Can Chance Produce Information?

Can chance produce information? Is the question a Christian asked on his blog. I know I've seen it before and it's a poor argument but unfortunately he keeps inventing reasons and extra additions to show information can't come from chance. The whole argument and his question is here: A definitive answer to throw back would be greatly appreciated.
Atheist Answer: 

It's been a little while, and the Crazy Australian has in fact conceded that chance can at least produce something which we recognise as information. This Australian says, good on him.

This question is a common creationist approach. The application there is that information in a genome is not seen to increase after random recombinations. The response is that new information can take the form of a decrease in data as well as an increase (my usual example is that the valuable information each week on Big Brother is who will leave the house) so a recombination, which is partly both, is definitely an increase in information.

Completely random threads of information would indeed be unlikely to come to anything meaningful. Consider that, by the way: information, as defined in a computational sense by those who wish to manipulate, compress and optimise it, need not be meaningful in any sense other than representing the data of which it is comprised.

A bit of real-world pressure makes all the difference; this is the very core of natural selection. Changes to a genome which are harmful, ambiguous or negligible tend to die out when the living beings carrying them are outbred by beings carrying directly beneficial changes. It doesn't matter what the information in the genome means as such. Only survival value is of importance, and as it happens, information coherent enough to represent blueprints for complex structures like wings and stomach acid has substantial survival value.

You know, the real answer to this question is really extremely simple. Yes, chance can produce information, if there is such a thing as information. Chance can produce anything, given the right conditions. That's what chance means.

Applied to anything real, though, the true question is, "Can chance consistently produce information?" That's a little hairier, but it's moot when applied to evolution. Natural selection is not a chance process. It mines the random element of mutation for new genetic material, but the selection itself is the original Survival of the Fittest.

It's like rolling fifty dice and only picking out the fours, fives and sixes. You're guaranteed a fairly high average score per selected die. The game of evolution is rigged in favour of life.

- SmartLX

Looking for reliable information resources. .

First off, I'm new here so, hi! I would like to ask for suggestions on reliable, and credible sources for information on religion in general, and Christianity in particular. I want to do a personal research paper on the History, and validity, of the Christian religion, as it is the religious indoctrination I was subjected to growing up. I am more or less convinced there is no God, but I want to do the research to make sure. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Atheist Answer: 

Hi wtfi54rasm,

You're actually asking for three essential things.

1.) Resources on the validity (or lack there of) of Religion

2.) Resources on the psychology of indoctrination (if not on belief in general)

3.) Resources on atheism (or rather, resources on evidence for a god's nonexistence)

For a great book on the psychology of primitive man, and why religion was possibly introduced into society, the two best books that I am aware of on the subject are Daniel Dennet's, Breaking the Spell - which deals specifically with the indoctrination of man into these beliefs and how to get yourself out of that indoctrination, and Julian Jaynes' The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind which deals with primitive man's mental development, and how they viewed the world through their primitive brains, and thus the development of primitive ideas such as "god".

For resources on the validity of Christianity, the book Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman is a very good introduction into who changed the Bible, and for what purpose. Although he is a bit of a scholarly fossil, and I don't agree with all his conclusions, his work is pretty outstanding as far as it goes. Unfortunately, the vast amount of research one needs to do in order to see all the flaws of Christianity is extensive, and can not be read in a few books. Although, a start would be to read the Bible from cover to cover, and mark down all the contradictions and fallacies within, take notes, and check them when you're finished.

For a specific book dealing with the origin of Christianity, I would suggest getting a copy of my book when it is published.

For an excellent resource on god's nonexistence, I would recommend the message boards on the Atheist Network and the Rational Response Squad websites.

The best to you,

Rook Hawkins

Please help me get my resources so I can continue to historically show the inadequacies of the Bible and early Christians.
My wish list.

Syndicate content