Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

And ever more from "Intelligent Designer"

I know, I know - more "ad holmiums"...

But old Randy just keeps plugging along with his fallacious 'reasoning' and argument via (pseudo)authority:


"Now since I am a software developer, mutation (development) and selection (testing) of complex systems is an everyday activity for me. So there are similarities between what I do for a living and the concept of evolution. This difference is that DNA is considerably more complex than software. Yet no one develops software by random mutation and testing alone. Instead of random mutation the software development process employs intelligent design. I don't believe that random mutation has any place in the software development process -- so why should I believe in evolution?"


Emphases mine.
Incredible, eh?

I mean jeepers - Randy Stimpson knows software development, by golly, his opinions on biological evolution are beyond reproach!

I don't know Randy, maybe because folks who are just as smart as you have dedicated their professional careers to studying the concept and doing research and that sort of thing and have concluded that evolution happened and happens? Because that is what the evidence indicates happened?

Why on earth is what you do in software development relevant in any way, shape, or form to the process of populational phenomena like evolution?

Amazing....

Well, to be fair, here is the rest (first part) of his post, interspersed with my comments:

Probably one of the most annoying laws of science is the fact that entropy
tends to increase.
I am reminded of this whenever my wireless mouse stops working. When that
happens it means that the batteries powering my mouse have reached maximum
entropy. Well maybe that's a bad example of how annoying entropy can be because
if it wasn't for entropy the mouse wouldn't work at all. But when I look into
the mirror that's when entropy really annoys me. That's when I notice that I
don't have as much hair as I used to and that it is turning gray.


This should be good...

Basically I notice that I am growing old. Human aging and its associated
diseases and conditions can be traced to a gradual increase in cell division
errors in tissues throughout the body.


Well, some of them can. Let's not use too many wild extrapolations...


This process begins slowly and increases gradually with advancing age. We can do
things to slow the increase in cell division errors (or speed it up) but we can't stop it. If not by accident, we all eventually die due to the increasing entropy of our own DNA.


Well, the accumulation of 'errors' in DNA due to cell division are not really examples of entropy in the normal sense. Since you like to use Wikipedia as your primary source of information, you should check out the entry on entropy. You willnotice that DNA is mentioned nowhere in it.


Now what I have just said is based on indisputable scientific fact which is readily observed (unfortunately) by every single one of us.


What is? That cell division increases entropy, or that peopel age and die?


But cell division errors not only affect us as individuals they also affect groups of individuals when these errors are of the type that can be transmitted to offspring. These errors are genetic disorders which vary in severity and there around 4,000 genetic disorders that are currently known. Most disorders are rare and may affect one person in every several thousands or millions. Others, like early onset lactose intolerance, are more prevalent. Entropy predicts that over time inherited genetic disorders will become more prevelent within a species and will eventually cause extinction.



Entropy predicts this? Really? Amazing. Do you have a non-Wiki reference for this prediction? And is it really genetic disorders that necessarily cause extinction?



This prediction is confirmed by the fossil record and is contrary to the
belief that genetic mutations lead to superior genetic organization, that is,
evolution.



Whoa, hold on. The fossil record confirms this "prediction" that 'entropy' leads to an increase in genetic disorders? Talk about leaps of faith (not to mention 'logic'). Tell us all, Mr.Software Developer - how is that "prediction" confirmed by the fossil record?


Evolutionists argue that genetic mutatution plus natural selection has resulted in evolution.


Well, that is the simple version, sure. Namely because there is no evidence to the contrary and there is evidence supportive of this position. Doubts by those lacking sufficient understanding of the subject are irrelevant.


This leads us to the cosmological question: Is natural selection sufficient enough to overcome entropy?


I don't know - is a refrigerator sufficient to overcome entropy?

27 comments:

Intelligent Designer said...

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the critique and link back to my blog. I’ll return the favor with another link back to yours. I don’t have time to respond to everything so let me drill down to the core of where I think we disagree with two questions:

Do you think entropy applies to information?

Do you think DNA is a form of information?

Doppelganger said...

Hi Randy,

Do you think entropy applies to information?

You'd have to provide a relevant and appicable definition of information before I could answer that with any confidence.

Do you think DNA is a form of information?

No, I think some sections of a genome possess or contain or convey or store information, or some combinations thereof, depending on which definition is preferred.

No, I suppose one could get all picky and employ Shannon information and point out that under this application, all nucleotides possess/carry/whatever X bits of information, which is fine, because under the same set of criteria, all additions of nucleotides ( for which there are a number of known natural mechanisms) add information.

Intelligent Designer said...

I would have answered both questions with a resounding yes. Any one who wants to explore these questions further can google “information entropy” and “DNA contains the information”.

What you have just said implies that you don’t understand Shannon. Do you think that if I randomly add letters to the end of this paragraph I will increase its information?

Do you think that if I print this paragraph on a piece of paper and lay it out in the sun that more information will be added? Do you think that if I save this paragraph in a text file and then begin to randomly modify it with a hex editor that I will add information? Do you think that the information in DNA is more or less complex than the information in this paragraph?

Do you think that refrigerators are a byproduct of intelligent design? Do you think that refrigerators run forever or do they eventually succumb to entropy?

Suppose I scratch my arm. It bleeds. The blood clots and forms a scab. Underneath repairs begin and my immune system fights off infection. Eventually the scab falls of and my arm is like new (I wish my car could do that). Do you think DNA contains the information to orchestrate those repairs?

Doppelganger said...

I would have answered both questions with a resounding yes.

Yes I know, and you are a software developer who admits having little understanding of DNA, who am I to disagree?

Any one who wants to explore these questions further can google “information entropy” and “DNA contains the information”.


I wasn't aware that this was going to be a Google fest - I figured a guy like you - what with your all-encompassing background in software development - would be able to this all off the top of your head.

I can google all day long and get dozens of differing opinions on 'information' in DNA and all that. But unless YOU are the author of all of the returns I might get, I am not really interested.


What you have just said implies that you don’t understand Shannon. Do you think that if I randomly add letters to the end of this paragraph I will increase its information?

Well, since we are googling:

Shannon Information

Shannon information is the type of information developed by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver in the 1940s. Shannon information is concerned with quantifying information (usually in terms of number of bits) to keep track of alphanumeric chcaracters as they are communicated sequentially from a source to a receiver. The amount of Shannon information contained in a string of characters is inversely related to the probability of the occurrence of the string. Unlike specified complexity, Shannon information is solely concerned with the improbability or complexity of a string of characters rather than its patterning or significance.

That is from ISCID, a group dedicated to ID.

But what do I know, I am not a software developer.


Do you think that if I print this paragraph on a piece of paper and lay it out in the sun that more information will be added?


No. What a silly question to ask.


Do you think that if I save this paragraph in a text file and then begin to randomly modify it with a hex editor that I will add information?

According to Shannon, apparently so. See, this is why I asked YOU to DEFINE information in the context we are discussing here.


Do you think that the information in DNA is more or less complex than the information in this paragraph?

You will have to define "complex" and "information"(which you seem to be avoiding doing for some reason) and also specify which parts of a genome you are referring to.


Do you think that refrigerators are a byproduct of intelligent design?

Gee, now why did I think to myself when I mentioned refrigerators that I would get this sort of reply? Crewationists seem to have such limited imaginations that they cannot fathom the relevant points being made...

But let us look at this - making water turn to ice decreases the entropy of the water. Would you agree? It must, since meling ice is considered an increase in its entropy. So, can a refrigerator decrease the entropy of water? Yes! How can this possibly happen!!!???? Oh dear, is thermodymanics wrong? No - entropy is increased elsewhere.

No basic physics in software developer school?


Do you think that refrigerators run forever or do they eventually succumb to entropy?


If you unplug them, they stop running. Over time, they break down. But does that mean that they must not, therefore, be able to convert water to ice?

You keep arguing on one side of the equation without realizing (or perhaps suppressing?) the fact that there is another side to it.


Suppose I scratch my arm. It bleeds. The blood clots and forms a scab. Underneath repairs begin and my immune system fights off infection. Eventually the scab falls of and my arm is like new (I wish my car could do that). Do you think DNA contains the information to orchestrate those repairs?

Not directly, no. The transcription and translation of some genes produce the proteins that - together with naturally occurring elements like Calcium - can ultimately heal a wound.

And all that takes - get this - energy. It takes chemical energy to make the proteins. It takes chemical energy for them to interact. It takes chemical energy for damaged cells to repair themselves, or for progenitor cells to undergo mitosis to fill in the gaps left by dead cells.

Just like it takes energy for a refrigerator to decrease the entropy of water to form ice. Sure, the refrigerator 'succumbs to entropy' over time, but until it does, it uses energy to lower it in one place. Just like an organism does.

Did you have a point re: your as yet undefined terms and concepts?

Intelligent Designer said...

Just because you can quote a blurb from a webpage about Shannon information doesn't mean you understand it. And of course I understand the point you were making with the refrigerator. Pointing out how applying energy to intelligently designed machines can produce localized decreases in thermodynamic entropy is irrelevant. The question that I asked in my blog was serious and deserves exploration. Is natural selection sufficient enough to overcome entropy?

I think that something more than chemical energy is involved in the healing process. What is happening when a diabetic has a wound that won’t heal?

Doppelganger said...

Just because you can quote a blurb from a webpage about Shannon information doesn't mean you understand it.


And just because you use Wikipedia as your primary source of information and are a software developer does not mean that you know anything about biology or about how to apply information concepts to it - which, being a biologist, I can easily tell that you do not.


But maybe you will not be so condescending to some engineers that apply the concept to genomes?

****
Shannon information in complete genomes

This paper appears in: Computational Systems Bioinformatics Conference, 2004. CSB 2004. Proceedings. 2004 IEEE
Publication Date: 16-19 Aug. 2004
On page(s): 20- 30



Abstract
Shannon information in the genomes of all completely sequenced prokaryotes and eukaryotes are measured in word lengths of two to ten letters. It is found that in a scale-dependent way, the Shannon information in complete genomes are much greater than that in matching random sequences - thousands of times greater in the case of short words. Furthermore, with the exception of the 14 chromosomes of Plasmodium falciparum, the Shannon information in all available complete genomes belong to a universality class given by an extremely simple formula. The data are consistent with a model for genome growth composed of two main ingredients: random segmental duplications that increase the Shannon information in a scale-independent way, and random point mutations that preferentially reduces the larger-scale Shannon information. The inference drawn from the present study is that the large-scale and coarse-grained growth of genomes was selectively neutral and this suggests an independent corroboration of Kimura's neutral theory of evolution.
****


But is really enlightening to see that you yet again fail to provide any meaningful definitions of the terms you bandy about.



And of course I understand the point you were making with the refrigerator.


I'm not sure you do:



Pointing out how applying energy to intelligently designed machines can produce localized decreases in thermodynamic entropy is irrelevant.


LOL!

Creationists are so pathetically predictable.

It is very relevant. It is either comical or ridiculous that you are employing these sad '...but... but ... a refrigerator is intelligently designed!' type retorts. Been getting your rhetorical skills by re-reading The Creation Controversey"?



The question that I asked in my blog was serious and deserves exploration.


Yes, of course it is - it was asked by a software developer that doubts evolution...



Is natural selection sufficient enough to overcome entropy?


Entropy of what?



I think that something more than chemical energy is involved in the healing process.



Of course you do - what, with your amazing insights into biology and in-depth knowledge of all things other than what you actually know....

Of course, I didn't say that it was just chemical energy, did I? ANOTHER point goes zooming over your head.




What is happening when a diabetic has a wound that won’t heal?

In part, they suffer from decreased blood flow. Blood flow is needed to supply the cells with raw materials. They can also suffer from chronic inflammatory processes, which involve a number of proteins which can interfere with normal wound healing.

It has nothing to do with 'entropy', informaitonal or otherwise.

If you continue to avoid defining your terms such that I can avoid the usual creationist wild goose chases, I am going to begin moderating your posts.

Intelligent Designer said...

Can you expound a little bit more about the proteins which can interfere with the wound healing process?

Doppelganger said...

Please define "information" and "complexity" before using the terms again.

The proteins are those involved in the inflammatory response. What they are and what they do is irrelevant to the discussion, which you seem to want to divert off into some minutiae.

Intelligent Designer said...

This is starting to get boring so I am just going to repeat one of the stupid things you said and let you think about it until you figure out why it is wrong and why it illustrates your weak deductive reasoning skills.

You said:

Well, the accumulation of 'errors' in DNA due to cell division are not really examples of entropy in the normal sense. Since you like to use Wikipedia as your primary source of information, you should check out the entry on entropy. You willnotice that DNA is mentioned nowhere in it.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

I find it hard to believe that variations on the 2nd law of thermodynamics mis-argument are still be tauted by creationists as a valid critique of evolution. If I'm not mistaken I believe that some Creationist groups have requested people quit using that one.

I should have known however, given their inability to learn, well anything, from these discussions.

The arrogance involved with someone in a completely unrelated field who has demonstrated a massive misunderstanding of the science having the balls to tell you that you don't know what you are talking about is astounding.

Doppelganger said...

This is funny...


This is starting to get boring so I am just going to repeat one of the stupid things you said and let you think about it until you figure out why it is wrong and why it illustrates your weak deductive reasoning skills.

You said:

Well, the accumulation of 'errors' in DNA due to cell division are not really examples of entropy in the normal sense. Since you like to use Wikipedia as your primary source of information, you should check out the entry on entropy. You willnotice that DNA is mentioned nowhere in it.



Notice that the creationist did not point out what was so "stupid", because he cannot do so. It is true that the Wikipedia entry on 'entropy' does not mention DNA.

The accumulation of mutations during cell division are IRRELEVANT to natural selection without any explantion for as to what sorts of 'errors' Stimpson is talking about. If they occur in, say, a reproducing skin cell, those 'errors' will not get passed on, thus there is nothing for selection to work on. I wonder if the "INtelligent Designer", with his obviously superior deductive skills, realizes that? Of course, if we want to claim that such increases in 'entropy' in skin cells "allow" for local decreases in entropy elsewhere, I'm fine with that. :)

But what do I know - I have poor deductive skills. I mean, if my deductive skills were in the same ballpark as Randy Stimpson the "Intelligent Designer" software develper creationist, I would just KNOW without any rationale, or at best a false analogy, that because software is not 90% 'junk', genomes cannot possibly have 90% junk DNA, that 'entropy' forbids natural selection, that even though I cannot define or explain how "complex" a human is such that there is not enough "information" - which I also will not define - in the genome.

Shucks Randy, you is just too smart for me....



The Rev is, as always, exactly correct.

Intelligent Designer said...

I am wondering why you have completely misrepresented what I have said in your last comment. Do you lack intellectual integrity or what?

It’s true that the Wikipedia entry on entropy does not mention DNA. So what is your point?

Doppelganger said...

More ad holmiums (LOL!)from Randy the Intelligent Designer...

I am wondering why you have completely misrepresented what I have said in your last comment. Do you lack intellectual integrity or what?


Intellectual integrity? Recall, if you will, that it is not I that claim that because ofmy background I have some sort of special and superior insights into fields that I admit not actually knowing much about...



But anyway, one will note that you did not bother to explain how I 'misrepresented' you. False accusations of misrepresentation are the second most common creationist fall-back defense after false accusations of "ad HOMINEM".


It’s true that the Wikipedia entry on entropy does not mention DNA. So what is your point?


What was yours? YOU presented a quote from me in which I mentioned the fact that the Wiki entry on "entropy" does not mention DNA and indicated that "it"[the entire quote] was one of the "stupid" things I had written. If you did not intend to include my factual statement about Wiki in your "stupid" claim, then perhaps you should have omitted it.

One will also notice that you have failed to reply to anything relevant in my responses, and have continued to fail to even define your terms.

False accusations, unwarranted hubris and arrogance, arguments from pseudoauthority...

How creationist of you.

Intelligent Designer said...

Are you trying to imply that since the Wikipedia entry on entropy doesn’t mention DNA that entropy doesn’t apply to DNA? If not, why did you mention it?

Doppelganger said...

Can you answer these or not?

What is so 'complex' about human DNA? Is it more complex than, say, fish DNA? If so, how? And how was the complexity measured?

Please define your terms, for starters.

Doppelganger said...

In his first comment above, Stimpson asks:

Do you think entropy applies to information?


I replied:

You'd have to provide a relevant and appicable definition of information before I could answer that with any confidence.



Multiple replies later, he has not provided any such definition and has stooped to whining about my mentioning of a Wikipedia entry.

Creationists are very good at dodging issues when they can't address them.

But those who have had to deal with them are very good at sniffing out such tactics. Pretty sad.

One will also note that Randy abandoned any discussion of my supposed misunderstanding of Shannon, and whether or not DNA is a form of information, as he initially indicated, etc.

Typical.

Intelligent Designer said...

Even though it was ad hominem, the tactic of my last comment was to establish that you are either disingenuous, have weak analytical skills, or both.

Above you suggested that I may think that cell division errors which occur during mitosis get transmitted to offspring. How did you draw that conclusion? I did say that some cell division errors get transmitted to offspring and obviously those are the ones that occur during meiosis.

I feel a little silly about giving you a definition of information since everyone knows what information is. Generally speaking you can say that information is a pattern that has meaning. A pattern can take a variety of forms such as spoken or written words, blue prints, computer instructions, financial data or a mathematical formula.

Information theory deals with information as a message that gets transmitted from a sender to a receiver. It is generally during the storage and transmission of information that entropy applies. As entropy increases, the information becomes distorted and looses meaning. Eventually entropy increases to the point where there is no meaning, just noise.

As applied to DNA, the message contains instructions for constructing a living organism. An example of transmission is cell division, with the parent cell being the sender and the child cells being the receivers.

Intelligent Designer said...

I just reread what I wrote about cell division, mitosis and meiosis and noticed that what I said wasn’t what I wanted to say. I guess that’s the risk you run when trying to be concise. What I meant was that in order for an error to be transmitted it has to occur in a sequence of cell divisions that end with meiosis, that is, between zygote and gamete.

Doppelganger said...

Ah, yes....

Even though it was ad hominem, the tactic of my last comment was to establish that you are either disingenuous, have weak analytical skills, or both.


Because I did not fall for your 'traps'? I could once again produce a litany of evidence demonstrating your weak analytical skills and other fallaciious reasoning, but why bother?


Above you suggested that I may think that cell division errors which occur during mitosis get transmitted to offspring. How did you draw that conclusion?

I made no such suggestion, I was merely 'thinking out loud' re: where you might be going with this. Why? Because you will not come out and say, which is a common creationist antic.


I did say that some cell division errors get transmitted to offspring and obviously those are the ones that occur during meiosis.

I feel a little silly about giving you a definition of information since everyone knows what information is.



They do? Well, sure, there is a colloquial/common use definition of "information", but that really has little applicability in the technical sense that I thought we were trying to discuss. Or at least I was. But, if you think it is so plebian, perhaps you can explain why creationists who employ the "no new information" argument are so dumbstruck when asked to define it as it pertains to genetics in a valid, viable, relevant way.


Generally speaking you can say that information is a pattern that has meaning.


Great grade school 'common use' definition. Now please explain how that would be quantified in a real genome.


Information theory deals with information as a message that gets transmitted from a sender to a receiver. It is generally during the storage and transmission of information that entropy applies. As entropy increases, the information becomes distorted and looses meaning. Eventually entropy increases to the point where there is no meaning, just noise.


Is that so in all forms of electrionic communication?


As applied to DNA, the message contains instructions for constructing a living organism. An example of transmission is cell division, with the parent cell being the sender and the child cells being the receivers.


Interesting - so is "the message" the entire genome as a unit? Or would it be individual genes?

If the daughter cells 'receive' genetic material that contains mutations, will that necessarily constitute "noise"?

Doppelganger said...

What I meant was that in order for an error to be transmitted it has to occur in a sequence of cell divisions that end with meiosis, that is, between zygote and gamete.


And does this error necessarily count as "noise"? What if the 'error' is a gene or segmental duplication? Or an insertion?

Intelligent Designer said...

My definition of information may have been grade school like but I just wanted to make sure you could understand it (wink). Actually I just wanted to be brief and now I will try to briefly answer your questions.

Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics (which is my field of expertise) and it applies to more than just electronic communications. It basically applies when information is stored and transmitted. In regard to DNA, the message depends on the process. During mitosis the message is the entire genome. During meiosis information is exchanged and recombined into a new message. During transcription the messages are from genes.

Now a change to information can be an error or not. In order to judge whether or not the change is an error (or contains errors) one has to know the language. This requires intelligence or artificial intelligence. From my perspective “proofreading” enzymes are a form of low level artificial intelligence.

So now that I have answered your questions, do you think entropy applies to information and therefore to DNA?

Doppelganger said...

Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics (which is my field of expertise) and it applies to more than just electronic communications.


Ah, so YOUR field of expertise is one of those fields that not only APPLIES to everything else, it TRUMPS everything else, right? So, your 'field' of applied mathematics - how much genetics and biology are you taught in this 'field'? Applied mathematics seems like a pretty broad field - how do you know that what YOU know actually applies to anything other than what you know?

It basically applies when information is stored and transmitted.

What is the 'information' in DNA?


In regard to DNA, the message depends on the process. During mitosis the message is the entire genome.

Really? So, say, a skin cell undergoing mitosis needs to provide it's daughter cells with the 'message' from the entire genome? What do you think a skin needs, say, the SRY gene for?


During meiosis information is exchanged and recombined into a new message.


Ah, a NEW message. What happened to the old messages? Did they decay? Did entropy get them? Did the old messages lose informaton?

During transcription the messages are from genes.
Now a change to information can be an error or not. In order to judge whether or not the change is an error (or contains errors) one has to know the language. This requires intelligence or artificial intelligence.



So, are you claiming that polymerases are intelligence? Are ribosomes? Or are you claiming that an outsider - like a human - has to have intelligence to decipher the 'language'of the DNA? If so, why does it matter to the DNA whether or not humans can understand the 'language'?

From my perspective “proofreading” enzymes are a form of low level artificial intelligence.


Your perspective as an applied mathematician/software engineer, not cell biologist or geneticist. Got it.
Do you understand how proofreading enzymes work? Do you think they 'know' what the 'appropriate' sequence is supposed to be?

So now that I have answered your questions,


I have yet to see you answer the questions regarding the "complexity" of the human organism and how you measured it; why the genome is not large enough to 'code' for it and how you know this; or where the 'extra information' must reside in a cell because, from your perspective, there is not enough room to encode the human organims in 3.2 billion nucleotides, especially since not all of them are coding or regulatory sequence.


do you think entropy applies to information and therefore to DNA?

I don't think the concept of entropy as used in YOUR field directly applies, no. For instance, what happens when there is a back mutation? That is a de facto decrease in entropy, is it not? Can recombination 'override' entropy by allowing for non-mutated or less-mutated alleles to be passed on?

Intelligent Designer said...

Why are you asking me what the information in DNA is? I thought you already knew that (wink).

Let’s not confuse intelligence with artificial intelligence. Of course I am not claiming that polymerase and ribosome know something. I am claiming that they were designed and was speaking from my perspective as a deist. You may assume that I have a basic understanding of how polymerase works.

If I understand you right, yes, a back mutation would be a decrease in entropy. Entropy doesn’t always increase, it tends to increase. I can think of several biological mechanisms that slow down entropy – recombination would be one of them.

By the way, when I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘extra information’ was discovered I was going way out on a limb. You could say I was thinking way out of the box (or the cell). Such information could come from viruses, symbiotic bacteria, food sources, or molecules in cytoplasm. This is wild speculation on my part and I wouldn’t even try to defend it. I didn’t say that there is more information.

My point was that, from an engineering perspective, 3.2 billion nucleotides (or 800MB) of information doesn’t seem like much considering the complexity of humans in comparison with things that engineers design. If one believes that 97% of DNA is junk then we are talking about only 24MB (.03*800MB) of information and that seems ridiculous.

I haven’t talked about complexity yet because I can’t do it justice in a few paragraphs. When I get the time, I will post something on my blog about it and will apply it to estimating a plausible amount of required DNA.

Doppelganger said...

Why are you asking me what the information in DNA is? I thought you already knew that (wink).

I'm trying tio get a creationist to commit to something that they cannot weasel out of when it suits them, and this is always difficult to do. And this is no exception.
Is the "information" the DNA sequence? Or is it the 'message'? Will changing the DNA sequence always change the 'message'?

Unfortunatley, these issues take a bit more thought than just saying 'well, I write software and use applied mathematics, I know exactly what goes on in DNA'...


Let’s not confuse intelligence with artificial intelligence. Of course I am not claiming that polymerase and ribosome know something. I am claiming that they were designed and was speaking from my perspective as a deist.

That is quite a claim. Is there any EVIDENCE for it?

You may assume that I have a basic understanding of how polymerase works.


Why would I do that? You don't seem to have had a basic understanding of how genomes operate.


If I understand you right, yes, a back mutation would be a decrease in entropy. Entropy doesn’t always increase, it tends to increase. I can think of several biological mechanisms that slow down entropy – recombination would be one of them.


Well, that is one giant leap in creationdom! It is usually impossible to get a creationist - especially one who hawks his wares as a computer expert - tp allow for decreases in entropy at all in any situation.


By the way, when I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘extra information’ was discovered I was going way out on a limb. You could say I was thinking way out of the box (or the cell). Such information could come from viruses, symbiotic bacteria, food sources, or molecules in cytoplasm. This is wild speculation on my part and I wouldn’t even try to defend it. I didn’t say that there is more information.

You wrote:

"I wouldn't be suprised if more DNA, or some other kind of information, is
discovered some time in the future."


There are only so many ways to interpret that. And, yes, you went way out on a limb. Especially since you have yet to define complexity, yet to show how complex the human is, and how much DNA should be required to code that - if, that is, genomes operate just like software does.

Which, interestingly, you have admitted it does not.


My point was that, from an engineering perspective, 3.2 billion nucleotides (or 800MB) of information doesn’t seem like much considering the complexity of humans in comparison with things that engineers design.

Yes, those arguments from personal incredulity and via analogy are the best you seem to be able to produce. Excpet, of course, for the fact that such 'arguments' are garbage arguments.
Why do you assume that the genome must have X-megabytes to 'make' a human because human contrivances require lots?

Another engineer creationist once declared that it is impossible for the same genes to encode similar body parts in different organisms (the topic at the lime was limb formation and things like HOX genes) because when HE, the mighty engineer, 'designs' something (CAD) similar in different designs, HE has to use entirely different 'coding' (his phrase).

Is that the line of "reasoning" you will be employing?


If one believes that 97% of DNA is junk then we are talking about only 24MB (.03*800MB) of information and that seems ridiculous.

Why does that seem ridiculous? because you just can't believe it because in YOUR totally unrelated field, you would need more "information" to do something?
Had you considered the possibility that what you know in your field might not actually be directly applicable to living systems?

Nah - of course not!


I haven’t talked about complexity yet because I can’t do it justice in a few paragraphs. When I get the time, I will post something on my blog about it and will apply it to estimating a plausible amount of required DNA.

I'm sure that will be entertaining if nothign else. I enjoy watching creationists flail in areas that they don't understand.

Intelligent Designer said...

I could probably come up with a better estimate of a plausible amount to DNA if I had some expert help. Maybe you can help me by answering these questions:

What is the simplest multicellular organism that you can think of? How much DNA does it have? How much of it do you think is junk? Are there a multicellular organisms that you can think of that have no junk or very little junk.

Doppelganger said...

I could probably come up with a better estimate of a plausible amount to DNA if I had some expert help.

But wait - did you not ALREADY 'conclude' that there is not enough 'code' in the human genome?

"And to think that something as complicated as a human being is encoded in only 3
billion base pairs of DNA is astounding. "

If you did not already know how 'complex' a human is, and how much 'code' must really be needed, at least according to software engineering principles, how on earth could a reasonable person write what you did?



Maybe you can help me by answering these questions:

What is the simplest multicellular organism that you can think of? How much DNA does it have? How much of it do you think is junk? Are there a multicellular organisms that you can think of that have no junk or very little junk.


To answer the second question, many if not most prokaryotes have little or no junk DNA.

But your first questions are somewhat naive and shallow - the sort of questions I would expect from someone who has NOT already stated with unwarranted confidence things about the genome and the 'complexity' of an organism and how much 'code' it would really take.

The question is, why do you think that the genome of the smallest/simplest known organism will necessarily be a 'blueprint', if you will, for a much more 'complex' organism's genome? The simplest multicellular organism that I can think of (not spending much time on it) is C. elegans (at elast the most studied).
I didn't compile any numbers, but you can go here:

http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Projects/C_elegans/REPEATS/

to see some identification of and commentary on nucleotide repeats in the C. elegand genome. Perusing the comments on the identified repeats (things like: "poorly conserved and AT rich. usually occurs in inverted repeat", "26mer, found 474 times in the C. elegans genome") indicates to me that these are what might be referred to as 'junk DNA' - i.e., noncoding and nonregulatory.

Then, of course, there is the genome of the amoeba.

Are amoebae 100x more "complex" than humans?

Doppelganger said...

Yoo hoo?

Randy the creationist engineer?

No refutations?

No unsupported assertions?