so, WK has pointed out that Percy's example is just that - an example with no actual genetic code behind it.
The point is, that this abstract example is still useful to explain an increase in information in the genetic code as it gives a direct example.
So, anyone complaining that Percy's example wasn't abstract is a moron who didn't bother reading the thread. Glad that's over.
Now for the kicker - do IDiots actually define what they mean by "an increase in information"? My opinion (with no examples here, because I cannot prove a negative) is that they don't know themselves, and it was just some buzzword they latched onto, like "genetic code" and "alelles" and "mutation" from skimming the real science as lightly as possible lest their quaint notions get knocked out of joint.
somebody who sincerely believes what they say and holds this viewpoint, what exactly do you mean by "an increase in information"?
Life contains matter, energy, and information. All isolated systems, including living organisms, have specific, but perishable, amounts of information. No isolated system has ever been shown to increase its information content significantly. Nor do natural processes increase information; they destroy it. Only outside intelligence can significantly increase the information content of an otherwise isolated system.
but, and this is the kicker, they don't seem to be able to sufficiently explain what they mean by "information".
This is best displayed by your wilful ignorance of my question and by other IDiots telling us that Percy's example doesn't count for...some reason to do with <coughcoughmumblemumble>.
So, set some goal posts. I know what I mean by information - Percy's example way back on page 1 is an example of it. Is it what you mean or not?
If not, what do you mean? You must know.
If you can't answer, please don't bother telling me to read my sources, because you haven't supplied any.
Let's break it down (and I appologize for linkspam, but I'll not cut and paste the entire entry - feel free to open a tab with my responses to each entry, and that link itself)
b+: ooh, a "successful choice" - are you sure that's not a quote mine, taken out of context?
c: "how was it programmed" ? if that's not begging the question, it's still "god of the gaps". weak and pointless
c+: god of the gaps.
d: it's long, but..irrelevant. we go from "how do we measure information" without answering, to a uselessly oversimplified example, to a useless mash of "dna is this" and a smattering of information theory, to a baseless unproven assumption to the kicker which is "there's a lot of information, we haven't explained what it is...and mutations kill you"
d+: probably a quote mine, it's almost certainly taken out of context and not of any use
d++: ooh, a scientist! and, er, yay, humans are complex and deal with a lot of information. and?
e: quote mined, apparently IDiot biased statement which ultimately says "god of the gaps"
f: tautology based on a still-undefined measurement called "information"
f+: uh, god of the gaps. again. if we could demonstrate it (and who knows, we may have, I am not a scientist), we'd have created life.
g: uh, yeah...our universe hasn't succumbed to heat-death. we know, your point?
h: and finally, the big bang...these IDiots know that much about creating universes with big bangs? (yes, I said that with a straight face)
so, much of a muchness about information - but no definitions or useful ways of measuring it...just shrill yellings that it's not possible because we don't have the answers - you do know that the scientific community are sniggering under their collective breath the word "yet"? right?
Lucy oh Lucy - you didn't answer the question. You ignored it entirely. You sidelined it by saying that Percy's example (4 allelles instead of 3) wasn't an increase in information...
That's not how genetics works.
Genetics isn't a message that can be corrupted like static on a radio frequency (which is what Shannon's work is about). It changes, but not in the way you think it does. It's not all or nothing, it's chinese whispers.
If you're listening to the TV and you should hear "my name is Earl" but instead you here "my kzzt is brrzzzt" then you've lost information if you need to know who's what is what. This, as I said, isn't a good analogy for genetics.
If instead, you are baking a cake and you should get "add three eggs and fold in one cup of sugar" but instead you hear "add two eggs and fold in two cup of sugar" then you've not lost information, you've gained a new allelle, which is an increase.
You've still made a cake...it's going to taste different, with a different texture, but it's still a cake.
Now, a point mutation of light moths to dark - this is a direct real-world example of this sort of information increase...
of course the kicker is, as before, that for all your bluster you have still not defined what information means in your context.
We don't know what you mean - it's becoming the opinion of many that you don't know what you mean, therefore your objections to Percy's example are useless.
From my (admittedly short) attempt to investigate, the proponents of this buzzword-laden idea don't know what they mean, either.
So, set some goal posts. I know what I mean by information - Percy's example way back on page 1 is an example of it. Is it what you mean or not?
That's a good idea greyseal and pertinent. But first we must agree that information exist outside of matter. Do you agree?
Information exists outside of matter?
I'm really not sure what you mean - it's not a tangible thing, no, but without getting philosophical, it's an intangible quantity.
Let me try this - we can transmit information with photons, the most intangible form of information that I know about save for bosons...but all of this is matter.
If you want to know whether we can have and transmit information without space/time, you'll have to ask somebody with far more knowledge than I.
If that's not what you meant, well, explain.
Percy's numeric interpretation is not relevant here, it's a quantitative measure(Shannon).
it's only not relevant if you can prove it's not relevant - as I said before, you have never answered about what you mean by information.
Shannon never dealt with the question of "what is information". I've tried, every time I jump on this site to go back through and try and understand how Percy introduced new information but I end up quitting.
could it be...that Shannon's idea of information is not relevant to genetics?
I could be wrong but my interpretation of Percy's point is this: Given three sets of base pairs you can have a mutation to produce a fourth base pair and hence new information(different eye colour). That's crap. Those genes are there specifically to provide input into the eye colour machine. If you get dud parts (bad parameters) the machine wont work. It's exactly what Shannon considered noise. Noise degrades information exactly as 2ndLaw degrades the universe.
so tell me this - how come the point mutation for the peppered moth have occured then? This is directly, exactly, what Percy was talking about, only rather than affecting just the eyes, the whole darn moth changed colour.
I wont say "check mate" yet, but - your king is in check. Your move. No castling (avoiding the answer).
Oh, yes, good science that, stapling moths onto trees to try prove a world view.
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.
Come and live out out here for a few years, I bet you change colour too but you wont evolve into a dingo.
oh come now - we're not talking sunburn, we're talking genetic mutation.
Have you even considered the possibility that orgamisms may have the ability to adjust to their environment.
Umm, ah...yes. It's called "evolution", and it's a very slow process which is controlled by "natural selection". If you haven't read Darwin's "The origin of species" you should do.
Once again, answer the question - what would you regard as adding information?
You've said that getting random chatter in a sentence, turning (for example) "have a nice day" into "have aalser niceslekjrs dayawer" isn't "adding information"...but it is. The fact that it's nonsense is of no interest. The fact is that's still not how genetics works.
It works more like "chinese whispers" (otherwise known as "telephone").
Get about 30 kids together, whisper some phrase to the first child, get that child to whisper to his neighbour and so on.
See what comes out the other side!
What you'll have to remember is that mutations happen all the time - otherwise we would all have exactly the same genetic code as our parents and each other.
My cake-baking analogy is apt (and tasty) - if a mutation is seriously non-beneficial the organism will die or simply not propogate. In cake-parlance, we'd throw it out if it tasted awful. In cake parlance, some of us may like a cake that's overcooked or a bit sloppy with the icing (that's called "adapting to a new biological niche").
In cake parlance, we may hand out the same recipe to our kids, but they may not be quite able to read our bad handwriting and each do things a little differently, and be equally bad at writing down the instructions for their kids properly...after even two generations, you could have up to 8 different types of cake to taste when you have your grandkids around for tea.
Tasty, AND educational.
Edited by greyseal, : expanded the entry with added flava flav
You see the mistake your making here Percy. You assume that noise increases information.
Yes, exactly right, noise can increase information. And I not only assumed it, I proved it mathematically. If you'd like to challenge this then you have to respond to the example I provided in Message 154.
You may have a long wait - Lucy seems to know exactly what isn't information, but has apparently no idea what is.
Without that all important definition, she hasn't made a single useful point - and it must be so simple, they're all so sure of themselves...
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:
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?
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?
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.
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.
So the question becomes, does the machinery in the cell have pattern recognition abilities in spite of serious misplacements and errors? If it does, it would seem to me it would have limited utility. I think that because I am considering the genetic information injected by viruses.
viruses have evolved to get around and subvert the machinery. It's what they do.
*ID fluff snipped*
I may never understand the complex machinery in the cell. Stephen Meyer has made references to its incredible machinery. I just heard one of his interviews he did with George Noory on You Tube.
And just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean somebody else doesn't. Saying "godidit" because you don't understand it, doesn't make it so. One scientist with a will and the means can unlock this "machinery", a thousand ID apologists who don't want to know never will.
What the...??? All that I was saying was that as many of you have pointed out already, some aspects of the research were dodgy.
No, they weren't "dodgy", they only appear so when quote-mined and taken out of context.
You would rightly rile at someone just quoting you to say "I am not suggesting that natural selection didn't happen" and gleefully taking it to mean you endorse whole-heartedly evolution. Scientists (and those who take that side of the debate) get grumbly over legitimate questions (which have been answered) regarding accuracy of the method (fact is, camouflaged moths are eaten in the daytime less, ergo it was useful work, whether moths are normally perched there or not) being taken out of context to mean that the work was bogus or contraversial.
And yes, as I told WK, the chinese whispers analogy only goes so far. Drop it? No. Acknowledge where it doesn't stretch? sure.
Curiously, I didn't say it wasn't evolution, just that it was not an example of a mutation arising that shows a benefit -- the mutation was already extant in the population, and the melanic variety was known about well before hand.
ahha! but..but...er.. well yes. I noticed that afterwards. Kneejerk reaction, but you're right. Curse youuuuu!
(PS: everyone I don't say hi to - I love you all, I really do...I just don't want to fill posts with "hello, hi, how do you do")
I'll show you what I mean by adding information. I'll take my example of a piece of code
Okay, you added information. You added code that extended the original subroutine.
The question remains then, finally, as to why other methods of increasing information aren't acceptable (plus, will he get back to adding extra information? will he? we shall see...)
I'd like to quote the moth again - apparently the point mutation arises spontaneously in nature all the time - but you'll just disagree it's adding information (although an increase in alleles IS an increase). If it does (and I could try to prove it does) you'd stick your fingers in your ears, and/or say it's not an increase...because...it's not, amirite?
I could suggest that increasing the sheer number of codons is an increase in information, which...fits your analogy quite nicely. Your new "swap" subroutine is essentially useless because it no longer swaps a and b, but it still does a task, right? It's a valid change, right?