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The Evolutionists Retort

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Posted by S.H. Le on November 10, 1999 21:44:41 UTC

"...there is not a known point mutation that results in an increase in information. Most, if not all, mutations result in a fatal phenotypic expression, or at best, a neutral expression in the phenotype." - bzrd

Actually, you've missed a few alternatives. There's been evidence of mutations that are actually helpful to a species, which is one of the main premises behind evolution. Mutations can be neutral, strictly harmful, strictly helpful, or relative. In the last case whether they are harmful or helpful depends on the environment, via natural selection. Mutations are usually either neutral or relative, the way I understand them. Furthermore, information can be added through DNA addition. Usually, this occurs as a result of chromosome breakage or realignment. An example of a helpful mutation would be HIV immunity discovered in some humans. The frequency of this mutant allele is quite high in some populations that have never been exposed to AIDS so it seems likely that there was prior selection for this allele. It also seems that the frequency of this allele is rising (species improvement?).

"Thus, over time, one expects to see a down-hill effect on the genome, in terms of information content. This is consistent with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics with regard to information systems." - bzrd

Okay, I've also looked up the 2nd law of thermodynamics and have found many exceptions to your statement. The law states simply that "overall entropy (unusable energy) in a closed system, cannot decrease." But alas, life is not a closed system because of the immense energy provided by the sun. If you're implying that everything has a tendancy toward disorder, then nature has a lot of explaining to do. For instance, all the processes in which order spontaneously arises from disorder that don't involve life: Snowflakes, tornadoes, lightning, etc. The 2nd law of thermodynamics allows for "pockets" of order arising. These phenomena are in no way indications of an intelligent being. Therefore, the 2nd law isn't what you say it is (everything inevitably heads towards disorder).

"An analogy would be if you photo-copied the works of Shakespeare millions of times; the probability that 'nonsense' would creep into the document far out-weighs the probability of improvements in the work." - bzrd

Furthermore, your analogy comparing the deterioration of genetic information, to a picture photocopied many times is unsound. This is because in the photocopy example, there is no selection taking place at all. This stems from a major misconception about evolution - that it's entirely random. It's not. What occurs is natural SELECTION of the best characteristics for survival in a given environment. In theory, if the environment ceased to select the fittest individuals, then evolution would stop occuring, but that's irrelavent here.

"In real-life, it is a well-known fact that artificial selection takes information OUT of a genome to produce an individual that is bred for a particular purpose [ex. dairy cattle]. Not surprisingly, these animals are less fit to survive under natural conditions when they have to compete vs. their more genetically fit counter-parts." - bzrd

I'm not sure if this works against evolution. All you're saying here is that where artificial selection occurs to benifit man, sending the animal back into the wild would result in it's demise. I think evolution would predict this, because thrusting an animal into a harsh/different environment would probably kill it if it weren't suited. Only if it were many cows, would there be a chance for a few surviving through natural selection, to pass on their genes.

"Also, I read where there is evidence that "modern man" and Neanderthal co-mingled; this would seem to present a problem for theory that they were kicked-out of our 'familily tree'." - bzrd

I don't think this is probemmatic for evolution even if neanderthals and our ancestors co-mingled (I'm unsure on this point, but naturally, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt). But if they did after branching off earlier in the evolutionary timeline, then meeting later on, has no negative implications for evolution. The theory is still sound.

Till next time bzrd. My this forum's bustling with activity. Great isn't it?

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