Is Information the Fundamental Substance?

William Dembski's Being as CommunionSeveral years ago, I described a theory to the kids that makes the proposition that the smaller the things we are able to see the more it looks like that matter is really just thought. That is, the closer we look into what makes up electrons, neutrons, protons, and other subatomic particles the more that it looks like there is not substance to the substance of matter. I am not really sure whether that is something I just read in the cheesy science fiction novels that I voraciously read starting back in the late sixties and running into the nineties. 

Now, it turns out that there might have been some truth to the speculative stories I told to the kids. In William Dembski’s third scholarly monograph, Being as Communion, he makes a strong case for the idea that the information and not matter is the fundamental substance of reality from which everything is made. Dembski is highly qualified to make this case. He has earned PhD’s in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and Philosophy from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has spent his life investigating the role of information and design in God’s creation from the perspectives of both science and philosophy.

His first two books, The Design Inference, and No Free Lunch laid the ground work for this third very important work that makes the case that information that must have come from an intelligent designer is required for all things material and life in particular to exist. From the pre-release reviews, it appears that some of the mathematics in the book are not for the faint of heart, but the book as a whole is tractable in the sense that a layman can get the big picture. That being said, the laymen might be best served to just skim the deep math that gives the minutiae that makes the technical case.

I have ordered the book and plan to review it here after I have taken the time to read through it. 

Betty Blonde #171 – 03/12/2009
Betty Blonde #171
here or on the image to see full size strip.

About Dad

Married Christian man with two children, one in graduate school and one working. Oregonian (family arrived in 1846 along the Applegate Trail). Living and working from home in Washington state. Lived in North Carolina for seven years, Texas several times and South Florida amoung other places--kids graduated from NCSU, LOVE North Carolina and NCSU, Texas and South Florida). Judo Shodan. Graduate of Oregon State University (B.S. Business Administration, Marketing), Oregon Institute of Techonology (A.E. Computer Systems Engineering Technology), University of Texas at El Paso (M.S. Industrial Engineering). Computer Vision Research Consultant. Bilingual English/Spanish.

4 thoughts on “Is Information the Fundamental Substance?

  1. Not quite sure I understand what you are saying, Ken, but I loved teaching Chemistry and don’t know how anyone can learn about how electrons fill up the orbitals and not realize that an intelligent Creator gave the information for how matter was to be arranged.

  2. That makes sense to me. One thing I do know is that there are huge breakthroughs happening in information theory and its use as a tool to understand things and make things work better. Christian is right in the middle of it right now. I might write about what he is doing, but it is at the edge of my understanding so I will have to read up a lot more.

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