The Atheist's Riddle

Shadrach
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The Atheist's Riddle

Information Theory and DNA are the strongest argument against Atheism - because the laws of physics and chemistry do not explain the existence of information.

from this website http://cosmicfingerprints.com/iidb.htm

i dont have the science skills to understand it and would like someone to explain it to me (like im a child).


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Quote: 1) DNA is not

Quote:

1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

 

 

I stopped reading right there. 


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*Puts on goggles and dust

*Puts on goggles and dust mask*


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Shadrach wrote:

Shadrach wrote:
Information Theory and DNA are the strongest argument against Atheism - because the laws of physics and chemistry do not explain the existence of information.

from this website http://cosmicfingerprints.com/iidb.htm

i dont have the science skills to understand it and would like someone to explain it to me (like im a child).
Atheism is the position of not having any belief of a god. Atheists are not making any claim. The theists are making the claim. The claimant has the burden of proof. Information Theory and DNA are not only not proof of a god, Information Theory and DNA are not even evidence of a god.

Perry Marshall wrote:
1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.


Marshall committed a Fallacy of Equivocation




DNA is not code; it is "genetic code", we merely refer to it as a code for brevity.

DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid which is an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms, constructed of two nucleotide strands coiled around each other in a ladder like arrangement with the sidepieces composed of alternating phosphate and deoxyribose units and the rungs composed of the purine and pyrimidine bases adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine: the genetic information of DNA is encoded in the sequence of the bases and is transcribed as the strands unwind and replicate
code is a systematically arranged collection or compendium of laws, rules, or regulations.

DNA is not created by a conscious mind.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

 

I stopped reading right there.

I would have stopped reading at 2. 


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Yeah!

shelleymtjoy wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Quote:

1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

 

I stopped reading right there.

I would have stopped reading at 2. 

 

I also stopped reading there....Why do people actually think that these are reasonable arguments?

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Google the author, Perry

Google the author, Perry Marshall, for lollers.


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Quote: 2) All codes are

Quote:
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.

Just to be explicit for the OP sake, this is false. Evolution is a natural process that creates coded information.


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MrRage wrote: Quote: 2)

MrRage wrote:
Quote:
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
Just to be explicit for the OP sake, this is false. Evolution is a natural process that creates coded information.

I think that is his central argument. Natural evolution (random mutation + natural selection + time) cannot increase information. This is what needs refuting.

A mystic is someone who wants to understand the universe, but is too lazy to study physics.


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richard955 wrote: MrRage

richard955 wrote:

MrRage wrote:
Quote:
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
Just to be explicit for the OP sake, this is false. Evolution is a natural process that creates coded information.

I think that is his central argument. Natural evolution (random mutation + natural selection + time) cannot increase information. This is what needs refuting.

I guarantee you they don't have a functional definition of 'information'. They never do. If they had a functional definition, it would be easy to prove them wrong. That's why they never give one. Without a functional definition, there's no way to detect 'information increase', and so they will rely upon the old canard: Random processes can't increase information, and I know this because I know this. It's bull, plain and simple. There are plenty of examples of natural and simulated evolution increasing information. The key is that you have to have a functional definition of what information actually is.

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"DNA is not code; it is

"DNA is not code; it is "genetic code", we merely refer to it as a code for brevity."

this is what i needed, thanks.

i always heard of "the DNA Code" and assumed the letters A,T,G,C was the code.

but i still dont understand how the "information" appeared in DNA. is this a study of biology?


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The equivocation of

The equivocation of "things" with "the system by which we classify things" is hidden in this rather stupid argument.

Just as humans didn't "invent" logic, we didn't invent genetic code.  We simply recognized patterns, and gave them names.  

Argument refuted.  End of story.

 

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Since I'm at work I don't

Since I'm at work I don't have the time to go that in depth with this right now.  However, as a computer scientist, I can tell you that the "information" that people bring up in DNA and the information handled by data and information theory in computing is very different.

It is certainly a pattern that is used in the manifestation of another pattern.  The main difference come in the fact that the "programming language" of DNA is molecular bonding where as most computer languages are based off of interpreting ASCII alphabet based syntax into a binary code that controls data switches in computer hardware.  The forces that DNA uses to code from a string of DNA to a protien are forgiving enough that if you changed a base, you have a high chance of still getting the correct protien... do the same in the program I'm currently working on (just one letter) and there is a 98% chance that it will fail out right because I have corrupted the syntax.

Patterns occur all the time in nature without needing a human to make them.  Pulsars send out rhythmic radio waves, much like the radar dish at the weather station, but that doesn't imply that since all radar emiters on earth required someone to build and calibrate them that all radio sources required someone to do the same.

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richard955 wrote: MrRage

richard955 wrote:

MrRage wrote:
Quote:
2) All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
Just to be explicit for the OP sake, this is false. Evolution is a natural process that creates coded information.

I think that is his central argument. Natural evolution (random mutation + natural selection + time) cannot increase information. This is what needs refuting.

What needs refuting? From what I can tell he's merely asserting that codes necessarily come from a mind. Actually, it's more like he's begging the question.


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Quote: I think that is his

Quote:
I think that is his central argument. Natural evolution (random mutation + natural selection + time) cannot increase information. This is what needs refuting.

It's a stupid central argument, then.

Existence and information are the same. An entity must be alive to recognize information.

Evolution exists. There is more information in a cat than in a bacteria. Bacteria came before cats. Therefore, information increases through evolution. I mean... duh. Evolution is all about increasing complexity. More complexity equals more information.

This argument refutes itself. It doesn't need outside help.

 

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Shadrach wrote: "DNA is

Shadrach wrote:

"DNA is not code; it is "genetic code", we merely refer to it as a code for brevity."

this is what i needed, thanks.

i always heard of "the DNA Code" and assumed the letters A,T,G,C was the code.

but i still dont understand how the "information" appeared in DNA. is this a study of biology?

 

Basically (to avoid you the many articles from deludedgod),  DNA is transposed into RNA, which is basically another form of DNA.

 RNA goes to the ribosomes, or "factories" of the cell, which are basically gigantic multifarious enzymes that "read" the RNA and convert it to amino acids, which are simple organic molecules. The amino acids link up to form polypeptide chains, which link up to form proteins.

 

Thus, the only "information" in DNA is the direct translation from RNA code to amino acids, which themselves make proteins.

 Basically, DNA is able to self assemble (with some helper proteins), and the proteins it makes create the traits of the individual cells.

 DNA is just a very simple and effective way for cells to store blueprints for proteins. Proteins drive all of life's processes, and depending on what proteins the cell makes, it can either do better or worse than its competitiors. Doing better means making more copies of one's DNA, which make more copies, which make more copies, etc. The cells with the most effective DNA pass on their traits to their offspring. In this way, in a pool of competing individuals, those with the best traits survive, reproduce, and make up the next generation of individuals. Thus, through each generation, the entire population gets better at reproduction, and most of the time, more complex.

 


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Currently we have been able

Currently we have been able to map.... was it 90%? 100%? of the DNA structure. We have concluded, that most of the DNA contains alot of mumbo jumbo that is not useful to current humans. GULO gene is an example.

 This is proof that Atheism is correct, that an intelligent designer did not create the DNA strand. Why? Because a DNA strand that has information not being used, that contains useless amounts of information, shows how inefficient the process was. If a human body can work without the 100% useage of its DNA base code, then that would mean either:

a). god created the original animal that eventually evolved into humans, but rather than evolving, it devolved into a more effecient species which doesnt necessitate all the extra DNA information in order to live, thus proving that the intelligent creator couldve created us through more effecient and better means, but chose not to, and therefore is not intelligent,  or

b). We diverged from a species, that diverged from another species, that used to use part of the DNA sequence, which diverged from anotehr species, that used to use another DNA sequence, and so forth.

Now, this is the beauty of Evolution: It weeds out the useless, and brings the better ones in. In other words, the animal with the best genes survives to pass on its genes. If an animal with 12 chromosomes instead of 11 show up, and is therefore faster, smarter, and generally better, it will live on to pass its 12 genes to a new generation. Thus, the information grows, and can keep growing, from a base pair of only 200 or so genese.  Of course, ID advocates refuse to believe that our experiments which have successfully created hte basic protein complexes that make up our genes, is evidence that God does not need to exist in order for life to happen.

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I think that is his central argument. Natural evolution (random mutation + natural selection + time) cannot increase information. This is what needs refuting.

It's a stupid central argument, then.

Existence and information are the same. An entity must be alive to recognize information.

Evolution exists. There is more information in a cat than in a bacteria. Bacteria came before cats. Therefore, information increases through evolution. I mean... duh. Evolution is all about increasing complexity. More complexity equals more information.

This argument refutes itself. It doesn't need outside help.

Maybe I phrased the argument wrong. Please try to read / listen to his argument yourself. Here is my understanding of it. 

The argument lies on the idea that even if the cat come from bacteria, the mutations that lead from one to the other were not random. That is what this guy argues about:

 Premise 1. All observed random mutations are destructive (fruit fly irradiation experiments, some stupid random mutation generator);

 Premise 2. All observed non-destructive mutations are performed by a mind (genetic algorithms, some other human driven mutations)

 Conclusion. All mutation behind the process of evolution are performed by a mind (a.k.a. God)

 

This, of course, is ID with god tweaking genes here and there to produce new species. I would assume someone with good training in evolutionary biology could refute "Premise 1" from this argument and that would be it, but I haven't seen an answer so far in this thread.

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Right, this is an

Right, this is an exceedingly complex topic. The author is making a fallacy of equivocation between “information” in the exact sense as defined by thermodynamics, and codification, the representation of structure by means of a code, in this case, genetics. He/she/it uses this equivocation to justify ridiculous arguments (information needs a conscious mind to create it, cannot be created on destroyed). Let us begin:

What is information in the thermodynamics sense?

Any pattern generated by low-entropy dynamics. This:

 

 is a binary/entropy plot, which dictates the relationship between information and entropy in a Bernouilli plot (the image at the top)

The formulae given for this is I(Wn)=log2(1/Pr(Wn))=-log2(Pr(Wn))

Where w is the entropy unit and log is the natural logarithmic ln, since uncertainity is tied directly to the information being transmitted. For example, the entropy of a fair coin toss would have a maximal uncertainty of 1/2, which means that its entropy will be given by the maximum point of the Parabola.

The relationship between information and entropy is distinct

For instance, if we imagine a box with 1000 coins lying heads up, and we shake it twice, it is vastly more probable that we will end up with a chaotic arrangement of coins than the arrangement that we had previously. Thus, the law can be restated closed systems tend to progress from states of low probability to high probability. This movement towards high probability in a system where the energy is E, is progressive. In order for the entropy (the progression towards high probability) to be corrected, there must be periodic bursts of energy input, which would break the closed nature of the system. In this case, it would require someone to open the box and rearrange the coins.

Therefore, for a living organism to maintain order and increase order, there must be a useful energy input. For that to happen, there will be a useless energy output. Thus increasing the order in the cell will increase the disorder of the entire universe. In this way, we can imagine life forms and other complexities as islands of order in a universe progressing towards disorder. For this to happen, there must be a colossal influx of free energy all the time. This is one the requisites for life. As luck would have it, we have such a system: The sun.

We need a quantitative unit to measure this, and to measure the degree of disorder or probability for a given state (recall the coins in a box analogy). This function is entropy (denoted S) The change in entropy that occurs when the reaction A to B converts one mole A to one mole B is

∆S= R log PB/PA

PA and PB are probabilities of states A and B. R is the gas constant (2 cal/deg-1/mole-1) ∆S is measured in entropy units (eu).

In an example with a box containing one thousand coins all facing heads, the initials state (all coins facing heads) probability is 1. The state probability after the box is shaken vigorously is about 10^298. Therefore, the entropy change when the box is shaken is R log 10^298 is about 1370eu per mole of each container (6.02x10^23 containers). ∆S is positive in this example. It is reactions with a large positive ∆S which are favorable and occur spontaneously. We say these reactions increase the entropy in the universe.

Information, as having an inverse proportion to entropy, has a direct proportion to free energy

-∆G= -∆H +T∆S or -∆G=h+T∆S Therefore -∆G/T=h/t+∆S

h/T still equals ∆Ssea but the ∆S in the above equation is for the box. Therefore.

-∆G= ∆Ssea +∆Sbox =∆Suniverse

Which means that heat influx on an energy gradient in an open system is directly proportional to the amount of information in an organized system (that is, one in which the components exchange energy packets).

This is information (the gradient expressed on a graph measuring entropy versus temperature) in the sense of thermodynamics, a gradient which is generated by the inequalities of energy possessed by any and all physical structures. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that this information is winding down over time, since energy is becoming more and more evenly distributed due to all things falling towards their lowest energy states,

The author equivocates that with information in the bology sense. Let me make clear that the two concepts are linked. When slotting nucleotides into helixes for template polymerization, there is a distinct amount of entropy for each yes/no logic gate that occurs due to the slotting of nucleotides into their templates. Every genetic switch,  all possible choices made , has a precise entropy relationship regarding the different choices that could be made (which is four)

But information in the genetic sense cannot be understood in terms of thermodynamics.

Each of the two strands of the ladder is made up of a string of molecules which snap together like chemical blocks. The composition of the molecule is sugar-phosphate. A phosphate is a simple, straight, branched molecule of interlinking oxygen and phosphorous. Attached to this phosphate is a radically different molecule, an aromatic sugar called deoxyribose. Traditionally, a sugar is defined as a molecule which follows the composition formula {CH2O}n. For this reason, it is also called a carbohydrate. All ring-structured sugars have a definite pattern. The inner ring is composed of a single oxygen and n Carbon atoms which are arranged in a circular, single-bonded pattern. Each carbon atom in the inner ring has attached to it one Hydrogen atom, and one Hydroxyl group (OH). All of the carbon atoms have this, that is, except one. Attached to one of the carbon atoms in every sugar is either a ketone or an aldehyde. Both of these are small, simple chemical groups which radically alter the sugar’s chemical property.

A ketone is very simple. It is a carbon with a double covalent bond to an oxygen. Because a carbon has a valency of four, there are two open spaces in this molecule for bonding, which is how it attaches to the ring of the sugar. An aldehyde is more or less the same, except it has a hydrogen attached to it, leaving only one free space. The sugar in DNA has an aldehyde.

The sugar in question in DNA, which is called deoxyribose, has all of these properties except one. Instead of it’s normal derivative sugar ribose, it is missing a hydroxyl group (specifically at the second carbon atom in the ring). This will become important later on.

The structure of the strands of DNA therefore, is a repeating polymer of a sugar ring linked to a phosphate linked to a sugar ring linked to a phosphate and so on. For purposes of keeping the integrity of the ladder, the other strand in the DNA molecule, called the complementary strand, has the sugar-phosphate aligned in the opposing direction.

And what of the rungs of the ladder? Well, that is quite special. It is the rungs of the ladder which hold the information, and it is the order of the rungs of the ladder which determine this information. Attached to each sugar-phosphate on both strands of the ladder is a molecule called a base. The language of DNA is made up of four bases. You may recognize their names. They are adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine. Like sugars, all of the bases are ring structured. But they are a radically different class of molecule. Sugars are merely carbohydrates. But bases, in addition to hydrogen, carbon and oxygen they have one more element to their mix. Nitrogen.

There are many, many bases in nature, almost 100, but DNA uses only four. And within those four are two quite different classes of bases. The purines are heterocyclic, meaning that they are actually composed of two rings, not one. Many notable molecules are purines (like caffeine) and their importance extends beyond their part in DNA.

(Irrelevant but interesting side note. Methylation of some purine bases can produce free radical bases like hypoxanthine. These have a direct link to cancer and can damage healthy DNA)

Out of the four bases present in DNA, two of them are purines, adenine and guanine, which henceforth shall be referred to as A and G, and the other two referred to as C and T.

What of the others? They are a different class of base called pyrimidines. These are simpler than purines, and have a familiar single-ring structure. The pyrimidines are the class of molecule under which C and T fall.

What is the importance of the purine/pyrimidine relationship? DNA is based on a molecular relationship called complementation. Recall that DNA is made up of two strands. Each strand is made up of alternating sugar-phosphate, and the two strands face opposite directions (i.e one strand is sugar-phosphate-sugar-phosphate and the other strand in phosphate-sugar-phosphate-sugar).

Each sugar-phosphate has one base attached to it. This produces a special molecule which is called a nucleotide. What is the set of nucleotides above classed as? They are called Deoxyribonucleic acid, otherwise known as DNA.

Because the structure of DNA is held in complementation, each base has a pair. This is where the purine/pyrimidine relationship becomes important. You cannot force two North magnets together, and in the same way, the DNA code follows strict chemical rules. A will only fit with T, and C only with G.

In this way, we can start to see how the DNA ladder is formed. Each step is composed of not one rung, but two. Each side has half a rung attached to it, and the other half of the rung is determined by the pre-existing chemical composition. This is exactly how DNA replicates itself. The process is called templated polymerization. Imagine half a DNA molecule, which only has one strand. Swarming around this strand are many free nucleotides. They will automatically attach themselves to the bases on the pre-existing strand, and the complementary strand will start to take shape. If a single strand reads ATTCGGA then the complementary strand will read TAAGCCT. Although each strand keeps it’s chemical integrity through very strong covalent bonds, the two strands (who connect to each other via the bases or rungs) are held to each other by weak hydrogen bonds. This allows the two strands to peel apart and snap together with ease, which allows repeated polymerization and replication. In the lab, we can replicate this process through a technique called PCR or polymerase chain reaction.

This is the basic chemistry behind DNA, but leaves the more important question unanswered. How does this translate into the information needed to create life? How does the order of bases along a string translate into the information needed to build a cell?

DNA is a linear chemical code. It faithfully represents another class of information in a linear fashion. It has many uses which will be detailed, but any cellular biologist will immediately give you one answer: DNA holds the code to make protein.

Essentially, a protein is a string of amino acids, usually 500-2000 amino acids long. The whole of life depends on proteins. Everything else, save the genes, is a mere passive bystanders in a biological dance of life. When we observe the cell, we are in essence observing proteins. Proteins control movement (motor proteins), the control structure (structural proteins), they control concentration (transmembrane proteins), they control ion gradients (pump proteins), and most importantly, they control every single chemical reaction in the body (enzymes). Proteins don't just control the body, they are the body. All proteins fold up tightly into one highly preferred conformation. There is no limit to the number of tasks they do in the cell. Proteins can be subdivided into two large classes, the globular proteins fold up into irregular ball-like shapes and fibrous proteins. Nearly all globular proteins are allosteric, which means they can adopt two slightly different conformations, this means they have two binding sites, one of which is for a regulatory molecule, and the other is for the substrate. Allosteric control is very complex. Suffice it to say for now that it works on either negative or positive feedback (ie the regulatory molecule increases the protein's affinity for the substrate, and the other way around, or the opposite, the regulatory molecule decreases protein affinity for the substrate, which of course, would be reciprocal. In this way, regulatory molecules can turn the protein on or off, and in negative control, there is a tug of war between the regulatory ligand and substrate which are reciprocally affected by each others concentration in the cell.

A short summary of biological proteins would look like this:

A protein is a specific type of biological polymer made up a specific family of chemical subunits called amino acids. There are 20 biological amino acids, and they are distinguished by the fact that they all have a central alpha carbon, which is attached to an amine group (-NH2), a Carboxyl group (-COOH), a hydrogen, and a side chain. It is the side chain that gives each amino acid its properties, and each of the 20 has a different side chain. Proteins can be anything in length. Usually it is 50-2000 amino acids long, and the longest ones can 7000 amino acids long. The interaction between the side chains (which is determined by charge, since three are basic, four are acidic, nine are nonpolar and five are polar but uncharged) determines the shape of the protein. For instance, the nonpolar side chains are all hydrophobic (water hating) which means the protein will fold up in a manner where the nonpolar side chains are facing inwards and not exposed to water (this is the most energetically favorable conformation). This is just one of many different subtle interplays between amino acids that determine a proteins shape. However, nearly all proteins fold spontaneously in a solution, indicating that all the information necessary to fold it is stored in the amino acids.

Proteins are:

Structural: All large structures in the body are almost certainly composed of structural proteins. Adding repeated protein subunits allows for geometric assembly of thousands of structures. For example tubulin can, by readdition of the tubulin subunit, assemble the microtubules of the cell. Actin is a fibrous, ropelike protein that can assemble into fibrils, like most fibrous proteins, which is a long sheet of fibers arrayed together. Actin is the fiber responsible for muscle contraction, another example is elastin, which is made of a loosely bound collection of elastin polypeptide chains, which, when bonded to each other, make a rubber like sheet that gives skin its property of stretching without tearing. Many structural proteins can self-assemble just by the repeated addition of a single protein. For example, the capsid, which is the coat of a virus, is a spherical structure which is made by no more than 60 identical proteins added together to make a perfect sphere.

Enzymatic: Globular proteins function as enzymes, which speed up all the body's chemical reactions. Enzymes are better catalysts than anything man has, and can speed up a reaction by a factor of 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion). They control the rate of the thousands of reactions in the cell, and by regulation and coordination and feedback loops, create massive, intricate metabolic pathways. All enzymes have an active site, which the molecule to be catalyzed (any molecule that binds to a protein is called a ligand) attaches to for catalyzation of whatever reaction is needed. Usually enzymes operate in steps, so the product of one enzyme becomes the target for the next, in this case, the molecule is called a substrate.

Transmembrane: Proteins can be arrayed across the membrane of the cell and control the concentration of various chemicals inside, allowing certain chemicals in and out. They are usually powered by ATP hydrolysis and usually control the flow of small ions like calcium and potassium. Trasmembrane proteins are technically a class of motor proteins, which are detailed below. Transmembrane proteins are important in cell regulation and enzyme kinetics. In muscles they are particularly important as it is the flow of Calcium ions out that powers the muscle contraction. They are very important in neurons and synaptic vescicles as the flow of ions (calcium, potassium and chloride) is what creates the energy gradient which holds the information the neuron is carrying.

Motor proteins: All proteins have precisely engineered moving parts, but motor proteins especially so, since a tiny movement has to induce a major conformational change. For instance, the protein myosin has to control muscle contraction, which, as you can imagine, is a tremendous organizational problem. Many motor proteins have the very impressive ability to “walk” across structures like microtubules and DNA polymers. This is an autocatalytic inbuilt function of the protein. It results from the protein having three distinct conformations, and the protein switches between them via ATP hydrolysis. Since ATP hydrolysis is extremely energetically favorable, the protein is forced to move in one direction, since ADP condensation is almost certainly not going to occur. The protein is forced forward by a catalyst called Adenine nucleotide exchange factor, which releases the ADP after hydrolysis causing an ATP to bind to the regulatory site almost immediately. In this way the protein is forced from conformation 1 to conformation 2 to conformation 3 and then back to conformation 1 and so on.

Think of a cell. Just one cell. It is tiny, barely 50 microns across. It is a enclosed by a tough cell wall made of glycolipids. This wall gives the cell defined boundaries and separates it from the outside world, defining it against the background. Inside the cell is a watery gel which fills up the whole inside of the cell. This watery gel is called the cytosol, and it is the main stage on which cellular events take place.

This cell’s wall will be studded with transmembrane proteins which control things coming in and out of the cell (organic molecules in, waste gas out). Meanwhile, inside the cell, enzymes will be running the day-to-day operations of the cell. Structures inside the cell (usually made of proteins) needed to maintain it will be being broken down, assembled, and repaired in a series of complex pathways all controlled by enzymes. Meanwhile, the cell needs energy and raw materials, so it imports organic molecules (aka “food) and breaks it down into simple subunits (this process is controlled by enzymes) which are then used for energy (a process which is also controlled by enzymes) or used to construct large cellular structures (this is also controlled by enzymes). For all this to happen requires a lot of chemical messages to fly between lots of different parts of the cell so that the cooperative process keeps going, and all different cellular projects are in communication and taking cues from the environment for what to do (these processes are controlled by signal integrating proteins, signal amplifying proteins and signal transducing proteins).

Controlling all this is the genetic code. The genetic code holds the “master key” to all the proteins. The rate at which proteins are assembled from genes is controlled by other genes, which in turn usually end up being controlled by other genes. Since proteins work in teams, the concentration of each different protein, as controlled by the genetic code, affects the cell as a whole. Most of the time, the demand for various products operates on a feedback loop. If a product is needed, it triggers a stimulus which sends a message to the genetic template. This can result in a particular gene being switched on or off or increasing rate of production or decreasing or a host of other things.

In other words, the genetic code of a cell functions like a microprocessor. It takes input from the environment, processes it, and delivers an output. In this way, the whole balance of the cell can be controlled by the genes. However, this analogy is not entirely accurate since the relation between proteins and genes are reciprocal ie proteins can control genes (these are called DNA binding proteins). Note that the proteins, once assembled, by means of faithful representation from genetic nucleotides, possess (with the exception of all viral capsids) the information for self-assembly, almost all of them fold up spontatenously.

How to Generate New Genetic Information:

All of the processes of variation in genetics occur via mutation, that is the random change in DNA as it is passed to progeny. Without these mutations, there can be no evolution. An extremely technical explanation of how this mutation may give rise to novel new protein combinations is given in this essay:

We shall start first by examining the mutations that occur in prokaryota (bacteria, since they are simpler to understand).

That essay outlines one of the major mutation mechanisms, indeed, the most critical mutation mechanism: Homologous duplication.

Homologous duplication occurs during failed cell division. A cell attempts meiosis or mitosis, and fails partway through the process, hence only a portion of the DNA is duplicated, and is retained seeing as a new cell has not been created. If this is the case, the cell in question has excess genetic baggage, and this genetic baggage may diverge from its role by means of the mutation mechanisms which are detailed below. Since it is superfluous, it can mutate solely on random frequency probability, and hence these mutations may create a new genetic function from a copy of the old one.

Homology is critical in evolution. As I explained in the proteomics essay, all of life is homologous, all of the genes and proteins of life have a quantifiable relationship with each other which indicates that they came from a common ancestor the divergent duplication of whose original genetic material has produced all of the diversity of life. Indeed, one of the greatest evidences for evolution is that this homologous relationship indicates precisely that life originated from a common ancestor. This was exactly the point I made in the proteomics essay.

Proteins, as I outlined in the essay, are the bulk of the structure of biological organisms, exempting water they make up 2/3 of any organism by mass. Hence, the creation of new proteins by means of duplication and divergence is a critical mechanism for creating novel organisms. The creation of new proteins underlies the creation of all new biological structures in organisms.

Homologous duplication may be regarded as the fundamental process which generates the raw material for which the next stages of refinement and divergence may take place.

Recombinative mutation: This mutation may cause pieces of DNA to realign or flip positions, it is caused by the mis-slotting of strings of DNA, as a result, a novel string has been produced. Now, I detailed this mechanism precisely in the other essay. Since the same domains in proteins crop up so often in ubiquitous proteins, recombination has been a critical function for the creation of novel new proteins for the creation of new phenotypes. The creation of new proteins from old ones is a critical mechanism in Eukaryotic evolution, since Eukaryotes more or less have the same proteins, with very little major divergence in the protein spectrum. The originalities, then, in the Eukaryotic proteome are produced by the rearrangement of pre-existing proteins.

Recombination and Homologus duplication are two of the most important mechanisms, because they indicate that the all the proteins and exons for all of life can be traced via homology back to primordial life, and the distance between the diverged proteins in terms of time can be measured in terms of how different they are from the original in terms of point mutation.

Now, these homologous mutations and recombination of the homologous copies are important for the generation of new proteins for phenotypic alteration, but the genome does much more than hold protein codes. A cell is much more than a protein factory. A cell must also decide when to manufacture proteins based on external and internal stimulus, and the rate of transcription and translation to determine how much protein is produced. In the case of multicellular organisms, it is exponentially more complex, since the genes must also decide where the proteins are manufactured. The latter is utterly critical to Eukaryotic evolution and is the key mechanism for the generation of complex biological structures such as the heart, the eye etc, since it is the basis of embryonic cell differentiation and positioning. This means that we cannot merely examine the effects of mutations which create and alter proteins, we must examine those of the regulatory DNA. Regulatory DNA is just that, it regulates. It codes for no proteins, rather it flanks the exons and controls their rate of transcription ,as well as where they are expressed in multicellular organisms, and when they are expressed based on internal and external stimuli. The result is a very complex Gene regulatory Node Pathway (GRNP), the alteration of which may produce new and innovative biological structures in multicellular Eukaryota, the precise mechanisms of which will be detailed later.

The genome is complex and intricate, but in Eukaryota, the way it is organized is just awful. It is in an alarming state of disarray. Exon chunks are strewn all over the place sandwiched between enormous and mostly useless strings of introns. What is the reason for this alarming lack of genetic housekeeping in Eukaryota? Simple, the common descent means that Eukaryota have not shed their excess baggage. They simply retain useless genetic information like a mass of old papers since it would take more energy to shed it than it would to simply retain it. Hence, Eukaryota simply retain much of their evolutionary "junk DNA" as dormant, nonexpressed strings of nucleotides which don't actually do anything, except, of course, help molecular biologists sort through evolutionary relationships. As evolution goes on, of course, this extra DNA just piles up, for there is no need for Eukaryota to shed it. This is clear indication of common descent of Eukaryota. Indeed, in humans, only 9% of our genome appears to have any function whatsoever, and thus far it has been confirmed that at least half of it is "safe for recombinative excision", which simply means that the deletion of it makes no change in the organism.

So, the genetic code has information because it faithfully represents the code to create protein, which is another biological polypeptide which has all the information necessary to create the folded protein.  It is self-sustaining

Now, there is one last objection to his argument, namely that it begs the question: TO state that a mind is required for the generation of a code is simply ridiculous, because we can conclude that for the existence of a being capable of having a mind requires genetic code for the instructions for the complex neurological structures necessary to make a mind, hence, his argument refutes itself, since the equation is most likely reversed, which is to say that a code is necessary to make a mind, if ~A then ~B, therefore, the notion of B causing A is ridiculous.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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richard955 wrote: Maybe I

richard955 wrote:

Maybe I phrased the argument wrong. Please try to read / listen to his argument yourself. Here is my understanding of it.

The argument lies on the idea that even if the cat come from bacteria, the mutations that lead from one to the other were not random. That is what this guy argues about:

Premise 1. All observed random mutations are destructive (fruit fly irradiation experiments, some stupid random mutation generator);

Premise 2. All observed non-destructive mutations are performed by a mind (genetic algorithms, some other human driven mutations)

Conclusion. All mutation behind the process of evolution are performed by a mind (a.k.a. God)

 

This, of course, is ID with god tweaking genes here and there to produce new species. I would assume someone with good training in evolutionary biology could refute "Premise 1" from this argument and that would be it, but I haven't seen an answer so far in this thread.

Premise one can simply be disproved by genetics. A carrier for Sickle cell anemia, has increased resistance to Malaria, but without the harshness of the Sickle cell traits. THerefore, it is possible for a gene to mutate, and still be good.

 

Also, pretty much any resistance to antibiotics, etc, found in bacteria, is also a genetic mutation that is for the better. Well, better for them. However, creationists refuse to see this as proof. 

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Deludedgod that was one

Deludedgod Smile that was one massive reply, and I thank you for it

May I ask what is the simplest form of life ? does it contain DNA

And what is the simplest form of DNA ?


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As always, thank you,

As always, thank you, deludedgod, for putting all the intricate details out there.

For all you folks who didn't actually read it, notice that somebody already said something about this...

deludedgod wrote:
Right, this is an exceedingly complex topic. The author is making a fallacy of equivocation between “information” in the exact sense as defined by thermodynamics, and codification, the representation of structure by means of a code, in this case, genetics. He/she/it uses this equivocation to justify ridiculous arguments (information needs a conscious mind to create it, cannot be created on destroyed). Let us begin:

Previously, I said...

hambydammit wrote:
The equivocation of "things" with "the system by which we classify things" is hidden in this rather stupid argument.

If you don't feel qualified to reproduce deluded's essay to a nonbeliever, you can just focus on the equivocation.  No scientific knowledge is strictly necessary if you can just understand two things being confused.

 

Quote:
Premise one can simply be disproved by genetics. A carrier for Sickle cell anemia, has increased resistance to Malaria, but without the harshness of the Sickle cell traits. THerefore, it is possible for a gene to mutate, and still be good.

Furthermore, the word "good" in this argument comes very close to committing an anthropomorphic fallacy -- assuming that good can only relate to human existence.  Has he never heard of antibiotic resistant bacteria?  That's a mutation.  It's not very good for us, but it's damn good for the bacteria.

 

 

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I agree with all of you

I agree with all of you that "antibiotic resistant bacteria" and other mutations that have been seen in nature are a good argument against this position.

But I'm almost convinced that he can always say "God did it" and there is no way to prove otherwise. In end it proves as useful as talking to a brick wall.

 

On a side note, I still don't see the equivocation you mention. 

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Rev_Devilin

Rev_Devilin wrote:

Deludedgod Smile that was one massive reply, and I thank you for it

May I ask what is the simplest form of life ? does it contain DNA

And what is the simplest form of DNA ?

All forms of life contain DNA/RNA. And the simplest form of DNA would have to be RNA, if that answer is acceptable....

The simplest form of life would have to be some sort of single celled bacteria. Maybe an amoeba. 

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Quote: On a side note, I

Quote:
On a side note, I still don't see the equivocation you mention.

Ok.

Quote:
1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.

DNA is merely a molecule with a pattern. We have codified the pattern such that we can call it a code. If humans didn't exist, DNA would still be structured exactly the same way, but it would be wrong to say that the "code" of DNA still existed.

When we speak of information in the biological sense, we are talking about how complicated it is to describe a thing genetically. A lobster has more information than a centipede. Once you have described one leg segment of a centipede, each of the other sections is simply a copy, and uses the same information. A lobster, on the other hand, has many different kinds of segments, and requires more DNA "data" to be constructed.

A lobster being more complex than a centipede simply is. It didn't take someone inventing a code. It is objectively more complex. It's not more complex because of the invented language (code) which describes the complexity.

So, here's the equivocation:

CODE: "The existence of matter in a pattern"

CODE: "The mathematical language used to describe the existence of matter in a pattern."

"1) DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code (The existence of matter in a pattern), a language, and an information storage mechanism."

2) All codes (The mathematical language used to describe the existence of matter in a pattern) are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.

3) Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

 

In a syllogism of this sort, we have three terms, a middle, a major, and a minor. This argument should properly be read as:

1) All Codes are created by a conscious mind.

2) DNA is a code.

3) Therefore, DNA is created by a conscious mind.

Middle: (All Codes)

Major: (Created by a conscious mind)

Minor: DNA

This is a categorical syllogism. It looks valid, except that there's a hidden term in here. The Middle (all codes) is referring to the language by which we describe patterns. In the minor premise (2), the word "code" refers to patterns in matter, not the language of these patterns. Categorical syllogisms may only have 3 terms, and this one has four. This leads to a nondistributed middle term, which renders the argument invalid.

Read THIS ESSAY for more info on valid syllogisms.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: In a

Hambydammit wrote:

In a syllogism of this sort, we have three terms, a middle, a major, and a minor. This argument should properly be read as:

1) All Codes are created by a conscious mind.

2) DNA is a code.

3) Therefore, DNA is created by a conscious mind.

Middle: (All Codes)

Major: (Created by a conscious mind)

Minor: DNA

This is a categorical syllogism. It looks valid, except that there's a hidden term in here. The Middle (all codes) is referring to the language by which we describe patterns. In the minor premise (2), the word "code" refers to patterns in matter, not the language of these patterns. Categorical syllogisms may only have 3 terms, and this one has four. This leads to a nondistributed middle term, which renders the argument invalid.

 

Thank you for the clarification. Now I understand your point.

I don't think that the author (Perry Marshall) intended for this interpretation of his argument. The word code is used in its information theory sense.

Here is where the author defines the word code.

Here is a reference about the same definition.

Based on this definition I don't think there is any hidden term, both "All Codes...” and "... is a code" refer to the same definition of the word code.

So there is no equivocation.

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Quote:

Yeah...there still is. That really long piece of writing up top? I did not write that for fun. I wrote that to blast this nonsense out of the water. Which I did.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote:

Quote:
I don't think that the author (Perry Marshall) intended for this interpretation of his argument. The word code is used in its information theory sense.

Right. I'm well aware of what he meant his usage to be. That doesn't have anything to do with what the usage is.

Oh, and deludedgod wrote a really long piece explaining exactly why it's an equivocation, and why the definitions don't work the way the author says they do.  If you read it carefully, and then read my post again, paying special attention to what the words in his argument mean, not what he says they mean, you'll see he actually makes a simpler equivocation, so he's twice guilty.

 Yes, I can say what his words mean because they have a very precise context, and what he would like them to mean has no bearing on whether or not they can have that meaning and be coherent.

 

 

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richard955 wrote: So there

richard955 wrote:

So there is no equivocation.
Prove it.


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Quote:

Quote:
richard955 wrote:
So there is no equivocation.

Prove it.

Just to avoid anyone making a fool of themselves, aiia is not asking richard to prove a negative. This is a positive that's been phrased backwards. Richard has actually asserted:

"The definitions within the proof are internally consistent."

Since he has made the claim, and has been refuted, it now falls to him to either:

1) accept the refutation and abandon the argument.

2) Demonstrate that the refutation is invalid or unsound.

3) Offer stronger evidence than the refutation.

Note that in his previous post, richard asserted that the definition was consistent, and directed us to two links explaining a particular definition. He did not, however, demonstrate that the definition actually fits within the argument. [edited for clarity]

Imagine if we were looking at a piece of wood with a circular hole. I told you that the hole was made by a projectile. I then pointed to a cube and said, "That's the projectile." Would you accept my claim, or would you ask that I demonstrate how a cube can make a circular hole in a piece of wood?

Simply pointing to definitions doesn't justify their use.

 

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Rev_Devilin

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Deludedgod Smile that was one massive reply, and I thank you for it

May I ask what is the simplest form of life ? does it contain DNA

And what is the simplest form of DNA ?

 It depends on your definition of life.

 

In strict taxonomic terms, the simplest form of life are the very small acheobacteria. They have DNA, albiet a very small amount jumbled up in the cytoplasm without any nucleus. They also have RNA.

 Arguably, however, the simplest form of life is a virus. It cannot be considered "living", per se, because it does not use energy, but viruses are basically protein boxes in which RNA resides. All the RNA does is code for the protein box and more RNA. It hijacks a cell and tells the ribosomes to construct more viruses. It is quite possible that the earliest life forms were not too different from the simplest of RNA viruses, who used free-floating enzymes to construct copies of themselves.


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richard955 wrote: Based on

richard955 wrote:

Based on this definition I don't think there is any hidden term, both "All Codes...” and "... is a code" refer to the same definition of the word code.

Also Marshall's other problem is that he provides no evidence for the mind that he claims to be producing DNA.

If you believe DNA is produced by a mind then please provide evidence of this mind.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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deludedgod wrote: Right,

deludedgod wrote:

Right, this is an exceedingly complex topic. The author is making a fallacy of equivocation between “information” in the exact sense as defined by thermodynamics, and codification, the representation of structure by means of a code, in this case, genetics. He/she/it uses this equivocation to justify ridiculous arguments (information needs a conscious mind to create it, cannot be created on destroyed).

Yes, which means that the person making the original argument doesn't even have a rudimentary grasp of the topic.

Which means that...nothing new here, just another person lashing out at a world that's far too complex for them to comprehend, so the choose to dumb down the world....

 

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    Hambydammit

   

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I don't think that the author (Perry Marshall) intended for this interpretation of his argument. The word code is used in its information theory sense.

Right. I'm well aware of what he meant his usage to be. That doesn't have anything to do with what the usage is.

Oh, and deludedgod wrote a really long piece explaining exactly why it's an equivocation, and why the definitions don't work the way the author says they do. If you read it carefully, and then read my post again, paying special attention to what the words in his argument mean, not what he says they mean, you'll see he actually makes a simpler equivocation, so he's twice guilty.

Yes, I can say what his words mean because they have a very precise context, and what he would like them to mean has no bearing on whether or not they can have that meaning and be coherent.

 

 Thank you deludedgod for your nice explanation of DNA. As I see both you and Hambydammit have a problem with the definition the author of the argument uses for the word 'code'.

So the equivocation has to be in a different meaning of the word 'code' in one of the premises:

Hambydammit wrote:

1) All Codes are created by a conscious mind.

2) DNA is a code.

I guess you agree that the first premise is consistent. So the problem resides in the second premise. 

So I understand that you consider that the given definition of 'code' does NOT apply to DNA. Hence the equivocation. 

Is this your argument?

 

Note: We are only discussing the equivocation for which deludedgod and Hambydammit posted arguments. There is no question about the other problems with the argument.

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I find it extremely

I find it extremely insulting to be labeled a theist because whoever put that label could have easily found my stance on the matter clearly in my posts.

A mystic is someone who wants to understand the universe, but is too lazy to study physics.


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richard955 wrote:

richard955 wrote:
I find it extremely insulting to be labeled a theist because whoever put that label could have easily found my stance on the matter clearly in my posts.

 

Yeah, I was looking at this topic when I got back to school and saw your Theist tag, thought 'was he always a Theist?' I realized, you weren't and was wondering when the hell you converted.

I looked through your posts and saw no indication that you were Theist.

 

edit for clarity. 


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Quote: I guess you agree

Quote:
I guess you agree that the first premise is consistent. So the problem resides in the second premise.

Any language is created by a complex being. Correct.

Quote:
So I understand that you consider that the given definition of 'code' does NOT apply to DNA. Hence the equivocation.

Correct again. We have invented a language (code-1) to describe the pattern (code-2) that occurs in DNA. If there were no beings capable of language, (code-1) would not exist, but (code-2) would. When dinosaurs ruled the planet, there was DNA, but there was no language, so (code-2) existed, but (code-1) did not.

Given literally anything that exists, and complex enough mathematics (language), we can describe the parts of the whole in such a way that it could be called a code. To then invoke god is a cleverly hidden argument from ignorance, and it still begs the question. In fact, as I think about it, it is strewn with philosophical errors, and I don't feel like listing them all, or even trying to think of them all. It's unnecessary.

Let's think about this argument again...

1) All (code-1) is invented by intelligence.

2) Quartz crystal contains a pattern (code-2).

3) Therefore, quartz was created by intelligence.

Only... it wasn't. It was created by the unthinking forces of geology.

Now, you see that you can literally put anything into step two, and make the same argument. If you were to argue that the pattern in quart is different from the pattern in DNA, you would still have a problem. It's true that DNA is a catalyst, and quartz is not, but apart from that, what, exactly is the difference? There are lots of catalysts in the world, and we aren't trying to put them in the argument.

Life is different from non-life, but there are still patterns in both, right? So, what differentiates the (code-2) in DNA from the (code-2) in quartz?

The answer? We comprehend the effect of the (code-2) in DNA as facilitating reproduction, hence life. Reduced to language (code-1), there is no difference. It can all be reduced to ones and zeros.

So, you see that there's an anthropomorphic fallacy inherent in the argument. Because we can see that one code causes us to live and the other codes don't, we assume that, just as we have purpose in our actions, anything else that acts must also have purpose.

So...

equivocation: (code-1), (code-2)

anthropomorphic: just because we create purpose, other things don't.

begging the question: How is DNA different from any other pattern, other than the effect it generates? Why not say "quartz" instead of DNA? (hint: ever heard "The universe couldn't have just happened"?)

 

 

 

 

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That's a really good,

That's a really good, simple explanation of the eqivocation in "code,"  Hamby.  It definitely clarifies for me what I was seeing as just a stacked deck assumption in the middle of the information argument where the creationist invariably defines "information" as "generated by an intelligence" (thus inevitably leading to the conclusion
 that there can be no information without God).  I think it's much more complete to look at it as an equivocation.

 I have another question.

I see and understand explanations like DG's above about the exact genetic mechanisms by which novel structures arise.  I also understand that the standard Kent Hovind-style response to these examples is invariably that the structures are not truly novel because they are just "rearrangements of the same parts."

I clearly see that this response is a fallacy.  It's analagous to saying a word that somebody just coined isn't new because it's just a rearrangement of the same letters, or that a new sculpture isn't new because it's just a rearragement of the same legos.  But I'm having trouble pinning down the fallacy and pulling its mechanisms apart.  Is it just a stacked deck buried in the definition of the word "new?"  Any thoughts?

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My first thought would be

My first thought would be to ask for a coherent definition of the words "new" and "novel."

I have a new car.

This is a new symphony.

That's a new experience for me.

These all have slightly different connotations.  It's true that from the standpoint of tonal combinations, there is no such thing as a "new" sound in western music.  We have 24 tones, and there is a finite number of combinations.  This use of the word is something like: "never before conceived of or heard."  However, if I write a new piece of music, it is new, with the definition: "For practical purposes, constituting the first combination of the existing tones in exactly the order presented."

So, it's another equivocation.

 

It's also a fallacy of composition.  Since a few instants after Planck time, there's been nothing new in the universe, if we confine ourself to whatever fundamental particle we are talking about.  This is saying that because the parts (fundamental particles) have not changed since the big bang, that nothing (matter/energy/existing things) else has changed.

This is sometimes known as the fallacy of mediocrity:  A given object must be limited to the attributes of its parts.

 

 

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Oh, and dig this... it's

Oh, and dig this... it's also something like a category error.  "Living things" are a category.  "Fundamental particles" are another category.

To say that there is no new living thing is to say that "living things" have the same attributes as "fundamental particles."  Clearly a category error.

 

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I think what a Hovindesque

I think what a Hovindesque creationist would be asking for would be something like a laser arising spontaneously on the forehead of a sea bass. Even something like a bird's wing sprouting from a frog wouldn't be new because it's just a bird wing--new for a frog, but birds have had them for awhile.  I know they make the argument that the mutated fruitfly growing legs instead of eyes is not new because they're still just legs (and fruit fly legs at that).

So I guess maybe it's also a strawman in that sense that the correct answer is "evolution doesn't work that way."  But the correct response, unfortunately, doesn't make a good sound bite.

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Quote: I think what a

Quote:
I think what a Hovindesque creationist would be asking for would be something like a laser arising spontaneously on the forehead of a sea bass.

That would be evidence of design.  Unfortunately, all we have is evidence of evolution.

 

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Hambydammit, Now I

Hambydammit,

Now I understand our disagreement clearly:

You consider each premise correct but with a different use of the word code (code-1), (code-2). So you see an equivocation.

I consider the word code used consistently as explained by the author. So I see the premises being wrong.

 

Hopefully that cleared things up,

Cheers

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Quote:

Quote:
I consider the word code used consistently as explained by the author. So I see the premises being wrong.

I don't understand this. Could you explain how the definition is consistent between premise one and two?

After all, it falls to the claimant to demonstrate the validity of his claim. I demonstrated that the definitions are not consistent. Therefore, a demonstration of the consistency is in order.

 

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Here is how I see the

Here is how I see the argument: 

 

Defintion:   code = a symbolic representation of information

Premise1:   All known codes were designed by a mind.

Premise2:   DNA is a code.

Conclusion: DNA was designed by a mind.

 

Premise1 and Premise2 are consistent with each other but can be proven wrong.

So there is no equivocation but the argument falls when the premises fall.

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I'm starting to see it as

I'm sure whoever gathered that argument together knew it at the back of their mind.


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I asked about this exact

I asked about this exact topic on the atheistnetwork.com

http://www.atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?t=19020&highlight=dna+language

 

one quote that I think explains DNA best:

Stonedog wrote:
DNA is not a language.. in fact.. DNA does not convey information from one source to another. It is a plan for a working organism, but only because it couldn't mutate (in a purely random fashion) and produce plans for an organism that wouldn't work. (Or rather it could, but it wouldn't survive)

DNA is not a conscious organism.. it's just a macromolecule.

We ... as organisms.. are the wrapping that comes on the DNA package. We are the vehicles created, sortof incedentally, by the fact that DNA often mutates when it replicates.

DNA exists just because it does... and we exist because DNA exists. Calling DNA a language implies that somebody is trying to speak through it. This couldn't be further from the truth.

 

*edit*

fucking quotes aren't working properly. I did not put a [/ quote] tag after the red writing 


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In your paste, you include a

In your paste, you include a post from a "stonedog" who apparently said:"DNA exists just because it does... and we exist because DNA exists. Calling DNA a language implies that somebody is trying to speak through it. This couldn't be further from the truth."---DNA does not exist just because it does. It is a product of its environment. It is no different than trying to bake a cake with baking soda instead of baking powder. There is or could have existed some place in this Universe a different form of DNA made of different macromolecules which didn't amount to any thing and is worthless (and which Science has yet to discover). Often I hear from Theists who tell me "God existed before time, God always is and always will be". HUH? Sorry, but if they are going to prove the existence of the "God of Abraham" then get on with it and cut the bullshit.

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digitalbeachbum wrote: In

digitalbeachbum wrote:
In your paste, you include a post from a "stonedog" who apparently said:"DNA exists just because it does... and we exist because DNA exists. Calling DNA a language implies that somebody is trying to speak through it. This couldn't be further from the truth."---DNA does not exist just because it does. It is a product of its environment.
Yeah, but it's environment didn't actively say "I want to produce DNA" - and then go and produce DNA.

It is a product of its environent, but it doesn't have an objective purpose, or reason for existing. It just does.

Quote:
It is no different than trying to bake a cake with baking soda instead of baking powder. There is or could have existed some place in this Universe a different form of DNA made of different macromolecules which didn't amount to any thing and is worthless
If a DNA molecule formed that was worthless, it would be taken out of the equation through natural selection.


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Quote: Defintion:   code

Quote:

Defintion:   code = a symbolic representation of information

Premise1:   All known codes were designed by a mind.

Premise2:   DNA is a code.

Conclusion: DNA was designed by a mind.

Richard, I'm sorry that you don't understand why this is two definitions being conflated.  I don't know how else to explain it.  Patterns and codes are different.  One is an independently existent thing, and the other is a constructed abstract.

Give it some time and thought.  Maybe somebody else (todangst, deluded!) feels like taking a crack at explaining it, but I don't have any clearer language than what I've used so far.

 

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Quote:

Quote:


Yeah, but its environment didn't actively say "I want to produce DNA" - and then go and produce DNA.It is a product of its environment, but it doesn't have an objective purpose, or reason for existing. It just does.



Agreed. DNA is not a sentient being. It's a complex acid and one part of the recipe of life.

Quote:


If a DNA molecule formed that was worthless, it would be taken out of the equation through natural selection.



Agreed. If DNA is worthless it is taken out of the equation, but if conditions are favorable it might be suitable for the creation of a different life form.... like little green men from mars or sumthin...

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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