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Author Topic:   Gene pool deeper?
Chiroptera
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Posts: 6532
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 16 of 47 (106693)
05-08-2004 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by JonF
05-08-2004 8:52 PM


Thanks, JonF. These examples are quite fascinating. I am especially fascinating at the evolution of the "irreducibly complex" lactose metabolizing system. I simply cannot fathom how a creationist could deny that this is an example of increased genetic information, except, of course, creationists don't understand what "information" means.

I am puzzled by:

Behe is particularly scornful of the fact that the "new" galactosidase enzyme didn't evolve from scratch, but was produced by a small number of mutations in an existing gene, albeit in an operon far distant from the deleted galactosidase gene.

I thought that, except for a few irreducibly complex biochemical systems, Behe accepted evolution. What in the world does he think evolution is? How does he think evolution proceeds? I have always been astounded at his huge ego - he baits evolutionary biologists as, basically, not being smart enough to understand biochemistry, but he himself doesn't seem to understand evolutionary biology.


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JonF
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Posts: 4570
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 17 of 47 (106694)
05-08-2004 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Chiroptera
05-08-2004 9:23 PM


Who the heck knows what Behe beleives; IMHO he believes in selling books ...
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 18 of 47 (106695)
05-08-2004 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Gup20
05-08-2004 6:20 PM


duplicate - edited away.

This message has been edited by Coragyps, 05-08-2004 08:36 PM


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 19 of 47 (106697)
05-08-2004 9:35 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Gup20
05-08-2004 6:20 PM


Creationism and Evolution go in opposite directions.

Creationism and The AiG Cartoon Version of Evolution may, but evolution as studied by biologists doesn't have a direction. We humans, and whales, and giant squid, and platypi are all incidental to the process.
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Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 47 (106738)
05-09-2004 4:41 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by JonF
05-08-2004 8:52 PM


JonF writes:

In other words, you have no idea how it might happen, and you just sort of make it up as you go along. That's what we call an ad-hoc hypothesis; a hypothesis for which there is no evidence and no reason other thatn to try to save your cherished beliefs.

I was simply trying to answer Justin's question without taking a side. If this is to be a hostile environment, then I would take a side and argue my beleif.

There is no such thing as skin color. There is the ammount of melanin your skin produces. All skin is the same color, it just has more or less melanin. This gives it a darker or lighter appearance.

Mutations in several genes can cause changes to skin color. A change to a cell telling your body how much melanin to produce can cause lighter or darker pigmentation. Also, mutations to the cells that produce melanin directly can also have an effect on the ammount of melanin produced.

In fact there is almost always no simple one-to-one correspondence between a gene and the characteristics of the organisms that carry that gene. Hox genes are a great example of that. Make a change in a HOX gene and you can get something that doesn't even look like its parent.

This however doesn't support or degrade either evolution or creationism. If you turn a hox gene off, you are simply turning off the expression of a gene. The organism still retains the information (specified complexity and order).

Feel free to present non-Biblical evidence, not rhetoric, for it.

I decided to respond to this statement as an aside to the main discussion. It would be foolish and ignorant for me to adhere to this if I were to argue the creationist point of view. If I were to say - You can argue evolution with me, but you can only present evidence that shows how supernatural influence made everything happen, you would look at me like I was nuts. By definition, the Theory of Evolution is naturalistic and humanistic. It is entirely exclusionary to the to supernatural. By the same token, creationism is inseparable from the Bible or from the supernatural. It is the basis of the theory. To explain it in a naturalistic way would only subject it to the same exclusionary outcome as Evolution.

Nobody has ever observed any process such as you describe, or any hint that of evidence such a process might exist, or (as I pointed out above) the evidence that such a process would leave behind.

No one has ever observed evolution either. There is evidence which must be interpreted under an assumptive process (as no one can go back a million years and measure and observe) which equates to 'our best educated guesses'. And we have already determined that the answers MUST be exclusionary to the supernatural, therefore it is not surprising that the interpretation of any evidence discovered and categorized by someone with an evolutionary paradigm would reflect this naturalistic worldview. It is not that the evidence says this - evidence and facts do not 'speak'. They must be interpreted in order to draw conclusions.

Many mutations have been observed and identified that give rise to abilities that were not present in previous generations.

I will show how these mutations are directionally the opposite that is required for a single cell to eventually branch into a person (you like how I picked up on the directional Bush comment?).

For our purposes here, we will talk about and define information. If you have a book, and you make a duplicate copy of the book, you do not have more information, you have twice as much of the same information. Dr. Don Batton says it this way - if [the word] "superman" were [a] duplicated 'gene', and mutations in the letters changed it to "sxyxvawtu ", you have clearly lost information, although you have a new sequence. This is the difference between complexity and specified complexity. A pile of sand is complex , but is information-poor, because it specifies nothing.

An extremely common miconception about this information theory is that creationists believe that all mutations or changes are harmful or bad. This simply is not true. However, all mutations do result in a loss of information (specified complexity and order). While most mutations are neutral some can be beneficial, and others can be harmful.

Having said that, let me delve into your examples, JonF.

Many mutations have been observed and identified that give rise to abilities that were not present in previous generations. In bacteria, the classical example is the nylon eating bug.

This is an often used example. However, it does not show that any new information arises. Let me explain. The changed genes that allow the bacteria the appearant novel ability to consume nylon is actually not on the bateria's DNA genomic structure. The change is actually in one of the bacterium's plasmids (the main DNA of the bacteria remains unchanged). Furthermore, the plasmids on which we see this appearantly novel ability is most likely designed to adapt the bacteria to new food sources. The evidence of this is that these plasmids are not activated by the bacterium unless it is under considerable strain or pressure. This suggests that it is the function of these plasmids to adapt the bacterium to new environments. Also, it is important to note that the way, the plasmid does this with the nylon eating is by a frame shift which removes the information telling the bacteria what not to eat. It is the equivalent to putting a blind fold on, and plugging your nose as someone puts food in front of you to eat. Your indicators telling you if it is real food or not have been disabled, so you consume away. This is certainly a decrease in specified complexity, and a loss of information. In this case, the loss of information is beneficial to the bacterium. Again, it is a very common misconception that creationists believe that all mutations and all losses of information are harmful to an organism.

Bary Hall's experiments with beta-galactosidase; he deleted this gene from bacteria, and a new set of genes arose by mutation, which created a new irreducibly complex system (see A True Acid Test.

This experiment is the equivalent to deleting the one letter in a word - such as removing the O in the word TEAMWORK so that it looks like TEAMW*RK. Moreover, you leave the word in the same sentence with the same context - We won the game by pulling together and working as a team - it was this TEAMW*RK that gave us the win. Hall takes a working, existing gene with an existing function and deletes one part of a multi-part system, then claims novel ability when the system repairs itself. While this is a marvelous example of the error correction built into genetic structures, it does not demonstrate how a bacteria that NEVER HAD this function in the first place could have developed it. Moreover, it is indeed a multi-part function - all the parts would need to be devoloped at the same time for any function to occur at all. This certainly is not evidence of an information gain. An information gain (increase in specified complexity) would be for him to delete the beta-galactosidase gene and have a completely differnt gene with a completely different multi-part gene grow back in it's place (one that the bateria has never had before) with increased functionality over the previous gene (such as able to do what the previous gene could do, plus add a novel function with it). That sort of change is the one required for Evolution to take place. For genes to keep existing function and information while adding new ability and function to it. This is, after all, exactly what evolutionists claim happens. They claim genes duplicate themselves and then ONE of the copies mutates while the other remains the same. This of course would be evidenced by a the existing function and specified complexity remaining (entact and in it's original form), while novel ability was added. It is this BUILDING UP of information that DOES NOT occur. If we see a new ability, it is at the expense of existing specified complexity. THAT is what we see under a microscope. THAT is the direcitonal change we can observe - and it is NOT the one needed for Evolution to happen.

In humans, one example is the Alipoprotein mutation that confers resistance to heart disease.

Again, this makes the assumption that beneficial mutations go against the creationist model or idea of information. This is, again, not the case. Beneficial mutations do happen, however it is a loss of specified complexity. In this case an ammino acid is replaced with a cysteine residue for a protein that removes cholesterol from arteries. The mutated gene doesn't do it's intended function very well anymore, but one effect of the mutation is that it now acts as an antioxident (because of the cysteine) which is good for keeping the arteries from hardening. Up to 70% of the original cholesterol fighting capability of the gene is hindered, but the remaing 30% still try to perform their function. One part that is left is the targeting information - so the gene is able to perform it's function as an antioxident rather that it's intended functionality. In other words, specificity of the antioxidant activity does not lie with the mutation itself, but with the protein structure, which already existed, in which the mutation occurred. You can read the AiG description (which I have borrowed from) here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2003/0221.asp

It sums up nicely: Now in gaining an anti-oxidant activity, the protein has lost a lot of activity for making HDLs. So the mutant protein has sacrificed specificity. Since antioxidant activity is not a very specific activity (a great variety of simple chemicals will act as antioxidants), it would seem that the result of this mutation has been a net loss of specificity, or, in other words, information. This is exactly as we would expect with a random change.

So again we can see that this is the wrong directional change needed by evolution. It is a loss in information (specified complexity). Perhaps a new ability is gained, but at a cost. This goes to demonstrate the concept that I was trying to convey to Justin (the thread starter). Adam had all the human genes in perfect condition (unmutated) and mutation has lessened the information level in the human genome since then. Therefore inbreeding would not have been, nor caused, a problem for the first few thousand years.

Another example is the CCR5-Delta32 deletion which confers resistance to HIV.

Here again we see a loss of information. Let me quote the first line of that:

"The CCR5-Delta32 deletion obliterates the CCR5 chemokine and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 coreceptor on lymphoid cells, leading to strong resistance against HIV-1 infection and AIDS."

We have the receptor genes that HIV attacks being deleted. This is an obvious loss of genetic information, albeit with a beneficial result. Again, this is not a problem for creationists as it is clearly a loss of specified complexity.

See The genetic basis of adaptive melanism in pocket mice

Here we see that there is already many varieties of colors - the article mentions 18 different populations with coat colors taht range from very light to very dark. I don't see anything unusual here beyond natural selection. As we saw in the nylon, adaptation can be expected (it was designed for), and as we saw in the Acid, it is existing genes. Moreover, we are dealing with the same type of characteristic of Melanin. In humans our bodies are programmed to release more melanin into the skin as we spend time in the sun (a protection mechanism). The tanning industry can attest to the consitency and repetitive nature of that mechanism. Is it surprising then, that in mice (which share so much in common with the human genome that most lab tests for humans is done on mice) would have some type of mechanism for melanism?

And this isn't even scratching the surface. Everything we have learned about populationj genetics and mutations conflicts with your "theory". Everything.

Well you are right about one thing - EVERYTHING in evolution uses these same criteria to try to boulster the case of molecules to man evolution. Each and every case that exists follows these rules of Information and Specified Complexity. No where in nature do you find matter spontaneously givne rise to information - no where in nature do you find information gaining mutations. Mutation IS the only mechanism for molecules to man evolution. At this basic level then, molecules to man evolution simply cannot happen.

It is more likely, then, that a system such as the Kinds system associated with the Bible and creationism make more sense. The original creation was perfect - no mutation - God created every creature in a perfect state. The Bible says God created them and saw that they were good. He found no flaw or blemish in them. The only reason that this isn't accepted is because it is not naturalistic. It involves the supernatural too much for the humanist mindset to be comfortable with. After all - if God created us, we are ultimately responsible to Him - if we evolved, then we are rulers of our own domain and can do 'whatever seems right in our own eyes'.

But hey - I completely understand your position, JonF. You are in the position that you cannot accept anything that is not entirely Naturalistic. This sounds far fetched to you because it casts doubts on the only system you have for naturally explaining the origin and existance of life. I understand your hostility and consternation to these ideas. But even completely naturally speaking, these concepts of information gaining and specified complexity hold true. It is indeed impossible to gain novel function without some kind of loss of information. Why? Because we were specifically designed a certain way. When you start with a perfect design, changes can only dilute perfection. God is a much better and wiser designer than chance, chemistry, and time. If he is wise enough to create the universe and life - I would trust that over the trial and error process of chance at 'getting it right'.

Another interesting aside that demonstrates these concepts is to look at the the incredible design and engineering feats of ancienct civilizations. Engineering feets that modern engineers can't even begin to fathom. Yet these people had no machines, no computers, nothing to aid them. Look at the Great Pyramid, for example. An enginieering marvel that can't be duplicated. Look at Stone Henge, look at the ancient city of Sacsahuamán, near the city of Cuzco, Peru, there is a magnificent wall built by the Incas, deliberately using irregularly shaped blocks of stone. Some of the blocks weigh as much as 100 tonnes and are so accurately fitted together that still today it is not possible to insert a piece of paper in the joints between the blocks. Even more incredible, however, is a larger stone block in the area. The size of a five-storey house and weighing an estimated 20,000 tonnes, the builders of Sacsahuamán could, and somehow did, move this block! The feat of moving such a staggering weight has never been attempted, let alone duplicated, with modern machinery. Even the largest crane in the world today is capable of lifting only about 3,000 tonnes. Yet somehow these people of ancient times were able to do this. They were able to figure this out. How? Well if Adam was indeed created perfect, he probably had the IQ and intellect abilities that probably exceeded the greatest minds we can think of. Probably even more amazing than a Savant's ability (going back to our discussion on race - everything we see today would have been genes resident in Adam). Also - Adam was created with the knowledge and ability to speak and communicate. This is a highly complex form of knowledge - Humans being the only creature on the earth with the ability for language. We see this evidenced by God speaking with Adam. We also see extreme intelligence as God (practically ordaining Biological science) brought all the animals to Adam to name. We also see God commanding Noah to build a Ship greater than several football fields... no small engineering task. Notice God didnt' tell Noah how to make the planks or the pitch or how to piece it together... he jsut told him to build it and the size dimensions. That is another engineering marvel.


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 Message 15 by JonF, posted 05-08-2004 8:52 PM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 47 (106742)
05-09-2004 6:33 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Gup20
05-09-2004 4:41 AM


There is no such thing as skin color.

I was looking this up, and you may wish to know that there's three pigments associated with coloration of skin: hemoglobin, carotene, and melanin.

Obviously hemoglobin, the red pigment of blood, is responsible for the pinkish color of light skin. Carotene is the dominant pigment only in pathological situations, and is yellow-orange in color.

Melanin is actually two different pigments; pheomelanin (yellow-red in color) and eumelanin (the more familiar brown-black color). The ratios of these pigments would explain how persons from different regions differ in hue and not just tint.

So I'm not sure your statement is accurate. It's like saying that paint has no color - it only has different amounts of different pigments. Technically true, but not what most people would mean by "having color."

Anyway, just thought I would chime in with that.

Oh, and the rest of it - your argument, over and over, just seems to be that if a sequence is changed, the fact that it's different than it was before represents a loss of "specified complexity", whatever that is.

That's not an argument that I find compelling. I challenge you to identify a hypothetical change - in any situation or analogy you choose - that represents an increase in specified complexity. The way you've stacked the deck, that's impossible. I'm not inclined to pay much attention to the "argument from a stacked deck."

This message has been edited by crashfrog, 05-09-2004 05:41 AM


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JonF
Member
Posts: 4570
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 22 of 47 (106774)
05-09-2004 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Gup20
05-09-2004 4:41 AM


I notice that you have taken a common creationist tactic; rather than presenting your theory, you are attacking mine. Please present your theory of how all the genetic information required for today's life was packed into a relatively few organisms. I also don't recall you specifying a time period over which life has been present and your supposed mechanims have been operating and what kind of mutation rate would be rewquired to iimplement the changes over that time period. Please do so.

By definition, the Theory of Evolution is naturalistic and humanistic. It is entirely exclusionary to the to supernatural. By the same token, creationism is inseparable from the Bible or from the supernatural. It is the basis of the theory. To explain it in a naturalistic way would only subject it to the same exclusionary outcome as Evolution.

I agree completely. The TOE is science, creationism is not.

For our purposes here, we will talk about and define information. If you have a book, and you make a duplicate copy of the book, you do not have more information, you have twice as much of the same information.

Sorry, that's not a definition of information; at best it's an example. A definition would allow us to examine a system and determine the amount of information in it without knowing the process by which that information arose, or to calculate the amount if changes in information by various processes.

Your problem is that all extant operational definitions of information have been shown to yield information increase under some circumstances, and few if any extant operational definitions of information are applicable to biological systems.

The changed genes that allow the bacteria the appearant novel ability to consume nylon is actually not on the bateria's DNA genomic structure. The change is actually in one of the bacterium's plasmids (the main DNA of the bacteria remains unchanged).

I know. Irrelevant.

Furthermore, the plasmids on which we see this appearantly novel ability is most likely designed to adapt the bacteria to new food sources. The evidence of this is that these plasmids are not activated by the bacterium unless it is under considerable strain or pressure.

That is not evidence for design rather than evolution.

This suggests that it is the function of these plasmids to adapt the bacterium to new environments. Also, it is important to note that the way, the plasmid does this with the nylon eating is by a frame shift which removes the information telling the bacteria what not to eat.

Since you have not defined or measured the information, this claim is meaningless. How much information was present before and after the mutation, and how do you determine those amounts?

Hall takes a working, existing gene with an existing function and deletes one part of a multi-part system, then claims novel ability when the system repairs itself.

The system did not repair itself, a new system arose. Repairing itself would have been restoring the deletion.

all the parts would need to be devoloped at the same time for any function to occur at all.

All parts of the new system did not develop at the same time. Close to the same time, on our time scale, but far apart on a bacterial time scale.

Again, this makes the assumption that beneficial mutations go against the creationist model or idea of information.

No, in this case it makes the assumption that new abilities arising through mutation is against your earlier claim. A mutation occured, a new ability arose.

The mutated gene doesn't do it's intended function very well anymore,

You are assuming your conclusion when you say "intended function". Intent is yet to be established. In Eeolutionary theory there is no such thing as an intended function.

So again we can see that this is the wrong directional change needed by evolution. It is a loss in information (specified complexity)

Please post the difference in information content before and after the mutation. Show your work.

We have the receptor genes that HIV attacks being deleted. This is an obvious loss of genetic information,

Perhaps. Please calculate the difference in information before and after. Show your work.

Here we see that there is already many varieties of colors - the article mentions 18 different populations with coat colors taht range from very light to very dark. I don't see anything unusual here beyond natural selection. As we saw in the nylon, adaptation can be expected (it was designed for), and as we saw in the Acid, it is existing genes

"It was designed for" is assuming your conclusion again. Design is yet to be demonstrated.

No, it's not existing genes. The genes for different coat colors appear in population A and not in population B. The mutations have been identified. There are no mice that have all the genes.

But hey - I completely understand your position, JonF. You are in the position that you cannot accept anything that is not entirely Naturalistic. This sounds far fetched to you because it casts doubts on the only system you have for naturally explaining the origin and existance of life.

Absolutely incorrect. Don't give up your day job, amateur psychoanalysis isn't your forte.

My position is that it is pretty likely that life originated through naturalistic means, but it's well within the range of possibility that it originated supernaturally. It's also possible that the panoply of life we see today arose through supernatural means ... but, if so, the evidence indicates clearly that the means by which it arose are indistinguishable from naturalistic means operting over long periods of time.

And I certainly can accept things that are not entirely naturalistic, on the basis of faith rather than scientific evidence. I just don't try to introduce non-naturalistic items where they're not appropriate.

Another interesting aside that demonstrates these concepts is to look at the the incredible design and engineering feats of ancienct civilizations. Engineering feets that modern engineers can't even begin to fathom.

Geez, you'll be quoting "Chariots of the Gods" next. Suffice it to say that the engineering feats of ancient civilizations are completely fathomable and have been fathomed; they had primitive technology and the will to invest incredible amounts of human labor.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6532
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 23 of 47 (106800)
05-09-2004 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Gup20
05-09-2004 4:41 AM


quote:
However, all mutations do result in a loss of information (specified complexity and order).

This is false. If you are going to assert this as fact you must demonstrate it to be true. You must actually provide a definition of "information". Please remember that the claim is that "information" cannot increase - you are implying that information is a quantity. You are therefore claiming that information is a number that is associated with a particular gene or collection of genes. So your definition should include a method for actually calculating the information in a particular gene. You should be able to demonstrate that by making a mutation, the same calculation on the new gene will result in less information than the original. Then, after proving that information is a real quantity that can be measured or calculated, and after showing how it cannot increase, you must explain why this concept is at all relevent to evolutionary theory.


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Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 47 (106811)
05-09-2004 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by crashfrog
05-09-2004 6:33 AM


Fascinating on the skin coloration info. It does, however, show the possibilty of one individual having the ability genetically to be the source of all variety of 'skin color' we see today.

crashfrog writes:

I challenge you to identify a hypothetical change - in any situation or analogy you choose - that represents an increase in specified complexity.

Cetainly, I can provide a hypothetical. Lets say you have a fruit fly. You mutate the fly so that it grows an extra set of legs on it's head. However, you have not increased the information content of the fruit fly. You have simply caused fruit fly legs to grow out of place. An increase of information would be for the fruit fly to grow a bee's stinger (or equivelent) or a grasshopper's jumping legs, or a the ability to weave a web as a spider does. Here, we would have information that is novel to the fruit fly. It would be an increase in specified complexity. A functional increase without a loss. Afterall - the primary mechanism for evolution is an information gaining process whereby genes are duplicated and one set of genes remains the same while the duplicated set is free to mutate and change. In this scenario we would see that all existing functions, traits, and complexity remain intact as novel function and complexity is added.

Let me give you another hypothetical example. Take Archaeopteryx; here you see a discreet fossil. The evolutionist says 'see here is a transitional fossil'. The creationist, however, says 'I do not see any transition - I see a discreet fossil'. According to the evolutionary model, we should see the Archaeopteryx as a reptile, a few million fossils later we should see the Archaeopteryx transitioning to a 'bird like' reptile. Several million fossils later we should see many of the reptile features beggining to wein in comparrison to the novel bird features. And eventually, we should see Archaeopteryx without any vestigial reptile features (or very few). According to the theories of evolution in the matter of gene duplication, where one set is preserved and the duplicate set mutates, this is exactly the transition we should see. Because the Archaeopteryx must keep it's existing genes in order for an 'information gain' to take place, it would also retain it's appearance for the most part and the changes would be gradual as the many different subsets of genes mutated. "But what about HOX genes?" Well, HOX genes are capable of radical feature tranformations, however, hox genes only turn on and off genes that are already there. Moreover, for a mutated gene, we would have to assume that as a gene mutated, there was also simultaneous and idential mutation happening in the HOX genes to directly reflect the novel features and turn them on or off. It is hypotheically analogus to building a home with a circuit breaker, then tapping into one of the wires in the wall to run a new line. You do not have direct control of the 'new line' accept to turn off the old line. For you to control the new line with the circuit breaker youwould need to install the line in both the wall and the circuit breaker (along with fuses and everything else). The odds against such a thing happening simultaneously are so astronomically high as to be a real impossibilty. For a mutation to occur giving novel function (increased specified complexity) to one gene and be identially mirrored in the hox genes would be pretty incredible.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6532
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 25 of 47 (106812)
05-09-2004 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Gup20
05-09-2004 3:23 PM


We have evidence in the fossil record of the jaw joint of the ancestral reptile transforming into the inner ear bones of the mammal. Would the individual steps indicate an increase in information? If so, what about this evidence that information does increase? If not, then could "information" be irrelevant to evolution?
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jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 26 of 47 (106813)
05-09-2004 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Gup20
05-09-2004 3:23 PM


Take Archaeopteryx
but what we see is actually a wide variety of creatures from all over the world that are all transitional dinosaur/birds.

Microraptor
Longisquama insignis
Dromaeosaur
ARCHAEOPTERYX
Protarchaepteryx robusta
Caudpteryx zoui

It's there if you will only open your eyes and look.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Gup20, posted 05-09-2004 3:23 PM Gup20 has not yet responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5381
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 8.4


Message 27 of 47 (106814)
05-09-2004 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Gup20
05-09-2004 3:23 PM


Old-timers, I apologize for dragging this out again, but just maybe Gup20 will give me a reply. I don't think I've ever gotten one before.

This is a copy of a post of mine from an old thread, so there might be a couple of odd references in it:

Ref: Nature, vol 414, pp 305-308 (2001) - "Haemoglobin C protects against clinical Plasmodium falciparum malaria" , by D Modiano et al. It's not online, to my knowledge, except by paid subscription.

Normal human hemoglobin ("HbA") is coded for by DNA which reads, as the 16th through 18th positions of a certain gene, GAA. This codon tells a cell's protein factory to put the amino acid glutamate at the sixth spot along the peptide that will become the beta chain of your or my hemoglobin. However, in a large number of West Africans, particularly the Mossi of Burkina Faso, this speck of DNA reads AAA. The distribution of folks with this variant looks like a bull's-eye: lots of the gene in one area of Burkina Faso, and fewer and fewer people with it as you move away from that center. The distribution is consistent with the idea that one person had the mutation about a thousand years ago, and that it spread through his or her descendants since. (Most people weren't terribly mobile in that area until nearly modern times - at least until the slave trade started.)

Now this DNA change alters that sixth amino acid on the beta chain of hemoglobin to lysine, making HbC. Most people with hemoglobin C never know it - some have mild anemia, gallstones, or spleen problems. But Modiano's paper documents that Mossi children that have both genes for HbC are 7% as likely to develop malaria as their classmates who have boring old HbA. 7% as likely to get the disease that kills a couple of million kids in West Africa every year. And that's because their genome has the information to make a protein that has one amino acid that's different from the one in their neighbors, and in their ancestors, too, if you go back a ways. New information. Useful new information. (You will agree that being able to make two different proteins is "more information" than being able to make only one, won't you? Kids in the study that had the AC genotype - that had both HbA and HbC in their blood - had a 29% reduction in their chance of getting malaria.) New, useful, "information" from a mutation.

Now a footnote: if your DNA reads GUA instead of GAA in this position, you get a valine in position 6 and have sickle-cell trait - the result of a different mutated hemoglobin called HbS. This protects against malaria, too, but the side effects can be severe, including fatal, especially if you have both genes for HbS. This, too, is "new information" - a different protein is being made.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Gup20, posted 05-09-2004 3:23 PM Gup20 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Gup20, posted 05-09-2004 7:39 PM Coragyps has responded

    
Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 47 (106824)
05-09-2004 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by JonF
05-09-2004 10:24 AM


JonF writes:

I notice that you have taken a common creationist tactic; rather than presenting your theory, you are attacking mine. Please present your theory of how all the genetic information required for today's life was packed into a relatively few organisms. I also don't recall you specifying a time period over which life has been present and your supposed mechanims have been operating and what kind of mutation rate would be rewquired to iimplement the changes over that time period. Please do so.

Oh, I thought that is what I was doing. I was answering Justin's question about the Biblical model of how inbreeding was possible by stating the creationist/biblical viewpoint. Then, it seems, you chimed in with your discent. I then responded to your discent. I really don't see any evidence to suggest your implication that "rather than presenting your theory, you are attacking mine". In fact, I was presenting 'my' theory and you attacked it. It would seem, in this case, that you have projected your own characteristics and actions onto me. Therefore, I would dismiss your notion that I have employeda 'common creationist tactic' as the premise to this statement is irrefutably false.

I agree completely. The TOE is science, creationism is not.

You are trying to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater'. Because creationism is not exclusively naturalistic doesn't mean that we can't use naturalistic evidences or procedures to confirm the Bible. While I am glad that you would agree that Evolution is completely exclusionary to the supernatural, I would also point out that any conclusions drawn on by the evolutionary paradigm that suggest the supernatural doesn't exist would demonstrably be a result of the exclusionary process through which Evolution filters it's conclusions. This, in itself, cannot be considered evidence against creation because the original premise, or assumption, is that the supenatural does not exist, nor does it exert influence. Evolution attepts to explain life in a naturalistic way, and is intentionally exclusionary to the supernatural, therefore it cannot be used to evaluate or judge the validity of creationism or the Bible.

Sorry, that's not a definition of information; at best it's an example. A definition would allow us to examine a system and determine the amount of information in it without knowing the process by which that information arose, or to calculate the amount if changes in information by various processes.

I started with an example so there would be context. I clearly defined 'information' as specified complexity.

Your problem is that all extant operational definitions of information have been shown to yield information increase under some circumstances, and few if any extant operational definitions of information are applicable to biological systems.

Yet, there is not a single example of such given.

I know. Irrelevant.

This is not irrelevant. The premise here is that an evolutionary addition of informaation is demonstrated by the nylon eating bacteria. However, we show that no changes are made to the bacteria, let alone an addition of information. The purpose of the nylon eating bacteria is to show how information can be added and built upon to go from molecules to man. Insomuch, the example of nylon eating bacteria fails because nothing is added or even changed on the bacteria itself. It remains a bacteria. It remains the same bacteria it was before.

That is not evidence for design rather than evolution.

Quite right. Design would have to be inferred. However, it would be safe to say that it is the 'intended' function of the plasmid if you get too hung up on 'designed' function.

Since you have not defined or measured the information, this claim is meaningless. How much information was present before and after the mutation, and how do you determine those amounts?

In fact I did define information. I didn't quantify it, that is much harder to do precisely. I did however give enough so that we can see directional changes. By the definition, we perhaps couldn't tell the exact percentage of change, but we could see that a change in a particular direction took place.

The system did not repair itself, a new system arose. Repairing itself would have been restoring the deletion.

As I stated before, no new information arose. The change is neutral. The specified complexity remains the same. He removed a component of a system that had a specific function. The rest of the system would perform as though the fucntion was present. It is not novel to the structure for that function to happen. It is not an increase in information for it to do what is is supposed to do.

Lets look at an anaology. Say we are driving down the road in our car and we get a flat tire. We replace the flat tire with the doughnut. Is there an increase in specified complexity? No. Why? Because the car is designed to work with 4 tires. Remove one tire, and you need a tire for the car to work as intended. Putting a donut on the car is akin to a 'new gene' but it doesn't increase the information of the car - it still has 4 wheels. Now if we replaced that tire with a tank track - that would be hypothetical example of increasing the information (specified complexity). A tank track not only serves to do the same function as a tire, but requires many additional components with a specific function - such as equipment to hold the track on, the track itself, equiptment to drive the track, a protective covering for the track so that it didn't come off, etc. Here we have added specified complexity. The donut, while different from the full size tire, has no more 'information'. It allows the car to continue functioning as designed, and in the designated mannor.

All parts of the new system did not develop at the same time. Close to the same time, on our time scale, but far apart on a bacterial time scale.

In any multipart system, all the components must be there for function to occur, otherwise the rise in information is vestigial and as you said - unused or useless parts are discarded quickly. They only serve to use up resources the creature could use toward functional components. Natural selection would weed these out quickly.

No, in this case it makes the assumption that new abilities arising through mutation is against your earlier claim. A mutation occured, a new ability arose.

As I demonstrated, this 'new ability' was at the price of a loss of information. While beneficial, it is directionally the opposite change that must occur for molecules to man evolution to happen. In fact this is in support of de-evolution.

You are assuming your conclusion when you say "intended function". Intent is yet to be established. In Eeolutionary theory there is no such thing as an intended function.

The protein has the function of removing cholesterol from the arteries by making HDLs. It has indeed suffered a loss in the ability to do this. Your statement if broadly applied could mean that Evolutionists do not believe that the Heart muscle is intended to pump blood throughout the body, or the spinal cord is not intended to carry motor control signals to the rest of your body. If indeed in Evolutionary theory there is no such thing as intended function these would be true.

Please post the difference in information content before and after the mutation. Show your work.

As I stated, I defined information, but did not quantify it. Specific numbers are not needed to show directional change. They are needed to show exact change, but we are not worried about the exact change - just is the change the right direction to make molecules to man possible. This of course should be qualified by saying that because I have not personally quantified 'information' that actual creationist geneticists have not. Quantifying the information is simply over my head, so I choose not to try to present it here.

"It was designed for" is assuming your conclusion again. Design is yet to be demonstrated.

I need not make that assumption. The fact that the information already exists is enough. The genes are already there as well as a mechanism for melanism.

evidence indicates clearly that the means by which it arose are indistinguishable from naturalistic means operting over long periods of time.

As you have already admitted, Evolution is completely exclusionary to the supernatural. Again, you cannot judge objectively using a paradigm that is exclusionary to any possibility. Since all conclusions must be naturalistic, it is logical to conclude that any interpretaton of evidence would adhere to that. As I stated before, facts and evidence can say nothing on their own. They must be interpreted. The lense through which you look for interpretation is exclusionary to the supernatural by default - therefore it is not surprising that you come to a naturalistic, or supernaturally exclusinve conclusion.

And I certainly can accept things that are not entirely naturalistic, on the basis of faith rather than scientific evidence. I just don't try to introduce non-naturalistic items where they're not appropriate.

Indeed it pleases me to hear you say that. While we may differ on scientific world view, we can, at the very least, acknowlege our differences in mutal respect.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by JonF, posted 05-09-2004 10:24 AM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Chiroptera, posted 05-09-2004 7:06 PM Gup20 has responded
 Message 31 by JonF, posted 05-09-2004 7:15 PM Gup20 has responded

  
Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 47 (106839)
05-09-2004 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Chiroptera
05-09-2004 3:43 PM


Chiroptera writes:

We have evidence in the fossil record of the jaw joint of the ancestral reptile transforming into the inner ear bones of the mammal. Would the individual steps indicate an increase in information? If so, what about this evidence that information does increase? If not, then could "information" be irrelevant to evolution?

This does not show 'the same creature' transitioning... it shows a continuum of discreet creatures which happen to have similar features which were created for a continuum of possible environments.

Jar writes:

but what we see is actually a wide variety of creatures from all over the world that are all transitional dinosaur/birds.
Microraptor
Longisquama insignis
Dromaeosaur
ARCHAEOPTERYX
Protarchaepteryx robusta
Caudpteryx zoui

The same can be said here... we do not see any transitions, just a full spectrum of discreet creatures created for a full spectrum of environments.

A transition would be fossils of the same creature at various stages of it's evolution. The evolutionary paradigm of genetics says that a gene will duplicate and one copy will remain the same while the other is free to mutate into something else. If this is true, we should see billions of transitional creatures where we see (in early rock layers) a specific animal. Then later we see the same animal with a new feature... the later we see the same animal with more new features, etc etc. There should be billions of creatures that display this type of transition. THere are none. There are only discreet examples that cannot be shown in their earlier or later transitions. Remember... the basis of claiming they have new information is that they keep the old information as the duplicate set of genes mutates. So, we should be able to easily recognize a creature in it's transition from reptile to bird, for example. "see here is the ARCHAEOPTERYX as a full reptile. Here it is - notice it looks exactly the same except that the scales/skin is turning into feathers. Here is is again... notice how it looks extremely similar except for the new wings. Etc etc etc until we see the full Bird".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Chiroptera, posted 05-09-2004 3:43 PM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Chiroptera, posted 05-09-2004 7:20 PM Gup20 has not yet responded
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6532
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 30 of 47 (106840)
05-09-2004 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Gup20
05-09-2004 6:09 PM


hoo boy!
quote:
I clearly defined 'information' as specified complexity.

Which itself is not defined adequately.

--

quote:
As I stated before, no new information arose....As I demonstrated, this 'new ability' was at the price of a loss of information.

You demonstrated nothing. Calculate the information in the original bacterium and the information in the nylon eating bacterium, and show that the second number is smaller than the first.

--

quote:
Specific numbers are not needed to show directional change.

Yes, they are. You have not shown any directional change until you calculate two numbers accurately enough to show that there has been an increase or decrease. Until you actually calculate some numbers you are only engaging in what is called "hand waving".

--

quote:
Quantifying the information is simply over my head, so I choose not to try to present it here.

I believe it is over your head - this is how you were fooled by a slick sounding argument that has no meaning.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Gup20, posted 05-09-2004 6:09 PM Gup20 has responded

Replies to this message:
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