Soft Tissues in Fossils

We are talking about biological information which has to be very specific for it to work, the instructions for life. It is not comparable with and is a very different type of information than the information in random passwords.

There are so many parameters that must fit for biologic information to function, so not just “any ole” mutation if any will work in creating new function without damaging the original function or worse.

What are you talking about, Craig? That is exactly how passwords work. If you change so much as one bit, you get logged out. On the other hand, with biological systems, both beneficial and neutral mutations very much do exist. You’ve got your comparison completely the wrong way round.

In any case, trying to draw a distinction between “biological information” and Shannon information is nothing more nor less than a rescuing device to try to salvage an argument that is objectively, factually and mathematically untrue. Mutations and natural selection very much can add new Shannon information (through insertions and duplication for starters) and this is perfectly consistent with the second law of thermodynamics because Shannon information and entropy are to all intents and purposes the same thing. It is also a rescuing device that doesn’t work because there is no clear definition of “biological information” let alone any way to quantify it and measure it. If you can’t quantify it and you can’t measure it, then you can’t even start to make any claims about whether or not you can add to it.

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The Spirit of a sound mind is not poured out on all flesh James. And when it is poured onward, it has to percolate. Which cannot happen on the impermeable. It is a fascinating phenomenon isn’t it? Showing how incredibly evolved we are. Even psychopathy is preserved in the population as it has survival value.

You are assuming DNA sequences require a designer. You have yet to present any evidence to support this claim.

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I think you are confusing us with YEC’s.

You aren’t questioning it. You are claiming that these methods don’t work, and you don’t have the science to back it up.

@jammycakes did a wonderful job of explaining it above, as with the other “questions” you have.

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That claim is so vague as to be useless? How specific? How is specificity measured? There are currently 7+ billion DNA sequences that produce humans alone, so how is it specific? How many different species are there, all with different genomes?

So how many will work? How did you calculate this number?

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If you want to know what biological information is, read Biological Information, New Perspectives. The first section is nearly 200 pages defining and discussing biological information. The whole book is more than 550 pages of densely packed discussions of the very questions you pose–and answered for you much better than I can as a layperson.

How is it specific? The DNA code is read sometimes backwards, sometimes forwards. Different lengths may be read, using parts of the same information used for one function for a different function. And DNA is three dimensional, so a one letter change can affect up to seven different instructions and functions. And sequences of the DNA are turned off and on to provide different functions. The epigenome regulates the expression of our DNA

I don’t think I am telling you anything that you don’t know or should already know. Can you calculate how that narrows down the percentage of vanishingly small opportunities there are for functional biological code?

And all the proteins need to be foldable to be useful for life. Again, you need to give us a context, the ratio of those useful to those that are not. Can you tell me what is the ratio of foldable proteins to non foldable? It must be astoundingly high.

And how many possible DNA sequences are there beyond the 7+ billion? Please put this in its proper contest. You have given us the numerator, but without the denominator, it is meaningless. Is it a billion times a trillion to the 17th power? That’s what you need to tell us if you want to make any sense or give any meaning to what a mere 7 billion sequences is compared to all the possibilities.

Scientists are just beginning to understand the immense complexity of DNA. The more we know, the more we know how much we don’t know. This is surprising to both evolutionists and creationists. For evolutionists, the complexity creates a real problem. For creationists, we marvel at the wisdom and power and intelligence of God, and continue to seek out the treasures of God’s creation.

Apart from circling back to your initial premise that the instructions for life can arise by natural means, because you find these instructions in nature, what definitive evidence do you have that this kind of information, however you wish to label it, actually does arise primarily from natural processes?

What we do know is that the DNA code is far more complex than anything humans have written. We have billions of examples of this much simpler kind of information, and when it is traced back to its origins, we always find intelligence. That is the evidence we have in abundance, making intelligence by far the best explanation for the information that we otherwise have little or no evidence for how it arose. The information in the cell must have been created by an immensely intelligent, all wise, all powerful, all knowing being. Remind you of anyone?

Any peer reviewed papers?

Letters are abstract shapes created by humans. DNA doesn’t have those. DNA is made up of molecues.

No, I can’t make that calculation, and I don’t think you or anyone else can either.

You sure about that?

I do? I’m not the one making claims about how rare functional sequences are.

Nearly uncountable. There are 1 x 10^93 different combinations for cytochrome c, and that just one protein.

We see it happening all of the time. It’s called biological reproduction. All of the evidence we have points to common ancestry and evolution as the sources for the genomes we see today.

You are assuming DNA is the product of intelligence, and you have presented zero evidence to back this claim. You are also ignoring the fact that all molecules in nature have the same type of information DNA has. H2O is as much a code as DNA.

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This book, the author list including Michael Behe, William Dembski, John Sanford, Winston Ewert, and other names very familiar to us and regurgitating the same discredited information arguments as ID has flogged from the beginning, does no better at discussing the questions posed than you as a layperson - although they are more culpable as they should be aware of the flaws and misrepresentations.

This absurd statement, a constant refrain from information apologists, is trivially wrong as a generalization, and any layperson in this day and age can tell you why. Have you been living in a cave the past two years? How many covid variants have appeared over that time? There have been dozens of mutations, hundreds of combinations, at the nucleotide level. I’ve lost track of the naming conventions, let alone the mutations. And yet, there it is, all that scrambled, deviated from the specific Wuhan alpha case sequence, biological information still able to exploit the ACE-2 receptors to gain cell entry. While some functional sequences are more conserved than others, it is more the case that most biological functions are served by a wide variation in DNA sequence. These sequence variations are quite useful in determining phylogeny and tracing common descent.

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And do you know what else that is true of? Algorithms generated by artificial intelligence and machine learning. These techniques are increasingly coming up with algorithms that are so sophisticated that even the experts in the field haven’t a clue how they work or what they are doing.

There is one medical AI that can reliably determine someone’s ethnic origin from either a CAT scan or an X-ray, and scientists haven’t a clue how on earth it is managing to do so.

But here’s the kicker: how do you think these algorithms are being generated? The answer: they evolve. These algorithms are all developed using computational techniques that work in exactly the same way as biological evolution. The ability of natural selection operating on random mutations to produce new information—the very thing that young earthists and ID apologists say doesn’t happen—is the very foundation on which modern machine learning, artificial intelligence, generative adversarial networks and the like are built.

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Absolute bliss James. You’re ignoring the spiritual dimension though. This is the Devil’s work.

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Just scanning some of the analysis I’ve done on the US data, I count 60,000+ reported SNP’s across a 30,000 base pair genome. That’s an average of about 2 mutations per base. There could be some sequencing errors among those, but it’s safe to say that no base is left unturned.

Added in edit:

Looking at human genes is also of interest. Above I looked at nucleotide changes. For the human MMP3 gene I looked at amino acid changes (i.e. changes in protein sequence). Of the 447 amino acids in human MMP3, there were known mutations at 292 of those amino acids and total of 459 unique mutations. That’s just in the human population.

data from here: https://uswest.ensembl.org/Homo_sapiens/Gene/Variation_Gene/Table?db=core;g=ENSG00000149968;r=11:102835801-102843609

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The spiritual dimension is simply the Ninth Commandment.

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It’s a survival mechanism. A coping mechanism. The need to fill the void of meaninglessness not filled by relationships, work, arts and crafts, collecting, exercise, stories. We are the privileged for whom consilience, acceptance has meaning. I deceived myself for nearly fifty years with a half life of five starting half way. I wasn’t lying. Deconstruction is devastating, but still worth it. Because there is so much evil baggage in with the deception.

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I love that the work of an evangelical Christian (Mary Schweitzer) has been so radically groundbreaking.

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DNA in permafrost is, admittedly, a variation on this topic. Joel Duff recently did a video about a paper discussing dna recently recovered from permafrost at the northern tip of Greenland;

It’s worth watching. Or at least reading the video description.

Interesting. I sort of skipped around, but as usual Joel Duff breaks it down into the key questions that arise.

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