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Author Topic:   Evidence to expect given a designer
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


(1)
Message 91 of 373 (644689)
12-20-2011 4:17 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Just being real
12-19-2011 9:49 PM


Perhaps vague to the intentionally obtuse, but yes that is correct. Its like when my seven year old turns on the computer and watches it boot up. He can see it do all kinds of things that it "naturally" was pre-programed to do. Even my seven year old can easily distinguish between those actions, as opposed to when someone is IMiing him on the net. The boot up and basic operation of the system running in the background is all intelligently designed to run a "naturally basic function within the system. But the instant messages however are clearly intelligently being generated from his aunt Val. At his age he may not understand the operating system and how intricately designed it is, but this will come as his plane of understanding and knowledge base develops. Likewise a biologist can go out to that same forest and pick up a tree frog, take it back to the lab and examine its DNA and see high levels of specificity. Therefore he is capable of doing what the child could not. And detect design even within the "operating system."

When I used my child and the AR-15 analogy, I didn't expect for you to stretch my words beyond the breaking point of all congruity. I find it comical that you were waiting with bated breath for my arguments to hide behind vocabulary manipulation and yet you are the first out of that gate.

Please do not lie to me about my own actions: this is both impolite and unconvincing.

You wrote "even a child [...] could distinguish ... ", which in English usage implies "... so how much more would an intelligent adult make this distinction!" If you now wish us to understand that what you meant was something more along the lines of "only a child would distinguish ...", then I accept your explanation; nonetheless, it is neither "intentionally obtuse" nor "vocabulary manipulation" on my part to understand you as meaning what you said rather than the exact opposite.

I'll give you that. In the future I'll be more careful to say "MANY" micro biologists...

That would be something of an overstatement, don't you think?

Look I'm not like you and trying to trip you up on your own words here. I just want any study that demonstrates how that increase of information from single celled life, to multi-celled, to fins, to lungs to legs, could possibly have came about. Loss of information can sometimes be beneficial to the organisms survival, but it doesn't explain how the increase happened to begin with. Nor do copies, nor copy errors etc. At some point mutations must occur that produce beneficially new never before existed information in the chromosomal DNA.

How are you quantifying information?

DNA that almost ALL biologists agree is highly specified, and many biologists attribute to a designer.

If you asked "almost ALL biologists" whether DNA is "highly specified" they'd stare at you blankly and ask what you mean. As to "many" attributing it to a designer, I await the source of your vague nonstatistic with interest.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Just being real, posted 12-19-2011 9:49 PM Just being real has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Just being real, posted 12-21-2011 12:52 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18966
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


(3)
Message 92 of 373 (644704)
12-20-2011 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Just being real
12-19-2011 9:49 PM


Hi JBR,

Yours is the familiar ID argument that because information cannot increase by natural means, and because only an intelligence can create information, therefore an intelligence created life.

But of course information, in this case biological information, can be created naturally. Let's say there's a gene in a population that has four alleles. An individual is born with a mutation in one of his alleles for this gene. The population now has five alleles for this gene, and no intelligence was involved.

On a grander scale information is being created naturally everywhere all the time. For example, an experimenter writing observations in his notebook is not creating information. He's only transcribing information from one form to another. Maybe he's counting tree rings. The number of tree rings was produced by nature, not by the experimenter. Or maybe he's just looking out the window to see if it's morning yet. The information produced from the rotating Earth was produced by nature.

The ID position confuses information with knowledge, and it erroneously holds that information is only information after a human being has recorded it, whether on clay tablets or in a notebook or in silicon memory. But information exists independent of people. Information does not require a person to bring it into existence.

Information theory is already a well established science. The proposals of Dembski, Gitt and Spetner upon which your position is based have not yet even been submitted for scientific scrutiny, let alone peer-reviewed or attained even a smattering of acceptance. Your position has no scientific foundation.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Just being real, posted 12-19-2011 9:49 PM Just being real has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 8:53 AM Percy has responded
 Message 114 by Just being real, posted 12-21-2011 12:52 AM Percy has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 93 of 373 (644712)
12-20-2011 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Percy
12-20-2011 7:17 AM


Information
Another way of looking at the creation of information is as follows.

When a random mutation is made in DNA, it is clear that the information content is different but it is not clear whether the information content of the DNA has increased even on an individual basis.

But if the information content results in a morphological change in an offspring, and the change is selected as a winner through natural selection, then the changed information content represents an increase in information. The new morphology is more well adapted to environment X even if it is less well adapted to environment Y.

And given that we know of, and have observed, natural mechanisms for increasing the bit length of the DNA as well as altering bits of information, there would not seem to be any limit on the information that can be added or subtracted by natural means.

But finally, there is simply no basis for saying that biological information cannot increase in such a way as to create new functionality. That's not something that can be demonstrated through the laws of thermodynamics or in any other way. If such were true, then JBR's argument might have some substance. As it stands though the "no new data" argument is no argument at all, but mere assertion.

What I find difficult to understand is the failure of JBR and others to understand why their argument doesn't persuade anyone. Regardless of whether they are convinced, surely the holes in the argument are extremely obvious. Yet no attempt is made to address them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Percy, posted 12-20-2011 7:17 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Wounded King, posted 12-20-2011 9:49 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply
 Message 97 by Percy, posted 12-20-2011 10:24 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 94 of 373 (644713)
12-20-2011 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Just being real
12-17-2011 5:23 AM


So are you implying different kind, species, alleles, or just different copies? It's sad that I have to ask such a silly question just so you won't try to trip me up on simple wording.

Your DNA contains mutations.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Just being real, posted 12-17-2011 5:23 AM Just being real has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2408 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 95 of 373 (644715)
12-20-2011 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by NoNukes
12-20-2011 8:53 AM


Re: Information
The best formulation of genetic information in this sort of context dependent vein I have encountered is the work of Jack Szostak (2003 PDF) who formulated a measure called Functional Information. This was then experimentally applied by Carrothers et al. (2004 PDF) which looked at a molecular biochemical function, the binding of an RNA sequence to GTP, and measured the binding affinity for multiple sequences selected out of a random pool for high binding affinity and used comparisons of these sequences to study how they changed relative to the binding affinity, allowing them to assign them 'functional information' for the GTP binding function to specific sequences. They calculated that for this system a 10 fold increase in binding affinity required an additional 10 bits of information.

This approach was shown to be more widely applicable by Hazen et al. (2007 PDF). Although it is still very specifically tied into a particular function and I'm not sure how you would adapt it practically to study larger systems. The authors themselves only say that it is applicable to larger systems in principle.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 8:53 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 96 of 373 (644716)
12-20-2011 9:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
12-05-2011 3:24 PM


I'd expect a mechanism
If we propose intelligent design, we have to ask what we should expect to see.

I would expect to see things that we can determine a method for how they were made... that is, some mechanism for the creation.

If we stumbled upon some artifact that looked designed, we'd try to figure out how they made it. Usually, IDists say that you don't have to know how something was made to determine it was designed, which is sorta true, but if we're given something that was designed, I think we'd be able to figure out some of the mechanisms used to build it.

So, assuming that the different kinds of animals were designed, its quite apparent that evolution was the mechanism for creating them. I haven't heard any other way for them to emerge other than magically poofing into existence, which is ridiculous.


This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18966
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 97 of 373 (644724)
12-20-2011 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by NoNukes
12-20-2011 8:53 AM


Re: Information
Hi NN,

I'm going to respond to the third paragraph before I respond to the second:

NoNukes writes:

But if the information content results in a morphological change in an offspring, and the change is selected as a winner through natural selection, then the changed information content represents an increase in information. The new morphology is more well adapted to environment X even if it is less well adapted to environment Y.

You have to be careful not to inject human judgements about good and bad into determinations of whether information has increased or decreased. A deleterious mutation can increase information as easily as a beneficial one. The forces of selection determine whether a mutation has any long term persistence in a population, but increases and decreases in information are independent of whether a mutation improves or diminishes adaptation to an environment.

Information in the genome can also increase and decrease without any associated morphological change. Information is an independent entity. It doesn't have to be expressed in the physical organism outside the DNA to exist.

Coming back now to your second paragraph:

When a random mutation is made in DNA, it is clear that the information content is different but it is not clear whether the information content of the DNA has increased even on an individual basis.

The amount of information is a function of the number of possible states of a system. If the mutation results in an allele that does not already exist in the population, then the number of possible states of the system (in other words, the number of possible allele permutations across the genome) has increased.

Measuring information within the genome by considering two alleles the same only if all their nucleotides match is not the only valid approach. You could instead consider alleles the same as long as their corresponding codons code for the same amino acid. Or you could instead consider them the same if they produce the same protein. Or their may be other options that don't come to mind right now.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 8:53 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 10:48 AM Percy has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31612
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 98 of 373 (644728)
12-20-2011 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Just being real
12-20-2011 3:25 AM


Note that I never said "just an increase of information." I said an increase of NEW information. Please explain to me how duplicating the same information once or even a hundred times could cause a fish to grow lungs with the ability to breath and put oxygen into the blood stream?

red

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Shall I go on or do you understand how duplication and mutation can add and create new information yet.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Just being real, posted 12-20-2011 3:25 AM Just being real has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 99 of 373 (644734)
12-20-2011 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Percy
12-20-2011 10:24 AM


Re: Information
You have to be careful not to inject human judgements about good and bad into determinations of whether information has increased or decreased. A deleterious mutation can increase information as easily as a beneficial one.

Your statement is correct but I don't think I made the mistake you describe.

The fact that a mutation is deleterious is not preserved in the system in the quite the same way as is the fact that a different mutation is beneficial. A deleterious mutation may be just as likely to occur again the second time as the first time. If we look at a population of fish, we may have no idea whether a mutation that creates a inefficient swim fin has ever occurred in that population or whether any ancestors ever had such a fin.

On the other hand, a beneficial mutation is far more likely to be passed on because its expression increases the possibility for survival 'till breeding time, thus resulting in increased offspring with that trait. So the population plus the environment preserves the information that mutation X is beneficial in that particular environment.

then the number of possible states of the system (in other words, the number of possible allele permutations across the genome) has increased.

Again, I don't have any issue with that either. But you do not address the question of whether a mutation can result in an increase in the information state of an individual when compared to the individual's parents. I completely agree that increased variation in a population represents an increase in information.

There are, in fact, many ways that information can be created and/or stored.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Percy, posted 12-20-2011 10:24 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Wounded King, posted 12-20-2011 11:42 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply
 Message 101 by Percy, posted 12-20-2011 11:43 AM NoNukes has responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2408 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 100 of 373 (644738)
12-20-2011 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by NoNukes
12-20-2011 10:48 AM


Re: Information
So the population plus the environment preserves the information that mutation X is beneficial in that particular environment.

Steven Frank produced a mathematical formulation of a very similar conception of information flowing from the environment to the genome (2009).

Frank writes:

These concepts of information flow seem similar to the process of evolutionary change by natural selection. In biology, a population “measures” the intrinsic information in the environment by differential reproduction of individuals with varying phenotypes. This fluctuation of phenotype frequencies transfers information to the population through changes in the frequencies of the hereditary particles. However, the population does not fully capture all of the intrinsic information in the frequency fluctuations caused by differential reproduction, because only a fraction of phenotypic information flows to the next generation via changes in the frequencies of the hereditary particles.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 10:48 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18966
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 101 of 373 (644739)
12-20-2011 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by NoNukes
12-20-2011 10:48 AM


Re: Information
Hi NN,

We may be looking at information at different levels. I'm looking at information at the population level. When a message is sent from one generation to the next by way of reproduction, the amount of information communicated to the next generation is a function of the number of possible permutations of alleles.

But I can see now that you prefer to look at it from the level of individuals because you say this:

NoNukes writes:

But you do not address the question of whether a mutation can result in an increase in the information state of an individual when compared to the individual's parents.

Since you use the plural "parents" I'll look at this in the context of sexual reproduction. The question I think you're asking me to consider is whether a mutation can cause an offspring to have a different amount of information than either of its parents.

If we're looking at this at the allele level then the answer is simple. Even in the complete absence of mutations offspring will almost always have different amounts of genetic information than either of their parents. Let's consider gene X and say that both parents have alleles A and B for this gene. By the luck of the draw the offspring receives allele A from both parents. Since both the parents have both alleles A and B while the offspring has only allele A, the offspring has less information for this gene than either parent.

Or take the case where one parent has AA and the other parent has BB. The offspring will receive AB and have more information for this gene than either parent.

When you add in mutations it becomes even more obvious that offspring can have differing amounts of information than their parents.

About the other part about whether beneficial versus deleterious makes a difference concerning whether a mutation causes an increase or decrease in information, I can't tell if we really disagree or are just expressing things differently. I don't agree that it's easier to find beneficial mutations in subsequent generations. Teasing out the effect of a mutation is much easier when its effect is overt and obvious, and this is much more often true of deleterious mutations.

I do agree that beneficial mutations are more likely to be preserved so they can be discovered, but that has no effect on whether the mutation event changed the amount of information.

This part makes me wonder if you're not even talking about genetic information:

So the population plus the environment preserves the information that mutation X is beneficial in that particular environment.

This is talking about information concerning whether a mutation is beneficial or not. That's not genetic information. That's sort of meta information relative to the environment and has nothing to do with whether there is more or less information in the genome.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 10:48 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by NoNukes, posted 12-20-2011 1:24 PM Percy has responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8159
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 102 of 373 (644740)
12-20-2011 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by mike the wiz
12-19-2011 4:41 PM


Re: My one comment
The position of an antenna for example, it not inherently important, necessary because of the physics involved, but a radio would still be recognized as a design by how it's parts are arranged, very specifically.

quote:
A self-organising electronic circuit has stunned engineers by turning itself into a radio receiver.

This accidental reinvention of the radio followed an experiment to see if an automated design process, that uses an evolutionary computer program, could be used to "breed" an electronic circuit called an oscillator. An oscillator produces a repetitive electronic signal, usually in the form of a sine wave.

Paul Layzell and Jon Bird at the University of Sussex in Brighton applied the program to a simple arrangement of transistors and found that an oscillating output did indeed evolve.

But when they looked more closely they found that, despite producing an oscillating signal, the circuit itself was not actually an oscillator. Instead, it was behaving more like a radio receiver, picking up a signal from a nearby computer and delivering it as an output.

http://www.newscientist.com/...from-the-electronic-soup.html


It appears that just being a radio does not indicate design.

I think it is an important point to say that If there is a designer we would expect to see good designs.

I would say the same of evolved designs, so I guess that indicator is out. It is also worth mentioning that human designers use evolutionary mechanisms, such as genetic algorithms, to produce designs.

For me, evolution, as it is proposed, does not have thought nor can it plan or predetermine or come up with a thoughtful contingency in answer to a specific problem and all the arguments in the world will not change the fact that a thoughtful mind can do these things, does have the capacity, and therefore answers the problem neatly.

What you have left out is that a predetermined plan is not required to produce specific adaptations in organisms. The mechanisms of evolution can produce adaptations. In fact, it is the obvious lack of a predetermined plan that indicates evolution.

How so? Embryonic development is a good example. Why do human embryos need to grow a tail and then reabsorb it later? Why does the recurrent laryngeal nerve need to loop under the aorta and then attach to the larynx in tetrapods? Why do two of the mammalian middle ear bones start out in the jaw of the developing mammalian embryo, like they are found in adult reptiles, only to move up into the middle ear later in development?

Life is hobbled together in ways that no intelligent designer (at least human) would ever think of designing. What intelligent designer would pass the wires for a CCD in front of the light path when designing a digital camera? None, and yet this is how the vertebrate eye is designed.

What human designer would require that designs fall into a nested hierarchy? Absolutely NO DESIGNER WOULD DO THIS, and yet this is what we observe in nature (at least for metazoans). If teats, three middle ear bones, flow through lungs, and feathers are such great adaptations then why can't we find all four in a single organism? Why can we only find teats and three middle ear bones together? Why only feathers and flow through lungs together? Why can't we find a flying organism with feathers and teats, or fur and flow through lungs?

When we look at human designs we find that there is absolutely no nested hierarchy. With evolution we observe that evolution produces a nested hierarchy. What do we see in life? A nested hierarchy. This, by itself, is enough to rule out design and evidence evolution in my own opinion. The rest is just icing on the cake.

There is no predictive power in claiming that evolution can produce brilliant design, unless we see it produce it in the future.

It is only your subjective opinion that they are brilliant.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by mike the wiz, posted 12-19-2011 4:41 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8159
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


(2)
Message 103 of 373 (644742)
12-20-2011 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Just being real
12-19-2011 9:49 PM


From a child's vantage point

Also from an adult's vantage point.

When an archaeologist is digging through the Earth and uncovers a bifacially flaked stone triangular in shape and an earthworm which do you think is taken back to the museum as an example of intelligent design? That would be the stone, not the earthworm.

When Paley talked about finding a watch in the heath he talked about how obvious the watch was as an indication of design. So why would a watch stick out when surrounded in the heath by so much life if life is also designed? The watch should not stick out. It should blend in with the rest of the supposed designed things.

The fact that human designed artefacts are so easily discerned in a background of life indicates that life is not designed, does it not?

When I used my child and the AR-15 analogy, I didn't expect for you to stretch my words beyond the breaking point of all congruity.

The analogy was taken at face value. An AR-15 is sitting in an area surrounded with life. What sticks out as designed? The AR-15. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

I just want any study that demonstrates how that increase of information from single celled life, to multi-celled, to fins, to lungs to legs, could possibly have came about.

Where is the study showing these same things coming about through design? Why is it that design proponents only require this type of evidence for evolutionary pathways but never for their own proposed pathways?

This also brings us to another feature of designed things. We can deduce from the design how it was made. We can look at the structure of the molecules on a watch back and determine if it was stamped or cast. We can do an analysis of the metals and determine how they were forged, and possibly even the source of the metals. We can look at the gears to see marks made during the process of manufacture. Designed things bear marks of their manufacture. That is how we also determine that they were designed. How does life bear these marks?

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Just being real, posted 12-19-2011 9:49 PM Just being real has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8159
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 104 of 373 (644745)
12-20-2011 12:12 PM


Designed?
If you saw this blob laying on the street would you think it was designed?


  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 105 of 373 (644756)
12-20-2011 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Percy
12-20-2011 11:43 AM


Re: Information
This is talking about information concerning whether a mutation is beneficial or not. That's not genetic information. That's sort of meta information relative to the environment and has nothing to do with whether there is more or less information in the genome.

I suppose that is so. But if the second law actually did prohibit increases in information being produced from random variation, then the second law must apply to this meta-information as well.

I'm also not sure it makes sense to measure information content outside of the context in which the information is being interpreted.

Percy writes:

If we're looking at this at the allele level then the answer is simple. Even in the complete absence of mutations offspring will almost always have different amounts of genetic information than either of their parents.

Okay. You've convinced me that my wording was a bit sloppy. I don't see anyway to clarify my point without expanding it to at least a small population including the parent. So let's consider asexual reproduction. It is certainly possible that the offspring can contain more information than the parent and not merely different information.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Percy, posted 12-20-2011 11:43 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Percy, posted 12-20-2011 3:14 PM NoNukes has responded

  
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