Sunday, September 06, 2009

Creation vs. Evolution -- an Overview of my blogs

I've worked as an engineer for 43 years (getting about the same number of patents) designing computers and similar electronic devices that are controlled by information (that we call software) and/or that process information (that we call data). I've even written software that creates other software, and software that creates hardware designs.

In my retirement years, I've been studying the basics of biology and applying my expertise in information systems to investigate the fundamentals of the creation/evolution debate. I look at how living things work from the molecular level on up, and as a systems engineer I recognize a system design when I see one. Living organisms are also controlled by information and process information. Chemistry does the 'hardware' function, and DNA (with its derivatives) does the 'software' function.

I have published my findings, as well as common-language interpretations of other technical sources, on my blog. My blog talks about many other subjects, too, so if you are only interested in the creation/evolution/information stuff, go to the "Find by Subject" section on the right and click on one of those key words. Or you can start with the following overview of a few basic subjects:

Information From Randomness?
In this blog, I discuss the myth that information can somehow arise out of randomness, and discuss Dawkins' Weasel Algorithm in particular. In information theory, pure randomness is zero information. All systems that process information have a tendency to lose information, like the way they lose useful energy. So information always drifts toward randomness, not the other way around.

In The Beginning Was Information
Back in Darwin's day, evolution seemed somewhat plausible, just as the ether and phlogiston were once plausible. But more modern findings have unraveled the claims of evolution (macro-evolution, to be more precise), primarily the discovery that biology is chemistry guided by information. Since we know that information doesn't come from nothing, it begs the question: where did the information come from?

Is Encoded Information an Essential Part of the Universe?
In a previous blog, I had explained that space, time, matter, and energy are inseparable aspects of the universe. Here I argue that information is transcendent to all these. The transport of information across space (communication) and across time (storage) uses various forms of matter and energy for conveyance; yet none of the physical laws that govern space, time, matter, and energy require information to exist. Indeed, in vast regions of the universe where there is no life, there is no [encoded] information.

Can Chemical Evolution Work?
Here I discuss Miller’s Experiment and related issues. The outcome of these experiments is like making jumbled piles of bricks, but no houses. The fundamental reason why experiments such as Miller’s don't make life out of non-life is that the chemistry isn't getting the informational guidance that it needs.

Life is more than chemistry
This expands on the previous blog. Life isn't just chemistry, but chemistry guided by the information stored in the DNA.

The Genetic Code - how to read the DNA record
Here I try to explain, in plain language as much as possible, how the DNA information is read and interpreted by the Genetic Code to construct the peptide chains that are the basis for all organic molecules. It is fascinating that there are potentially a vast number of possible genetic codes, or 'DNA languages', that would each work equally well; yet all living things on earth use the same 'language', and there is no evidence that there ever was any other 'language'.

The First Digitally-Controlled Designs
Here I observe that "The interpretation of the DNA information according to the Genetic Code creates a enormous set of specific proteins and other complex organic molecules that implement the structure and function of a particular organism" and that "All of these complex functions are guided not exclusively by chemical laws, but also by the information from the DNA." I point out that this is not only design, but digitally-controlled design; and I tell how in my engineering experience, I learned to appreciate that this is an optimum design paradigm. The first digitally-controlled designs were not computers, or the Jacquard looms and player pianos that preceeded computers; but were the living things that God created.

The Digital Control of Life
Here I provide further evidence of the similarity of the design of life and that of digital controllers.