Friday, June 16, 2006
Salvador on Airplane Engines
Knockout experiments have also been used to argue “junk DNA” is junk. This is out rightly bad science, but it persists because of Darwinist’s eagerness to close their eyes to design and paint various artifacts in biology a the product of a clumsy blind watchmaker rather than an intelligent designer.
The strategy of using several different means to achieve a particular goal where each of the individual means is sufficient by itself to achieve the goal is used in many engineered systems to ensure that the goal will be achieved, even if one or more of the means fail. For example, the space shuttle’s on-board inertial guidance system, consists of five redundant computers!
The conversations in the comments are good, too. In them, Salvador makes another point I think is interesting:
The reading of compact discs have a huge number of read/write errors (call them mutations if you will) designed into the system which are then corrected via Reed-Solomon coding. One would be inclined to ask why not make more reliable read/write processess so error correction is not needed, and why deliberate design a system with a high error rate. The answer is that if one’s teleleological goal are for compactness of storage, according to Shannon’s theorem, this is the optimal way to store data: “allow numerous errors and then correct afterward”.
The unititiated however, upon looking at this method of information storage would be inclined to criticize the designers as incompetent. I heard biologists say exactly that, “a competent designer would not have made DNA copy mechanisms which require error correction, he would have made a copy process which got it right on the first pass.” I shook my head in disgust, and I then proceed to set them straight on principles of information science.
Regarding “imperfect copies” like pseuodogenes and the like, in addition to considerations of when “imperfect copies” are desirable based on Shannon, we have in information science the concepts of lossy compression and software revision control systems. Further, an imperfect copy may be vital piece of instrumentation (gee, is it possible that an imperfect copy is actually a counting register? Could it be telomeres are not really junk DNA? I point the readers to what I wrote regarding those “imperfectly copied” telomeres and Geron Corporation: How IDers can win the war. [emphasis mine]
The idea that there exist counting registers and the like in DNA is very interesting indeed.
"Salvador gives a great post on redundancy in airplane engines"
Redundancy is quite common in human design. So we are to consider redundancy as indicative of design. But we are also to consider irredicible complexity - no redundancy - as indicative of design. Is there anything that cannot be considered indicative of design?
You have misunderstood irreducible complexity. It has nothing to do with whether or not a system has a backup system. Irreducible complexity is simply an attempt of an empirical definition of holistic design. I have a post on IC here:
I have not understood IC; that's true.
"Irreducible complexity is simply an attempt of an empirical definition of holistic design. I have a post on IC"
Don't tempt me :-)