Algorithmic Information Theory and Intelligent Design
See S. D. Devine (2014), Zygon 49 (1) 42-65. Click here to download
In summary my approach makes the following points.
The Dembski’s decision process for design should be replaced by the robust Martin Löf randomness test.
Confusion over the different meanings of information are resolved.
The paper refutes the claim by Dembski that a 4th law of thermodynamics (his “law of conservation of information") is needed to explain the emergence of complex structures. If one defines information in such a way that more ordered structures have more information, as Dembski attempts to, algorithmic information theory can be used to show that Dembski’s fourth law is just the second law in disguise. The second law requirement that the entropy of a closed system cannot decrease, corresponds to the requirement that information, as defined above, cannot increase.
The paper argues that even such a simple thing as the magnetization of lodestone could not have happened by chance in the life of the universe. Yet it does happen because natural laws, not chance, ensure that, below the Curie temperature , magnetization is inevitable. Any biological process that can eject disorder has the capability to create order by natural processes.
My personal opinion is that a creator who established the universe in a way that allows a myriad of ordered structures to emerge makes more sense than one who intervenes during the history of the universe to give rise to specific ordered structures. The real question is how is it that the universe is structured in such a way that order arises naturally? The claim of the Intelligent Design community is a side track to this fundamental question.