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Customer Review

92 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGintry may review too many books without reading them, July 22, 2000
By A Customer
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This review is from: A Case Against Accident and Self-organization (Hardcover)
McGintry may have glanced through this book and then written his review. The book clearly states that self-organization can produce ordered patterns in systems with an energy flow. But equally clearly, and repeatedly, the book persuasively demonstrates that ordered patterns are irrelevant to the origin of life. No plausible theory has ever been developed whereby self-organizing systems could produce INFORMATION. The origin of information, not the origin of complex patterns, is the central problem in origin of life scenarios. McGintry is clearly unfamiliar with Shannon's theory of information which contains universal laws which demonstrate that living matter could not have come from the laws of physics and chemistry. See Yockey's book by Cambridge University Press. All McGintry had to do was read even a portion of the conclusions to understand the difference between ordered patterns and biologically relevant information. For example from page 185 of Overman's book:
"To construct a plausible theory for the origin of life, scientists need to discover a theory which explains the generation of complexity, not the generation of order. In terms of the formation of life, information content, such as found in the genetic code, is the stumbling block."
As Overman plainly demonstrates, Sim's ordered patterns in the evolution of a fish are irrelevant to the origin of life. The problem, as constantly argued in the book, is the impossiblity of generating INFORMATION (instructions in DNA) from the laws of physics and chemistry. McGintry should also read the book to see that Dawkins book is dealt with in two separate places.
If McGintry has "seen" self-organization work to create life (which means create information), he should put himself up for the Nobel Prize; because no one has any plausible ideas concerning the source of biologically relevant information.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 6, 2010 6:47:49 PM PDT
PA says:
Before we argue further we need to define what we mean by information. I think these days the word has taken upon itself the function that used to be served by terms like "elan vital" and "germ" and "life force". Or else it really is some kind of metaphysical "nectar from the gods" or, in Biblical terms, the breath of life (Hebrew ruach) that comes directly from God. In other words, it's a loaded term.
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