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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Order is not information, September 24, 2002
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This review is from: A Case Against Accident and Self-organization (Hardcover)
Overman has written the obvious truth in the matter of self organization and accident as it relates to any origin of life scenario. What he clearly spells out in his book cannot honestly be disputed even though he humbly suggests that he is only presenting a "case" that should be evaluated by reasonable persons. Of course this subject is often NOT evaluated by reasonable persons but by fanatics and people with preconceived mind sets on one side or the other.
Reading some of the reviews here I find the usual practice of building straw men and setting fire to them. Overman is not a fanatic with an agenda but he does have an ability that many scientists have long lost in the continuing debate of theism v. atheism. Logic and facts are supposed to be the realm of science but when words are twisted and redefined one can only assume that the truth is not the final goal but rather the promotion of an ideology. The facts however speak for themselves and twisting them does not change reality. The essence of the book is that biological laws do not spring "accidently" or even on purpose from the laws of physics and chemistry. Self organization of a biological system is impossible. Of course theists have long believed in miracles so I supposed that atheists are entitled to believe in them as well. The point is that miracles are supposed to be "unscientific" yet now materialistic science believes in them and they peddle their wares as if they were the latest thing produced form rational minds.
The key word is "information". Information theory has nothing to do with the laws of physics except in the sense that the words printed in a book relate to those laws. Yes, DNA and RNA obey chemical laws quite obediently and so does the chalk that the teacher uses to write her lesson on the blackboard. In fact the whole universe and everything in it obeys those laws. But, DNA as it is used in an organism in real life is not organized according to the laws of physics. As an example, if we took some square blocks that were identical except that each one had a different letter of the alphabet printed on it we could soon see that we could arrange them in any order we chose and still not violate any laws of physics. Whether they were arranged to spell "building blocks" or "dingbats" the laws are not violated.
DNA is arranged the same way. It contains useful INFORMATION. The laws of physics have nothing to do with that arrangement. DNA can be ordered in any arrangement just like the blocks, and still obey chemical laws. The information comes from somewhere but not from the laws of physics. It cannot arrange itself accidently into any meaningful order because the information must be interpreted, translated and actually used in a practical way in order for life to come forth. Time is the worst enemy of the materialist fanatic. He does not have infinite time for his monkeys to type endlessly on their trillions of typewriters. He is limited by the age of the universe and by constraints brought about by extreme temperatures and so forth. Only one who believes in miracles can believe that the volumes of specified and instructive information contained in even the simplest conceived biological cell came about by accident. And evolution cannot help him because the information is the essential ingredient of life and must exist before evolution can even operate! The catch all phrase "evolution did it" does not work here. The fanatics will have to try another catch phrase now in order to perpetuate their delusion that there is no God except evolution.
Of course the latest thing now is "the edge of chaos". There are interesting books on this with interesting pictures. Some (like Richard Dawkins) apparently think that if you give your audience clever computer generated pictures they will think that you have actually produced life without all of the mess. Dawkins is more of the "evolution did it" crowd however. He is now being left behind by the "chaos theory" people. Of course they cannot produce information of the type in question either but the pictures are pretty anyway. In a nut shell, all of these new ideas brought forth by people playing with computers ignore the source of information. They happily punch their keys and create their programs with their own intelligent input and their "simple rules" and still they cannot produce information but only order. Of course even the wind can stack our blocks into some type of order. But that order has nothing to do with meaningful information that is produced by the teacher writing on the blackboard or the child who arranges the blocks to spell out "information is not physics!"
There is much more to the book and it is written so that people can understand it without resorting to bind faith in the opinions of experts who for some reason do not care for the idea that there just may be a God and they may not be one.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 23, 2016 5:25:23 PM PDT
Anonymous says:
"debate of theism v. atheism"

Hilarious. There is NO "debate". There is rational science and there is irrational belief without evidence.

The "god of the gaps" is a fallacy of course.
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