What is so improbably about natural slection acting on variable populations with heritable traits and resulting in adaptation and speciation?
Here we go again: it is a question of number, of mathematical sensibility. 10^1 is different from 10^100.
Irregardless of however you feel about the ultimate truth of Darwin's theory one can't simply pretend that its not scientific. Waving ones hands and
saying something about 'probabilities' like the IDists is not scientific.
The evolutionists say that life began as RNA spontaneously in the primeval oceans. Somehow the atoms combined into molecules that could reproduce
1. 2 billion years and lots of water doesn't improve the probabillities.
2. RNA itself doesn't make more RNA out of nonexistent aminoacids: you need enzymes, proteins, the whole works.
That hardly means that most of the mutations aren't neutral. If you expose an organism to radiation then you're probably going to induce so many
mutations that of course you're going to get some that are deleterious. Besides, being exposed to mutagens is not the only way that mutations
The radiation example is an extreme meant to show that mutations are overwhelmingly harmful, IF they are random. What you call "neutral mutations"
is part random and part nonrandom. Nearly all genetic codes have variable parts, that are meant to change to confer resistance to slightly different
Drastic change becomes difficult. Small changes do not.
In a complex system, small changes are potentially more harmful because of the interconnectedness of the systems they affect.
Again, what you call "small changes" is just an appearance, because what looks like small changes in the phenotype can come from large changes in
From species to species? No it doesn't. Selection on very primitive light sensing cells can adequately explain the overall evolution of the eye. No
one claims that it all happens at once.
I was establishing the point that even in related species, when you consider exactly how is an organ described, you discover that there is not a neat
package saying how it's made. Rather, the information is spread all over the genome.
If its 'designed' then its designed by natural selection. One does not see design anyway, one sees a succession and array of primitive and variable
forms, especially wrt the evolution of the eye.
"Succession" is in the eye of the beholder. If evolution was active, it would need to act faster than we can observe (glacially slow, if anything at
all). An example is the human kind. As far as we know in recorded history
, humans have not changed at all. Yet during this time span there
should have been many evolutionary pressures lying around and pressuring us into evolutionary improvement.
All we see is just a greater intermixing of genes, some diseases and resistances becoming more widespread, but not one single instance of evolution.
No, it works in unguided natural wild populations.
It doesn't work in unguided populations, because:
1. There is information input.
2. It is too slow.
Perhaps evolution could have more explanatory power if, instead of slow mutation and selection, it invoked fast mutation and selection. This (suitably
developed) would contradict point 2, but still not point 1.
This is patently untrue. Speciation has been observed in fish, fish are 'higher forms of life'. indeed, why should 'higher forms of life' be
acting differently anyway?
Translation: "speciation has been proposed as a nice word to describe the fact that slightly different families of fish have appeared in previously
dry lake beds". But here we note that the fish are simply different forms of the same kind, so where is the "speciation"? This is just adaptation,
I reaffirm: true speciation (like, a fish turning into a dog), has never been observed.
All speciation in higher life form involved loss of information
I don't think that anyone has ever done an 'information content' analysis on the genomes of speciating populations.
My affirmation was not well formed: I meant that, if ever there is such a thing as speciation, then, in general, it proceeds by loss of information.
How could it be otherwise? How could we explain the constructive addition of features? A possible explanation (compatible with evolution) could be:
generally there is loss, but sometimes a chromosome gets duplicated, which provides a "whiteboard" for future upgrades. Or part of a chromosome,
gets longer, which provides more writing space. But then we would see a large variability in gene lengths and gene group makeups among individuals of
the same species. As far as we know, this is not the case. So, constructive mutations (indicating a speciation upwards) remain unexplained by the
theory of evolution.
So youi are saying that the people studying these cases just don't have a clue what they are talking about, and since, in your opinion, there is not
speciation, then, no matter what, there is no speciation?
I approach the subject of evolution with skepticism. A few rudimentary observations here and there of "something probably connected with speciation"
are not enough to prove that speciation ever exists. The goal to prove speciation should not interfere with the interpretation of the observations.
Sicne when were plants designed to hybridize? And how would that make a differfence? Are you claiming that there are only, like, what, three or four
species of plants out there?
Maize is designed to hybridize with other variants of maize. Bacteria are designed to enable hybridization between maize and other plants (non-maize)
by direct transfer of genetic material. In this way, whole plant populations can be upgraded in-place with no need to re-seed, by spreading them with
specially contructed bacteria, should it be needed for some reason.
quote: The grain of rice is a veritable genetic library. It could grow on Mars.
I have never heard this claim before, nor do I see how its relevant
I was referring to rice. Rice contains 60000 genes, and apparently "Something like three-quarters of all rice genes are repeated in the code."
Why should a plant accumulate so much junk? What long-term selection pressures could there be that give the plant a benefit obtained only after
millions of years, and over all kinds of environments?
Its dependant on multiple things, atomic properties are one of them. By this reasoning, biological organismare only predicated on atomic
Wait. Now you are saying that biological organisms dependent on something more than atomic properties?
quote: There is no increase of information because you can predict one from the other.
That simply is not how information works. Merely because one can predict it, and of course one can't here anyways, hardly means that there is no
information in it.
That is how algorithmic complexity works. You can have many descriptions of the same object. None can be more complex than the object itself.
Just as the description of a house plus the building materials is at most
as complex as the house, also the material laws plus the particles
are at most as complex as the larger results (molecules, crystals, etc).
Proteins: they are the mechanical result of DNA programs.
They, literally, contain the same information that is in the DNA. You can't maintain that they aren't teh result of design but DNA is, merely
because of 'information content'.
According to the previous definition, they would
contain the same information if
they arose naturally. As
they don't arise
there is an added ingredient
. The added ingredient is the information content, the expressed intention of the
It's the concept of a language. Genes use aminoacids as a platform to express information. It is like like a painter that takes pigments of ink
(matter) and creates a painting (message). By seeing lots of paintings and comparing their styles, you could say that they "evolved" from each
other, which would be true only in a metaphorical sense.
That had absolutely nothing to do with what it was typed in response to. Genes have information, proteinshave information, they don't need for it to
be expressed by one another, and, indeed, what relvance does that have anyway?
I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say here.
My point is more on an epistemological sense: if you see many slightly different instances of the same object, there is no reason why you should force
them into a time-series.
The idea of evolution is just an interpretation that is super-imposed on the facts. I have the notion that sometimes the idea of evolution limits the
possible explanations beforehand, and acts like a prejudice.
Pardon, I meant that its not more complex that 'anything humans create'. And, again, complexity is simply not an indicater of Design.
Even a fly or a bird is more complex than the latest supercomputer. This could change in the near future, but we're just not there yet.
As for complexity being an indicator of design, the general rule derived from experience is: if you can recognise complexity, then you can recognise
design. Just because you establish an artificial difference between man-made design and non-man-made design, it doesn't change anything.
The only way "complexity is not an indicator of design" is if you wishfully corrupt the definition of complexity.
They cannot be derived from one another. If I give you a peice of pure coal you are going to be able to make a diamond? If I give you a melt of a mix
of minerals you are going to be able to tell me which ones its derived from? Thats interesting because geolgists often can't do this. To say that a
lump of coal has more information that a highly structured diamond is silly.
Out of arguments, you invent totally new ones. Different states of the same matter arise under exactly known conditions. If you combine 1+3 or 2+2,
you obtain 4. Given the same conditions, you obtain the same results. If the results are totally inherent in the initial conditions, then there is no
increase of information overall.
quote: But DNA encodes information at a higher level than these physical processes.
it encodes at the chemical level, which is the same level that minerals are formed at.
The presence or absence of information is determined by the knowledge of the interpreter. If you look at a compressed stream, the pattern of the bits
will display a certain distribution. This distribution will look somewhat random, but with regular features from time to time. A code could be devised
so that the observed distribution would appear uniformly random. To an unsuspecting observer, its distribution would be indistinguishable from that of
a known random source.
So, basically, the message is an immaterial entity which the interpreter is able to decode.
On a totally different level, we can say that messages are written in substrates. The same message could be encoded in different substrates.
The chemical building blocks of the DNA are the substrate.
But the message is the shape of the organism.
There is no 'jump in levels'
Of course there is: one level is the support, the substrate. Another level is the message, the interesting information. Those levels are so different,
that one is material (aminoacids) and the other is immaterial (the shape of the organism).
You are apparently not understanding whats 'random' in evolution. Natural Selection acts on variation. Variation is already inherent in populations
of organisms, and new variation can arise thru mutations. Mutations occur Randomly. Thats where the random comes in. Scientists do not suggest that
new species arise out of unselected randomness. Natural Selection does the selecting.
It's a nice theory. The source of information for selection comes from the environment (meaning the physical conditions, other creatures, etc). The
wide environment therefore represents a fitness function that is applied to the successive generations. After a while, the creature develops an eye
because the eye confers a relative advantage. So the environment kind of manipulates and shapes the creature. I have no issue with this theory, except
for 2 points:
1. There is no time in the age of the universe for this to happen naturally. The theory abuses the sense of proportion.
2. There is no reason, regardless of time, for the spontaneous apparition of information. The theory involves a belief in apparitions.
Natural Selection, even before one looks to see if it exists, can obviously 'reverse' chaos. Besides, intelligence is not required to 'reverse
chaos', unless you would content that little angels fly around in clouds making dirty unorderd chaotic water into clean structed snowflakes. Local
chaos can be undone.
Before making such wide-ranging statements, lets look at an example to clarify the language: You have some fields of sterile land in some place. You
plant some seeds in there. After the plants have grown, you have obtained a more organized state. But who put initiated the process? You.
What would happen if you did not plant the seeds? Nothing.
Then that merely demonstrates that your imagination is limited. One does not need design to have an ecosystem. If a niche in an ecosystem is
available, then there will be selective pressure on some populations to occupy that niche. Even in very primitive and simple ecosystems this will be
true. And the addition of niches and their becomming occupied will result in more complexity with time, and require no direction, supernatural or
Perhaps I have not been clear enough. Ecosystems can and do arise naturally. But the kinds that live in them must preexist. The selection of the
living conditions of the ecosystem doesn't create new kinds, it merely weeds out the unfit, and brings out some adaptative traits already inherent or
not inherent but structurally possible (an example would be the immune system, where there is inbuilt variability).
I think that perhaps you do not understand what an ecosystem is. The inter-relationships between the organisms are something that has been selected
for in each of the individual cases by natural selection. Creating the animals ad hoc to interact and then plopping them down somewhere would mean
that the ecosystem has not arisen naturally.
An ecosystem is a balanced system that is self-sustainable in the long run. Once there is sufficient variety of creatures, many combinations can be
made to suit almost all the environments of the earth.