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Author Topic:   No "new information" required
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 12 of 20 (664654)
06-03-2012 10:49 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by gaxar77
06-03-2012 10:35 PM


Re: No takers?
I don't see what you mean when you see that creationists define information deliberately so that it cannot be increased through random mutations. The definition of information that they use, at least from what I have read, is the same definition given by information science.

Not usually. Can you give an example?

The changing of a bird's beak or wing-shape, to make it more apt at doing one thing may be beneficial, but it does not require any new information, and thus cannot be used as an example of evolution.

Of course it can be used as an example of evolution, since it is a heritable change in a lineage (I presume that when you say a bird, you are not speaking literally; and would adivse you to cultivate a habit of precision.)

The new information needed by evolution can only come by incremental steps, and there is no example whatsoever of any new information being added to DNA that benefits it.

In order to say that, you would need to say how you're quantifying information and determining whether it's "new". This is usually where creationists fall down.

Even if you say that evolution does not require an increase in complexity, but can also be characterized by a decrease, that still doesn't explain how the increase occurs by means of that same evolution.

Well, given the range of mutations we know to occur, substitution, insertion, deletion, fission and fusion of chromosomes, etc, it is manifestly the case that there is a sequence of mutations (indeed, an infinite number of such sequences) that would get you from any genome to any other --- from a monkey to a man, or a frog to a fish, or whatever. Whether this would involve "new information" I cannot say, since creationists are infuriatingly vague about what they mean by that --- but it is certain that this is all that is required for evolution to have taken place.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by gaxar77, posted 06-03-2012 10:35 PM gaxar77 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by foreveryoung, posted 06-03-2012 11:03 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 14 of 20 (664660)
06-03-2012 11:09 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by foreveryoung
06-03-2012 11:03 PM


Re: No takers?
Why wouldn't he be literally speaking of a bird?

When interpreting what other people are trying to say, I find it a good rule of thumb to suppose that they're making as much sense as possible given the constraint that their meaning has to be consistent with what they're saying.

Now a change to an individual bird would not be considered evolution by anyone at all (what with all the Larmarckists being dead) and so I suppose he's using "a bird" as a sort of synecdoche.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by foreveryoung, posted 06-03-2012 11:03 PM foreveryoung has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by foreveryoung, posted 06-03-2012 11:26 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 16 of 20 (664671)
06-04-2012 12:08 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by foreveryoung
06-03-2012 11:26 PM


Re: No takers?
So by precision in language, you are hoping he is talking about a change in beak type among a population of birds over time? That would be evolution. A change to an individual bird over its lifetime is not evolution, I agree. Do you realize that many people are meaning the former when they speak in the latter way?

Of course I realize it --- that's why I said that although he'd written the latter I presumed that he meant the former.

But since there's also a chance that he meant what he said, I didn't want to take the chance and maintain that that would be an example of evolution, since it wouldn't.


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 Message 15 by foreveryoung, posted 06-03-2012 11:26 PM foreveryoung has acknowledged this reply

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 164 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 19 of 20 (664711)
06-04-2012 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Wounded King
06-04-2012 7:41 AM


Re: No takers?
Just to give one example to expand slightly upon what Dr. A said, Werner Gitt, who is associated with 'Answers in Genesis', has a definition of information that explicitly requires a mental origin. For a fuller discussion of Gitt's formulation see The value of Gitt information.

Or there's that chap we just had on these forums who insisted that information was the opposite of Shanon entropy ... in which case you can create new information by deleting chunks of the genome!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Wounded King, posted 06-04-2012 7:41 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

  
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