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Information theory

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Information theory is an applied mathematical discipline that concerns itself with how much information one can place in any given medium, using any particular set of symbols.

A vast number of inventions have flowed from information theory. They include new types of optical media, lossless (.zip, .gz, .tar) and lossy (.mp3, .jpeg) data compression, cellular radio (mobile telephony), and the transmission and reception of network services at high speeds. The Wikipedia has a large series of interrelated articles that describe information theory in detail.


The chief interest of information theory to creation science has to do with:

  1. How much information can reside in a single molecule of DNA, and
  2. Whether any of that information could have assembled itself through chance alone.

Information theory can certainly address the first question. But it can address the second only indirectly. Information theory concerns itself primarily with efficiency of information storage and not with information authorship. That said, information theory can tell us that the quantity of information required for life is vast (and give a fair estimate as to how vast). From that one can conclude that the probability of reproducing that information accurately and keeping "information entropy" to a minimum is exceedingly low--and therein lies the problem for concepts such as abiogenesis. Francis H. Crick and Leslie E. Orgel invented their alternative life-origin theory of directed panspermia in direct recognition of the tremendous problem of how such a vast quantity of information could self-assemble.

Related references