Test Your Knowledge of Information Theory

Creationists think information theory poses a serious challenge to modern evolutionary biology – but that only goes to show that creationists are as ignorant of information theory as they are of biology.

Whenever a creationist brings up this argument, insist that they answer the following five questions. All five questions are based on the Kolmogorov interpretation of information theory. I like this version of information theory because (a) it does not depend on any hypothesized probability distribution (a frequent refuge of scoundrels) (b) the answers about how information can change when a string is changed are unambiguous and agreed upon by all mathematicians, allowing less wiggle room to weasel out of the inevitable conclusions, and (c ) it applies to discrete strings of symbols and hence corresponds well with DNA.

All five questions are completely elementary, and I ask these questions in an introduction to the theory of Kolmogorov information for undergraduates at Waterloo. My undergraduates can nearly always answer these questions correctly, but creationists usually cannot…

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This page contains a single entry by Jeffrey Shallit published on January 3, 2009 4:06 PM.

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God of the Gaps…in your own knowledge. Luskin, Behe, & blood-clotting is the next entry in this blog.

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