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Author Topic:   No New Genetic Information?
Zucadragon
Member
Posts: 93
From: Netherlands
Joined: 06-28-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 16 of 27 (440429)
12-13-2007 4:24 AM


Wouldn't the forming of Nylonase be an increase of genetic information seeing that there was no Nylon before 1940 (if I remember correctly) and the amide linkage used (if I remember correctly) is one not seen in biology at all except for the one in nylon.
Meaning that it had to gain completely new genetic information in order to produce nylonase.

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 116 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 17 of 27 (440434)
12-13-2007 5:10 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by bernerbits
12-12-2007 7:11 PM


Not even talking about evolution
I doesn't seem a good sign when right from the start your interlocutor is putting forward his own highly idiosyncratic definition of evolution which no-one in evolutionary biology would ascribe to.
TTFN,
WK

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mark24
Member (Idle past 5278 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 18 of 27 (440436)
12-13-2007 5:59 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by bernerbits
12-12-2007 12:56 PM


berner,
I still have to somehow get him to concede that nucleotides really carry information before that argument carries any weight. His constant assertion that they aren't is what's really baffling.
Then surely DNA doesn't carry information? Meaning the information argument is moot. Ask him if a bullet in the foot hurts.
Mark

There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't

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bernerbits
Member (Idle past 6028 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 10-09-2007


Message 19 of 27 (440454)
12-13-2007 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Wounded King
12-13-2007 5:10 AM


Re: Not even talking about evolution
wk writes:
your interlocutor is putting forward his own highly idiosyncratic definition of evolution
I am trying to correct him, but he seems to be expecting my corrections and believes that they are examples of evolutionary theory relinquishing its scope.
He has even brought up this concept of "original evolution" which I've seen before and is a thinly-veiled strawman. I mean, heck, I don't accept HIS theory of evolution.

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bernerbits
Member (Idle past 6028 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 10-09-2007


Message 20 of 27 (440455)
12-13-2007 9:08 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by mark24
12-13-2007 5:59 AM


mark writes:
Then surely DNA doesn't carry information? Meaning the information argument is moot.
I asked if DNA was there to look pretty. He changed the subject. Dodgy son of a bitch.
Edited by bernerbits, : Someday I'll get these quote tags right. Posting on two different forums at the same time is confusing.

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mobioevo
Member (Idle past 6028 days)
Posts: 34
From: Texas
Joined: 12-13-2007


Message 21 of 27 (440577)
12-13-2007 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by bernerbits
12-11-2007 2:51 PM


New genetic information is created
I don't know why someone would think new genetic information is not created. As your example of the flu virus, if you have two different types of flu infecting the same cell then a new flu virus can be created by the merging of both flu virus' genomes. This is why many virologists are nervous about H5N1 (bird flu) as H5N1 could go into a human host while they are infected with the common flu virus, and out come a new virus that is much more virulent that can easily infect humans.
Gene duplication whether it is small duplications of DNA or wide scale duplications such as the entire genome can also produce new genetic information. Once a gene is duplicated, there is redundancy in the genome and a normally deleterious mutation can then becomes a neutral mutation as there are now two copies. As these mutations increase, it is possible to eventually create a entirely new gene. Thus, new genetic information is born.
It has been a few years since I have posted on this forum. The last time was about 2 or 3 years ago when I was a college student. Now I am a graduate student studying molecular evolution. Unfortunately, my old account has been inactivated or I got the name wrong. I'm looking forward to many discussions on evolution.

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AnswersInGenitals
Member (Idle past 234 days)
Posts: 673
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 22 of 27 (440584)
12-13-2007 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by bernerbits
12-11-2007 2:51 PM


Proccesses that create information.
If new information cannot be created by a process that is wholly or partly random, such as Darwinian evolution, then it must only be created by strictly deterministic processes. But, by definition, a deterministic process is one for which the outcome is completely predictable from the input. If the output is completely determined by the input, then how can it contain new information - all the information it contains is implicit in that prior input. Thus, if new information is ever created, then it must be created by a process that is at least partially random!

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AdminPhat
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 27 (440589)
12-13-2007 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by mobioevo
12-13-2007 6:36 PM


Re: New genetic information is created
hi, Mobio. You said:
, my old account has been inactivated or I got the name wrong. I'm looking forward to many discussions on evolution.
I looked and don't see your old account. You are, of course, welcome to use this new account.

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mobioevo
Member (Idle past 6028 days)
Posts: 34
From: Texas
Joined: 12-13-2007


Message 24 of 27 (440598)
12-13-2007 7:42 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by AnswersInGenitals
12-13-2007 7:01 PM


Re: Proccesses that create information.
quote:
if new information cannot be created by a process that is wholly or partly random
I don't know who said that but I didn't. I am biologist and not whatever you call someone that studies information so excuse any misunderstanding of information theory that might exist.
I also was not talking about Darwinian evolution but you could call it the modern evolutionary synthesis, but evolutionary biologists just call it evolution. Evolution is not random. Mutations are random and mutations create new information. You could have a single mutation at a locus, you could have a small duplication caused by a retrotransposition event, in which mRNA is reverted back to DNA, or you could have a whole genome duplication so that the entire genome is duplicated. In any event new genetic information is created in a random or somewhat random event (not all genes are duplicated equally).
It is the selection on the mutation that is not random. Whether the mutation is deleterious, neutral, or beneficial is entirely up to the environment in which the mutation has occurred.
Is there evidence that new information has occurred? Yes, look at the divergence of genes from prokaryotes and then look at the genes in eukaryotes. There are more genes in eukaryotes. You can also look at the number of gene families in eukaryotes, which many, if not almost all, where created by gene duplications.
Go to Google Scholar and search "gene duplications source new genes" and you will see the many papers discussing how gene duplications will create new genes and new proteins.
Edited by mobio, : typo

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AnswersInGenitals
Member (Idle past 234 days)
Posts: 673
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 25 of 27 (440663)
12-14-2007 12:56 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by mobioevo
12-13-2007 7:42 PM


Re: Proccesses that create information.
Mobio, please note that my post is in response to bernerbits opening post (#1), and not a response to anything you have said. In particular, it is a response to whoever bernerbits is referring to when he opens with "A popular counterclaim to evolution is the "No new genetic information" claim." I agree with everything in your post except your statement that "Evolution is not random." Darwinian evolution has two major components: random modifications combined with deterministic selection rules, so that it is partially random and partially deterministic (like the weather, election results, gambling outcomes, and lots of other common, everyday processes). This contrasts Darwinian evolution with some other proposed evolutionary processes, for example Lamarkian evolution which is thoroughly deterministic. (I realize that I am being somewhat simplistic here, but I think this is a valid description of the core concepts.)
When you say:
Is there evidence that new information has occurred? Yes, look at the divergence of genes from prokaryotes and then look at the genes in eukaryotes. There are more genes in eukaryotes. You can also look at the number of gene families in eukaryotes, which many, if not almost all, where created by gene duplications.
this is where the people bernerbits is referring to in his OP would disagree with you. Their point is precisely that the eukaryotes could not have evolved from the prokaryotes a la Darwin because they do have more genetic information and (according to them) DE, being (partially) random, cannot produce such information. What I am trying to argue, and I apologize for any lack of clarity, is that only random processes can produce information. The information contained in the consequences of deterministic processes is necessarily implicit in the prior conditions of the process and is not new.
The kind of challenges I was expecting to see to my assertions would, for example, question whether I am drawing a false dichotomy (trichotomy) when I limit processes to deterministic, deterministic+random, and random. Are there processes that don't fit any of these categories? In particular, is free will random, deterministic (which would make it not so free), a mix of the two, or some else entirely? An antagonist might also argue that their is no new information from any source since god knew everything that would or could happen since the instant of creation.
And, by the way, happy to see you back even if you have to start all over again as a junior member.

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Equinox
Member (Idle past 5225 days)
Posts: 329
From: Michigan
Joined: 08-18-2006


Message 26 of 27 (440823)
12-14-2007 6:08 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by bernerbits
12-13-2007 9:08 AM


Here is a repost from before when I described how information is added to the genome by mutation. It sounds like he just simply doesn't understand all the different kinds of mutations that occur.
Use it or part of it if you like.
-Equinox
Here are some basic types of mutations and how they work:
Duplication of a stretch of DNA. This is like accidentally copying part of a book twice. Example - when making a copy of a book that has chapters 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12, you end up with a book that has chapters 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, 12
Deletion of a base pair. AATCTGTC becomes ATCTGTC
Addition of base pair AATCTGTC becomes ACATCTGTC
Transposition (like a mirror) AATCTGTC becomes CTGTCTAA
All of these can have no effect, an effect which is selected for, or an affect which is selected against.
To add information, first, take a functional gene, and make an extra copy using the duplication mutation.
That won’t hurt the organism, since the second copy is simply redundant. Then use any of the other mutation methods so as to make the second copy do something new. The organism still has the original copy doing whatever it is supposed to do, but now has the added ability of whatever the new gene does (such as digesting nylon, as in a species of bacteria).
The process can also add entire chromosomes .
OK, now lets list some mutations that could be what you are looking for:
Tails in human babies. Since creationists generally deny that humans evolved from lower primates, these tails would be “new”. As such, that mutation has certainly added something new. There have been a number of babies born with fully functional tails, including the ability to use the tail to signal emotional state (think of how a pooch does this already).
Other atavisms, such as mutations which make hind legs in whales. Since creationists generally don’t believe whales evolved from land-lubbers, being able to clamber onto land is a new and beneficial feature.
The “beautiful buttocks” mutation in sheep. I’ll look up the information on this one. I think this happened in the 80’s - a mutation in a sheep caused more muscular legs & buttocks. If this had been a wild sheep living near a mountain, a better ability to climb the mountain is clearly a benefit. As it was, this was a domestic sheep, and the farmer was overjoyed to be able to get more meat from this sheep, and the mutation was recognized a great thing. The farmer bred the sheep so as to preserve and sell this mutation.
The ability to digest nylon in one strain of bacteria. This is also clearly a very beneficial mutation, and more, it has been studied to show which gene mutated and how it did so. I don’t understand how this isn’t a beneficial mutation that adds information.
The ability of the monkyflower to metabolize copper compounds
Let’s look at the numbers again. The vast majority of mutations are expected to be neutral. This is because the vast majority of our DNA does nothing. It is like have a million volume encyclopedia, where only a few thousand volumes have real information, while the rest have gibberish or repeated sections, like if a volume had this:
and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and and
For hundred of pages. We also have a lot of copies of working genes, but the copies are non-functional due to mutations. These are called “pseudo genes”. So mutations in any of that non functioning DNA doesn’t help or harm anyone.
There are lots of harmful mutations. Yep - we should expect that, since a change to a working gene that we need is likely to be a change that isn’t as good. And as I mentioned before, the number of mutations selected against (the harmful mutations) is completely irrelevant, since those mutations all disappeared with their unfortunate owners. If half of the mutations that have an effect are selected for, then the ration you want is 1:1, and you end up with only the "selected for" mutations. If there is only 1 helpful, "selected for" mutation in 5, then you ratio is 1:5, and you still have exactly the same number of mutations at the end of the day, since the ones that weren’t selected for are gone anyway. That's why the number of non-selected for mutations is irrelevant. See why the number of harmful mutations is unimportant?
Accumulating millions of good mutations is quite easy, since the bad ones are selected against and removed anyway, and we’ve had literally billions of years to accumulate the good ones that remain. Since we’ve seen at least the half dozen good ones mentioned above in just the past few decades, then just doing the math adds up to quite a few in a billion years - and that’s ignoring the fact that the half dozen I’ve listed is undoubtedly a tiny fraction of the ones that have occurred, since we don’t watch all births of all animals for any change - how could we?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by bernerbits, posted 12-13-2007 9:08 AM bernerbits has replied

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bernerbits
Member (Idle past 6028 days)
Posts: 73
Joined: 10-09-2007


Message 27 of 27 (441712)
12-18-2007 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Equinox
12-14-2007 6:08 PM


Thanks everyone for your help, but it appears my opponent has stopped responding.
I'm rather disappointed. I was hoping for a challenge from this guy (it could be prejudice, but "secular non-evolutionist" sounded smart!) but I instead got the same oft-repeated creationist arguments, accusations of not taking creation "science" seriously, and a clear lack of scientific understanding of evolution.

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