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Author Topic:   Evolving New Information
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1526 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 181 of 458 (520871)
08-24-2009 4:23 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Phage0070
08-24-2009 2:43 PM


Re: What is information?
This trial and error is particularly interesting in that it is detrimental to the health of the organism, except that it also provides significant resistance to malaria. It is a trial that resulted in what we would consider to be an error, except that it also becomes selected for in certain circumstances.

Sort of. Being heterozygous for the sickle cell gene grants the malaria resistance, but being homozygous confers the actual anemia. So, I would consider anemia to be an error and being heterozygous to be the advantageous set that keeps the possibility of anemia in the population. But, since I'm not an expert, I could be speaking out my ass.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15440
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 182 of 458 (520873)
08-24-2009 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 180 by traderdrew
08-24-2009 4:05 PM


Re: What is information?
quote:

I'm not saying that a designer inserted/subsituted/deleted the mutations in many cases

That wasn't my point. My point is that looking for a specific change is thinking about it in the wrong way.

quote:

I agree. If you could prove that it can only be done (not, can it be done?) with Darwinian processes and not (NGE) natural genetic engineering, then it would shut me up.

Unless you specify how your "natural genetic engineering" works that isn't a question I could answer. And it's probably the wrong question anyway.

quote:

I don't remember that being the case. It is a matter of perspective I guess.

I checked the message, and it looks to be right.

quote:

Once again, that is a matter of perspective and you're entitled to it.

So you are saying that the leaders of the ID movement are wrong about what ID is ? That's a pretty odd perspective. They seem happy to include YEC (especially the YECs among them).


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1526 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 183 of 458 (520874)
08-24-2009 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by traderdrew
08-24-2009 2:47 PM


Re: What is information?
That is a fairly good counterpoint. However, some of those problems are rather rare and of course the sickle cell is something that protects against a specific serious disease. I'm not saying the sickle cell was designed. I'm saying it is probably the result of blind natural Darwinian evolution.

Yes, the fact that they are rare is because the odds of the right mutation at the right spot (or in actuality, any non-positive mutation occuring anywhere in a coding part of a gene) are relatively small...until we factor in the sheer number of births taking place. So, the instances of beneficial mutations occuring are rare ( we all assert this) but again, when you take the sheer number of births happening, the odds of a beneficial mutation occuring is close to 1.

The number of pregnancies that don't go to term is, of course, an estimate, but the estimates are quite high, on the order of half to perhaps even 90%, so in that case, deleterious mutations occur very often, but the mother either rejects the fetus, or the fetus just doesn't/can't survive, resulting in a miscarriage. So, there is a mechanism for weeding out the vast majority of harmful mutations, while letting neutral and good mutations through with a few harmful ones that are just good enough to make it.

And how do some of these accidental mutations arise in the first place? Could they be the result of toxins or the problem with defenses stemming from insignifigant nutrition?

Those reasons and more. I don't see what this has to do with your point, unless you're agreeing with me that mutations occur all the time for many, many reasons.

In order to acheive a specific effect that is beneficial to the organism

But there is no specific effect being "looked for." You could shuffle and deal cards all day looking for the right set of circumstances that will lead you to a royal flush, but if you stop worrying about a specific outcome and merely look for the hand that will beat the other hands at the table, you find them quite regularly. And in fact, the odds of you getting that exact full house of 8s over 2s is just as unlikely as the royal flush. Yes, the exact mutation to help organism A overcome hurdle B that we see in nature is exceedingly low on the probability table, but one of the organisms in the population finding some way to overcome hurdle B and thus being able to survive better is very high on the probability table, even if each and every specific "answer" is low. That's what we're (especially PaulK) is trying to get across. You're looking at the probability of a specific mutation (or a specific card hand) and people who know about evolution, if they even consider this question at all, know to look at the probability of any old mutation that would help.

Can't random mutations occur anywhere in the genome?

Yes, and they do. The vast majority of which are so harmful that the fetus spontaneously aborts before completing gestation.

I also sometimes get the impression there exists confusion of ID with Creationist thought. The science behind ID doesn't tell us what the intentions of the designer were. If the Japanese won WWII, we probably would have been worshiping the God of the Rising Sun.

That's because ID was hatched by Creationists who wanted to get their brand of religion taught in schools instead of evolution, and is promulgated by creationist institutions and creationist lay people who want to find a "scientific" basis for their religiously derived beliefs. That there are a couple non-creationists out there who also favor ID doesn't stop the fact that the vast majority are creationists who want to hide that fact from school boards and the public.


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6677
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 184 of 458 (520876)
08-24-2009 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 182 by PaulK
08-24-2009 4:33 PM


Re: What is information?
So you are saying that the leaders of the ID movement are wrong about what ID is ? That's a pretty odd perspective. They seem happy to include YEC (especially the YECs among them).

This is a very important point that I do not think a lot of people actually grasp. We have many IDers come to this forum and they vociferously deny that ID has anything to do with religion or creationism. How can this be if the leading advocates and the creators of ID clearly are very comfortable with the idea that it has religious roots. They are duping the people on the ground with one argument but when pressed in court and in the media they do not deny at all that it is a religious idea.

I have yet to hear of a prominent IDer disavow the creationists. Have any? Have any IDers presented actual scientific research? It is kind of hard to objectively study origins of species when you start with a position that the bible guides everything you do and believe.

If ID is not creationism in sheep's clothing, why have all the creationists flocked to it?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

This message is a reply to:
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2382 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 185 of 458 (520878)
08-24-2009 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by Perdition
08-24-2009 4:37 PM


Re: What is information?
Yes, and they do. The vast majority of which are so harmful that the fetus spontaneously aborts before completing gestation.

This is gross exaggeration, every newborn child has something like 30 de novo mutations distinguishing it from its parents. Were your claim to be true the levels of spontaneous abortion would be orders of magnitude higher than they actually are, even allowing for your highest figures.

Most mutations are considered neutral or 'nearly neutral'. Deleterious mutations almost certainly do considerably outweigh beneficial mutations but they are very far from constituting 'the vast majority' of mutations, and this is even less true for embryonic lethal mutations.

TTFN,

WK


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1526 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 186 of 458 (520884)
08-24-2009 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 185 by Wounded King
08-24-2009 5:28 PM


Re: What is information?
Thanks. I had heard some estimates that up to 90% of pregnancies ended in spontaneous abortions, and I assumed, if that were true, then many of them would have been from mutations that caused the fetus to be unable to survive.

But yeah, I understand that even if one mutation is detrimental enough to cause spontaneous abortions, there could have been any number of other mutations that may have been beneficial or neutral that got wiped out because of the one really bad one.

I guess I should make sure I'm clearer when I make sweeping generalizations.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18873
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 187 of 458 (520888)
08-24-2009 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 186 by Perdition
08-24-2009 5:51 PM


Re: What is information?
The Wikipedia article on spontaneous abortions cites research indicating that the rate is around 30%. Like you I thought I remembered hearing of higher rates, but of around 50%.

--Percy


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 188 of 458 (520899)
08-24-2009 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 187 by Percy
08-24-2009 6:42 PM


live birth numbers depend on where you start from
Wiki apparently is only considering those cases where a zygote has implanted, to actually start a pregnancy, as the starting point of their 30% figure. Something like 55% of zygotes miss implanting, so 60% of 45% leaves 27%% of total zygotes reaching development stages capable of live births.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_abortion

quote:
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation. Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy.[1]

A fetus that dies while in the uterus after about the 20–24th week of pregnancy is termed a "stillbirth"; the precise gestational age definition varies by country. Premature births or stillbirths are not generally considered miscarriages, though usage of the terms and causes of these events may overlap.

Labour resulting in live birth before the 37th week of pregnancy is termed "premature birth", even if the infant dies shortly afterward. The limit of viability at which 50% of fetus/infants survive longterm is around 24 weeks, with moderate or major neurological disability dropping to 50% only by 26 weeks.[5] Although long-term survival has never been reported for infants born from pregnancy shorter than 21 weeks and 5 days,[6] infants born as early as the 16th week of pregnancy may sometimes live for some minutes after birth.[7]


(NOTE: this thread is NOT about abortions - see Legal Death, Legal Life, Personhood and Abortion Message 45 - this information was provided):

quote:
day 7 - 9: Blastocyst implants in wall of uterus (55% of Zygotes never reach this stage.)
{and further down:} 15 % of pregnancies miscarry during weeks 4-12

With just those two figures you are down to 75% of 45% = 33.75%, or a 1/3rd natural "success" to that point: 65% of zygotes never make it to week 12 normally.

Those numbers are missing the spontaneous abortions\misscarriages that occur between week 12 and week 20, so that could easily account for the difference in the numbers.

Looks like a 1/3 to 1/4 success rate overall, but not sure it is reasonable to include the implant missing zygotes, as it is hard to say if the reason for missing implantation is a genetic disorder or just bad luck, however, this might be the cause of thinking the numbers were higher.

Enjoy.


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by our ability to understand
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This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.0


Message 189 of 458 (520917)
08-25-2009 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by traderdrew
08-24-2009 4:05 PM


Re: What is information?
I agree. If you could prove that it can only be done (not, can it be done?) with Darwinian processes and not (NGE) natural genetic engineering, then it would shut me up.

That ol' burden of proof is getting a bit heavy for you, isn't it?

Show me that only my dog could have been responsible for the disappearance of all the salami from the fridge while I was out the other day, and that magic fairies couldn't have been involved.

And none of your materialist dogma about how there's no evidence that magic fairies exist, or the usual atheistic prating about so-called "Occam's Razor". Daminit, it you're going to introduce parsimony into the debate, then I could hardly believe in magic fairies at all.


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greyseal
Member (Idle past 2149 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 190 of 458 (520953)
08-25-2009 7:04 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by Arphy
08-24-2009 4:24 AM


Re: What is information?
I'm not very competent with quoting others - if there's an easier way than by hand using the "peek" button, I don't know what it is.

...but to answer your smart comment:

arphy writes:

You still have the problem that the kids are using a language that already exists

First, that's a really good point! It gets to the heart of the matter.

Now for the answer, and I may be wrong (I am not a geneticist but a layman), but genetics IS a language, and it already exists.

Where it came from is another, bigger, grander question that I can't answer (somebody else may though).

To further the chinese whispers analogy, if you did get a sentence that devolved so far into gibberish that the next kid just went "huh?" then you could see that as being a failed mutation - one too large to result in a working organism. Don't forget, that something like 3 out of 4 pregnancies terminates before the woman even knows she was pregnant (statstics pulled out of hat - verification anyone?).

I'm not saying that after X amount of years, the creature in question would fail to be able to have kids (don't take this analogy TOO far), just that it's not ONE row of kids, it's millions. Billions, perhaps. Billions of billions, as every single mating pair/group of organisms is but one example of that species' link in the chain, of which there are many, many species.

failed mutations results in a terminated pregnancy, or even no pregnancy in the first place.

A successful mutation (and every one of us is a mutated copy of our parents) results in the next generation.

mutations (and changes) add up...and hey presto.

Any real scientists here care to point out major fallacies or tell me I'm sort of getting it right?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Arphy, posted 08-24-2009 4:24 AM Arphy has responded

Replies to this message:
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greyseal
Member (Idle past 2149 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 191 of 458 (520956)
08-25-2009 7:27 AM
Reply to: Message 174 by RAZD
08-24-2009 7:43 AM


Re: moth myth information -- getting it right
RAZD writes:

Hi greyseal

The only people claiming stapling of moths to trees and other such utter rubbish ever happened are the IDiots. It didn't.
Seriously, it was a beneficial point mutation.

Sorry, wrong on both counts. See Peppered Moths and Natural Selection.

Ah, I see they DID glue (not staple) moths to trees...but (from what it seems to say) to test whether moth colour and environment colour affects predation levels, yes?

It wasn't some sort of darwinist plot to..do..something..actually why are creationists against the idea of the peppered moth and it's varieties?

Of course, now I can't prove that the point mutation occured and flourished because of the pollution (flourished yes, and I gather that whether it was dominant or recessive was influenced during this time?) y'all can just claim that godidit and made both colours, amirite?

RAZD writes:

The melanic version was a pre-existing variety before the Industrial Revolution, and yes Kettlewell - in ONE of his experiments - fastened dead moths to a tree trunk to ascertain differential selection.

fair enough, and interesting reading!

The Peppered Moths are examples of Natural Selection, not of mutation.

oh well now I have to disagree, to a certain extent - after all, natural selection favouring one mutation over the other due to a change in the breeding locale causing a shift in the allele density in a population...and that's not evolution?

oceans made of drops, yada yada, journey begins with one footstep, etc, etc.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15440
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 192 of 458 (520960)
08-25-2009 7:35 AM
Reply to: Message 191 by greyseal
08-25-2009 7:27 AM


Re: moth myth information -- getting it right
So far as I can tell the protographs that creationists object to were simply taken for illustrative purposes. It's simply the easiest way to get a good comparison.

If there was a practical way to get an equally good illustration (with the technology of the time) without setting it up in some way, I'd like to know what it is.


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greyseal
Member (Idle past 2149 days)
Posts: 464
Joined: 08-11-2009


Message 193 of 458 (520961)
08-25-2009 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by Perdition
08-24-2009 4:37 PM


Re: What is information?
I also sometimes get the impression there exists confusion of ID with Creationist thought. The science behind ID doesn't tell us what the intentions of the designer were. If the Japanese won WWII, we probably would have been worshiping the God of the Rising Sun.

That's because ID was hatched by Creationists who wanted to get their brand of religion taught in schools instead of evolution, and is promulgated by creationist institutions and creationist lay people who want to find a "scientific" basis for their religiously derived beliefs. That there are a couple non-creationists out there who also favor ID doesn't stop the fact that the vast majority are creationists who want to hide that fact from school boards and the public.

ID is creationism. The infamous court case that revealed this had two books (was it the panda's thumb and...something else?) which were identical except for language covering god and the bible being replaced by a nameless, faceless creator.

No alternative for god as the creator has ever been given. there is no science behind ID, and the judge rightly threw the book at them.

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/12/what-the-dover.html


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2382 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 194 of 458 (520962)
08-25-2009 7:41 AM
Reply to: Message 191 by greyseal
08-25-2009 7:27 AM


Re: moth myth information -- getting it right
oh well now I have to disagree, to a certain extent - after all, natural selection favouring one mutation over the other due to a change in the breeding locale causing a shift in the allele density in a population...and that's not evolution?

He didn't say it wasn't evolution he said it wasn't an example of mutation. Of course you, me and RAZD all think that the origin of the melanic moth was a genetic mutation at some point in the species history, but so far science has not found the specific genetic basis for melanism in this instance, nor witnessed it arising de novo. So we are not in a position to definitively state that the allelic variants arose through genetic mutation, though I doubt any reasonable person would question the assumption. But if IDist/creationists were reasonable people we wouldn't keep having these same debates over and over again.

TTFN,

WK


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2382 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 195 of 458 (520969)
08-25-2009 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 190 by greyseal
08-25-2009 7:04 AM


Re: What is information?
Now for the answer, and I may be wrong (I am not a geneticist but a layman), but genetics IS a language, and it already exists.

I'd tend to disagree with this. I can certainly accept that DNA can be considered a code, but I am not sure it is helpful to think of it as a language, it is certainly very far removed from being like a human language. It may fulfill several abstract properties for the philosophical conception of languages though.

you could see that as being a failed mutation - one too large to result in a working organism. Don't forget, that something like 3 out of 4 pregnancies terminates before the woman even knows she was pregnant (statstics pulled out of hat - verification anyone?).

As RAZD noted above, it is a pretty big assumption that the reason for all spontaneous abortions is an embryonic lethal mutation.

failed mutations results in a terminated pregnancy, or even no pregnancy in the first place.

This drastically reinterprets the categorisation of mutations into embryonic lethals and then everything else. This sort of 'truncation selection' is perhaps the most extreme form of selection as the allelic variant never enters the breeding pool. There are vast numbers of mutations, I'd go as far as to say the majority of deleterious mutations but I'm not 100% sure, which impair an organisms fitness but do not result in its death before it has a chance to reproduce.

A successful mutation (and every one of us is a mutated copy of our parents) results in the next generation.

Again, no. All these mutations need to be is 'not lethal'. To consider any non-lethal mutation a success, is highly idiosyncratic.

TTFN,

WK


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