Marks of Divine Wisdom BSD 
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» Amazing Creatures
» More Amazing Creatures
» Yet more Amazing Creatures
» Amazing Plants
» Flying on Instruments
» Outboard Motor
» The Amazing Cell
» Nature's Game
» Horrendous Complexity
» The Humble Eyelid
» the Chessmaster
» the Origin of Life
» Search for Alien Life
» Elephant in the Room
» Greetings from The Cosmos
» The Atom
» Center of the Universe
» the Light is Good
» the Mask of Nature
» Divine wisdom vs Human Wisdom
» the Nature of Reality
» Mysterious World of PLants
» Almost a Miracle
» The Bite of Rationalism
» The March of Science
» Afterword
» Comments


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<<Previous: the Origin of Life

** Search for Alien Life **
The search for extra-terrestrial life reveals an interesting phenomena. Scientists have invested millions of dollars in building giant radio telescopes to scan the heavens hoping to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

What are they searching for? What would constitute signs of intelligence?

They search for non-random radio signals from space such as prime numbers (1,2,3,5,7..). In other words they are searching for information.

Perry Marshall, an electrical engineer:explains more:
This page you're reading contains letters, words and sentences. It contains a message that means something. As long as you can read English, you can understand what I'm saying. You can do all kinds of things with this message. You can read it on your computer screen. You can print it out on your printer. You can read it out loud to a friend who's in the same room as you are. You can call your friend and read it to her over the telephone... You can forward it to someone via email, or you can post it on some other website.

Regardless of how you copy it or where you send it, the information remains the same. My email contains a message. It contains information in the form of language. The message is independent of the medium it is sent in. Messages are not matter, even though they can be carried by matter (like printing this email on a piece of paper). Messages are not energy even though they can be carried by energy (like the sound of my voice.)

Messages are immaterial. Information is itself a unique kind of entity. It can be stored and transmitted and copied in many forms, but the meaning still stays the same. Messages can be in English, French or Chinese. Or Morse Code. Or mating calls of birds. Or the Internet. Or radio or television. Or computer programs or architect blueprints or stone carvings. Every cell in your body contains a message encoded in DNA, representing a complete plan for you.

OK, so what does this have to do with G-d? It's very simple. Messages, languages, and coded information ONLY come from a mind. A mind that agrees on an alphabet and a meaning of words and sentences. A mind that expresses both desire and intent. Whether I use the simplest possible explanation, such as the one I'm giving you here, or if we analyze language with advanced mathematics and engineering communication theory, we can say this with total confidence:

"Messages, languages and coded information never, ever come from anything else besides a mind. No one has ever produced a single example of a message that did not come from a mind."
...We find DNA is not merely a molecule. Nor is it simply a "pattern." Yes, it contains chemicals and proteins, but those chemicals are arranged to form an intricate language, in the exact same way that English and Chinese and HTML are languages. DNA has a four-letter alphabet, and structures very similar to words, sentences and paragraphs. With very precise instructions and systems that check for errors and correct them. It is formally and scientifically a code. All codes we know the origin of are created by a conscious mind. Hence, DNA was designed by a mind, and language and information are proof of the action of a Superintelligence. End quote. See there for more.
The structure of all life also testifies to a single Superintelligence, for all life on earth is highly related using a common DNA structure.

Another excerpt from one of many excellent papers by Perry Marshall. This one is titled "Information Theory Made Simple":
...Noise introduces uncertainty as to what the original message was. It was originally 1000001 ("A") but the receiver doesn't know that. It might think the message was 1000100 and give you a letter "d" instead.

When Claude Shannon worked out the math, he found something very surprising: The formula for noise in an information system was identical to the formula for entropy in thermodynamics.

Entropy is the irreversible process of useful energy becoming useless energy. The heat coming out of the exhaust pipe in your car is cooler and a whole lot less useful than the heat inside your engine, and that process is irreversible.

All audio engineers know that noise is also irreversible. Once it's in your recording, you can't get it back out. It's in there for good. All you can do is try to disguise it.

Also, noise NEVER improves a signal. There are a few very narrow applications in digital signal processing where noise can be put to good use (i.e. dither and noise shaping) but noise always destroys information. It never creates it.

Shannon measured information in bits, the exact same way that we measure the size of computer files. So one thing that confuses a lot of people is that when you add noise to a signal, it adds bit information to the signal and the signal appears to have more information. In one sense it does - if you add noise to a signal, the signal does contain more data. But you can't separate the noise out of the signal once it's in.

Once your signal is lost it's gone forever.

Also, there is no such thing anywhere in engineering or computer science as a percentage of the time that noise "accidentally" improves a signal.

Nor is there an "optimum" level of noise that you would want in a signal. The ideal amount of noise to have in a signal is ZERO.

Shannon pointed out that the best way to combat noise was through redundancy: Extra letters or numbers in the signal that help you fill in the blanks if there are missing letters... see there for more.

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