR THIS OPENING FOR TWO WEEKS! (I feel like a prosecutor and Johnny has just opened the door to cross examination on information entropy...!)



:







Once in a rare while? There are more than a million interrelated species to evolve, each with millions of supposed changes in amino acid pairs. Just for a three-foot Australopithecus afarensis ape with inner ear balance support for knuckle-walking to evolve into a human being with our upright stature (and a thousand other differences), would require millions of randomly-generated mutations then replicating through the entire population, and all that in just a few million years? Rare? Slow? So slow we can’t discern it? Scientists are monitoring a million species and we should see dramatic Darwinian breakthroughs in plants and animals every year, not unlike if we were watching a single species for one million years. And you wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
Evolutionists have no problem with the idea that the information content in the genome can increase. That's part of what natural selection can explain.
Natural selection cannot select anything until it exists. And the googols of permutations of amino acid pairs in the quadrillions of eventually viable base pairs of the DNA information banks of all living species would need googols of eons of millions of years to occur by random chance before natural selection could even begin an attempt to select those variations.

The Bob Enyart Live staff commissioned this diagram from Denver Bible Church member Apryl List as an illustration of one of the tiniest design hurdles that Darwinism faces in overcoming its challenge of information entropy, and I just re-wrote the text below that expounds on this:



Let’s assume evolution is true, and go back to when the development of the environ of the eye had been coming along well. I'm not a biologist or anatomist but have looked at the eye's Trochlea and can see that to continue progressing, the evolving system had a need to re-route a muscle that helps rotate the eyeball. In order to rotate the eye downward, say to look where you’re walking, the muscle that's attached to its top had to overcome a minor technical challenge. Whether there were too many muscles needing access to too many structures in too small a space, or simply to improve the angle of attachment, this muscle would work best by traversing an indirect route:



Today we call this muscle the Superior Oblique. Back then, before the re-routing, the skull at a point near the frontal bone for no reason began to randomly mutate (over centuries, or millennia) and a defect began to form. But it turns out that the defect was a base in a place that would turn out to be in just the right location that permitted a further defect to form, in the shape of a loop, which we now call a Trochlea. The Superior Oblique, having no intention to re-route itself through the Trochlea (in fact, having no intention of any kind), begins by random mutation to in fact re-route itself, threading itself through the Trochlea. However, the eye muscles have a wide shape more like a belt than a cord, and a cord-shape would function better just for the portion of the muscle threaded through the Trochlea, so the nerve modified itself into a cord shape just along the section adjacent to the Trochlea. In the end, the re-route provided relief to muscular overcrowding in the orbit and significantly improved one of the angles of attachment:



Yes, this design change required hundreds of random mutations to occur. They had to happen somewhat simultaneously (in epochal terms) and coordinated between different tissue types and systems (nerves, skull, cartilage, muscles), in order to re-route and thread this muscle through the Trochlea sling and then back to the eyeball. Of course this had to happen without the overall system possessing any goal whatsoever of accomplishing that task, and even without any awareness that there even is a task of re-routing a muscle to be accomplished. And symmetry being as useful as it is, whatever design improvements develop, they’d have to be replicated to function the same for both eyeballs, and inverted. And all of these developments must begin as random changes, yes, but NOT EVEN to the Superior Oblique itself, that would be challenging enough. But before natural selection can favor a re-routed tendon, these random changes must hit the correct thousands of amino acids, out of billions, without ANY pressure or tendency to aim at, or hit, i.e., mutate by random chance and targeting, the correctly corresponding acids:



So the mutations must occur, not in the eye muscles, bones, cartilage (the only cartilage in the skull's eyeball cavity by the way) or nerves, but they must occur on the nucleotide rungs on the DNA ladder! Even though this muscle was enduring increasingly poor working conditions, of needing more space and a better angle from which to operate, by Darwinism, those factors could have absolutely no bearing on any random changes to the amino acid rungs of the double helix.

How many amino acid pairs (rungs) are there in the human double helix DNA molecule? Three billion. That's the equivalent of text characters in average-sized books in a library of 4,000 titles in its stacks. Evolutionists make fun of creationists saying that we argue from incredulity, but with every utterance they should look in the mirror and realize that they have taken the reverse approach, and exercise seemingly infinite credulity. Believing almost anything is not the mark of a skeptical scientist. Imagine that all the genetic changes for re-routing of the Superior Oblique are almost complete, and there remain only five rungs of the DNA ladder to be altered, and then the Trochlea system will function! So at this point, random chance mutations must hit the five correct letters in the correct stacks in the correct books on the correct pages in the correct lines in the correct words, all by random chance, and then at that point they have to make the proper changes to the existing acids. Not in the muscle, but in here:



Natural Selection gets its shot at this only AFTER random mutations bring about the improved functionality from the sling.



This muscle's routing requirement is only one of millions of sophisticated random design changes that must occur in a Darwinian development of the vision system. How much more complex than the routing of a cord is the overall system? The complexity of developing vision like that shared by primates and humans is probably a million times greater than the complexity of re-routing this one muscle (well, okay, two muscles, for both orbs). For example, there is no "projector" inside the brain displaying the analog image hitting the lens, but rather, the impact of the incoming photons is converted to an electro-chemical signal that symbolizes the image, which symbolic data is then transmitted to the brain, and then interpreted. And Johnny (and Dan), the packing and unpacking of that visual information would have been especially difficult to evolve since Darwinism is supposed to work by way of the physical laws, yet, being "physical" laws, they have no symbolic logic functions. So chemical reactions, cell divisions, electrical pulses, enzymes doing their thing, etc., none of this has any correspondence to symbolic logic and the decoding of an effectively digitized image. The whole system is so wildly complex, and then, the system must begin the extraordinarily difficult process of moving from black and white to color? Taking unavoidable missteps into account, the slow reproductive system would have to process quadrillions of random alternatives, just in a single protein, and then quadrillions of variations on how to fold that protein, before giving Natural Selection something to consider (and then getting that fortuitous mutation to spread through the genome is itself improbable, even with improved organism functionality).



So now Johnny, this brings us back to your three comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
Evolution is not about "an increase in information."

…evolution only has to win a little every once in a rare while. [And]

Evolutionists have no problem with the idea that the information content in the genome can increase. That's part of what natural selection can explain.
And so, when Dan includes in his heat entropy calculations those DNA permutations that yield living organisms, he is unaware that he is encapsulating an enormous amount of information theory into his thermodynamics equations. And that's not allowed .

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Demonstrating the Glory of God... - December 19th, 2008, 11:54 PM

The author of the paper, Dan Styer himself, is a great example of my point (sorry Dan ) that evolutionists confuse information and heat entropy. Dan thinks, based on his claims in the TOL Discussion Thread, that he devoted an entire paper to distinguishing between the entropy of heat and other forms of entropy like information entropy. HE HASN'T! Instead, Dan wrote an entire paper on developing better metaphors for HEAT ENTROPY! That's IT! I've just read Dan Styer's 2000 AJP paper, Insight into Entropy, and it does NOT distinguish between various forms of entropy. It doesn't. Dan is a physicist and an evolutionist, two factors that compound such that even while discussing this very issue of confusing forms of entropy, Dan has a hard time recognizing if he is talking ONLY about heat entropy and not about other forms of entropy, and vice versa, he has a hard time realizing when he is doing heat calculations to supposedly compensate for an increase in information!

I think this is probably why neither Dan nor you Johnny, rebutted my claim that I met the challenge that you defined for winning this TOL One on One debate.

Johnny, you laid out what the challenge would be, for me to win. I indicated that I accepted the challenge. And a few posts later, claimed to meet it, and both you and Professor Styer in the Discussion Thread refrained from disputing that evidence.

Johnny: "Your challenge, then, is to demonstrate exactly where Styer confuses the thermodynamic concept of entropy with the information concept of entropy."

And I replied: "Yes. That is my challenge."

And then I asserted explicitly where I met that challenge, and you let it go (you should have let the missing misconceptions go, and addressed this claim :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
Challenge Met
If Styer were not referring to information content, he would not need to reference one [DNA] configuration over another, because from a strictly quantum energy state perspective, the various configurations are irrelevant. It is from an information perspective that the need develops to reference various configurations….
And I added that if Styer were not talking about the information content in E. coli:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Enyart
If that were true, Styer would not have considered only a smaller percentage of configurations. He wrote, "Some of these configurations correspond to living bacteria, but most do not." This shows that Styer was not disciplined to only focus on heat and not information. When he writes that "organisms diversified into remarkable variety" and that "the biosphere's entropy decreased due to evolution at the rate calculated" and then asks, "How much 'improved…' would each organism be," this references information. Stripe is right. Information is hiding in Styer's paper: in plain sight.
Now, I've saved something fascinating for last, just for Chair. As though this all were not difficult enough, I'm adding a theological, psychological observation. Just as energy becomes less useful in the physical realm, and as random changes to information move it toward disorder, so too each human being left to himself tends toward moral destruction.

If this is true, we can then expand the domain of Entropy such that:
Entropy describes an attribute of reality that applies to disciplines as diverse as physics and information theory, to energy, aesthetics, ergonomics, information, and spirituality.
I close thanking Johnny (and his staunch creationist TOL-widow wife) for the hours he put into this debate, and especially for his agreement to help reduce the confusion regarding information and heat entropy. And I ask Professor Styer to help out also. When Albert Einstein talked about God, I realize that he later clarified that he believed in Spinoza's God, which is nature and no God at all. And I don't know anymore about Dan Styer than his online bio, his posts here and his 2000 and 2008 AJP papers, but I am very grateful for Dan's perspective as he presented it in our TOL One on One Discussion Thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Styer View Post
Everything scientists discover -- what we discover about biogeography and evolution, about crystals and clouds, about atoms and galaxies, about black holes and quantum mechanics -- demonstrates the glory of God. If I had been creator of the universe, it would have been a much more prosaic, much more humble, and much less interesting place. Our scientific discoveries of course are now and will remain forever incomplete, but what we do know shows us a universe more arresting, more magnificent, more sublime than anything a human could have created.
-Pastor Bob Enyart
Denver Bible Church
1-800-8Enyart, Bob@KGOV.com





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