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# Information Changes in DNA by logical Analysis

Author Topic:   Information Changes in DNA by logical Analysis
JonF
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 Message 46 of 80 (531718) 10-19-2009 1:40 PM Reply to: Message 21 by Percy10-19-2009 9:25 AM

 If you want to know whether information is increasing or decreasing then you need to be able to quantify it

Not really. All you need to be able to do is order it from smaller to larger.

Edited by JonF, : No reason given.

 This message is a reply to: Message 21 by Percy, posted 10-19-2009 9:25 AM Percy has responded

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 Message 47 of 80 (531720) 10-19-2009 1:48 PM Reply to: Message 39 by Percy10-19-2009 12:03 PM

Re: Quantification
 Sorry, I'm just not getting what you're saying. Are you using the units of bits of Shannon information? It doesn't seem like it, because you're defining the amount of information in a string of DNA as double its length.

I mean bits, dammit. Bits. Bits. Bits. Bits. Bits. The number of binary digits that would encode the sequence of DNA. Which, given that DNA consists of a sequence of four bases, is the length of the sequence of DNA, times two.

How simple can this be? When I said "bits", I meant "bits". By which I meant bits. I did not mean the number of bits that you could compress it into if you had a smart compression algorithm, that's why in the next paragraph I start talking about Kolmogorov complexity. When I said "bits", I meant bits. Which is why I said "bits".

BITS.

Do you now see what I mean, or do I have to hit you repeatedly in the face with a copy of Information Theory For Dummies until you plead for mercy?

Sheesh.

This is actually off-topic, since the statement that you're misunderstanding is not the statement under discussion. But you're still wrong.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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 Message 48 of 80 (531722) 10-19-2009 1:55 PM Reply to: Message 38 by Dr Jack10-19-2009 11:56 AM

Re: A flawed mathematical argument?
 The problem here is that the first mutation applies to the original sequence, whereas the second mutation applies to the modified sequence; they do not both refer to the same sequence.

But their composition gets you back to the sequence you started with. So if one of them destroys information, the other one creates it.

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 Message 49 of 80 (531723) 10-19-2009 1:59 PM Reply to: Message 43 by Dr Jack10-19-2009 12:26 PM

Re: A flawed mathematical argument?
 The problem as I see it is that the argument only shows that a mutation that increases information exists only in the space of all possible genes; not that it applies to any gene currently kicking around in living things. I'm sure that a Creationist would argue that all information containing genes were created at the beginning. And they'd concede the argument shows it's possible to reverse a previous degeneration but not that it shows that it's possible to create de novo information.

See post #12.

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Percy
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 Message 50 of 80 (531728) 10-19-2009 2:31 PM Reply to: Message 46 by JonF10-19-2009 1:40 PM

 JonF writes:Not really. All you need to be able to do is order it from smaller to larger.

If I gave you three containers each with different amounts of information in them, but you have no way of finding out how much information each contains, how are you going to order them?

I'm not talking about explicit numbers versus variables. It's no problem comparing x to x+1 to x+2 and so forth. But you can't assume that:

Where the function I is the amount of information. It is a false assumption that adding a mutation to DNA increases its information.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Latex rerendered.

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Percy
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 Message 51 of 80 (531729) 10-19-2009 2:35 PM Reply to: Message 47 by Dr Adequate10-19-2009 1:48 PM

Re: Quantification
I think just a few more insults and the light of understanding is sure to go on in my head. Don't bother trying anything silly like actually explaining anything. Ad hominem is so much more enlightening.

--Percy

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 Message 52 of 80 (531735) 10-19-2009 3:04 PM Reply to: Message 51 by Percy10-19-2009 2:35 PM

Re: Quantification
 I think just a few more insults and the light of understanding is sure to go on in my head. Don't bother trying anything silly like actually explaining anything. Ad hominem is so much more enlightening.

I was not aware that I had made an ad hominem argument. But feel free to point it out to me. Also, feel free to look up the meaning of that quaint old Latin phrase.

I also thought that I had tried to do "something silly like actually explaining something". I thought I'd done that again and again. I thought, stop me if I'm wrong, that I'd shouted the word BITS in your face repeatedly and explained what I meant by that. Perhaps the failure is mine, but I have really tried to get my point across.

If you are still puzzled as to what I meant when I said "bits", then I hardly know what to do about this situation. Here we are. What do you not understand?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

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 Message 53 of 80 (531737) 10-19-2009 3:14 PM Reply to: Message 50 by Percy10-19-2009 2:31 PM

 I'm not talking about explicit numbers versus variables. It's no problem comparing x to x+1 to x+2 and so forth. But you can't assume that:Where the function I is the amount of information. It is a false assumption that adding a mutation to DNA increases its information.

But that is not what he is "assuming". He did not claim that every mutation increases information. That is not what he claims.

Edited by Admin, : Latex rerendered.

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Dr Jack
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 Message 54 of 80 (531742) 10-19-2009 3:36 PM Reply to: Message 48 by Dr Adequate10-19-2009 1:55 PM

Re: A flawed mathematical argument?
 But their composition gets you back to the sequence you started with. So if one of them destroys information, the other one creates it.

 See post #12.

None of which touchs on the point I made. Creationists aren't talking about arbitarily chosen DNA sequences; they're talking about the real coding sequences found in real genomes. That you could theoretically have a sequence one different from theirs is a trivial truth tangential to what they're actually arguing.

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Dr Jack
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 Message 55 of 80 (531744) 10-19-2009 3:40 PM Reply to: Message 52 by Dr Adequate10-19-2009 3:04 PM

Re: Quantification
There aren't any bits in the genome there are nucleotides in them.

If you mean: if you represent the string of nucleotides using bits in an encoding where two bits represent each nucleotide (such as 00 = C, 01 = G, 10 = T, 11 = A) then why don't you just bloody say so instead of pointlessly shouting bits like an idiot?

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JonF
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 Message 56 of 80 (531753) 10-19-2009 4:33 PM Reply to: Message 50 by Percy10-19-2009 2:31 PM

 If I gave you three containers each with different amounts of information in them, but you have no way of finding out how much information each contains, how are you going to order them?

Pretend information has weight. I can put the three containers on a board with a fulcrum in the center and find the heaviest, lightest, and in-between. But I still have no idea how much each container weighs.

All I need is a binary comparison that determines A is greater than, less than, or equal to B. I don't have to be able to assign a numeric amount to A and B to compare them.

Similarly, determining whether or not does not necessarily require evaluating or

Edited by Admin, : Latex rerendered.

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Dr Jack
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 Message 57 of 80 (531759) 10-19-2009 5:06 PM Reply to: Message 56 by JonF10-19-2009 4:33 PM

While this is notionally true, how do you propose to do this - in the case of DNA - without having a measure of information?

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 Message 58 of 80 (531762) 10-19-2009 5:17 PM Reply to: Message 55 by Dr Jack10-19-2009 3:40 PM

Re: Quantification
 There aren't any bits in the genome there are nucleotides in them.If you mean: if you represent the string of nucleotides using bits in an encoding where two bits represent each nucleotide (such as 00 = C, 01 = G, 10 = T, 11 = A) then why don't you just bloody say so instead of pointlessly shouting bits like an idiot?

I thought I did say that. But if anyone didn't understand what I meant by "bits" in the context of a discussion of information theory, and were too lazy to look it up, then they are free to ask me instead of, what's the phrase? "pointlessly shouting" that I'm wrong.

I might, of course, wonder why they were trying to derail the thread, given that we're meant to be talking about something else, but I would swallow this objection and explain to them what a "bit" is. And then refer them to the actual topic.

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NosyNed
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 Message 59 of 80 (531764) 10-19-2009 5:25 PM Reply to: Message 57 by Dr Jack10-19-2009 5:06 PM

Weighing DNA
 While this is notionally true, how do you propose to do this - in the case of DNA - without having a measure of information?

For this thread it is not necessary to "weigh" the DNA. The logic involved doesn't depend on the measure at all.

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 Message 60 of 80 (531767) 10-19-2009 5:46 PM Reply to: Message 54 by Dr Jack10-19-2009 3:36 PM

Re: A flawed mathematical argument?
 None of which touchs on the point I made. Creationists aren't talking about arbitarily chosen DNA sequences; they're talking about the real coding sequences found in real genomes. That you could theoretically have a sequence one different from theirs is a trivial truth tangential to what they're actually arguing.

But what are they actually arguing?

You make a poor substitute for a creationist. 'Cos of not being one.

So far as I can see, post #12 is in fact a good argument against creationist silliness.

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