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Author Topic:   Can mutation and selection increase information?
Pressie
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Message 166 of 222 (818138)
08-24-2017 7:21 AM
Reply to: Message 165 by Tangle
08-23-2017 6:20 PM


CRR, could you answer this question?

quote:
Which has more information a pig or a cow?

I have another question. Which one has more genetic information; an Ostrich or a Nile crocodile?

We're waiting for your answers, CRR.


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Percy
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From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
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Message 167 of 222 (818144)
08-24-2017 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by Pressie
08-24-2017 7:21 AM


Actually, I don't think most of us could answer these questions ourselves, so I don't think it's fair to ask them of CRR.

But the reason we can't answer them, or at least that I can't answer them, is that I have no idea how many genes and alleles pigs, cow, ostriches and crocodiles possess. Once provided that information I could answer the question.

So maybe another way to pose the question to CRR is to provide him a simple genome for a hypothetical population and ask him how he measures the amount of information in it, e.g.:

  • Gene 1: 4 alleles
  • Gene 2: 1 allele
  • Gene 3: 2 alleles
  • Gene 4: 3 alleles

I would claim the answer is:

log2(4) + log2(1) + log2(2) + log2(3)
= 2 + 0 + 1 + 1.6
= 4.6

Of course it becomes a lot more complicated if allele frequencies are taken into account.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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Tangle
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(6)
Message 168 of 222 (818147)
08-24-2017 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Percy
08-24-2017 8:57 AM


Percy writes:

Actually, I don't think most of us could answer these questions ourselves, so I don't think it's fair to ask them of CRR.

Point of the question is to show its absurdity.

A pig has exactly enough 'information' to produce a pig. If it had more or less presumably it would produce something else or, more likely, nothing at all.

If H. Sapiens has less 'information' than a frog, what would that tell us? We already know that the size of the genome tells us nothing much about the complexity of the organism - the last time I looked an amoeba had a bigger genome that us, the largest animal genome was a locust and the largest overall was a pine tree (or a Japanese flower depending whether you care about doubling chromosomes.)

CRR can't even tell us why pigs and cows are seperate kinds or whether a tapir and elephant are the same kind - yet he's banging on about 'information' like he has any clue what it means.


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Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
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CRR
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Message 169 of 222 (818220)
08-25-2017 1:49 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Percy
08-24-2017 8:57 AM


Measuring Information
There are various ways of measuring various aspects of information but I don't think any of them is complete, and maybe never will be. One reference I've given before is by Durston et al; although I don't think this will be the last word on the subject.
Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins
quote:
Abstract

Background
Abel and Trevors have delineated three aspects of sequence complexity, Random Sequence Complexity (RSC), Ordered Sequence Complexity (OSC) and Functional Sequence Complexity (FSC) observed in biosequences such as proteins. In this paper, we provide a method to measure functional sequence complexity.

Methods and Results
We have extended Shannon uncertainty by incorporating the data variable with a functionality variable. The resulting measured unit, which we call Functional bit (Fit), is calculated from the sequence data jointly with the defined functionality variable. To demonstrate the relevance to functional bioinformatics, a method to measure functional sequence complexity was developed and applied to 35 protein families. Considerations were made in determining how the measure can be used to correlate functionality when relating to the whole molecule and sub-molecule. In the experiment, we show that when the proposed measure is applied to the aligned protein sequences of ubiquitin, 6 of the 7 highest value sites correlate with the binding domain.

Conclusion
For future extensions, measures of functional bioinformatics may provide a means to evaluate potential evolving pathways from effects such as mutations, as well as analyzing the internal structural and functional relationships within the 3-D structure of proteins.


Note that the authors highlight the distinction between functional information and Shannon information.


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CRR
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Posts: 578
From: Australia
Joined: 10-19-2016
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 170 of 222 (818221)
08-25-2017 2:09 AM
Reply to: Message 164 by ringo
08-23-2017 3:48 PM


Re: random and non-random mutations
How can you know whether the information is "degraded" before it is filtered by selection? What if a mutation makes an organism fitter in a new environment while the unmutated individuals remain fitter in the old environment? Isn't that an effective increase in information?

We already know that most evolution happens by the loss of information. As Behe says “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution” is “Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.”

However he does say

quote:
As seen in Tables 2 through 4, the large majority of experimental adaptive mutations are loss-of-FCT or modification-of-function mutations. In fact, leaving out those experiments with viruses in which specific genetic elements were intentionally deleted and then restored by subsequent evolution, only two gain-of-FCT events have been reported.
https://www.researchgate.net/...t_rule_of_adaptive_evolution

So that would appear to be a qualified yes to the question "Can mutation and selection increase information?".
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Pressie
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Posts: 1770
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 171 of 222 (818222)
08-25-2017 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by CRR
08-25-2017 2:09 AM


CRR writes:

We already know that most evolution happens by the loss of information.

Really? How do you quantify information to know whether it's a loss of information or not? I don't think you're telling the truth here.

Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.


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Pressie
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Posts: 1770
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 172 of 222 (818223)
08-25-2017 4:41 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Percy
08-24-2017 8:57 AM


Actually, it's very easy to answer that question. Anyone can do it. Pigs and cows have different genetic material. That's why we have "fully functioning" pigs and "fully functioning" cows.

(I got "fully functioning" from a creationist blog).


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Percy
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Posts: 15909
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 173 of 222 (818234)
08-25-2017 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by CRR
08-25-2017 1:49 AM


Re: Measuring Information
CRR writes:

There are various ways of measuring various aspects of information but I don't think any of them is complete, and maybe never will be.

You seem to have lost your way technically. Naturally no scientific field is ever complete, but we know more than enough to measure the information in a population's genome, and Shannon information is the way to do it. Gitt is a pretender. Learn something about actual information theory, then go back to Gitt and you'll see why what he says is nonsense.

About the Durston paper, what on earth does Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins have to do with measuring the amount of information in a population's gene pool?

I proposed one simple way of measuring that information on the basis of alleles/gene. It isn't the only way to approach the problem, but it's probably the simplest and easiest to understand. If you want to compare the amount of information between populations, that's the easiest way to do it.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.


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Taq
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Posts: 7139
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 174 of 222 (818244)
08-25-2017 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by CRR
08-25-2017 1:49 AM


Re: Measuring Information
CRR writes:

Note that the authors highlight the distinction between functional information and Shannon information.

So if a mutation changes what the protein binds to, would that be an increase in information?


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Taq
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Posts: 7139
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(2)
Message 175 of 222 (818245)
08-25-2017 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by CRR
08-25-2017 2:09 AM


Re: random and non-random mutations
CRR writes:

We already know that most evolution happens by the loss of information.

Then why do you keep saying that there has to be an increase in information in order for macroevolution to occur? It would seem that evolution does just fine without needing to meet the requirements you have set for it.

To use an analogy, you are saying that a baseball player has to hit a ball 2,000 feet in order to get a home run. All the while, baseball players are hitting balls 400 feet and getting home runs. You have lost touch with reality.


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ringo
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Posts: 13622
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
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(2)
Message 176 of 222 (818248)
08-25-2017 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by CRR
08-25-2017 2:09 AM


Re: random and non-random mutations
CRR writes:

We already know that most evolution happens by the loss of information.


Do we? How do you dstinguish between a "loss" of information and a change in information? Does "cat" contain more or less information than "bat"? Or is it just different information?

CRR writes:

So that would appear to be a qualified yes to the question "Can mutation and selection increase information?".


But it wouldn't be an answer to the question I asked you.

Here it is again: How can you know whether the information is "degraded" before it is filtered by selection? What if a mutation makes an organism fitter in a new environment while the unmutated individuals remain fitter in the old environment? Isn't that an effective increase in information?

Forget about woo-woo arguments about "more" or "less" information. If the new organism is better suited to survive, isn't the change in information an effective improvement?


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jar
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(1)
Message 177 of 222 (818250)
08-25-2017 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 176 by ringo
08-25-2017 11:48 AM


Re: random and non-random mutations
Or, as with Latin, are House Cat and Cat House equivalent?

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Percy
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Posts: 15909
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 178 of 222 (818252)
08-25-2017 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by CRR
08-25-2017 2:09 AM


Re: random and non-random mutations
We already know that most evolution happens by the loss of information.

How would you know whether evolution causes a gain or loss of information if you don't know how to measure information?

So that would appear to be a qualified yes to the question "Can mutation and selection increase information?".

Mutation unqualifiedly increases information. Nothing else is possible. You have more alleles in the population than you had before. That can't be anything but an increase in information.

Actually there are a couple of unlikely mutation cases that can result in equal or less amounts of information in the population. A mutation can leave the population with the same amount of information if the mutated allele happens to be identical to a preexisting allele. And a mutation can leave the population with less information if the mutated allele happens to be the last instance of that allele *and* the mutated allele happens to be identical to a preexisting allele. These cases are so rare as to not be worth considering. I'm mentioning them only for completeness.

Whether selection results in a gain or loss of information depends upon how you look at it. If selection is considered a pruning process, one that decides which offspring don't survive to reproduce, then selection can never increase information, only decrease it or leave it the same.

But another way of looking at selection is as the pressures responsible for differential reproductive success, in which case it isn't a pruning process but a process that decides which offspring survive to reproduce and which don't. In this case, whether selection increases or decreases information is a function of the offspring that are selected to survive to reproduce combined with whether the mutations they possess represent an increase or decrease in information.

--Percy


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NoNukes
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From: Central NC USA
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Message 179 of 222 (818253)
08-25-2017 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by Percy
08-25-2017 12:48 PM


Re: random and non-random mutations
n which case it isn't a pruning process but a process that decides which offspring survive to reproduce and which don't.

How is a process of deciding who survives to reproduce not a pruning process?


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15909
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 180 of 222 (818256)
08-25-2017 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 179 by NoNukes
08-25-2017 1:44 PM


Re: random and non-random mutations
NoNukes writes:

How is a process of deciding who survives to reproduce not a pruning process?

When trying to answer the question about whether selection can increase information, how you look at selection determines the answer. Pruning the unfit is one way to look at selection, a process of elimination, in which case selection could never increase information.

But differential reproduction success is another and more detailed way of looking at selection. For this perspective admittance gates might be a better analogy than pruning. The gates are wide open to the most fit, closed to the least fit, and somewhere in between for those with fitness in between. Admitting organisms that add more information than that lost by those refused admittance can result in increased information.

I think the first view is simpler because it allows one to think about mutation and selection separately (first mutation occurs as part of the reproductive process, then selection of the most fit occurs) , but the equations of population genetics include variables for selection and mutation rate - they're interdependent.

So I don't know. Maybe I haven't come up with good ways of thinking about this issue. I wish HBD were still around.

--Percy


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