# Re: David Dryden re: Levels of Functional Complexity

On May 15, 3:16 pm, hersheyh <hershe...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On May 15, 1:02 pm, Seanpit <sean...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On May 14, 8:25 am, hersheyh <hershe...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I thought you were talking about the actual physical penny - not just
the word "penny" in the English language system.

As a word in the language system, the minimum size and sequence is
specifically defined as five fully specified characters given an
alphabet of 28 characters (to include characters for spaces and
periods).  This would produce a minimum sequence space of 28^5 and a
ratio of 1 in 28^5.

However, given certain contexts, other variations may work to get the
idea of penny across - such as the sequence pinny or piny or peny.
So, the actual minimum size requirement in practice would be more like
4 characters and the specificity would be somewhat reduced to an
average of no more than 2 character options per position at the same
time for an overall ratio of less than 2^4 in 28^4 for the English
language system.

And what are the units of this measure of "*functional* complexity"?

Fairly specified characters.

Looks to me like it is the specification of the universe of all
possible sequences 4 units long and would apply to *any* sequence that
is 4 units long.

And, more specifically, how is the number 28^4 a number that is a
measure of "fairly specified characters"? Wouldn't the number of
fairly specified characters be 4, given your reduction of the size of
the word to 4 by using certain mis-spellings? After all, there are
only 4 remaining characters in the word.

How, exactly, does the above calculation of the frequency of the
specific arrangement of letters in the word "penny" have any utility
at all in determining the mechanism by which that word came into
being?  Are you claiming that every English word was made by a random
search through total sequence space until it hit the one
teleologically determined sequence (in this case, the letter
combination "penny") that was the target?  This would be of
considerable interest to the etyomologists at the OED, who mistakenly
believe that words often arise by modification of pre-existing words.
My dictionary claims that "penny" arose from the Anglo-Saxon "pennig"
by descent with modification.  Why don't you write up your amazing
finding and present it at an etyomological conference?

Human languages and the basic characters and words upon which they are
built are arbitarily defined.

That doesn't answer the question, which was: "How, exactly, does the
above calculation of the universe of all possible arrangements of the
5 letters have any utility at all in determining the *actual* or
*real* mechanism by which that word "penny" came into being?  Are you
claiming that every English word was made by a random search through
total sequence space until it hit a pre-determined sequence (in this
case, the letter combination "penny") that was the teleologic target?"

Still haven't answered the question. Of what possible relevance is
the numbers you calculated (28^4 or 28^5) and call "functional
complexity" measured as the number of "fairly specified
characters" (although I don't see why those words apply to the number)
in telling us how the *real* word arose in the *real* world of the
development of the English language?

There is no inherent structure in the
sequence "penny" that causes it to have English-language function as
there is for proteins.

Which is why there is only one 5-letter word that has that meaning in
English.  But how does our pre-knowledge that the word we are
searching for is "penny" make the calculation of "functional
complexity" useful wrt understanding the mechanism by which this
combination of letters came to have the meaning it does?

How does this calculation aid our knowledge of the origin of the
word?  Under the standard *historical mechanism* for the generation of
the English word "penny", as opposed to the only method in which your
calculation of what you call the "functional complexity" of the word
could have meaning (namely random assembly), the structure and
sequence of the precursor word, pennig, *does* relate to the structure
and sequence of letters in the more modern word, penny in a non-random
fashion.

How does determining how many theoretical 5-letter sequences are
possible tell us anything useful about how the word "penny" came to
have the functional meaning it does?

However, the pattern of occupation within
sequence space (to include a fairly uniform distribution of meaningful
sequences and an exponential decline of these sequences with inceasing
minimum size requirements) is the same.

What is that supposed to mean?  How is that relevant to a mechanism of
origin of the word "penny"? If you mean that some combinations of 5
letters do not meet other rules for forming English word and thus
never get considered as possible words, e.g. sdrqz (which lacks vowels
and violates other rules of English word formation, like no u after
q), that simply reduces the size of the "universe of possible English
words 5 letters long" to a more realistic number.  But I still don't
think that even such a more realistic number tells us diddly-squat
about how *real* words *actually* originate.  I still don't see why
26^5 has any relevance to anything about the formation of 5 letter
words.

I ask primarily because I really, really do see the similarity between
your calculation of the amount of "functional complexity" in the word
"penny" and your calculation of the "functional complexity" of protein
sequences.  If you can explain the utility of your calculation here,
it might go a long way toward explaining to us poor dimwits the

Once you are done with "penny", perhaps you can tell us how useful

The concept only works within a given defined language system - as in
the language system of a particular organism or gene pool.

Schadenfreude is a perfectly good word for which there is no exact
English word and it is regularly used in English to describe a certain
kind of joy, but I could have used bullshit, biology, or evolution,
although the way that those words were created by a process of chimera
formation from other words is somewhat more cryptic.  BTW, in the case
of "bullshit's" meaning, it neither means the same thing as "bull" nor
"shit", but instead refers to a type of argument which you often use.
That is, the chimeric word has changed its function.

But, again, exactly how does the value you calculate and call
"functional complexity" relevant" to the origin of *real* words in
*any* language system?

I am anxiously awaiting your reply, since, as I said, I certainly do
see the connection between the way you calculated the "functional
complexity" of the word 'penny' and the way you calculate the
"functional complexity" of protein sequences. If you can just
convince me that such a calculation has any relevance to how the word
"penny" came to have the meaning it does in English, I might consider
how that makes your protein calculations useful.

But I do think you need to do a better job of explaining why such a
calculation has anything to do with *function* and why you say that
the units are in "fairly specified characters" when the calculation
doesn't take any such features into account.

Sean Pitmanwww.DetectingDesign.com

.

## Relevant Pages

• Re: David Dryden re: Levels of Functional Complexity
... the word "penny" in the English language system. ... specifically defined as five fully specified characters given an ... idea of penny across - such as the sequence pinny or piny or peny. ...
(talk.origins)
• Re: David Dryden re: Levels of Functional Complexity
... the word "penny" in the English language system. ... specifically defined as five fully specified characters given an ... idea of penny across - such as the sequence pinny or piny or peny. ...
(talk.origins)
• Re: David Dryden re: Levels of Functional Complexity
... characters in their respective "alphabets". ... I thought you were talking about the actual physical penny - not just ... the word "penny" in the English language system. ... As a word in the language system, the minimum size and sequence is ...
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