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Author Topic:   Gene pool deeper?
JonF
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Posts: 5473
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 31 of 47 (106844)
05-09-2004 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Gup20
05-09-2004 6:09 PM


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.

Well, you haven't answered how any of the following is physically possible, or what processes operate over what time frame at what rates:

quote:
The Biblical model is based on Kinds. This model is also based on the idea that natural selection and mutation is a directional change from High Information, Low Specificity at creation to Lower Information and Higher Specificity currently. The idea is that the original kinds were created before death and mutation were factors (before Adam’s Sin) therefore, the originals had the highest information content. Through natural selection, mutation, and isolation, the specificity we see today emerges.

You can start with a description of the physical makeup of Adam's genome, and what processes prevented all those genes he was carrying from expressing. Then we'd like to see your time frame (with your reasoning for that time frame) and mutation rate calculations.

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

"Specified complexity" is undefined, and you still have not attempted to provide an operational definition.

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.

Fair enough. I'll give you three.

Any mutation in a junk DNA region of repeated codons (e.g. AAAAAAA...) increases Shannon-Weaver information, since the maximum Shannon-Weaver information is obtained with a totally random sequence.

A gene duplication followed by a mutation (or mutations) in one of the copies that causes it to express a new protein increases both Shannon-Weaver and Chaitin-Kolmogorov information. Real world examples include malate dehydrogenase from lactate dehydrogenase, madelate racemase from enolase and beta-galactosidease from egbO.

Similarly, a duplication of a two-part gene followed by a fusing of the two parts of one of the duplicates can yield a three-part gene expressing a protein with a new function, again increasing both Shannon-Weaver and Chaitin-Kolmogorov information. Real world examples are the sdiC gene (a structural gene from the non-coding region of functionally unrelated genes), and tURF13 (an ion channel from deletion mutations of non-ion channel genes).

References on request.

Now it's your turn; you haven't provided an operational definition of information that applies to biological systems. Let's see one.

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.

You really believe that? Incredible. It is indeed still a bacteria, and that is totally irrelevant. It is a different bacteria, with a change to one of its plasmids, with an ability that no bacteria has had before.

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.

Still assuming your conclusion. "Intended function", as I pointed out before, is yet to be established.

n 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.

No, you did not. You just made claims. It's jsut arm-waving. Show in detail how you calculate the change or lack thereof in the examples I gave and that you have claimed are a decrease in information.

As I stated before, no new information arose. The change is neutral. The specified complexity remains the same.

Please show your calculations of the specified complexity. Until you can quantify amounts or changes in amounts or demonstrate mathematically directions of changes, you have nothing.

ets look at an anaology.

Let's not. Analogies are useful for making concepts clearer, not for establishing arguments.

Because the car is designed to work with 4 tiresp

Assuming your conclusion again. Your analogy is valid only if the bacterium is designed, which is yet to be demonstrated.

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.

Prima facie false in the case of the Hall experiments; natural selection did not weed the new functionality out.

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.

And they are true. "Evolutionists" do not believe that the heart is intended to pump blood through the body. The heart does what it does, but that is not intended. Similarly for the back.

"Evolutionists" might talk of intention in casual conversation, but not in debate or scientific communications.

As I demonstrated, this 'new ability' was at the price of a loss of information.

As you claimed ...

Until you can quantify amounts or changes in amounts or demonstrate mathematically directions of changes, you have nothing.

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.

That's an oversimplification of the cahnge ... but you are assuming that a loss in ability is also a loss of information. Yet to be demonstrated.

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.

No, we can't even say that a change has taken place until you come up with a method of calculating amounts, amounts of changes, or the direction of a change.

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.

No, we are worried about whether the change is in the direction of more information or less information. Only after you have established a method of doing that can you go to the nest step.

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.

So, you basically don't know what you are talking about; you just like the conclusions the creationists come to so you believe them.

Then provide references to where the "creationist geneticists" have quantified information. Don't bother with Spetner; he changes his definition of information from one example to the next, so as to avoid having to acknowledge an increase in information in case B using the measure of informationm he used for case A.

As you have already admitted, Evolution is completely exclusionary to the supernatural.

Yup, By the definition of science.

Again, you cannot judge objectively using a paradigm that is exclusionary to any possibility.

Sure you can. If you admit all possibilites, there is no such thing as science. Do you advocate considering the possibility that the entire Universe was created last Thursday, with all our memories and history falsely implanted, by the Invisible Pink Unicorn? Do you advocate investigating the possiblity that angels are pushing the planets around in a way that looks as if gravity is doing it? Do you advocate explaining the origin of life by "Brahma did it"? Do you advocate considering all the infinite number of supernatural things that could be admitted? Or do you just want to admit your particular favorite supernatural possibility?

If the possibility an omnipotent being with motives and methods that we cannot understand is admitted into science, the entire concept of science goes down the drain. Cause and effect, repeatability, you name it ... gone.

That's not to say that science is all there is; few people believe that. Science is a way of looking at and exploring the Universe but, for many if not most people, it's not the only way.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6800
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 7.2


Message 32 of 47 (106846)
05-09-2004 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Gup20
05-09-2004 7:06 PM


quote:
A transition would be fossils of the same creature at various stages of it's evolution.

Now your being silly. The same creature cannot have stages in its evolution - creatures die and leave offspring. Creatures do not evolve, populations do.

But perhaps you meant you want to see fossils of the same species at various stages of its evolution. That is impossible, because at different stages in its evolution it becomes a different species.

But perhaps you meant you want to see various stages in the evolution of a single lineage. You have been shown that - but you insist on calling the different stages discrete examples.

It just isn't clear what you are demanding - I suspect that you aren't sure what the theory of evolution says, and so you don't understand what it is we should be able to see.

--

quote:
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.

You miss the point of the fossil sequence. Each of these fossils fit "in between" mammals and reptiles. They have a mixture of reptile features, and a mixture of mammal features. As the time progresses, we see, in these fossils, the reptile feature decrease and the mammal features increase in a consistent manner.

Continuum and discrete are opposite terms and shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Nonetheless, I think I know what you meant. The question is, why would a creator create a continuum of species that mimics evolution? Why would the creator create a continuum between mammals and reptiles? It is known that bats and primates share a distant ancestor that other mammals don't. Do you expect to find fossils that show a continuum between these ancient tree dwelling mammals and modern bats? Evolution predicts that if fossils of bat ancestors are ever found they will fall into such a continuum.

Why didn't the creator create a continuum between birds and bats? Evolution says such a thing will never be found. That would really confuse things. Why didn't the creator create a continuum between whales and fish (one that doesn't go through terrestrial mammals)? Evolution predicts that such a thing will never be found. Why are the only continua that are discovered between distantly related taxa always between taxa that are already known to be related?


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JonF
Member
Posts: 5473
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 33 of 47 (106851)
05-09-2004 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Gup20
05-09-2004 7:06 PM


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.

Unsupported assertion. Rejected by Occam's Razor; the evolutionary model explains the data just as well without the introduction of the complication of a creator.

Come up with some evidence that your model explains better than the evolutionary model and we'll listen.

A transition would be fossils of the same creature at various stages of it's evolution.

That's not the standard definition, but we can work with it.

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.

There are many other ways that changes can occur, e.g. frame shift.

If this is true, we should see billions of transitional creatures where we see (in early rock layers) a specific animal.

Please show your calculations of how many transitionals we should see. OF course, every transitional is also a "specific animal".

hen later we see the same animal with a new feature... the later we see the same animal with more new features, etc etc.

We do.

There should be billions of creatures that display this type of transition.

Please show your calculations.

THere are none. There are only discreet examples that cannot be shown in their earlier or later transitions.

You mean "discrete". I can't figure out what you mean other than that.

Remember... the basis of claiming they have new information is that they keep the old information as the duplicate set of genes mutates.

Remember ... you are incorrect. There are lots of other ways in which mutations and changes take place. There certianly is no requirement that an organism keep everything it has just as it is and new things can only be added.

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".

In that case, we are pretty close to that. In other cases. such as the already-mentioned jaw-to-ear transition, we are essentially there. Please discuss exactly where in the jaw-to-ear transformation you see a lack of evidence. Or could you be making these claims without having examined the evidence? There are some good drawings and discussion and further references at Example 2: reptile-mammals


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Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 47 (106854)
05-09-2004 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Coragyps
05-09-2004 3:47 PM


This is still a loss of information (specified complexity). Despite the fact that sickle cell anemia sufferers are more resistant to malaria, they are also subject to 'growth impairment, susceptibility to infection, and chronic organ damage due to repeated vaso-occlusive episodes'.

Again, it is not unreasonable that a mutation will have a beneficial side-effect. It is only stated that a loss of information has occured and that this is the wrong directional change for molecules to man evolution to take place.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6800
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 7.2


Message 35 of 47 (106857)
05-09-2004 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Gup20
05-09-2004 7:39 PM


Hi, Gup.

The mutation Coragyps is referring to in his post is not sickle cell anemia. It is a different mutation altogether that, as far as I know, has no adverse health effects.

--

quote:
This is still a loss of information (specified complexity).

Again, until you do a calculation, this is a loss of absolutely nothing.

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Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 47 (106862)
05-09-2004 8:07 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Chiroptera
05-09-2004 7:06 PM


Re: hoo boy!
Chiroptera writes:

Which itself is not defined adequately.

In the words of Dr. Don Batton, "I thought it rather obvious that a mutation that destroys the functionality of a gene is a loss of information. I also thought it rather obvious that a mutation that reduces the specificity of an enzyme is also a loss of information."

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.

I am not a geneticist. Merely an enthusiast.

I believe it is over your head - this is how you were fooled by a slick sounding argument that has no meaning.

Isn't that what I said? For the actual quantitative numbers you can look at the following:

http://www.trueorigins.org/spetner2.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/negative_10September2001.asp

Here is a brief taste:

The information content of the genome is difficult to evaluate with any precision. Fortunately, for my purposes, I need only consider the change in the information in an enzyme caused by a mutation. The information content of an enzyme is the sum of many parts, among which are:
* Level of catalytic activity
* Specificity with respect to the substrate
* Strength of binding to cell structure
* Specificity of binding to cell structure
* Specificity of the amino-acid sequence devoted to specifying the enzyme for degradation
These are all difficult to evaluate, but the easiest to get a handle on is the information in the substrate specificity.

To estimate the information in an enzyme I shall assume that the information content of the enzyme itself is at least the maximum information gained in transforming the substrate distribution into the product distribution. (I think this assumption is reasonable, but to be rigorous it should really be proved.) We can think of the substrate specificity of the enzyme as a kind of filter. The entropy of the ensemble of substances separated after filtration is less than the entropy of the original ensemble of the mixture. We can therefore say that the filtration process results in an information gain equal to the decrease in entropy. Let's imagine a uniform distribution of substrates presented to many copies of an enzyme. I choose a uniform distribution of substrates because that will permit the enzyme to express its maximum information gain. The substrates considered here are restricted to a set of similar molecules on which the enzyme has the same metabolic effect. This restriction not only simplifies our exercise but it applies to the case I discussed in my book.

The products of a substrate on which the enzyme has a higher activity will be more numerous than those of a substrate on which the enzyme has a lower activity. Because of the filtering, the distribution of concentrations of products will have a lower entropy than that of substrates. Note that we are neglecting whatever entropy change stems from the chemical changes of the substrates into products, and we are focusing on the entropy change reflected in the distributions of the products of the substrates acted upon by the enzyme.

The entropy of an ensemble of n elements with fractional concentrations f1,…,fn is given by
(1)
and if the base of the logarithm is 2, the units of entropy are bits. As a first illustration of this formula let us take the extreme case where there are n possible substrates, and the enzyme has a nonzero activity on only one of them. This is perfect filtering. The input entropy for a uniform distribution of n elements is, from (1), given by (2)
since the fi's are each 1/n. The entropy of the output is zero,
(3)
because all the concentrations except one are zero, and the concentration of that one is 1. Then the decrease in entropy brought about by the selectivity of the enzyme is then the difference between (2) and (3), or
Another example is the other extreme case in which the enzyme does not discriminate at all among the n substrates. In this case the input and output entropies are the same, namely (4)
Therefore, the information gain, which is the difference between HO and HI, in this case is zero,
(5)
We normalize the activities of the enzyme on the various substrates and these normalized activities will then be the fractional concentrations of the products. This normalization will eliminate from our consideration the effect of the absolute activity level on the information content, leaving us with only the effect of the selectivity.

Although these simplifications prevent us from calculating the total entropy decrease achieved by action of the enzyme, we are able to calculate the entropy change due to enzyme specificity alone.

I hope this helps you to understand these concepts. While I may not understand it quantitatively, I can understand the layman's version - and use common sense and logic.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 47 (106871)
05-09-2004 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Gup20
05-09-2004 3:23 PM


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.

Possibly. That person would be black, of course.

An increase of information would be for the fruit fly to grow a bee's stinger (or equivelent)

Ah, but see, you're already wrong.

Bee stingers develop from tissues that, in other insects, form ovipositors. (That's why it's only the female bees who sting.) So, in order for your fly to develop a stinger, it has to "lose" an ovipositor.

According to your definition, that's losing information and specificity.

or a grasshopper's jumping legs

That would require the loss of the regular legs, which would be a loss of specificity, right?

or a the ability to weave a web as a spider does.

Losing the ovipositor again, I suspect. Again a loss in specificity for the fly.

The evolutionist says 'see here is a transitional fossil'. The creationist, however, says 'I do not see any transition - I see a discreet fossil'.

Let me give a counter-example. I'm walking from my house to the store, and midway, a picture is taken.

The evolutionist says "here is Crash in transition to the store."

The creationist says "I don't see a transition; I see Crash in a discreet point in space. Where's the transition to that point in space?"

All transitionals are discreet fossils. How could they be otherwise? All evolution predicts is that we will find discreet, individual species that possess primitive or simpler versions of structures found in other species.

I find creationist definitions of "information" highly suspect, especially in regards to duplication.

On my computer, if I duplicate a 5 mb file, the computer tells me that there's another 5 mb of information there. Claude Shannon, the developer of information theory, tells me that there's another 5mb of information there. Everybody tells me there's more information there... except for creationists.

Now, I don't know anything about information, but as far as I can tell, whatever kind of "information" you're talking about has absoluetly nothing to do with biology. That's just common sense.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 47 (106874)
05-09-2004 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Gup20
05-09-2004 7:06 PM


This does not show 'the same creature' transitioning..

Evolution doesn't predict the "same creature" transitioning into anything. Individuals don't evolve. Populations do.


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JonF
Member
Posts: 5473
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 39 of 47 (106875)
05-09-2004 8:23 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Gup20
05-09-2004 8:07 PM


Re: hoo boy!
In the words of Dr. Don Batton, "I thought it rather obvious that a mutation that destroys the functionality of a gene is a loss of information. I also thought it rather obvious that a mutation that reduces the specificity of an enzyme is also a loss of information."

Well, 't ain't obvious to me or from the various arm-waving arguments of creationsists. When you can demonstrate it mathematically, than it may become obvious.

http://www.trueorigins.org/spetner2.asp

I told you that Spetner doesn't know what he's talking about, and he changes his defintions to suit his desires. There are lots of good critiques of him on the web, but probably the best and most up-to-date (updated four days ago) is Spetner and Biological Information. The introduction includes:

quote:
In this review I will consider if Spetner's metrics can be validly applied to biology, and how Spetner actually applies them to real world examples. Although his arguments are superficially plausible, a closer look with some knowledge of biochemistry shows significant flaws. I will first briefly describe Spetner's metric of information, I will then show that 1) Spetner's metrics depend on a binding mechanism that does not occur in nature, 2) that Spetner's metrics require that substances bind to enzymes in an all or nothing fashion, whereas real substrates do not bind in this way. Furthermore, I will show that Spetner himself is inconsistent in his application of his metrics. In his Xylitol example he does not actually use the measure he develops, and in the streptomycin example he swaps to a different metric, when his original metric would show increased information. Finally, I will show that his "directed evolution" model is based on a misunderstanding of one form of random mutation.

(Note: This page is intended to be transferred to talkorigins.org at some time in the future).

This message has been edited by JonF, 05-09-2004 07:26 PM


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Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 47 (106887)
05-09-2004 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by JonF
05-09-2004 7:15 PM


Well, you haven't answered how any of the following is physically possible, or what processes operate over what time frame at what rates:

I didn't know you were legitimately asking. I thought you were asking a rhetorical question to be argumentative. By all means, if you are curious as to what I believe, ask me a specific question and I will be happy to answer.

You can start with a description of the physical makeup of Adam's genome, and what processes prevented all those genes he was carrying from expressing. Then we'd like to see your time frame (with your reasoning for that time frame) and mutation rate calculations.

While I cannot give you exact details for every conceiveable possibility, I will try to explain at least one example. We have spoken of skin color (melanin). The genes that were present in Adam would most likely been of medium skin tone. The genes would all be fully informative - without mutation. Therefore there would conceieveable not be an over or underproduction of melanin. It would have also reacted most proficiently to the sun. Eventually, some small mutation in these genes would have effected the functionality of the melanin genes so that an overproduction or underproductive condition occured. These genes were then passed on to offspring. The environmental conditions (read natural selection) would have aided in isolating those with more melanin into areas with lots of sun, whereas it would have been bad for those with light colored skin. So the answer to your question is there would not need to be a 'one or the other' expression - there was uncorrupted genes which expressed the original function perfectly without information loss (there was no mutation). So what processes prevented all those genes he was carrying from expressing? Nothing - the genes worked properly to begin with and didn't need to express a mutation. Am I wrong in assuming that expression of two different traits is only an issue when there are two different versions to choose from?

Then we'd like to see your time frame (with your reasoning for that time frame) and mutation rate calculations.

What time frame are you looking for? Also, I mentioned that I am not a geneticist. I woulnd't do mutation rate calculations.

"Specified complexity" is undefined, and you still have not attempted to provide an operational definition.

I would have thought that the refutations to your four examples of information gaining systems would be 'operational definitions'.

Information, or specified complexity, would be defined as genes having a specific function. Dr. Don Batton puts it this way:

"However, a mutation does not necessarily reduce specified complexity—just that it is so likely to do so that it cannot be the mechanism for generating the huge amount of specified complexity that we see in living things. That mutations are known primarily by the defects they cause testifies to the overwhelming tendency for them to reduce the information in living things (just like a mistake on my computer keyboard will decrease the information content of what I am typing). Spetner also discusses gene duplication at the above URL. However, just think: if you buy two copies of the newspaper, do you buy twice as much information? Of course not. Duplication of anything does not constitute an increase of information. Random mutations to change the duplicated gene would not add information unless the mutated sequence coded for some new, useful protein (no one has demonstrated such a thing happening; there have only been imaginative scenarios proposed). To illustrate: if "superman" were the 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.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/negative_10September2001.asp

I'll have to get to the rest of your post later...I am out of time now. Please give me time and opportunity to respond.


This message is a reply to:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6800
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 7.2


Message 41 of 47 (106892)
05-09-2004 8:59 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Gup20
05-09-2004 7:06 PM


Of course, I have to show THE PICTURE again.
quote:
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.

Here is the picture:

These are skulls of human ancestors from B (Australopithecus africanus) through N (Homo sapiens), place more or less in order of age. Skull A is the skull of a chimpanzee; it is there to show how non-human skull B is.

Can you tell us where the dividing line between humans and apes is? Which are ape-kind and which are human kind? If you can't do this, then could it be that there is no clear distinction between apes and humans? If you insist that these are all species created by God, why would God make a continuum like this? This continuum makes sense in terms of the theory of evolution, but why would God fill in a gap like this with a continuum of species?

I will ask my previous question again: why is it whenever transitional fossils such as these are found, why do they always fill in a gap between groups that we know are related? When fossil proto-whales were found, why did they fill in the gap between modern whales and terretrial mammals related to the artiodactyls, just as the theory of evolution predicted? Whenever a continuum of fossils are found, why is it that they never fill in a gap between groups that evolution says are not directly related? When proto-whales were found, why did they not mix characteristics between fish and modern whales? Why don't we find a continuum of fossils that fill in the gap between humans and weasels?


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5398
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 42 of 47 (106932)
05-09-2004 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Gup20
05-09-2004 7:39 PM


This is still a loss of information (specified complexity). Despite the fact that sickle cell anemia sufferers are more resistant to malaria,

So being able to make hemoglobin that not only carries oxygen but also thwarts the nefarious plans of Plasmodium is a "loss of information?" I fail to see how, and I fail to see why you address my footnote on sickle-cell and not Hemoglobin C.

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JonF
Member
Posts: 5473
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 43 of 47 (106933)
05-09-2004 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Gup20
05-09-2004 8:48 PM


I don't have much time either ...

While I cannot give you exact details for every conceiveable possibility, I will try to explain at least one example.

More arm waving. Forget examples. Tell us how gene expression was prevented. Tell us how one person stored so many alleles of genes, given that more than two alleles per person has never been observed and there has never been any evidence that more could be contained in one person's germ cells. Don't forget to include the evidence for your claims.

What time frame are you looking for? Also, I mentioned that I am not a geneticist. I woulnd't do mutation rate calculations.

How long ago do you think Adam lived?

You can do mutation rate calculations. We observe mutation rates of about 10-6 to 10-7 per base pair per year. An average gene has about 1,000 base pairs. It takes on the order of 10,000 years to come up with a new allele. How many years since Adam? How many new alleles could have arisen in that time?

I would have thought that the refutations to your four examples of information gaining systems would be 'operational definitions'.

You refuted nothing. You made unsupported claims.

Even if you had refuted the four examples, that would not be an operational defintion. An operational definition is one which allows an independent party to look at an arbitrary situation and calculate the amount of information, or the change in information, or the direction of information change ... whichever you prefer ... by applying the definition and nothing more. IOW, you can discuss examples till the cows come home and you haven't provided an operational definition.

Information, or specified complexity, would be defined as genes having a specific function. Dr. Don Batton puts it this way:

More arm-waving and unsupported assertions. "Specific function" is undefined. Stop trying to introduce new undefined concepts.

However, just think: if you buy two copies of the newspaper, do you buy twice as much information? Of course not. Duplication of anything does not constitute an increase of information.

He's wrong. Sometimes duplication by itself causes an increase in information; it depends on the definition of information that you are using. Duplication by itself increases Shannon-Weaver information, for example.

Just like all creationists, he doesn't dare give a rigorous operational defintion of information because as soon as he does "evolutionists" will demonstrate known processes that increase it.

To illustrate: if "superman" were the duplicated 'gene', and mutations in the letters changed it to "sxyxvawtu ", you have clearly lost information, although you have a new sequence.

And if "superman" were the duplicated gene and mutations in the letters changed it to "slippers" so you now have "superman" and "slippers" would you have lost or gained information? Why?


This message is a reply to:
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Gup20
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 47 (107231)
05-10-2004 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by JonF
05-09-2004 7:15 PM


PART2
JonF writes:

Any mutation in a junk DNA region of repeated codons (e.g. AAAAAAA...) increases Shannon-Weaver information, since the maximum Shannon-Weaver information is obtained with a totally random sequence.

There are several assumptions in that sentence that creationists would disagree with. First, on the issue of Junk DNA. There is still quite a bit about DNA we do not understand. More and more areas of 'junk dna' is being found to have a purpose or function.
"Psuedogenes are often referred to in the scientific literature as non-functional DNA, and are regarded as junk. But more scientists are now conceding that this is far from true for many pseudogenes. As the function of more pseudogenes is being uncovered by testable and repeatable science, it is evident that these genetic elements, which are copiously spread in the genomes of different organisms, have been created with purpose. The recent finding of insertion hotspots also clarifies how pseudogenes may have appeared to evolutionists as shared mistakes and now invalidates their use in phylogenetic studies."

Secondly, Shannon-Weaver information is not what we are talking about. That information system gives imphasis to the bits of information - unexpected bits being classified as new information. However, with specified complexity we are concerned not only in new genetic material, but what that material represents or 'specifies'. This link should give you more on creationist information theory.

As far as Shannon’s concept of information is concerned, it is entirely irrelevant whether a series of letters represents an exceptionally significant and meaningful text or whether it has come about by throwing dice. Yes, paradoxical though it may sound, considered from the point of view of information theory, a random sequence of letters possesses the maximum information content, whereas a text of equal length, although linguistically meaningful, is assigned a lower value.

This is almost the opposite of creationist information theory.

Now it's your turn; you haven't provided an operational definition of information that applies to biological systems. Let's see one.

From that information link:

The most important empirical principles relating to the concept of information have been defined in the form of theorems. Here is a brief summary of them:

1. No information can exist without a code.
2. No code can exist without a free and deliberate convention.
3. No information can exist without the five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics.
4. No information can exist in purely statistical processes.
5. No information can exist without a transmitter.
6. No information chain can exist without a mental origin.
7. No information can exist without an initial mental source; that is, information is, by its nature, a mental and not a material quantity.
8. No information can exist without a will.

It is indeed still a bacteria, and that is totally irrelevant.

It is not irrelevant. The problem is, this experiment was done to show how the DNA of the bacteria could evolve - with the underlying impression being that molecules to man evolution is possible. By not changing the primary genomic structure we can see that it does not demonstrate molecules to man evolution. It demonstrates adaptability certainly. But it does not show an increase in specified complexity (information). The plasmids are designed (intended - or whatever you want to call it) to react in hard times for the bacteria, and adapt it to changing food sources and they did their designated function.

Please show your calculations of the specified complexity. Until you can quantify amounts or changes in amounts or demonstrate mathematically directions of changes, you have nothing.

As I said before - I am not a geneticist. I have no capability of doing measurements. However, as a 'layman' in this area I can observe directional changes, once I generally understand the concept. For example - with a general understanding of Wind, I can see it bend a blade of grass or a tree branch. Without measuring I can tell the 'directional change' of the wind strength by simple observation. I can tell if the wind blows harder or softer. Another example is, if I am listening to a sound, I can tell when the sound gets louder or quieter. I couldn't tell you how much unless I had a decible meter - but as someone without the proper tool I can certainly observe a directional change.

In the same way I find it obvious that a mutation that eliminates function to a gene or protein is a loss of information (specified complexity). I can't quantify it for you or give you any measured numbers (remember, I am not a geneticist) - but I can see that it is directionally the wrong change required for molecules to man evolution.

Let's not. Analogies are useful for making concepts clearer, not for establishing arguments.

I am trying to make the concept clearer. You keep telling me I haven't defined anything and that you don't understand what I am talking about.

Gup20:Because the car is designed to work with 4 tiresp

JonF: Assuming your conclusion again. Your analogy is valid only if the bacterium is designed, which is yet to be demonstrated.

Cars aren't designed? ;p (just giving you a good poke)

Prima facie false in the case of the Hall experiments; natural selection did not weed the new functionality out.

I think you are missing my train of thought here. I was saying that in Hall's case, he took one of the wheels off the car, and then claimed novelty when a different wheel showed up in it's place. However, this doesn't account for why the wheels are there in the first place, or why there are wheels instead of tank tracks. For a multi-part system to arise when it is not there would involved many genes mutating at once to give rise to all the parts. Lets say (for the sake of this argument) that one part of multi-part system did arise - without the rest of the multi-part system in place to give it meaning or function the new 'vestigial' component would disappear or be removed by selection. The whole multi-part system would have to arise at once for there to be any specific function.

So, you basically don't know what you are talking about; you just like the conclusions the creationists come to so you believe them.

Now JonF, lets not go 'there'. That path of argument can be riddled with duplicity. What person has PhD's in every area of known science? Yet what person who has a single PhD hasn't already formed an opinion on 'what they believe' in areas outside their specialty. I am sure that you are not an expert and conduct scientific reasearch in every area of evolution, but what you have seen leads you to accept it as a whole, doesn't it.

Sure you can. If you admit all possibilites, there is no such thing as science.

Science isn't so much about 'what exactly did happen' as it is about defining what we know didn't or couldn't have happened. One thing we know about God is that he is ULTIMATELY Just. He follows even his own laws and rules. We can assume that once God created the universe, he operated within the bounds of it's laws and processes. Therefore, we should be able to see a the possibility and plausibility of the Biblical account (which creationists believe we do). Also, you are domonstrating that you hold the assumption that we have thoroughly quantified, and qualified God. This, of course, is not true. Therefore we cannot scientifically rule him out - therefore He remains a possibility.

There are slivers of the nature of God we can estimate and quantify from what is written about him in the Bible - but we obviously cannot measure him, can we.

Therein lie the tools of science - logic and observation. Without being able to observe and measure God directly (only by his influence - such as gravity) we cannot know the very nature of God.


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 Message 31 by JonF, posted 05-09-2004 7:15 PM JonF has responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 47 (107237)
05-10-2004 8:23 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Gup20
05-10-2004 8:14 PM


6. No information chain can exist without a mental origin.
7. No information can exist without an initial mental source; that is, information is, by its nature, a mental and not a material quantity.
8. No information can exist without a will.

If these are your axioms, then applying this to biology is a big excerise in circular reasoning:

"We assume that information denotes intelligence; DNA has information, therefore DNA is the product of intelligence."

The plasmids are designed (intended - or whatever you want to call it) to react in hard times for the bacteria, and adapt it to changing food sources and they did their designated function.

Then why didn't they all do it? If this adaptability is designed in, why isn't it universal? If adaptabilty is by design then why do so many organisms fail to adapt?

The answer, of course, is that adaptation is not a design feature of organisms, but a consequence of selection on populations. Individuals don't adapt. Populations do.


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