Mass/Energy and Information 1

            When a famous author like Agatha Christie sat down at her typewriter, or today at a laptop computer, and began to write a classic murder mystery novel such as And Then There Were None, the initial creative inspiration inside her mind was abstract, non-material, and in the form of being information only.

            Over the course of the writing of this fictional novel the creative mental process remained informational and not physical. 

We know that Agatha Christie did not have to commit real murders as part of the research protocol to inspire the story as it progressed chapter-by-chapter.

            The human faculty of creative imagination alone was sufficient to craft the story.

            But possibly the deepest, currently unresolved mystery in the universe is that as Agatha Christie composes each one of her books, she is adding new information that never existed anywhere before.

            The creative literary mind is not pumping-out the same story over and over again like a repetitive machine.

            The human mind/brain is not a mass-production, manufacturing assembly-line limited to replicating the same identical product in large numbers…like the automobile I drive.

            The imaginative capacity to write And Then There Were None, and Murder on The Orient Express, in each case is adding a novel product that did not previously exist.

            Here lies one of the basic questions to ponder regarding our existence in this physical universe, of whether our human minds/brains are explainable through purely materialistic causations, or are they instead the product of a superior Mind/Being having unlimited mental boundaries similar to our own capacity for creative invention.

            By discovering complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated[1] systems of information everywhere we look in the natural living and non-living world, modern science has placed this question of the origin of information front-and-center in our search for purpose and meaning in the universe.

            One of the fundamental tenets of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is that “nature makes no sudden leaps.”

            But in this new Age of Information, modern science now tells us the exact opposite.

            Nature makes sudden and clear-cut leaps forward everywhere and in everything, through the timely introduction of new and previously non-existent, grouped packages of functionally complete information.

            Prior to the immergence of dinosaurs millions of years ago, the concept of a dinosaur did not previously exist.

            Prior to the immergence of life on earth roughly dated 3.8-billion years ago, the concept of a single-cell bacteria did not previously exist.

            Prior to the Big Bang creation of this universe 13.7 billion years ago, at least according to the current empirical evidence at-hand, the concept of a universe did not previously exist.

            Prior to the writing of the storyline plot of And Then There Were None, this information did not previously exist anywhere…not even in the mind of Agatha Christie until it immerged chapter-by-chapter in its final and completed form.

            Certainly, the creative inspiration for the writing of a fictional story must at least partially correspond somewhere to the trillions of neural network connections inside the mind/brain.

            So, I think it is fair to say that given more time, better computers and software programs, and brilliant investigative techniques, that modern science will someday pinpoint the location in the human mind/brain where a Chopin Etude, a Shakespeare play, or a murder mystery novel comes from.

            But the brilliance of the scientific method of research into the workings of the phenomena in the natural world confuses description with explanation,[2] which cannot be bridged through the investigative techniques of hard, “bench” science alone.

            Description and explanation are not the same.

            Modern science can now describe how at the Big Bang, gamma rays collide to form matter and anti-matter, and how in the first three minutes of the universe hydrogen, helium, and lithium were created…and not the rest of the elements of the Periodic Table which came later.[3] 

            But science cannot provide the deeper explanation of what is a universe and why it originated in this way.

            Science can describe how the microscopic molecular machinery inside living cells produces proteins that then build new and different cell-types, that then construct the architectural body-plans of living organisms.

            But science cannot explain the deeper question of where did all of these architectural body-plan designs and their instinctual lifestyle habits come from in the first-place.

            Science cannot explain the fundamental, chicken-and-egg dilemma of how it is that proteins are required to produce DNA, yet DNA is required to build proteins.

            This would appear to require the need for an outside arbitrator managing the required inputs of information.

            I sense that the frontier of the human mind/brain is even more complex than the coordinated functionality of the microscopic machinery inside the living cell, because the mind/brain exhibits the inexplicable freedom of creative thought.

            The human mind/brain displays the non-deterministic feature of independent decision-making that differentiates choices between a near infinity of “yes” options and “no” rejections to achieve the sweet-spots of functional outcomes.

            This independent decision-making is evident at the beginning of the universe in the complex sets of conditions that can form hydrogen, helium, and lithium…but not oxygen and carbon until a later point in time.

            This decision-making process moderates between a myriad of binary yes/no choices in the creation of the shape and function of my body, of the well-defined essence of a rose flower, and of the singular capacity of Agatha Christie to write a best-selling murder mystery book.

            The existence of this reality of independent, yes/no thought-processes integral within the structural framework of the physical universe, displays deliberate intention indivisible from the perceived function of the final end-product.

            In my opinion, as science progresses in this 21st-century the term scientific materialism is approaching or has already reached the point of becoming an oxymoron.

            The commendable research methodology of scientific materialism in the late 20th and early 21st-centuries has run head-on into a purpose-driven universe, always trending towards function.

            The organized complexity of the information content at the Big Bang, at the origin of life, in the double-helix DNA strand, in the molecular machinery inside the living cell, in the delicate balance between biodiversity and ecosystems, and in the human capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning…this purpose-driven intentionality towards well-defined end-points does not match-up with the concept of a mindless and indifferent Mother Nature.

            Trial-and-error, experimental progression using small, incremental steps no longer matches the reality in the natural living and non-living world, which instead exhibits organized complexity functioning in fully mature, completed states everywhere we investigate.

[1] A term coined by William A. Dembski in Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999).

[2] John Lennox: Socrates in the City in Labastide, France Parts 1 and 2, published Jan. 12 and 23, 2018 on You Tube.

[3] “The Origin of the Elements” by Jefferson Lab, Nov. 20, 2012 with Dr. Edward Murphy, University of Virginia.

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