In the Beginning was Information
Gitt (Werner)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Cover Blurb

  1. What does the migratory flight of the golden plover have in common with a postcard? What is the common factor between a computer program and hieroglyphics? And what property is shared between the processes taking place in living cells and the message of the Bible? The distinctive common quantity in all these cases is information. All living organisms require information to function. If we want to make meaningful and useful statements about the origin of life, then we first have to explain what information is and how it came about. The author of this book uses many illustrative and striking examples to clarify this question. The basic principles of information are clearly established in terms of laws and theorems which are just as valid and applicable as those employed in the natural sciences. The current materialistic representations of information are criticised, and a new model for the origin of life is derived. In this book the author describes a new way of understanding creation and the Bible.
  2. The Author, Prof. Dr-Ing. Werner Gitt was born in Raineck/East Prussia in 1937. In 1963 he enrolled at the Technical University of Hanover (Technische Hochschule Hannover) and in 1968 he completed his studies as Diplom Ingenieur. Thereafter he worked as an assistant at the Institute of Control Engineering at the Technical University of Aachen (Technische Hochschule Aachen). Following two years of research work, he received his doctorate summa cum laude, together with the prestigious Borchers Medal, from the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, in 1970. He is now Director and Professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig). He has written numerous scientific papers in the field of information science, numerical mathematics, and control engineering, as well as several popular books, some of which have been translated into Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Kirghizian, Polish, Rumanian and Russian. Since 1984 he has been a regular guest lecturer at the State Independent Theological University of Basle, Switzerland, on the subject of ‘The Bible and Science'. He has held lectures on related topics at numerous universities at home and abroad, as well as having spoken on the topic ‘Faith and Science' in a number of different countries (e. g. Australia, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lithuania, Namibia, Norway, Rumania, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland).
Contents
    Preface – 9
    Preface to the English Edition – 11
  1. Preliminary Remarks about the Concept of Information – 12
    Part 1: Laws of Nature
  2. Principles of Laws of Nature – 22
    … 2.1 The Terminology Used in the Natural Sciences – 22
    … 2.2 The Limits of Science and the Persistence of Paradigms – 25
    … 2.3 The Nature of Physical Laws – 26
    … 2.4 The Relevance of the Laws of Nature – 34
    … 2.5 The Classification of the Laws of Nature – 36
    … 2.6 Possible and Impossible Events – 40
    Part 2: Information
  3. Information is a Fundamental Entity – 44
    … 3.1 Information: a Fundamental Quantity – 44
    … 3.2 Information: a Material or a Mental Quantity? – 45
    … 3.3 Information: not a Property of Matter! – 47
  4. The Five Levels of the Information Concept – 50
    … 4.1 The Lowest Level of Information: Statistics – 54
    … 4.2 The Second Level of Information: Syntax – 57
    … 4.3 The Third Level of Information: Semantics – 69
    … 4.4 The Fourth Level of Information: Pragmatics – 73
    … 4.5 The Fifth Level of Information: Apobetics – 75
  5. Delineation of the Information Concept – 83
  6. Information in Living Organisms – 88
    … 6.1 Necessary Conditions for Life – 88
    … 6.2 The Genetic Code – 94
    … 6.3 The Origin of Biological Information – 97
    … 6.4 Materialistic Representations and Models of the Origin of Biological Information – 99
    … 6.5 Scientists against Evolution – 104
  7. The Three Forms in which Information Appears – 108
  8. Three Kinds of Transmitted Information – 112
  9. The Quality and Usefulness of Information – 116
  10. Some Quantitative Evaluations of Semantics – 120
  11. Questions often Asked about the Information Concept – 124
    Part 3: Application of the Concept of Information to the Bible
  12. Life Requires a Source of Information – 135
  13. The Quality and Usefulness of Biblical Information – 138
  14. Aspects of Information as Found in the Bible – 141
    … 14.1 God as Sender — Man as Recipient – 141
    … 14.2 Man as Sender — God as Recipient – 150
    … 14.3 The Highest Packing Density of Information – 155
  15. The Quantities Used for Evaluating Information and Their Application to the Bible – 158
  16. A Biblical Analogy of the Four Fundamental Entities, Mass, Energy, Information, and Will – 162
    Appendix
  17. A1. The Statistical View of Information – 170
    A1.1 Shannon's Theory of Information – 170
    … A1.2 Mathematical Description of Statistical Information – 178
    … … A1.2.1 The Bit: Statistical Unit of Information – 178
    … … A1.2.2 The Information Spiral – 182
    … … A1.2.3 The Highest Packing Density of Information – 192
    … A1.3 Evaluation of Communication Systems – 193
    … A1.4 Statistical Analysis of Language – 196
    … A1.5 Statistical Synthesis of Language – 201
  18. A2 Language: The Medium for Creating, Communicating, and Storing Information – 206
    … A2.1 Natural Languages – 206
    … … A2.1.1 General Remarks on the Structure of Human Language – 206
    … … A2.1.2 Complexity and Peculiarities of Languages – 209
    … … A2.1.3 The Origin of Languages – 212
    … … A2.1.4 Written Languages – 214
    … A2.2 Special Languages Used in the Animal World – 215
    … A2.3 Does "Artificial Intelligence1" Exist? – 218
  19. Energy
    … A3.1 Energy, a Fundamental Quantity – 223
    … A3.2 Strategies for Maximising the Utilisation of Energy – 227
    … … A3.2.1 Utilisation of Energy in Technological Systems – 227
    … … A3.2.2 Utilisation of Energy in Biological Systems (Photosynthesis) – 229
    … A3.3 The Consumption of Energy in Biological Systems: Strategies for Minimisation – 233
    … A3.4 Conservation of Energy in Biological Systems – 236
    … … A3.4.1 Animal "Chlorophyll.' – 237
    … … A3.4.2 Animals with "Lamps" – 238
    … … A3.4.3 The Lung, an Optimal Structure – 240
    … … A3.4.4 The Flight of Migratory Birds – 241
    … … … A3.4.4.1 The Flight of Migrating Birds: An Accurate Energy Calculation – 241
    … … … A3.4.4.2 The Flight of Migrating Birds: A Navigational Masterpiece – 244
  20. References – 247
  21. Author Index – 255

BOOK COMMENT:

2nd English Edition 2000; Borrowed from Olive Peachey



"Gitt (Werner) - In the Beginning was Information"

Source: Gitt - In the Beginning was Information


Preface (Full Text)
  1. Theme of the book: The topic of this book is the concept of Information, which is a fundamental entity on equal footing with matter and energy. Many questions have to be considered:
    • What is information?
    • How does information arise?
    • What is the function of information?
    • How is it encoded?
    • How is it transmitted?
    • What is the source of the information found in living organisms?
  2. Information confronts us on all sides; newspapers, radio and television bring new information daily, and information processing systems are found practically everywhere, for example in computers, numerical control equipment, automatic assembly lines, and even carwash machines. It should be noted that the activities of all living organisms are controlled by programs comprising information.
  3. Because information is required for all life processes, it can be stated unequivocally that information is an essential characteristic of all life. All efforts to explain life processes in terms of physics and chemistry only, will always be unsuccessful. This is the fundamental problem confronting present-day biology, which is based on evolution.
  4. Structure and purpose of this book: This book consists of three main parts and an appendix. In the first part the nature of natural laws is discussed. This introduction is indispensable for the subsequent formulation and evaluation of information theorems.
  5. The concept of information is clarified by means of many examples in the second and central part of the book. The basic principles are established by means of general theorems which are valid irrespective of the actual discipline. The purpose is to find laws of nature which hold for the fundamental entity known as information. With the aid of such theorems, it becomes possible to formulate conclusions for unknown situations just as can be done in the case of laws of nature. In contrast to theorems about many other characteristic natural quantities (eg. entropy), the theorems about information can be clearly illustrated and their validity is easy to demonstrate.
  6. The purpose of this book is to formulate the concept of information as widely and as deeply as necessary. The reader will eventually be able to answer general questions about the origin of life as far as it is scientifically possible. If we can successfully formulate natural laws for information, then we will have found a new key for evaluating evolutionary ideas. In addition, it will be become possible to develop an alternative model which refutes the doctrine of evolution.
  7. The topics and theorems developed in the first two parts of the book, are applied to the Bible in the third part. This provides a fresh way of unlocking the message of the Bible.
  8. Readership: The first target group of this book is those who have a scientific inclination; especially information and communication scientists and linguists. The concept of information is highly relevant for these scientists as well as for theologians, and the given examples cover a wide range of disciplines. For the sake of ease of understanding, chapters which contain many formulas, are placed in the Appendix, and complex relationships are illustrated graphically.
  9. Appendix: Questions which are closely linked to the concept of information (e. g. Shannon's theory, and artificial intelligence)1, but would distract the reader's attention, are discussed in the fairly comprehensive Appendix. The concept of energy receives ample attention, because energy plays a similarly important role in technology and in living organisms as does information.
  10. The title of the book: The title refers to the first verse of the Gospel written by John: "In the beginning was the Word..." This book continually emphasises the fact that information is required for the start of any controlled process, but the information itself is preceded by the Prime Source of all information. This is exactly what John has written, since "the Word" refers to the Person Who is the Prime Cause.
    [.. snip …; admin + acknowledgements]



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