It seems to be a common creationist claim that evolutionary processes either cannot produce new "functional information," or that if they can, they cannot produce enough to account for the life forms we see in the world today. Yet I've never known any creationist show that either is actually the case.
Additionally, I have yet to see a creationist demonstrate that evolution needs to produce "new genetic information" in order to produce all the species we see today from a universal common ancestor. In my experience, they define "new genetic information" so that the mechanisms of evolution can not produce it, but in the process their definition no longer has any bearing on actual biology.
To use an analogy, they insist that a baseball has to travel 1,000' in order to be a home run. All the while, no baseball player has ever hit a baseball 1,000', yet they have hundreds of home runs to their credit. Their definitions have no bearing on reality, and can therefore be ignored.
Would you please explain to me how genes duplicate? Since they occupy a position along the DNA strand, and they are thousands of codons long, and the replication process follows the strand codon by codon how does a copy of a gene get separately inserted into the strand?
One of the mechanisms of gene duplication (if memory serves) is homologous recombination.
This whole process is caused by the chemical characteristics of DNA. DNA bases on separate strands of DNA can stick to one another through a process called hydrogen bonding. However, not all bases will stick to all other bases. Instead, the hydrogen atoms have to be lined up for the bonding to occur. Therefore, only A will stick to T, and only G will stick to C (and vice versa). These are called complementary bases:
Any time you have enough complementary bases you can get two strands of DNA to stick to one another, like the meshing of a zipper. Most of the time this results in perfectly aligned strands of DNA where the same pieces of DNA are always across from one another. However, during meiosis there is a stage where pieces of each pair of chromosomes is switched back and forth between each other, and during this process you can get more distant pieces of DNA to stick together. This can cause a gene to be duplicated elsewhere in the chromosome. You can read more here:
My first answer is what I think was the plan at the Creation, but the question usually comes up in discussions of what evolution actually does -- that is, the process of evolving loses information, that's how you get new phenotypes. I prefer to describe it as losing alleles which I think is clearer than "information." And the example I use because it's so clear is domestic selection or breeding: to get a purebred animal requires losing all the genetic material, alleles, for other breeds. You select them out of the breeding pool, so you get the purebred on the basis of homozygosity at the loci that are the main traits of your breed, and that means eliminating all the other alleles.
Let's start with a common ancestor for humans and chimps. Those branches separate and then each branch accumulates mutations that change both species into what we see today.
Are you saying that you would classify all of those mutations that led from an ape-like human ancestor to modern humans as losses in genetic information?
I would figure it had managed to replicate an existing allele probably at another gene, not anything actually new, but so far I'm not convinced that anything new at all, even in that sense, is ever created by a mutation.
If we started with the chimp genome and changed that genome at 40 million places to end up with the human genome, would you consider that a new genome with new information?
Say, mutant form bat is quite viable yet the quantity of information it carries remains the same as in the primordial noun bit.
Then your definition of an increase in information is irrelevant to how biology actually works. Substitution mutations, those that change one base to another DNA base, do change phenotype and are responsible for the difference in phenotype seen between species.
You have effectively argued yourself out of the conversation by using a definition for information that has no biological relevance.
I would agree that the analogy is not really relevant, but not because an SNP mutation does increase information. Does it?
Does it matter if a creationist will not accept an SNP as an increase in information?
We once again run into the creationist game of focusing on definitions instead of reality. It really doesn't matter if a mutation meets their criteria for an increase in information. All that matters is if the mutations can produce the biodiversity we see today.