Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Can Mutations Create New Information?

Expand Messages
  • wilson_brooks2003
    From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 28, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT

      By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo Darwinists, atheists, and those theistic evolutionists who base their so called Christianity on the Gospel of Humpy Dumpty will not wish to read this as the very thought of going into a Box of Certainty will be too much to bear.

      I should like to add that those poor self deluded souls who imagine that they will have proven their case to be true by undermining the faith of all Christians to the extent that all Christians leave the Box of Christian certainty and ascribe to the Gospel of Humpty Dumpty will have done no such thing.

      There is only one way to get to God and that is through Jesus Christ and no-one who wilfully practices sin shall inherit the Kingdom of God.

      So, all that those deluded souls will have succeeded in doing is to bring everyone into the Judgement of Christ. And He judges according to His standards and not by the standards of fallen Man. Every word in the true Gospels has meaning. And we Christians do well when we consider the words of our Owner: However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18 v 8b

      Can mutations create new information?
      by Dr Robert W. Carter

      In the same way that species are not static, neither are genomes. They change over time; sometimes randomly, sometimes in preplanned pathways, and sometimes according to instruction from pre-existing algorithms. Irrespective of the source, we tend to call these changes `mutations'. Many evolutionists use the existence of mutation as evidence for long-term evolution, but the examples they cite fall far short of the requirements of their theory. Many creationists claim that mutations are not able to produce new information. Confusion about definitions abounds, including arguments about what constitutes a mutation and the definition of `biological information'.

      Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch. Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. Can mutations produce new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `new' and `information'. Can they account for the evolution of all life on Earth? No!

      Mutations are known by the harm they cause, such as the one in the `feather duster budgie' (left), which results in deformed feathers in the budgerigar. However, some genetic changes seem to be programmed to happen, creating variety and assisting in organisms adapting. Is this `new information'?

      The phrase, "Mutations cannot create new information" is almost a mantra among some creationists, yet I do not agree. Evolutionists have a number of responses to the idea, although most of them display faulty reasoning. Most evolutionary responses display a lack of understanding of the complexity of the genome. I will explain below why I believe the genome was designed to operate in at least four dimensions and why this causes difficulty for the evolutionary belief in the rise of new information.

      Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the `genome') is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other.

      Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically.1 Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a `wall of incalculability'. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article.

      A third issue involves the fact that Darwin actually wrote about two different ideas, what I like to call his special and general theories of evolution (described below). Creationist reactions against evolution in general have led to some misunderstanding of the amounts of change we might expect in living organisms over time. There are three basic ideas I would like to introduce in this discussion: 1) In the same way that God was not limited to creating static species, God was not limited to creating static genomes; 2) God may have placed intelligently designed genetic algorithms into the genomes of His created kinds that cause changes in genetic information or even create information de novo; and 3) God could have engineered information in compressed form into the genome that would be later decompressed and seen as `new' information.

      What is a mutation?

      A `mutation' is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm.

      We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'.

      I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups.2 This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel. Most deletions (~90%), however, are not shared among the various human subpopulations.3 This indicates that a significant number of deletions have occurred in the human genome, but after Babel.

      Deletions are apparently not designed variation and are an example of rapid genomic decay. The same can be said of DNA insertions, but they are about 1/3 as common as the same-size deletion. The ubiquity of large, unique deletions in the various human subpopulations worldwide is evidence for rapid erosion or corruption of genetic information, through mutation.

      What is a gene?

      Technically, a `gene' is a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, but modern genetics has revealed that different parts of different genes are used in different combinations to produce proteins,4,5 so the definition is a bit up in the air at the moment.6 Most people, including scientists, use `gene' to mean two different things: either 1) a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, or 2) a trait. This is an important distinction to keep in mind.

      What is information?

      This question, `What is information', is the real crux of the argument, yet the term `information' is difficult to define. When dealing with this subject, in most cases evolutionists use a statistical measure called Shannon Information. This was a concept invented by the brilliant electronic engineer C.E. Shannon in the middle of the 20th century, who was trying to answer questions about how much data one could stuff into a radio wave or push through a wire. Despite common usage, Shannon's ideas of information have little to do with biological information.

      Case in point: A beautiful cut-glass vase can be described quite easily. All one needs is a description of the material and the location of each edge and/or vertex in 3-D space. Yet, a million-dollar vase can be smashed into a worthless pile of sand quite easily. If one wanted to recreate that pile of sand exactly, a tremendous amount of Shannon information would be required to describe the shape of each grain as well as the orientation and placement of grains within the pile. Which has more `information', the pile of sand or the original vase into which a tremendous amount of purposeful design was placed? It depends on which definition of information one uses!


      Figure 1. A biological system is defined as containing information when all the following five hierarchical levels of information are observed: statistics (here left off for simplicity), syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics (from Gitt, ref. 9).

      In other definitions of `information', the pile of sand could be described quite easily with just a few statistical measures (e.g. average grain size mass of sand angle of repose). In this sense, any number of independent piles of sand can be, for all practical purposes, identical. This is the essence of Zemansky's use of information,7 yet this also has little to do with biological information, for biology is not easy to summarize, and any such attempts would produce meaningless results (e.g. a statistical measure of the average rate of a chemical reaction mediated by a certain enzyme says nothing about the origin of the information required to produce that enzyme).

      A definition of `biological information' is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt8 and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, " … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose", and state that, "Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics" (figure 1).9

      While perhaps not appropriate for all types of biological information, I believe Gitt's definition can be used in a discussion of the main focus of this article: potential changes in genetic information.

      Can mutations create information?

      Now we can address the main question, "Can mutations create new genetic information?"

      Figure 2. Schematic view of the central role that `intelligently-designed' VIGEs may play in generating variation, adaptations and speciation events in the genomes of living things to induce DNA changes. Lower part: VIGEs may directly modulate the output of (morpho)genetic algorithms due to position effects. Upper part: VIGEs that are located on different chromosomes may be the result of speciation events, because their homologous sequences facilitate chromosomal translocations and other major karyotype rearrangements. (From Borger, ref 22.)

      1) God was not limited to creating static genomes, in the same way that He was not limited to creating fixed species.10 In the 1800s, Darwin pushed back against the popular idea that God created all species in their present form. The Bible does not teach `fixity of species', of course; this idea came from the teachings of older scientists and philosophers, primarily rooted in the writings of Aristotle.

      11 Today, most creationists do not have trouble with non-fixity of species. Evolutionists constantly attempt to bring up the straw man argument that we believe in species stasis, even comparing us to people who believed in a flat earth, but both of these are historical myths.12 Most people throughout history believed the earth was round, and there were creationists, like Linnaeus13 and Blyth,14 prior to Darwin who believed species could change (though not beyond a certain limit).

      CMI, in particular, have published articles and one DVD15 on the subject of how species change over time and have an entire section on the topic on our Q&A page.16 Here is an important question: if species can change, what about their genomes?

      Not only are species not fixed, but more than several articles have been published in this journal alone on the topic of non-static genomes, including recent articles by Alex Williams,17 Peter Borger,18 Jean Lightner,19 Evan Loo Shan,20 and others.

      It looks like God engineered into life the ability to change DNA. This occurs through homologous crossover, jumping genes (retrotransposons,21 ALUs, etc.), and other means (including the random DNA spelling errors generally called `mutations'). Borger has coined a phrase, `variation inducing genetic elements' (VIGEs)22 to describe the intelligently-designed genetic modules God may have put into the genomes of living things to induce DNA sequence changes (figure 2).

      2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time, but they are also stating that some of these changes are controlled by genetic algorithms built into the genomes themselves. In other words, not all changes are accidental, and a large proportion of genetic `information' is algorithmal.

      If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? Mutation originally simply meant `change' but today it carries a lot of extra semantic baggage.

      Can we say that a mechanism designed by God to create diversity over time within a species can be a cause of `mutation', with its connotation of unthinking randomness? In fact, there is considerable evidence that some mutations are repeatable23,24 (that is, not wholly random) (figure 3). This suggests the presence of some genomic factor designed to control mutation placement in at least some cases.

      If that something causes an intentional change in the DNA, do we call that a `mutation' or an `intelligently engineered change in the DNA sequence'? Of course, random mutations still occur, and these are mostly due to the error rate of the DNA replication and repair machinery.

      Figure 3. There is considerable evidence that some mutations are not random. E.g. mutations in nucleotide sequences of exon X (ten) from GULO genes and pseudogenes from a number of species.

      In this illustration, positions with identical nucleotides in all organisms are not shown. The deletion mutation in position 97 (indicated by *) in this pseudogene is usually hailed as the ultimate evidence for the common descent shared between humans and the great apes. At first glance, this may appear to be a very strong case for common descent. However, after examining a large number of organisms, enabling the excluding non-random mutations, it becomes obvious that position 97 is in fact a hot spot for non-random mutations. (From Borger, ref. 24.)

      3) There could be a considerable amount of information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form. When this information is decompressed, deciphered, revealed, or unscrambled (call it what you will), this cannot be used as evidence for evolution, since the information was already stored in the genome.

      Take the information God put into Adam and Eve. An evolutionist looks at any DNA difference as a result of mutation, but God could have put a significant amount of designed variation directly into Adam and Eve. There are millions of places in the human genome that vary from person to person, the majority of this variation is shared among all populations,25 and most of these variable positions have two common versions (A or G, T or C, etc.).26 The bulk of these should be places where God used perfectly acceptable alternate readings during the creation of man. These are not mutations!

      The in-built alternatives God put into Adam and Eve are scrambled over time, and new traits (even many good ones not previously in existence) might arise during this process. How? One way is through a process called `homologous recombination'. People have two sets of chromosomes. Let's say a certain portion of one of Adam's chromosome #1 reads `GGGGGGGGGG' and codes for a green-colored something-or-other. The other copy of chromosome 1 reads `bbbbbbbbbb' and codes for a blue something-or-other, but blue is recessive. Someone with one or two copies of the all-G chromosome will have a green something-or-other. Someone with two copies of the all-b chromosome will have a blue something-or-other. In the early population, about three quarters of the people will have the green version and about one quarter will have the blue version.

      How, then, does this process produce new traits? Homologous chromosomes are recombined from one generation to the next through a process called `crossing over'. If a crossing over event occurred in the middle of this sequence, we might get one that reads `GGGGGbbbbb' that causes the production of a purple something-or-other. This is a brand new thing, a new trait never seen before. This is the result of a change in the DNA sequence and we will not be able to tell the difference between this crossing over event and a `mutation' until we can sequence the piece of DNA in question. Thus, new traits (sometimes incorrectly or colloquially referred to as `genes') can arise through homologous recombination.27

      But this is not mutation. Recombination is part of the intelligently-designed genome and usually only reveals information that was previously packed into the genome by the Master Designer (it can also reveal new combinations of mutations and designed diversity). Also, recombination is not random,28,29 so there is a limit to the amount of new traits that can come about in this way.

      Bad examples used by evolutionists

      Adaptive immunity

      I have a hard time calling something like adaptive immunity, which involves changes in the order of a certain set of genes to create novel antibodies, `mutation'. Adaptive immunity is often brought up by the evolutionist as an example of `new' genes (traits) being produced by mutation. Here we have an example of a mechanism that takes DNA modules and scrambles those modules in complex ways in order to generate antibodies for antigens to which the organism has never been exposed.

      This is a quintessential example of intelligent design. The DNA changes in adaptive immunity occur only in a controlled manner among only a limited number of genes in a limited subset of cells that are only part of the immune system, and these changes are not heritable. Thus, the argument for evolution falls flat on its face.30

      Gene duplication

      Gene duplication is often cited as a mechanism for evolutionary progress and as a means of generating `new' information. Here, a gene is duplicated (through several possible means), turned off via mutation, mutated over time, turned on again through a different mutation, and, voilà!, a new function has arisen.

      Invariably, the people who use this as an argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced `junk' DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. These numbers are not friendly to evolutionary theory, and mathematical studies that have attempted to study the issue have run into a wall of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes.31-33 This is akin to the mathematical difficulties Michael Behe discusses in his book, The Edge of Evolution.34

      In fact, gene deletions35 and loss-of-function mutations for useful genes are surprisingly common.36 Why would anyone expect a deactivated gene to stick around for a million years or more while an unlikely new function develops?

      But the situation with gene duplication is even more complicated than this. The effect of a gene often depends on gene copy number. If an organism appears with extra copies of a certain gene, it may not be able to control the expression of that gene and an imbalance will occur in its physiology, decreasing its fitness (e.g. trisomy causes abnormalities such as Down syndrome because of such gene dosage effects). Since copy number is a type of information, and since copy number variations are known to occur (even among people37), this is an example of a mutation that changes information.

      Notice I did not say `adds' information, but `changes'. Word duplication is usually frowned upon as being unnecessary (ask any English teacher). Likewise, gene duplication is usually, though not always, bad. In the cases where it can occur without damaging the organism, one needs to ask if this is really an addition of information. Even better than that, is this the type of addition required by evolution? No, it is not.

      Several creationists have written on this subject, including Lightner,38 Liu and Moran.39 Even if an example of a new function arising through gene duplication is discovered, the function of the new must necessarily be related to the function of the old, such as a new but similar catalysis end product of an enzyme. There is no reason to expect otherwise. New functions arising through duplication are not impossible, but they are vanishingly unlikely, and they become more unlikely with each degree of change required for the development of each new function.

      Degraded information

      There are abundant examples in the evolutionary literature where genetic degradation has been used in an attempt to show an increase in information over time. Examples include sickle cell anemia (which confers a resistance to the malaria parasite by producing deformed hemoglobin molecules),40 aerobic citrate digestion by bacteria (which involves the loss of control of the normal anaerobic citrate digestion),41 and nylon digestion by bacteria (which involves a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid).42 Since they all involve decay of prior information, none of these examples are satisfactory evidence for an increase in biological complexity over time.

      Antibiotic resistance in bacteria

      This has been dealt with so many times that I hesitate to even mention it. However, for some reason evolutionists keep bringing it up, almost ad nauseam. The interested reader can easily find many articles on the subject, with detailed creationist rebuttals.43
      General gain-of-function mutations

      Evolution requires gain-of-function (GOF) mutations, but evolutionists have had a difficult time coming up with good examples.44 Adaptive immunity, homologous recombination, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and sickle-cell anemia in humans have all been used as examples, but, as detailed above, each of these examples fails to meet the requirements of a true GOF. The general lack of examples, even theoretical examples, of something absolutely required by evolution is strong testimony against the validity of evolutionary theory.

      The real issue

      The development of new functions is the only thing important for evolution. We are not talking about small functional changes, but radical ones. Some organism had to learn how to convert sugars to energy. Another had to learn how to take sunlight and turn it into sugars. Another had to learn how to take light and turn it into an interpretable image in the brain. These are not simple things, but amazing processes that involve multiple steps, and functions that involve circular and/or ultra-complex pathways will be selected away before they have a chance to develop into a working system. For example, DNA with no function is ripe for deletion, and making proteins/enzymes that have no use until a complete pathway or nano-machine is available is a waste of precious cellular resources.

      Chicken-and-egg problems abound. What came first, the molecular machine called ATP synthase or the protein and RNA manufacturing machines that rely on ATP to produce the ATP synthase machine? The most basic processes upon which all life depends cannot be co-opted from pre-existing systems. For evolution to work, they have to come up from scratch, they have to be carefully balanced and regulated with respect to other processes, and they have to work before they will be kept.

      Saying a gene can be copied and then used to prototype a new function is not what evolution requires, for this cannot account for radically new functionality. Thus, gene duplication cannot answer the most fundamental questions about evolutionary history. Likewise, none of the common modes of mutation (random letter changes, inversions, deletions, etc.) have the ability to do what evolution requires.

      Darwin pulled a bait and switch in his On the Origin of Species. He actually produced two separate theories: what I call his special and general theories of evolution, following Kerkut45. Darwin went on at length to show how species change. This was the Special Theory of Evolution and he was preceded by numerous others, including several creationists, with the same idea.

      It took him a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,
      " … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."46

      The `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.
      This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed.

      To use a modern analogy, this would be akin to saying that small, random changes in a complex computer program can create radical new software modules, without crashing the system.47 Thus, the `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution. Yes, mutations can occur within living species (kinds), but, no, those mutations cannot be used to explain how those species (kinds) came into existence in the first place. We are talking about two completely separate processes.

      The meta-information challenge

      We need to get past the naïve idea that we understand the genome because we know the sequence of a linear string of DNA. In fact, all we know is the first dimension out of at least four in which the genome operates (1: the one-dimensional, linear string of letters; 2: the two-dimensional interactions of one part of the string with another, directly or through RNA and protein proxies; 3: the three-dimensional spatial structure of the DNA within the nucleus; and 4: changes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd dimensions over time).

      There is a tremendous amount of information packed into that genome that we have not figured out, including multiple simultaneously-overlapping codes.48 When discussing whether or not mutations can create new information, evolutionists routinely bring up an overly-simplistic view of mutation and then claim to have solved the problem while waving their hand over the real issue: the antagonism between ultra-complexity and random mutation.

      If a four-dimensional genome is hard enough to grasp, there is also a huge amount of `meta-information' in the genome. This is information about the information! This is the information that tells the cell how to maintain the information, how to fix it if it breaks, how to copy it, how to interpret what is there, how to use it, when to use it, and how to pass it on to the next generation. This is all coded in that linear string of letters and life could not exist without it. In fact, life was designed from a top-down perspective, apparently with the meta-information coming first.

      According to a brilliant paper by Alex Williams,49 for life to exist, organisms require a hierarchy of

      1. Perfectly pure, single-molecule-specific biochemistry,
      2. specially structured molecules,
      3. functionally integrated molecular machines,
      4. comprehensively regulated, information-driven metabolic functions, and
      5. inversely-causal meta-information.

      None of these levels can be obtained through natural processes, none can be predicted from the level below, and each is dependent on the level above. Meta-information is the top level of biological complexity and cannot be explained by naturalistic mechanisms, yet life cannot exist without it.50 Putting all other arguments for and against the rise of biological information aside, where did the meta-information, upon which all life depends, come from?

      Conclusions

      Can mutation create new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `information'. Also, `new' does not necessarily imply `better' or even `good'. When evolutionists cite examples of `new' information, they are almost invariably citing evidence of new traits, but these traits are caused by the corruption of existing information.

      Mutations can create new varieties of old genes, as can be seen in white-coated lab mice, tailless cats, and blue-eyed people. But damaging mutations cannot be used to vindicate molecules-to-people evolution. Breaking things does not lead to higher function (and presupposes a pre-existing function that can be broken).

      Also, not all new traits are caused by mutation! Some come about by unscrambling pre-existing information, some from decompressing packed information, some from turning on and off certain genes.

      In all the examples I have seen used to argue against creation, evolution is not helped. There are no known examples of the types of information-gaining mutations necessary for large-scale evolutionary processes. In fact, it looks like all examples of gain-of-function mutations, put in light of the long-term needs of upward evolutionary progress, are exceptions to what is needed, because every example I have seen involves something breaking.

      We as creationists have the upper hand here. If we treat this properly, we can score a great victory in our long war for truth. The genome is not what evolution expected. The examples of mutations we have are not of the types required for evolution to advance. Evolution has to explain how the four-dimensional genome, with multiple overlapping codes and chock full of meta-information, came about. Can a mutation create new information? Perhaps, but only in the most limited sense. Can it create the kind of information needed to produce a genome? Absolutely not!

      Acknowledgments

      I must thank Don Batten, Jonathan Sarfati, and three anonymous reviewers for critical comments on this manuscript. This was very much a team effort as the ideas were distilled through years of interaction among my creationist colleagues, many of whose contributions were not mentioned due to lack of space, not due to lack of merit. I am afraid I did not do justice to those who have gone before me.

      Related Articles

      Desperate attempts to discover `the elusive process of evolution'

      Antifreeze protein evolution: turning wrenches into hammers
      The limits of Neo-Darwinism
      Mutations, epigenetics and the question of information
      Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution
      Are `gain of function' mutations really downhill and so not supporting of evolution?
      Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1
      Further Reading
      The century-and-a-half failure in the quest for the source of new genetic information
      Mutations Questions and Answers

      References

      1. I am indebted to Randy Guliuzza, of the Institute for Creation Research, for first encouraging me to move from a gene-to an organism-centric viewpoint. Return to text.
      2. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
      3. Conrad, D.F. et al., A high-resolution survey of deletion polymorphism in the human genome, Nature Genetics 38(1):75–81, 2003; See also articles by Hinds et al. and McCarroll et al. in that same issue. Return to text.
      4. Barash, Y. et al., Deciphering the splicing code, Nature 465:53–59, 2010. Return to text.
      5. Carter, R.W., Splicing and dicing the human genome: Scientists begin to unravel the splicing code 2010. Return to text.
      6. Gerstein, M.B. et al., What is a gene, post-ENCODE? History and updated definition, Genome Research 17:669–681. Return to text.
      7. See Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, 4th ed., Creation Book Publishers, pp. 120–121, footnote #7, 2008. Return to text.
      8. Gitt, W., Information, Science and Biology, Journal of Creation 10(2):181–187, 1996. Return to text.
      9. Gitt, W., Implications of the scientific laws of information part 2, Journal of Creation 23(2):103–109, 2009. Return to text.
      10. Many articles on the topic have been published in the creationist literature, including: Batten, D., Ligers and wholphins? What next? Creation 22(3):28–33. Return to text.
      11. Trusting Aristotle was an `argument from authority', which could be construed as a classic logical fallacy. We might be tempted to say they should have known better, but ancient authority was very important to the culture back then, and science today operates on a tremendous trust system of prior authority, until proven otherwise. Return to text.
      12. The flat earth notion was invented, apparently out of thin air, by Washington Irving in his novel about Columbus. See: Multiple authors, Who invented a flat earth? Creation 16(2):48–49, 1994 and Faulkner, D., Geocentrism and creation, Journal of Creation 15(2):110–121, 2001. Return to text.
      13. This was not true in his early years, but by the last edition of Systema Naturae, Linnaeus had included information about change over time. Return to text.
      14. Grigg, R., Darwin's illegitimate brainchild, Creation 26(2):39–41, 2004. Return to text.
      15. Wieland, C, Dynamic Life: Changes in Living Things. DVD available through creation.com. Return to text.
      16. Speciation and the Created Kinds, creation.com/speciation-questions-and-answers. Return to text.
      17. Williams, A., Facilitated variation: a new paradigm emerges in biology, Journal of Creation 22(1):85–92, 2007; see also creation.com/alexander-williams. Return to text.
      18. Borger, P., Evidence for the design of life: part 2 Baranomes, Journal of Creation 22(3):68–76, 2008. This is part of a series of articles available here: creation.com/peter-borger. Return to text.
      19. Lightner, J.K., Comparative cytogenetics and chromosomal rearrangements, Journal of Creation 24(1):6–8, 2010. This is just one of several articles I could have cited by Lightner. Return to text.
      20. Shan, E.L., Transposon amplification in rapid intrabaraminic diversification, Journal of Creation 23(2):110–117, 2009. Return to text.
      21. Carter, R.W., The slow, painful death of junk DNA, 2010; see also Shan (2009), ref. 20. Return to text.
      22. Borger, P., The design of life: part 3 an introduction to variation-inducing genetic elements, Journal of Creation 23(1):99–106, 2009. Return to text.
      23. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplications and nonrandom mutations in the family Cercopithecidae: evidence for designed mechanisms driving adaptive genomic mutations, Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1): 1–5, 2009. Return to text.
      24. Borger, P., An illusion of common descent, Journal of Creation 24(2) 122–127, 2010. Return to text.
      25. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
      26. I say this based on personal knowledge after many hours of study. The HapMap data is available online for anyone to check my claim: www.HapMap.org. Return to text.
      27. Shibata, T. et al., Homologous genetic recombination as an intrinsic dynamic property of a DNA structure induced by RecAyRad51-family proteins: A possible advantage of DNA over RNA as genomic material, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 98(15):8425–8432, 2001. Return to text.
      28. Berg. I.L., et al., PRDM9 variation strongly influences recombination hot-spot activity and meiotic instability in humans, Nature Genetics 42(10):859–864, 2010. Return to text.
      29. Parvanov, E.D., Petkov, P.M. and Paigen, K., Prdm9 Controls Activation of Mammalian Recombination Hotspots, Science 327:835, 2010. Return to text.
      30. Enter `adaptive immunity' in the search box on creation.com and you will find several appropriate articles discussing this issue in more depth. Return to text.
      31. Axe, D.D., The limits of complex adaptation: an analysis based on a simple model of structured bacterial populations, BIO-Complexity 2010(4):1–10, 2010. Return to text.
      32. Truman, R., Searching for needles in a haystack, Journal of Creation 20(2):90–99, 2006. Return to text.
      33. Truman, R., Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1, Journal of Creation 17(1):117–127, 2003. Return to text.
      34. Batten, D., Clarity and confusion, A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe, Journal of Creation 22(1):28–33, 2008. Return to text.
      35. cf. ref. 3. Return to text.
      36. The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing, Nature 467:1061–1073. Return to text.
      37. Sudmant, P.H. et al., Diversity of human copy number variation and multicopy genes, Science 330:641–646, 2010. Return to text.
      38. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplication, protein evolution, and the origin of shrew venom, Journal of Creation 24(2):3–5, 2010. Return to text.
      39. Liu, Y. and Moran, D., Do functions arise by gene duplication? Journal of Creation 20(2):82–89, 2006. Return to text.
      40. Konotey-Ahulu, F., Sickle-cell anemia does not prove evolution! Creation 16(2):40–41, 1994. Return to text.
      41. Batten, D., Bacteria `evolving in the lab'? `A poke in the eye for antievolutionists? 2008. Return to text.
      42. Batten, D., The adaptation of bacteria to feeding on nylon waste, Journal of Creation 17(3):30–5, 2003. Return to text.
      43. One of many examples can be found here: Is antibiotic resistance really due to increase in information?. Return to text.
      44. Lightner, J.K., Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution, Journal of Creation 19(3):7–8, 2005. Return to text.
      45. Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution (Pergamon, Oxford, UK), p. 157, 1960. Return to text.
      46. Darwin, C.R., On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st ed., John Murray, London, p. 109, 1859; darwin-online.org.uk. Return to text.
      47. Stevens, R.W., Can evolution make new biological software? Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1):17–24, 2010. Return to text.
      48. Itzkovitz, S., Hodis, E. and Segal, E., Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences, Genome Research 20:1582–1589, 2010. Return to text.
      49. Williams, A., Life's irreducible structure—Part 1: Autopoiesis, Journal of Creation 21(2):109–115, 2007. Return to text.
      50. Williams, A., Meta-information: an impossible conundrum for evolution, 2007. Return to text.
    • David
      ... New International Version (©2011) But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 28, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "wilson_brooks2003" <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote:
        >
        > From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT
        >
        > By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo Darwinists, atheists, and those theistic evolutionists who base their so called Christianity on the Gospel of Humpy Dumpty will not wish to read this as the very thought of going into a Box of Certainty will be too much to bear.
        >
        > I should like to add that those poor self deluded souls who imagine that they will have proven their case to be true by undermining the faith of all Christians to the extent that all Christians leave the Box of Christian certainty and ascribe to the Gospel of Humpty Dumpty will have done no such thing.
        >
        > There is only one way to get to God and that is through Jesus Christ and no-one who wilfully practices sin shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
        >
        > So, all that those deluded souls will have succeeded in doing is to bring everyone into the Judgement of Christ. And He judges according to His standards and not by the standards of fallen Man. Every word in the true Gospels has meaning. And we Christians do well when we consider the words of our Owner: However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18 v 8b
        >

        New International Version (©2011)
        But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raca

        From above: Raca, a Biblical term of Aramaic origin used in Matthew 5:22. See Aramaic of Jesus or Expounding of the Law. Its meaning is "worthless", "vain", "empty". Is a word of contempt, and express a feeling of despise.



        > Can mutations create new information?
        > by Dr Robert W. Carter
        >
        > In the same way that species are not static, neither are genomes. They change over time; sometimes randomly, sometimes in preplanned pathways, and sometimes according to instruction from pre-existing algorithms. Irrespective of the source, we tend to call these changes `mutations'. Many evolutionists use the existence of mutation as evidence for long-term evolution, but the examples they cite fall far short of the requirements of their theory. Many creationists claim that mutations are not able to produce new information. Confusion about definitions abounds, including arguments about what constitutes a mutation and the definition of `biological information'.
        >
        > Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch.

        David Williams: Much of evolution is new uses for things already in existence, a process called exaptation:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exaptation

        From above: Exaptation, co-option, and preadaptation are related terms referring to shifts in the function of a trait during evolution. For example, a trait can evolve because it served one particular function, but subsequently it may come to serve another. Exaptations are common in both anatomy and behaviour. Bird feathers are a classic example: initially these may have evolved for temperature regulation, but later were adapted for flight. Interest in exaptation relates to both the process and products of evolution: the process that creates complex traits and the products (functions, anatomical structures, biochemicals, etc) that may be imperfectly developed.

        David Williams: Some examples of exaptation are the Devonian fishpod, 4 legged aquatic fish that walked along stream beds long before their descendants walked on land. Fishpods had both lungs and gills as well as feet.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrapod


        Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. Can mutations produce new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `new' and `information'. Can they account for the evolution of all life on Earth? No!
        >
        > Mutations are known by the harm they cause, such as the one in the `feather duster budgie' (left), which results in deformed feathers in the budgerigar. However, some genetic changes seem to be programmed to happen, creating variety and assisting in organisms adapting. Is this `new information'?
        >
        > The phrase, "Mutations cannot create new information" is almost a mantra among some creationists, yet I do not agree. Evolutionists have a number of responses to the idea, although most of them display faulty reasoning. Most evolutionary responses display a lack of understanding of the complexity of the genome. I will explain below why I believe the genome was designed to operate in at least four dimensions and why this causes difficulty for the evolutionary belief in the rise of new information.
        >
        > Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the `genome') is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other.
        >
        > Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically.1 Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a `wall of incalculability'. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article.
        >
        > A third issue involves the fact that Darwin actually wrote about two different ideas, what I like to call his special and general theories of evolution (described below). Creationist reactions against evolution in general have led to some misunderstanding of the amounts of change we might expect in living organisms over time. There are three basic ideas I would like to introduce in this discussion: 1) In the same way that God was not limited to creating static species, God was not limited to creating static genomes; 2) God may have placed intelligently designed genetic algorithms into the genomes of His created kinds that cause changes in genetic information or even create information de novo; and 3) God could have engineered information in compressed form into the genome that would be later decompressed and seen as `new' information.
        >
        > What is a mutation?
        >
        > A `mutation' is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm.
        >
        > We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'.
        >
        > I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups.2 This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel. Most deletions (~90%), however, are not shared among the various human subpopulations.3 This indicates that a significant number of deletions have occurred in the human genome, but after Babel.
        >

        David Williams: Where is the scientific evidence for these conclusions?


        > Deletions are apparently not designed variation and are an example of rapid genomic decay. The same can be said of DNA insertions, but they are about 1/3 as common as the same-size deletion. The ubiquity of large, unique deletions in the various human subpopulations worldwide is evidence for rapid erosion or corruption of genetic information, through mutation.
        >
        > What is a gene?
        >
        > Technically, a `gene' is a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, but modern genetics has revealed that different parts of different genes are used in different combinations to produce proteins,4,5 so the definition is a bit up in the air at the moment.6 Most people, including scientists, use `gene' to mean two different things: either 1) a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, or 2) a trait. This is an important distinction to keep in mind.
        >
        > What is information?
        >
        > This question, `What is information', is the real crux of the argument, yet the term `information' is difficult to define. When dealing with this subject, in most cases evolutionists use a statistical measure called Shannon Information. This was a concept invented by the brilliant electronic engineer C.E. Shannon in the middle of the 20th century, who was trying to answer questions about how much data one could stuff into a radio wave or push through a wire. Despite common usage, Shannon's ideas of information have little to do with biological information.
        >
        > Case in point: A beautiful cut-glass vase can be described quite easily. All one needs is a description of the material and the location of each edge and/or vertex in 3-D space. Yet, a million-dollar vase can be smashed into a worthless pile of sand quite easily. If one wanted to recreate that pile of sand exactly, a tremendous amount of Shannon information would be required to describe the shape of each grain as well as the orientation and placement of grains within the pile. Which has more `information', the pile of sand or the original vase into which a tremendous amount of purposeful design was placed? It depends on which definition of information one uses!
        >
        >
        > Figure 1. A biological system is defined as containing information when all the following five hierarchical levels of information are observed: statistics (here left off for simplicity), syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics (from Gitt, ref. 9).
        >
        > In other definitions of `information', the pile of sand could be described quite easily with just a few statistical measures (e.g. average grain size mass of sand angle of repose). In this sense, any number of independent piles of sand can be, for all practical purposes, identical. This is the essence of Zemansky's use of information,7 yet this also has little to do with biological information, for biology is not easy to summarize, and any such attempts would produce meaningless results (e.g. a statistical measure of the average rate of a chemical reaction mediated by a certain enzyme says nothing about the origin of the information required to produce that enzyme).
        >
        > A definition of `biological information' is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt8 and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, " … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose", and state that, "Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics" (figure 1).9
        >
        > While perhaps not appropriate for all types of biological information, I believe Gitt's definition can be used in a discussion of the main focus of this article: potential changes in genetic information.
        >
        > Can mutations create information?
        >
        > Now we can address the main question, "Can mutations create new genetic information?"
        >
        > Figure 2. Schematic view of the central role that `intelligently-designed' VIGEs may play in generating variation, adaptations and speciation events in the genomes of living things to induce DNA changes. Lower part: VIGEs may directly modulate the output of (morpho)genetic algorithms due to position effects. Upper part: VIGEs that are located on different chromosomes may be the result of speciation events, because their homologous sequences facilitate chromosomal translocations and other major karyotype rearrangements. (From Borger, ref 22.)
        >
        > 1) God was not limited to creating static genomes, in the same way that He was not limited to creating fixed species.10 In the 1800s, Darwin pushed back against the popular idea that God created all species in their present form. The Bible does not teach `fixity of species', of course; this idea came from the teachings of older scientists and philosophers, primarily rooted in the writings of Aristotle.
        >
        > 11 Today, most creationists do not have trouble with non-fixity of species. Evolutionists constantly attempt to bring up the straw man argument that we believe in species stasis, even comparing us to people who believed in a flat earth, but both of these are historical myths.12 Most people throughout history believed the earth was round, and there were creationists, like Linnaeus13 and Blyth,14 prior to Darwin who believed species could change (though not beyond a certain limit).
        >
        > CMI, in particular, have published articles and one DVD15 on the subject of how species change over time and have an entire section on the topic on our Q&A page.16 Here is an important question: if species can change, what about their genomes?
        >
        > Not only are species not fixed, but more than several articles have been published in this journal alone on the topic of non-static genomes, including recent articles by Alex Williams,17 Peter Borger,18 Jean Lightner,19 Evan Loo Shan,20 and others.
        >
        > It looks like God engineered into life the ability to change DNA. This occurs through homologous crossover, jumping genes (retrotransposons,21 ALUs, etc.), and other means (including the random DNA spelling errors generally called `mutations'). Borger has coined a phrase, `variation inducing genetic elements' (VIGEs)22 to describe the intelligently-designed genetic modules God may have put into the genomes of living things to induce DNA sequence changes (figure 2).
        >
        > 2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time, but they are also stating that some of these changes are controlled by genetic algorithms built into the genomes themselves. In other words, not all changes are accidental, and a large proportion of genetic `information' is algorithmal.
        >
        > If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? Mutation originally simply meant `change' but today it carries a lot of extra semantic baggage.
        >
        > Can we say that a mechanism designed by God to create diversity over time within a species can be a cause of `mutation', with its connotation of unthinking randomness? In fact, there is considerable evidence that some mutations are repeatable23,24 (that is, not wholly random) (figure 3). This suggests the presence of some genomic factor designed to control mutation placement in at least some cases.
        >
        > If that something causes an intentional change in the DNA, do we call that a `mutation' or an `intelligently engineered change in the DNA sequence'? Of course, random mutations still occur, and these are mostly due to the error rate of the DNA replication and repair machinery.
        >
        > Figure 3. There is considerable evidence that some mutations are not random. E.g. mutations in nucleotide sequences of exon X (ten) from GULO genes and pseudogenes from a number of species.
        >
        > In this illustration, positions with identical nucleotides in all organisms are not shown. The deletion mutation in position 97 (indicated by *) in this pseudogene is usually hailed as the ultimate evidence for the common descent shared between humans and the great apes. At first glance, this may appear to be a very strong case for common descent. However, after examining a large number of organisms, enabling the excluding non-random mutations, it becomes obvious that position 97 is in fact a hot spot for non-random mutations. (From Borger, ref. 24.)
        >
        > 3) There could be a considerable amount of information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form. When this information is decompressed, deciphered, revealed, or unscrambled (call it what you will), this cannot be used as evidence for evolution, since the information was already stored in the genome.
        >
        > Take the information God put into Adam and Eve. An evolutionist looks at any DNA difference as a result of mutation, but God could have put a significant amount of designed variation directly into Adam and Eve. There are millions of places in the human genome that vary from person to person, the majority of this variation is shared among all populations,25 and most of these variable positions have two common versions (A or G, T or C, etc.).26 The bulk of these should be places where God used perfectly acceptable alternate readings during the creation of man. These are not mutations!
        >
        > The in-built alternatives God put into Adam and Eve are scrambled over time, and new traits (even many good ones not previously in existence) might arise during this process. How? One way is through a process called `homologous recombination'. People have two sets of chromosomes. Let's say a certain portion of one of Adam's chromosome #1 reads `GGGGGGGGGG' and codes for a green-colored something-or-other. The other copy of chromosome 1 reads `bbbbbbbbbb' and codes for a blue something-or-other, but blue is recessive. Someone with one or two copies of the all-G chromosome will have a green something-or-other. Someone with two copies of the all-b chromosome will have a blue something-or-other. In the early population, about three quarters of the people will have the green version and about one quarter will have the blue version.
        >
        > How, then, does this process produce new traits? Homologous chromosomes are recombined from one generation to the next through a process called `crossing over'. If a crossing over event occurred in the middle of this sequence, we might get one that reads `GGGGGbbbbb' that causes the production of a purple something-or-other. This is a brand new thing, a new trait never seen before. This is the result of a change in the DNA sequence and we will not be able to tell the difference between this crossing over event and a `mutation' until we can sequence the piece of DNA in question. Thus, new traits (sometimes incorrectly or colloquially referred to as `genes') can arise through homologous recombination.27
        >
        > But this is not mutation. Recombination is part of the intelligently-designed genome and usually only reveals information that was previously packed into the genome by the Master Designer (it can also reveal new combinations of mutations and designed diversity). Also, recombination is not random,28,29 so there is a limit to the amount of new traits that can come about in this way.
        >
        > Bad examples used by evolutionists
        >
        > Adaptive immunity
        >
        > I have a hard time calling something like adaptive immunity, which involves changes in the order of a certain set of genes to create novel antibodies, `mutation'. Adaptive immunity is often brought up by the evolutionist as an example of `new' genes (traits) being produced by mutation. Here we have an example of a mechanism that takes DNA modules and scrambles those modules in complex ways in order to generate antibodies for antigens to which the organism has never been exposed.
        >
        > This is a quintessential example of intelligent design. The DNA changes in adaptive immunity occur only in a controlled manner among only a limited number of genes in a limited subset of cells that are only part of the immune system, and these changes are not heritable. Thus, the argument for evolution falls flat on its face.30
        >
        > Gene duplication
        >
        > Gene duplication is often cited as a mechanism for evolutionary progress and as a means of generating `new' information. Here, a gene is duplicated (through several possible means), turned off via mutation, mutated over time, turned on again through a different mutation, and, voilà!, a new function has arisen.
        >
        > Invariably, the people who use this as an argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced `junk' DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. These numbers are not friendly to evolutionary theory, and mathematical studies that have attempted to study the issue have run into a wall of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes.31-33 This is akin to the mathematical difficulties Michael Behe discusses in his book, The Edge of Evolution.34
        >
        > In fact, gene deletions35 and loss-of-function mutations for useful genes are surprisingly common.36 Why would anyone expect a deactivated gene to stick around for a million years or more while an unlikely new function develops?
        >
        > But the situation with gene duplication is even more complicated than this. The effect of a gene often depends on gene copy number. If an organism appears with extra copies of a certain gene, it may not be able to control the expression of that gene and an imbalance will occur in its physiology, decreasing its fitness (e.g. trisomy causes abnormalities such as Down syndrome because of such gene dosage effects). Since copy number is a type of information, and since copy number variations are known to occur (even among people37), this is an example of a mutation that changes information.
        >
        > Notice I did not say `adds' information, but `changes'. Word duplication is usually frowned upon as being unnecessary (ask any English teacher). Likewise, gene duplication is usually, though not always, bad. In the cases where it can occur without damaging the organism, one needs to ask if this is really an addition of information. Even better than that, is this the type of addition required by evolution? No, it is not.
        >

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121114113458.htm

        New Brain Gene Gives Us Edge Over Apes, Study Suggests

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503125720.htm

        Scientists Show How a Gene Duplication Helped Our Brains Become 'Human'

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503125804.htm

        Extra Gene Drove Instant Leap in Human Brain Evolution
      • gluadys
        ... Since he begins with this egregious error, is there any point reading the rest? Evolution does not generate anything from scratch . It is always a process
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 28, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "wilson_brooks2003" <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote:
          >
          > From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT
          >
          > By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo Darwinists, atheists, and those theistic evolutionists who base their so called Christianity on the Gospel of Humpy Dumpty will not wish to read this as the very thought of going into a Box of Certainty will be too much to bear.
          >
          > I should like to add that those poor self deluded souls who imagine that they will have proven their case to be true by undermining the faith of all Christians to the extent that all Christians leave the Box of Christian certainty and ascribe to the Gospel of Humpty Dumpty will have done no such thing.
          >
          > There is only one way to get to God and that is through Jesus Christ and no-one who wilfully practices sin shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
          >
          > So, all that those deluded souls will have succeeded in doing is to bring everyone into the Judgement of Christ. And He judges according to His standards and not by the standards of fallen Man. Every word in the true Gospels has meaning. And we Christians do well when we consider the words of our Owner: However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18 v 8b
          >
          > Can mutations create new information?
          > by Dr Robert W. Carter
          >
          > In the same way that species are not static, neither are genomes. They change over time; sometimes randomly, sometimes in preplanned pathways, and sometimes according to instruction from pre-existing algorithms. Irrespective of the source, we tend to call these changes `mutations'. Many evolutionists use the existence of mutation as evidence for long-term evolution, but the examples they cite fall far short of the requirements of their theory. Many creationists claim that mutations are not able to produce new information. Confusion about definitions abounds, including arguments about what constitutes a mutation and the definition of `biological information'.
          >
          > Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch.
          >
          >

          Since he begins with this egregious error, is there any point reading the rest?

          Evolution does not generate anything "from scratch". It is always a process of modifying what is already present. That is why Darwin called it "descent with modification".






          Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. Can mutations produce new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `new' and `information'. Can they account for the evolution of all life on Earth? No!
          >
          > Mutations are known by the harm they cause, such as the one in the `feather duster budgie' (left), which results in deformed feathers in the budgerigar. However, some genetic changes seem to be programmed to happen, creating variety and assisting in organisms adapting. Is this `new information'?
          >
          > The phrase, "Mutations cannot create new information" is almost a mantra among some creationists, yet I do not agree. Evolutionists have a number of responses to the idea, although most of them display faulty reasoning. Most evolutionary responses display a lack of understanding of the complexity of the genome. I will explain below why I believe the genome was designed to operate in at least four dimensions and why this causes difficulty for the evolutionary belief in the rise of new information.
          >
          > Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the `genome') is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other.
          >
          > Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically.1 Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a `wall of incalculability'. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article.
          >
          > A third issue involves the fact that Darwin actually wrote about two different ideas, what I like to call his special and general theories of evolution (described below). Creationist reactions against evolution in general have led to some misunderstanding of the amounts of change we might expect in living organisms over time. There are three basic ideas I would like to introduce in this discussion: 1) In the same way that God was not limited to creating static species, God was not limited to creating static genomes; 2) God may have placed intelligently designed genetic algorithms into the genomes of His created kinds that cause changes in genetic information or even create information de novo; and 3) God could have engineered information in compressed form into the genome that would be later decompressed and seen as `new' information.
          >
          > What is a mutation?
          >
          > A `mutation' is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm.
          >
          > We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'.
          >
          > I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups.2 This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel. Most deletions (~90%), however, are not shared among the various human subpopulations.3 This indicates that a significant number of deletions have occurred in the human genome, but after Babel.
          >
          > Deletions are apparently not designed variation and are an example of rapid genomic decay. The same can be said of DNA insertions, but they are about 1/3 as common as the same-size deletion. The ubiquity of large, unique deletions in the various human subpopulations worldwide is evidence for rapid erosion or corruption of genetic information, through mutation.
          >
          > What is a gene?
          >
          > Technically, a `gene' is a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, but modern genetics has revealed that different parts of different genes are used in different combinations to produce proteins,4,5 so the definition is a bit up in the air at the moment.6 Most people, including scientists, use `gene' to mean two different things: either 1) a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, or 2) a trait. This is an important distinction to keep in mind.
          >
          > What is information?
          >
          > This question, `What is information', is the real crux of the argument, yet the term `information' is difficult to define. When dealing with this subject, in most cases evolutionists use a statistical measure called Shannon Information. This was a concept invented by the brilliant electronic engineer C.E. Shannon in the middle of the 20th century, who was trying to answer questions about how much data one could stuff into a radio wave or push through a wire. Despite common usage, Shannon's ideas of information have little to do with biological information.
          >
          > Case in point: A beautiful cut-glass vase can be described quite easily. All one needs is a description of the material and the location of each edge and/or vertex in 3-D space. Yet, a million-dollar vase can be smashed into a worthless pile of sand quite easily. If one wanted to recreate that pile of sand exactly, a tremendous amount of Shannon information would be required to describe the shape of each grain as well as the orientation and placement of grains within the pile. Which has more `information', the pile of sand or the original vase into which a tremendous amount of purposeful design was placed? It depends on which definition of information one uses!
          >
          >
          > Figure 1. A biological system is defined as containing information when all the following five hierarchical levels of information are observed: statistics (here left off for simplicity), syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics (from Gitt, ref. 9).
          >
          > In other definitions of `information', the pile of sand could be described quite easily with just a few statistical measures (e.g. average grain size mass of sand angle of repose). In this sense, any number of independent piles of sand can be, for all practical purposes, identical. This is the essence of Zemansky's use of information,7 yet this also has little to do with biological information, for biology is not easy to summarize, and any such attempts would produce meaningless results (e.g. a statistical measure of the average rate of a chemical reaction mediated by a certain enzyme says nothing about the origin of the information required to produce that enzyme).
          >
          > A definition of `biological information' is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt8 and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, " … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose", and state that, "Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics" (figure 1).9
          >
          > While perhaps not appropriate for all types of biological information, I believe Gitt's definition can be used in a discussion of the main focus of this article: potential changes in genetic information.
          >
          > Can mutations create information?
          >
          > Now we can address the main question, "Can mutations create new genetic information?"
          >
          > Figure 2. Schematic view of the central role that `intelligently-designed' VIGEs may play in generating variation, adaptations and speciation events in the genomes of living things to induce DNA changes. Lower part: VIGEs may directly modulate the output of (morpho)genetic algorithms due to position effects. Upper part: VIGEs that are located on different chromosomes may be the result of speciation events, because their homologous sequences facilitate chromosomal translocations and other major karyotype rearrangements. (From Borger, ref 22.)
          >
          > 1) God was not limited to creating static genomes, in the same way that He was not limited to creating fixed species.10 In the 1800s, Darwin pushed back against the popular idea that God created all species in their present form. The Bible does not teach `fixity of species', of course; this idea came from the teachings of older scientists and philosophers, primarily rooted in the writings of Aristotle.
          >
          > 11 Today, most creationists do not have trouble with non-fixity of species. Evolutionists constantly attempt to bring up the straw man argument that we believe in species stasis, even comparing us to people who believed in a flat earth, but both of these are historical myths.12 Most people throughout history believed the earth was round, and there were creationists, like Linnaeus13 and Blyth,14 prior to Darwin who believed species could change (though not beyond a certain limit).
          >
          > CMI, in particular, have published articles and one DVD15 on the subject of how species change over time and have an entire section on the topic on our Q&A page.16 Here is an important question: if species can change, what about their genomes?
          >
          > Not only are species not fixed, but more than several articles have been published in this journal alone on the topic of non-static genomes, including recent articles by Alex Williams,17 Peter Borger,18 Jean Lightner,19 Evan Loo Shan,20 and others.
          >
          > It looks like God engineered into life the ability to change DNA. This occurs through homologous crossover, jumping genes (retrotransposons,21 ALUs, etc.), and other means (including the random DNA spelling errors generally called `mutations'). Borger has coined a phrase, `variation inducing genetic elements' (VIGEs)22 to describe the intelligently-designed genetic modules God may have put into the genomes of living things to induce DNA sequence changes (figure 2).
          >
          > 2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time, but they are also stating that some of these changes are controlled by genetic algorithms built into the genomes themselves. In other words, not all changes are accidental, and a large proportion of genetic `information' is algorithmal.
          >
          > If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? Mutation originally simply meant `change' but today it carries a lot of extra semantic baggage.
          >
          > Can we say that a mechanism designed by God to create diversity over time within a species can be a cause of `mutation', with its connotation of unthinking randomness? In fact, there is considerable evidence that some mutations are repeatable23,24 (that is, not wholly random) (figure 3). This suggests the presence of some genomic factor designed to control mutation placement in at least some cases.
          >
          > If that something causes an intentional change in the DNA, do we call that a `mutation' or an `intelligently engineered change in the DNA sequence'? Of course, random mutations still occur, and these are mostly due to the error rate of the DNA replication and repair machinery.
          >
          > Figure 3. There is considerable evidence that some mutations are not random. E.g. mutations in nucleotide sequences of exon X (ten) from GULO genes and pseudogenes from a number of species.
          >
          > In this illustration, positions with identical nucleotides in all organisms are not shown. The deletion mutation in position 97 (indicated by *) in this pseudogene is usually hailed as the ultimate evidence for the common descent shared between humans and the great apes. At first glance, this may appear to be a very strong case for common descent. However, after examining a large number of organisms, enabling the excluding non-random mutations, it becomes obvious that position 97 is in fact a hot spot for non-random mutations. (From Borger, ref. 24.)
          >
          > 3) There could be a considerable amount of information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form. When this information is decompressed, deciphered, revealed, or unscrambled (call it what you will), this cannot be used as evidence for evolution, since the information was already stored in the genome.
          >
          > Take the information God put into Adam and Eve. An evolutionist looks at any DNA difference as a result of mutation, but God could have put a significant amount of designed variation directly into Adam and Eve. There are millions of places in the human genome that vary from person to person, the majority of this variation is shared among all populations,25 and most of these variable positions have two common versions (A or G, T or C, etc.).26 The bulk of these should be places where God used perfectly acceptable alternate readings during the creation of man. These are not mutations!
          >
          > The in-built alternatives God put into Adam and Eve are scrambled over time, and new traits (even many good ones not previously in existence) might arise during this process. How? One way is through a process called `homologous recombination'. People have two sets of chromosomes. Let's say a certain portion of one of Adam's chromosome #1 reads `GGGGGGGGGG' and codes for a green-colored something-or-other. The other copy of chromosome 1 reads `bbbbbbbbbb' and codes for a blue something-or-other, but blue is recessive. Someone with one or two copies of the all-G chromosome will have a green something-or-other. Someone with two copies of the all-b chromosome will have a blue something-or-other. In the early population, about three quarters of the people will have the green version and about one quarter will have the blue version.
          >
          > How, then, does this process produce new traits? Homologous chromosomes are recombined from one generation to the next through a process called `crossing over'. If a crossing over event occurred in the middle of this sequence, we might get one that reads `GGGGGbbbbb' that causes the production of a purple something-or-other. This is a brand new thing, a new trait never seen before. This is the result of a change in the DNA sequence and we will not be able to tell the difference between this crossing over event and a `mutation' until we can sequence the piece of DNA in question. Thus, new traits (sometimes incorrectly or colloquially referred to as `genes') can arise through homologous recombination.27
          >
          > But this is not mutation. Recombination is part of the intelligently-designed genome and usually only reveals information that was previously packed into the genome by the Master Designer (it can also reveal new combinations of mutations and designed diversity). Also, recombination is not random,28,29 so there is a limit to the amount of new traits that can come about in this way.
          >
          > Bad examples used by evolutionists
          >
          > Adaptive immunity
          >
          > I have a hard time calling something like adaptive immunity, which involves changes in the order of a certain set of genes to create novel antibodies, `mutation'. Adaptive immunity is often brought up by the evolutionist as an example of `new' genes (traits) being produced by mutation. Here we have an example of a mechanism that takes DNA modules and scrambles those modules in complex ways in order to generate antibodies for antigens to which the organism has never been exposed.
          >
          > This is a quintessential example of intelligent design. The DNA changes in adaptive immunity occur only in a controlled manner among only a limited number of genes in a limited subset of cells that are only part of the immune system, and these changes are not heritable. Thus, the argument for evolution falls flat on its face.30
          >
          > Gene duplication
          >
          > Gene duplication is often cited as a mechanism for evolutionary progress and as a means of generating `new' information. Here, a gene is duplicated (through several possible means), turned off via mutation, mutated over time, turned on again through a different mutation, and, voilà!, a new function has arisen.
          >
          > Invariably, the people who use this as an argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced `junk' DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. These numbers are not friendly to evolutionary theory, and mathematical studies that have attempted to study the issue have run into a wall of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes.31-33 This is akin to the mathematical difficulties Michael Behe discusses in his book, The Edge of Evolution.34
          >
          > In fact, gene deletions35 and loss-of-function mutations for useful genes are surprisingly common.36 Why would anyone expect a deactivated gene to stick around for a million years or more while an unlikely new function develops?
          >
          > But the situation with gene duplication is even more complicated than this. The effect of a gene often depends on gene copy number. If an organism appears with extra copies of a certain gene, it may not be able to control the expression of that gene and an imbalance will occur in its physiology, decreasing its fitness (e.g. trisomy causes abnormalities such as Down syndrome because of such gene dosage effects). Since copy number is a type of information, and since copy number variations are known to occur (even among people37), this is an example of a mutation that changes information.
          >
          > Notice I did not say `adds' information, but `changes'. Word duplication is usually frowned upon as being unnecessary (ask any English teacher). Likewise, gene duplication is usually, though not always, bad. In the cases where it can occur without damaging the organism, one needs to ask if this is really an addition of information. Even better than that, is this the type of addition required by evolution? No, it is not.
          >
          > Several creationists have written on this subject, including Lightner,38 Liu and Moran.39 Even if an example of a new function arising through gene duplication is discovered, the function of the new must necessarily be related to the function of the old, such as a new but similar catalysis end product of an enzyme. There is no reason to expect otherwise. New functions arising through duplication are not impossible, but they are vanishingly unlikely, and they become more unlikely with each degree of change required for the development of each new function.
          >
          > Degraded information
          >
          > There are abundant examples in the evolutionary literature where genetic degradation has been used in an attempt to show an increase in information over time. Examples include sickle cell anemia (which confers a resistance to the malaria parasite by producing deformed hemoglobin molecules),40 aerobic citrate digestion by bacteria (which involves the loss of control of the normal anaerobic citrate digestion),41 and nylon digestion by bacteria (which involves a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid).42 Since they all involve decay of prior information, none of these examples are satisfactory evidence for an increase in biological complexity over time.
          >
          > Antibiotic resistance in bacteria
          >
          > This has been dealt with so many times that I hesitate to even mention it. However, for some reason evolutionists keep bringing it up, almost ad nauseam. The interested reader can easily find many articles on the subject, with detailed creationist rebuttals.43
          > General gain-of-function mutations
          >
          > Evolution requires gain-of-function (GOF) mutations, but evolutionists have had a difficult time coming up with good examples.44 Adaptive immunity, homologous recombination, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and sickle-cell anemia in humans have all been used as examples, but, as detailed above, each of these examples fails to meet the requirements of a true GOF. The general lack of examples, even theoretical examples, of something absolutely required by evolution is strong testimony against the validity of evolutionary theory.
          >
          > The real issue
          >
          > The development of new functions is the only thing important for evolution. We are not talking about small functional changes, but radical ones. Some organism had to learn how to convert sugars to energy. Another had to learn how to take sunlight and turn it into sugars. Another had to learn how to take light and turn it into an interpretable image in the brain. These are not simple things, but amazing processes that involve multiple steps, and functions that involve circular and/or ultra-complex pathways will be selected away before they have a chance to develop into a working system. For example, DNA with no function is ripe for deletion, and making proteins/enzymes that have no use until a complete pathway or nano-machine is available is a waste of precious cellular resources.
          >
          > Chicken-and-egg problems abound. What came first, the molecular machine called ATP synthase or the protein and RNA manufacturing machines that rely on ATP to produce the ATP synthase machine? The most basic processes upon which all life depends cannot be co-opted from pre-existing systems. For evolution to work, they have to come up from scratch, they have to be carefully balanced and regulated with respect to other processes, and they have to work before they will be kept.
          >
          > Saying a gene can be copied and then used to prototype a new function is not what evolution requires, for this cannot account for radically new functionality. Thus, gene duplication cannot answer the most fundamental questions about evolutionary history. Likewise, none of the common modes of mutation (random letter changes, inversions, deletions, etc.) have the ability to do what evolution requires.
          >
          > Darwin pulled a bait and switch in his On the Origin of Species. He actually produced two separate theories: what I call his special and general theories of evolution, following Kerkut45. Darwin went on at length to show how species change. This was the Special Theory of Evolution and he was preceded by numerous others, including several creationists, with the same idea.
          >
          > It took him a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,
          > " … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."46
          >
          > The `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.
          > This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed.
          >
          > To use a modern analogy, this would be akin to saying that small, random changes in a complex computer program can create radical new software modules, without crashing the system.47 Thus, the `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution. Yes, mutations can occur within living species (kinds), but, no, those mutations cannot be used to explain how those species (kinds) came into existence in the first place. We are talking about two completely separate processes.
          >
          > The meta-information challenge
          >
          > We need to get past the naïve idea that we understand the genome because we know the sequence of a linear string of DNA. In fact, all we know is the first dimension out of at least four in which the genome operates (1: the one-dimensional, linear string of letters; 2: the two-dimensional interactions of one part of the string with another, directly or through RNA and protein proxies; 3: the three-dimensional spatial structure of the DNA within the nucleus; and 4: changes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd dimensions over time).
          >
          > There is a tremendous amount of information packed into that genome that we have not figured out, including multiple simultaneously-overlapping codes.48 When discussing whether or not mutations can create new information, evolutionists routinely bring up an overly-simplistic view of mutation and then claim to have solved the problem while waving their hand over the real issue: the antagonism between ultra-complexity and random mutation.
          >
          > If a four-dimensional genome is hard enough to grasp, there is also a huge amount of `meta-information' in the genome. This is information about the information! This is the information that tells the cell how to maintain the information, how to fix it if it breaks, how to copy it, how to interpret what is there, how to use it, when to use it, and how to pass it on to the next generation. This is all coded in that linear string of letters and life could not exist without it. In fact, life was designed from a top-down perspective, apparently with the meta-information coming first.
          >
          > According to a brilliant paper by Alex Williams,49 for life to exist, organisms require a hierarchy of
          >
          > 1. Perfectly pure, single-molecule-specific biochemistry,
          > 2. specially structured molecules,
          > 3. functionally integrated molecular machines,
          > 4. comprehensively regulated, information-driven metabolic functions, and
          > 5. inversely-causal meta-information.
          >
          > None of these levels can be obtained through natural processes, none can be predicted from the level below, and each is dependent on the level above. Meta-information is the top level of biological complexity and cannot be explained by naturalistic mechanisms, yet life cannot exist without it.50 Putting all other arguments for and against the rise of biological information aside, where did the meta-information, upon which all life depends, come from?
          >
          > Conclusions
          >
          > Can mutation create new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `information'. Also, `new' does not necessarily imply `better' or even `good'. When evolutionists cite examples of `new' information, they are almost invariably citing evidence of new traits, but these traits are caused by the corruption of existing information.
          >
          > Mutations can create new varieties of old genes, as can be seen in white-coated lab mice, tailless cats, and blue-eyed people. But damaging mutations cannot be used to vindicate molecules-to-people evolution. Breaking things does not lead to higher function (and presupposes a pre-existing function that can be broken).
          >
          > Also, not all new traits are caused by mutation! Some come about by unscrambling pre-existing information, some from decompressing packed information, some from turning on and off certain genes.
          >
          > In all the examples I have seen used to argue against creation, evolution is not helped. There are no known examples of the types of information-gaining mutations necessary for large-scale evolutionary processes. In fact, it looks like all examples of gain-of-function mutations, put in light of the long-term needs of upward evolutionary progress, are exceptions to what is needed, because every example I have seen involves something breaking.
          >
          > We as creationists have the upper hand here. If we treat this properly, we can score a great victory in our long war for truth. The genome is not what evolution expected. The examples of mutations we have are not of the types required for evolution to advance. Evolution has to explain how the four-dimensional genome, with multiple overlapping codes and chock full of meta-information, came about. Can a mutation create new information? Perhaps, but only in the most limited sense. Can it create the kind of information needed to produce a genome? Absolutely not!
          >
          > Acknowledgments
          >
          > I must thank Don Batten, Jonathan Sarfati, and three anonymous reviewers for critical comments on this manuscript. This was very much a team effort as the ideas were distilled through years of interaction among my creationist colleagues, many of whose contributions were not mentioned due to lack of space, not due to lack of merit. I am afraid I did not do justice to those who have gone before me.
          >
          > Related Articles
          >
          > Desperate attempts to discover `the elusive process of evolution'
          >
          > Antifreeze protein evolution: turning wrenches into hammers
          > The limits of Neo-Darwinism
          > Mutations, epigenetics and the question of information
          > Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution
          > Are `gain of function' mutations really downhill and so not supporting of evolution?
          > Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1
          > Further Reading
          > The century-and-a-half failure in the quest for the source of new genetic information
          > Mutations Questions and Answers
          >
          > References
          >
          > 1. I am indebted to Randy Guliuzza, of the Institute for Creation Research, for first encouraging me to move from a gene-to an organism-centric viewpoint. Return to text.
          > 2. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
          > 3. Conrad, D.F. et al., A high-resolution survey of deletion polymorphism in the human genome, Nature Genetics 38(1):75–81, 2003; See also articles by Hinds et al. and McCarroll et al. in that same issue. Return to text.
          > 4. Barash, Y. et al., Deciphering the splicing code, Nature 465:53–59, 2010. Return to text.
          > 5. Carter, R.W., Splicing and dicing the human genome: Scientists begin to unravel the splicing code 2010. Return to text.
          > 6. Gerstein, M.B. et al., What is a gene, post-ENCODE? History and updated definition, Genome Research 17:669–681. Return to text.
          > 7. See Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, 4th ed., Creation Book Publishers, pp. 120–121, footnote #7, 2008. Return to text.
          > 8. Gitt, W., Information, Science and Biology, Journal of Creation 10(2):181–187, 1996. Return to text.
          > 9. Gitt, W., Implications of the scientific laws of information part 2, Journal of Creation 23(2):103–109, 2009. Return to text.
          > 10. Many articles on the topic have been published in the creationist literature, including: Batten, D., Ligers and wholphins? What next? Creation 22(3):28–33. Return to text.
          > 11. Trusting Aristotle was an `argument from authority', which could be construed as a classic logical fallacy. We might be tempted to say they should have known better, but ancient authority was very important to the culture back then, and science today operates on a tremendous trust system of prior authority, until proven otherwise. Return to text.
          > 12. The flat earth notion was invented, apparently out of thin air, by Washington Irving in his novel about Columbus. See: Multiple authors, Who invented a flat earth? Creation 16(2):48–49, 1994 and Faulkner, D., Geocentrism and creation, Journal of Creation 15(2):110–121, 2001. Return to text.
          > 13. This was not true in his early years, but by the last edition of Systema Naturae, Linnaeus had included information about change over time. Return to text.
          > 14. Grigg, R., Darwin's illegitimate brainchild, Creation 26(2):39–41, 2004. Return to text.
          > 15. Wieland, C, Dynamic Life: Changes in Living Things. DVD available through creation.com. Return to text.
          > 16. Speciation and the Created Kinds, creation.com/speciation-questions-and-answers. Return to text.
          > 17. Williams, A., Facilitated variation: a new paradigm emerges in biology, Journal of Creation 22(1):85–92, 2007; see also creation.com/alexander-williams. Return to text.
          > 18. Borger, P., Evidence for the design of life: part 2 Baranomes, Journal of Creation 22(3):68–76, 2008. This is part of a series of articles available here: creation.com/peter-borger. Return to text.
          > 19. Lightner, J.K., Comparative cytogenetics and chromosomal rearrangements, Journal of Creation 24(1):6–8, 2010. This is just one of several articles I could have cited by Lightner. Return to text.
          > 20. Shan, E.L., Transposon amplification in rapid intrabaraminic diversification, Journal of Creation 23(2):110–117, 2009. Return to text.
          > 21. Carter, R.W., The slow, painful death of junk DNA, 2010; see also Shan (2009), ref. 20. Return to text.
          > 22. Borger, P., The design of life: part 3 an introduction to variation-inducing genetic elements, Journal of Creation 23(1):99–106, 2009. Return to text.
          > 23. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplications and nonrandom mutations in the family Cercopithecidae: evidence for designed mechanisms driving adaptive genomic mutations, Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1): 1–5, 2009. Return to text.
          > 24. Borger, P., An illusion of common descent, Journal of Creation 24(2) 122–127, 2010. Return to text.
          > 25. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
          > 26. I say this based on personal knowledge after many hours of study. The HapMap data is available online for anyone to check my claim: www.HapMap.org. Return to text.
          > 27. Shibata, T. et al., Homologous genetic recombination as an intrinsic dynamic property of a DNA structure induced by RecAyRad51-family proteins: A possible advantage of DNA over RNA as genomic material, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 98(15):8425–8432, 2001. Return to text.
          > 28. Berg. I.L., et al., PRDM9 variation strongly influences recombination hot-spot activity and meiotic instability in humans, Nature Genetics 42(10):859–864, 2010. Return to text.
          > 29. Parvanov, E.D., Petkov, P.M. and Paigen, K., Prdm9 Controls Activation of Mammalian Recombination Hotspots, Science 327:835, 2010. Return to text.
          > 30. Enter `adaptive immunity' in the search box on creation.com and you will find several appropriate articles discussing this issue in more depth. Return to text.
          > 31. Axe, D.D., The limits of complex adaptation: an analysis based on a simple model of structured bacterial populations, BIO-Complexity 2010(4):1–10, 2010. Return to text.
          > 32. Truman, R., Searching for needles in a haystack, Journal of Creation 20(2):90–99, 2006. Return to text.
          > 33. Truman, R., Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1, Journal of Creation 17(1):117–127, 2003. Return to text.
          > 34. Batten, D., Clarity and confusion, A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe, Journal of Creation 22(1):28–33, 2008. Return to text.
          > 35. cf. ref. 3. Return to text.
          > 36. The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing, Nature 467:1061–1073. Return to text.
          > 37. Sudmant, P.H. et al., Diversity of human copy number variation and multicopy genes, Science 330:641–646, 2010. Return to text.
          > 38. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplication, protein evolution, and the origin of shrew venom, Journal of Creation 24(2):3–5, 2010. Return to text.
          > 39. Liu, Y. and Moran, D., Do functions arise by gene duplication? Journal of Creation 20(2):82–89, 2006. Return to text.
          > 40. Konotey-Ahulu, F., Sickle-cell anemia does not prove evolution! Creation 16(2):40–41, 1994. Return to text.
          > 41. Batten, D., Bacteria `evolving in the lab'? `A poke in the eye for antievolutionists? 2008. Return to text.
          > 42. Batten, D., The adaptation of bacteria to feeding on nylon waste, Journal of Creation 17(3):30–5, 2003. Return to text.
          > 43. One of many examples can be found here: Is antibiotic resistance really due to increase in information?. Return to text.
          > 44. Lightner, J.K., Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution, Journal of Creation 19(3):7–8, 2005. Return to text.
          > 45. Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution (Pergamon, Oxford, UK), p. 157, 1960. Return to text.
          > 46. Darwin, C.R., On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st ed., John Murray, London, p. 109, 1859; darwin-online.org.uk. Return to text.
          > 47. Stevens, R.W., Can evolution make new biological software? Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1):17–24, 2010. Return to text.
          > 48. Itzkovitz, S., Hodis, E. and Segal, E., Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences, Genome Research 20:1582–1589, 2010. Return to text.
          > 49. Williams, A., Life's irreducible structure—Part 1: Autopoiesis, Journal of Creation 21(2):109–115, 2007. Return to text.
          > 50. Williams, A., Meta-information: an impossible conundrum for evolution, 2007. Return to text.
          >
        • will brooks
          From WillBrooks Friday 14th August AM GMT BL: Iwill be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief.  The base sequence in a genome (as DNA
          Message 4 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
          • 0 Attachment
            From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT
            BL: I will be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief. 

            The base sequence in a genome (as DNA within a cell) is able to produce a multitude of proteins by cooperation between the protein-coding genes and regulating sites outside the coding areas. In this way, the genome can be seen as the information-bearing unit (=pure matter!). In a previous post I have asked if someone believes any additional "input" of intelligence or information is needed for the DNA to fulfill its function, but as far as I know, no one has been able (or willing) to specify such a necessary external intelligence or information or give any mechanism for it. Thus we see that DNA in the cell produces a "result" that may be called information. 


            When mutations occur spontaneously in the gametes at meiosis, a new base sequence in the offspring, slightly different from those of the parent generation will be the result. If the new sequences do NOT confer any better qualities ("information") to the offspring, then these mutations will probably be weeded out from the population, so stasis remains. If on the other hand a mutation occurs that will confer an advantage to the new offspring (individual) under the actual circumstances, then it's likely that the new improvement (mutation) will stay in the population and increase in frequency. This is called EVOLUTION! 


            Note that, even though this new good mutation occurs, there are probably also some not so good or even bad mutations in the same generation (i.e. what has occurred is random variation!), but when the not-so-good variants have been weeded out (by NON-random selection!), the genetic pool has experienced an INCREASE in information. (This increase in information could be almost anything, such as the ability to metabolize a new chemical compound or run a little faster to escape a predator.) 


            Lastly, note especially that this gain/increase in information has arisen WITHIN the system, through a slight change in the genome. No EXTERNAL "information" or "intelligence" has been instilled from outside. The genome is both the source and the propagator of the "information". The medium and the message are close together. 


            The essay at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/ 
            mentioned by Jim (below) is interesting, not least because they seem at a first glance to have a much more sensible view of "biology as a computer science" than most IDers of the Dembski or the Perry Marshall type. 


            Björn 


            Will: As predicted Bjorn was unable to deal with Dr Robert Carter’s well researched lengthy scholarly article based on facts and evidence on a line by line point by point basis by drilling down into the details.
             
            Instead he simply ignores those stubborn pesky little things called facts and offers his own unscientific opinion which basically is “just the stirring of chemicals.”
             
            A E Wilder – Smith in a debate with Richard Dawkins totally debunked and handed Richard his hat by discussing the facts and evidence related to the preposterous notion that chemicals could somehow magically bond and create digital coded information of encyclopaedic proportions.
             
            The Darwinian bottom to top model has no basis in science and the reality is that the correct model of life is top to bottom in which the genome is front loaded with highly intelligent complex specified digitally coded INFORMATION which is passed onto offspring in the reproductive process and that INFORMATION is decoded by pre-existing nanotech biosystems within the cell for the purpose of creating body parts/traits.

            INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind. There is no known example in "nature" of mindless undirected unguided random purposeless chance creating INFORMATION of this type which is "far, far more complex than any software programme ever written" (Bill Gates).

            "Just the stirring of chemicals" -- oh what a laugh!
             
            This is science fact and when people such as Bjorn refuse to face up to the reality of life they are quite accurately described as science deniers.
             
            Interested persons may want to re-visit Dr. Carter’s article for confirmation of the facts and I would wholeheartedly recommend the DVD “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” in which 15 Ph.D scientists highly qualified experts in their respective fields, including Dr Carter, thoroughly strip bare and expose Darwinism for what it is – unscientific baloney.
             
             
          • bjorn07se
            BL now: As I wrote yesterday, I m a bit pressed time-wise right now, so I will comment on a line by line point by point basis on the article by Robert Carter
            Message 5 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
            • 0 Attachment
              BL now: As I wrote yesterday, I'm a bit pressed time-wise right now, so I will comment "on a line by line point by point basis" on the article by Robert Carter later. In the meantime, just an observation: You didn't read my post very carefully, did you? Did you understand my arguments for the type of "information" stored in the DNA genomes? If you want to argue about that, then show us how "intelligence" and/or "information" could be inserted into DNA from an external source, rather than being "created" IN the DNA by natural, internal processes (random variation followed by non-random selection) which are well-known to science. 

              You like very much to use fancy science-y words, Will. Your theistic dogmas tell you that "INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind." I have asked you for some kind of evidence -- or even hard facts -- showing that this is any more than your personal (or AiG's) opinions, but you are evidently unable to offer any such evidence. In my post I described, in VERY simple terms, how the evolutionary way of thinking may explain the origin of new information, but you are unable to understand even this simple description, since you and other IDers/creationists want a lot of "intelligence" to be "front loaded" in one large dose by some not disclosed mechanism. 

              I will comment on the "unscientific baloney" from the creo-IDers soon. 


              Björn 



              ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote :

              From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT
              BL: I will be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief. 

              The base sequence in a genome (as DNA within a cell) is able to produce a multitude of proteins by cooperation between the protein-coding genes and regulating sites outside the coding areas. In this way, the genome can be seen as the information-bearing unit (=pure matter!). In a previous post I have asked if someone believes any additional "input" of intelligence or information is needed for the DNA to fulfill its function, but as far as I know, no one has been able (or willing) to specify such a necessary external intelligence or information or give any mechanism for it. Thus we see that DNA in the cell produces a "result" that may be called information. 


              When mutations occur spontaneously in the gametes at meiosis, a new base sequence in the offspring, slightly different from those of the parent generation will be the result. If the new sequences do NOT confer any better qualities ("information") to the offspring, then these mutations will probably be weeded out from the population, so stasis remains. If on the other hand a mutation occurs that will confer an advantage to the new offspring (individual) under the actual circumstances, then it's likely that the new improvement (mutation) will stay in the population and increase in frequency. This is called EVOLUTION! 


              Note that, even though this new good mutation occurs, there are probably also some not so good or even bad mutations in the same generation (i.e. what has occurred is random variation!), but when the not-so-good variants have been weeded out (by NON-random selection!), the genetic pool has experienced an INCREASE in information. (This increase in information could be almost anything, such as the ability to metabolize a new chemical compound or run a little faster to escape a predator.) 


              Lastly, note especially that this gain/increase in information has arisen WITHIN the system, through a slight change in the genome. No EXTERNAL "information" or "intelligence" has been instilled from outside. The genome is both the source and the propagator of the "information". The medium and the message are close together. 


              The essay at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/ mentioned by Jim (below) is interesting, not least because they seem at a first glance to have a much more sensible view of "biology as a computer science" than most IDers of the Dembski or the Perry Marshall type. 


              Björn 


              Will: As predicted Bjorn was unable to deal with Dr Robert Carter’s well researched lengthy scholarly article based on facts and evidence on a line by line point by point basis by drilling down into the details.
               
              Instead he simply ignores those stubborn pesky little things called facts and offers his own unscientific opinion which basically is “just the stirring of chemicals.”
               
              A E Wilder – Smith in a debate with Richard Dawkins totally debunked and handed Richard his hat by discussing the facts and evidence related to the preposterous notion that chemicals could somehow magically bond and create digital coded information of encyclopaedic proportions.
               
              The Darwinian bottom to top model has no basis in science and the reality is that the correct model of life is top to bottom in which the genome is front loaded with highly intelligent complex specified digitally coded INFORMATION which is passed onto offspring in the reproductive process and that INFORMATION is decoded by pre-existing nanotech biosystems within the cell for the purpose of creating body parts/traits.

              INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind. There is no known example in "nature" of mindless undirected unguided random purposeless chance creating INFORMATION of this type which is "far, far more complex than any software programme ever written" (Bill Gates).

              "Just the stirring of chemicals" -- oh what a laugh!
               
              This is science fact and when people such as Bjorn refuse to face up to the reality of life they are quite accurately described as science deniers.
               
              Interested persons may want to re-visit Dr. Carter’s article for confirmation of the facts and I would wholeheartedly recommend the DVD “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” in which 15 Ph.D scientists highly qualified experts in their respective fields, including Dr Carter, thoroughly strip bare and expose Darwinism for what it is – unscientific baloney.
               

            • palmcharlesUU
              Björn: I will comment on the unscientific baloney from the creo-IDers soon. Charles P (To Stanley): The big question is: Is Björn a person of integrity?
              Message 6 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
              • 0 Attachment
                Björn:  I will comment on the "unscientific baloney" from the creo-IDers soon.

                Charles P (To Stanley):  The big question is:  Is Björn a person of integrity?  Is Björn a messenger here on Origins Talk (1) to discover something new for himself about biology as an information science or (2) to make fun of Creationists and to make fun of ID proponents?

                1  Is Björn going to acknowledge that Neo-Darwinism is NOT compatible with natural genetic engineering?

                From the experts of evolution in the era of genomics and epigenomics:  http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/  Neo-Darwinism .... which is clearly naturalistic science but ignores much contemporary molecular evidence and invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation. Neo-Darwinism ignores important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications. Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.

                2  Is Björn going to acknowledge that biology as an information science is NOT compatible with Neo-Darwinism?


                The discovery of the structure of DNA transformed biology profoundly, catalysing the sequencing of the human genome and engendering a new view of biology as an information science. Two features of DNA structure account for much of its remarkable impact on science: its digital nature and its complementarity, whereby one strand of the helix binds perfectly with its partner. DNA has two types of digital information — the genes that encode proteins, which are the molecular machines of life, and the gene regulatory networks that specify the behaviour of the genes.

                Charles P (To Stanley):  A person of integrity ---- for example, Stanley ---- will always be very clear of their purposes and expectations for writing messages here on Origins Talk.

                Integrity:  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/integrity  The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
              • bjorn07se
                BL: Note that it was Will who introduced the term unscientific baloney -- about Darwinism . I m just a messenger (of some sort?!). I also consider Natural
                Message 7 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                • 0 Attachment
                  BL: Note that it was Will who introduced the term "unscientific baloney" -- about "Darwinism". I'm just a messenger (of some sort?!). 

                  I also consider Natural Selection to be a unique creative force in biology, but I can't say if it solves ALL evolutionary problems. 

                  If you have any specific problem to discuss, we might find out if you have any more likely mechanism to offer. 


                  Björn 



                  ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <palmcharlesUU@...> wrote :

                  Björn:  I will comment on the "unscientific baloney" from the creo-IDers soon.

                  Charles P (To Stanley):  The big question is:  Is Björn a person of integrity?  Is Björn a messenger here on Origins Talk (1) to discover something new for himself about biology as an information science or (2) to make fun of Creationists and to make fun of ID proponents?

                  1  Is Björn going to acknowledge that Neo-Darwinism is NOT compatible with natural genetic engineering?

                  From the experts of evolution in the era of genomics and epigenomics:  http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/  Neo-Darwinism .... which is clearly naturalistic science but ignores much contemporary molecular evidence and invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation. Neo-Darwinism ignores important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications. Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.

                  2  Is Björn going to acknowledge that biology as an information science is NOT compatible with Neo-Darwinism?


                  The discovery of the structure of DNA transformed biology profoundly, catalysing the sequencing of the human genome and engendering a new view of biology as an information science. Two features of DNA structure account for much of its remarkable impact on science: its digital nature and its complementarity, whereby one strand of the helix binds perfectly with its partner. DNA has two types of digital information — the genes that encode proteins, which are the molecular machines of life, and the gene regulatory networks that specify the behaviour of the genes.

                  Charles P (To Stanley):  A person of integrity ---- for example, Stanley ---- will always be very clear of their purposes and expectations for writing messages here on Origins Talk.

                  Integrity:  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/integrity  The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.
                   

                  Björn 

                • palmcharlesUU
                  Björn: Note that it was Will who introduced the term unscientific baloney -- about Darwinism . I m just a messenger (of some sort?!). I also consider
                  Message 8 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Björn: Note that it was Will who introduced the term "unscientific baloney" -- about "Darwinism". I'm just a messenger (of some sort?!).  I also consider Natural Selection to be a unique creative force in biology, but I can't say if it solves ALL evolutionary problems.  If you have any specific problem to discuss, we might find out if you have any more likely mechanism to offer.

                    From the experts:  http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/  Neo-Darwinism .... which is clearly naturalistic science but ignores much contemporary molecular evidence and invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation. Neo-Darwinism ignores important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications. Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.

                    Charles P:  Maybe Will used the phrase "unscientific baloney" to describe what the experts describe as:  Neo-Darwinism invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation.

                    Björn:  I also consider Natural Selection to be a unique creative force in biology.

                    Charles P:  Neo-Darwinism considers natural selection to be a creative force in biology.

                    James A. Shapiro:  Evolution in the era of genomics and epigenomics.

                    1  How does novelty arise in evolution? Innovation, not selection, is the critical issue in evolutionary change. Without variation and novelty, selection has nothing to act upon.

                    2  Darwin theorized that adaptive change resulted from natural selection applied to countless random small changes over long periods of time. In Chapter 6 of Origin of Species, he wrote: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case”.  His neo-Darwinist followers took the same kind of black-box approach in the pre-DNA era by declaring all genetic change to be accidental and random with respect to biological function or need. With the discovery of DNA as a hereditary storage medium in the 1940s and early 1950s, the accidental view of change received a molecular interpretation as arising from inevitable errors in the replication process. As many professional and popular press articles attest, the accidental, stochastic nature of mutations is still the prevailing and widely accepted wisdom on the subject.

                    3  Thinking about genomes from an informatic perspective, it is apparent that systems engineering is a better metaphor for the evolutionary process than the conventional view of evolution as a selection-biased random walk through the limitless space of possible DNA configurations.

                    4  It is important to note that selection has never led to formation of a new species, as Darwin postulated. No matter how morphologically and behaviorally different they become, all dogs remain members of the same species, are capable of interbreeding with other dogs, and will revert in a few generations to a common feral dog phenotype if allowed to go wild.

                    5  The evidence shows that interspecific hybridization and WGD [ whole genome duplication ] are key events in the formation of synthetic species, something that has not been achieved by selection.

                    6   The role of selection is to eliminate evolutionary novelties that prove to be non-functional and interfere with adaptive needs. Selection operates as a purifying but not creative force.
                  • will brooks
                      From Will Brooks Friday 14th AugustPM GMT  Bjorn:  now: As I wroteyesterday, I m a bit pressed time-wise right now, so I will comment on aline by line
                    Message 9 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                    • 0 Attachment
                       
                      From Will Brooks Friday 14th August PM GMT
                       
                      Bjorn:  now: As I wrote yesterday, I'm a bit pressed time-wise right now, so I will comment "on a line by line point by point basis" on the article by Robert Carter later. In the meantime, just an observation: You didn't read my post very carefully, did you? Did you understand my arguments for the type of "information" stored in the DNA genomes? If you want to argue about that, then show us how "intelligence" and/or "information" could be inserted into DNA from an external source, rather than being "created" IN the DNA by natural, internal processes (random variation followed by non-random selection) which are well-known to science. 

                      Will: Bjorn who is committed to Darwinian evolutionary naturalism point blank refuses to accept science facts that MATTER is a carrier of INFORMATION but is not the creator of the type of Highly Complex Specified Coded INFORMATION purposefully designed to achieve specific end goals.
                       
                      I find myself very much in agreement with Charles you suggests that Bjorn is in Origins for his own amusement. It could very well be the case that Bjorn’s posts in Origins are a form of mental masturbation.
                       
                       

                      Bjorn:You like very much to use fancy science-y words, Will.
                      Will: This is rich coming from a pseudo intellectual who uses scientific jargon aka doublespeak to cover up the fact that he hasn’t the earthliest as to what he is talking about.
                      Bjorn: Your theistic dogmas tell you that "INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind." I have asked you for some kind of evidence -- or even hard facts -- showing that this is any more than your personal (or AiG's) opinions, but you are evidently unable to offer any such evidence.
                       
                      Will: Bjorn’s preconceived worldview with an a priori commitment to matter which sweeps aside facts and evidence compels him to ignore the facts and evidence which reveal that “nature” is totally incapable of creating highly complex information.
                      I have challenged the would be scientist and intellectual on numerous occasions to produce FACTS and EVIDENCE to bolster his faith in Darwinian evolution and the best he can offer is nothing but more bluff and bluster!
                       
                      Bjorn: In my post I described, in VERY simple terms, how the evolutionary way of thinking may explain the origin of new information, but you are unable to understand even this simple description, since you and other IDers/creationists want a lot of "intelligence" to be "front loaded" in one large dose by some not disclosed mechanism. 

                      Will: What Bjorn fails to understand and even give consideration to is that I and IDers and Creationists are not in the least interested in just so stories in what MAY have happened. We are interested in FACTS and EVIDENCE.
                      Furthermore I had to LOL when Bjorn wrote “some not disclosed mechanism” when I have  made it clear that INFORMATION is the product of a Highly Intelligent Creative Designer Mind aka God aka the Word aka the Logos aka Jesus Christ.
                      That Bjorn made such a comment demonstrates his total unwillingness and/or inability to comprehend.

                      Bjorn: I  will comment on the "unscientific baloney" from the creo-IDers soon. 




                      Björn 


                      Will: ROFL
                      I for one am not holding my breath especially so when the very same Bjorn boasted months ago that he would rebut the argument of AE Wilder-Smith who handed Richard Dawkins his hat in a debate at the Oxford Union in 1986.
                      We are still waiting for Bjorn who is long on wind to address this specific issue.

                      Putting it more frankly and bluntly than would Charles I will have to say that Bjorn who thinks he is a great Joker is actually the very object of his own backfiring Jokes
                    • gluadys
                      ... From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo
                      Message 10 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                      • 0 Attachment



                        ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote :

                        From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT

                        By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo Darwinists, atheists, and those theistic evolutionists who base their so called Christianity on the Gospel of Humpy Dumpty will not wish to read this as the very thought of going into a Box of Certainty will be too much to bear.


                        It is pretty weird to call this a "balanced" article. It is quite well constructed to support only a creationist POV. For example, in the discussion of "what is information?"  he concludes by opting for the following definition taken from Gitt: an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose”.

                        In science, "information" is normally defined as Shannon did.  A balanced article would at least have used a definition of information which pro- & anti-creationists could agree on. I have no idea why information should necessarily convey expected action, much less intended purpose.  I can read lots of statistics without being moved to any action whatsoever.  What "expected action" might be conveyed by today's report of winners and losers in various sports events?  Surely the "expected action" would be quite different for the coach, the seller of sports-based gambling tickets, a die-hard fan, and a person completely indifferent to sports.  How then can one say this set of information conveys any "expected" action at all?  

                        Now I will tell you this:  if by the accusation that "mutations cannot produce new information" creations mean the Gitt definition of information, I expect you will get agreement from evolutionary biologists---because that is not what they mean when they assert that mutations can produce new information.  They mean Shannon information, not Gitt information. So if you want scientists to hear you out, you need to show that mutations do not produce new Shannon information.  But as they clearly do, you have a problem.  

                        As long as creationists insist on speaking a different language, they are not really making any point. So there is no point to be refuted. 

                        And, as the article itself shows, information is not the real issue anyway.  It is the same old issue of micro-vs. macro-evolution.

                        Here is Carter's take:

                        Darwin pulled a bait and switch in his On the Origin of Species. He actually produced two separate theories: what I call his special and general theories of evolution, following Kerkut45. Darwin went on at length to show how species change. This was the Special Theory of Evolution and he was preceded by numerous others, including several creationists, with the same idea.

                        It took him a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,

                        “ … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature’s power of selection.”46

                        The ‘can mutations create new information’ argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.

                        This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed. 


                        Carter is completely wrong.  Darwin did not pull a bait and switch and he did not fail to provide a mechanism for what Carter chooses to call his General Theory of Evolution (aka macroevolution). Darwin has presented a mechanism already and then says he "can see no limit to the amount of change ... which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."  He did not fail to provide a mechanism for change; he provided the mechanism of natural selection and found no limit to its application.


                        The challenge creationists (and IDists) have never taken on is to show that Darwin was wrong---that there is a limit, and what that limit is and why some other mechanism is needed to continue evolution beyond that limit. 


                        PS  ignore illustration; it came with the text copied and pasted.  









                        I should like to add that those poor self deluded souls who imagine that they will have proven their case to be true by undermining the faith of all Christians to the extent that all Christians leave the Box of Christian certainty and ascribe to the Gospel of Humpty Dumpty will have done no such thing.

                        There is only one way to get to God and that is through Jesus Christ and no-one who wilfully practices sin shall inherit the Kingdom of God.

                        So, all that those deluded souls will have succeeded in doing is to bring everyone into the Judgement of Christ. And He judges according to His standards and not by the standards of fallen Man. Every word in the true Gospels has meaning. And we Christians do well when we consider the words of our Owner: However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18 v 8b

                        Can mutations create new information?
                        by Dr Robert W. Carter

                        In the same way that species are not static, neither are genomes. They change over time; sometimes randomly, sometimes in preplanned pathways, and sometimes according to instruction from pre-existing algorithms. Irrespective of the source, we tend to call these changes `mutations'. Many evolutionists use the existence of mutation as evidence for long-term evolution, but the examples they cite fall far short of the requirements of their theory. Many creationists claim that mutations are not able to produce new information. Confusion about definitions abounds, including arguments about what constitutes a mutation and the definition of `biological information'.

                        Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch. Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. Can mutations produce new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `new' and `information'. Can they account for the evolution of all life on Earth? No!

                        Mutations are known by the harm they cause, such as the one in the `feather duster budgie' (left), which results in deformed feathers in the budgerigar. However, some genetic changes seem to be programmed to happen, creating variety and assisting in organisms adapting. Is this `new information'?

                        The phrase, "Mutations cannot create new information" is almost a mantra among some creationists, yet I do not agree. Evolutionists have a number of responses to the idea, although most of them display faulty reasoning. Most evolutionary responses display a lack of understanding of the complexity of the genome. I will explain below why I believe the genome was designed to operate in at least four dimensions and why this causes difficulty for the evolutionary belief in the rise of new information.

                        Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the `genome') is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other.

                        Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically.1 Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a `wall of incalculability'. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article.

                        A third issue involves the fact that Darwin actually wrote about two different ideas, what I like to call his special and general theories of evolution (described below). Creationist reactions against evolution in general have led to some misunderstanding of the amounts of change we might expect in living organisms over time. There are three basic ideas I would like to introduce in this discussion: 1) In the same way that God was not limited to creating static species, God was not limited to creating static genomes; 2) God may have placed intelligently designed genetic algorithms into the genomes of His created kinds that cause changes in genetic information or even create information de novo; and 3) God could have engineered information in compressed form into the genome that would be later decompressed and seen as `new' information.

                        What is a mutation?

                        A `mutation' is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm.

                        We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'.

                        I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups.2 This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel. Most deletions (~90%), however, are not shared among the various human subpopulations.3 This indicates that a significant number of deletions have occurred in the human genome, but after Babel.

                        Deletions are apparently not designed variation and are an example of rapid genomic decay. The same can be said of DNA insertions, but they are about 1/3 as common as the same-size deletion. The ubiquity of large, unique deletions in the various human subpopulations worldwide is evidence for rapid erosion or corruption of genetic information, through mutation.

                        What is a gene?

                        Technically, a `gene' is a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, but modern genetics has revealed that different parts of different genes are used in different combinations to produce proteins,4,5 so the definition is a bit up in the air at the moment.6 Most people, including scientists, use `gene' to mean two different things: either 1) a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, or 2) a trait. This is an important distinction to keep in mind.

                        What is information?

                        This question, `What is information', is the real crux of the argument, yet the term `information' is difficult to define. When dealing with this subject, in most cases evolutionists use a statistical measure called Shannon Information. This was a concept invented by the brilliant electronic engineer C.E. Shannon in the middle of the 20th century, who was trying to answer questions about how much data one could stuff into a radio wave or push through a wire. Despite common usage, Shannon's ideas of information have little to do with biological information.

                        Case in point: A beautiful cut-glass vase can be described quite easily. All one needs is a description of the material and the location of each edge and/or vertex in 3-D space. Yet, a million-dollar vase can be smashed into a worthless pile of sand quite easily. If one wanted to recreate that pile of sand exactly, a tremendous amount of Shannon information would be required to describe the shape of each grain as well as the orientation and placement of grains within the pile. Which has more `information', the pile of sand or the original vase into which a tremendous amount of purposeful design was placed? It depends on which definition of information one uses!


                        Figure 1. A biological system is defined as containing information when all the following five hierarchical levels of information are observed: statistics (here left off for simplicity), syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics (from Gitt, ref. 9).

                        In other definitions of `information', the pile of sand could be described quite easily with just a few statistical measures (e.g. average grain size mass of sand angle of repose). In this sense, any number of independent piles of sand can be, for all practical purposes, identical. This is the essence of Zemansky's use of information,7 yet this also has little to do with biological information, for biology is not easy to summarize, and any such attempts would produce meaningless results (e.g. a statistical measure of the average rate of a chemical reaction mediated by a certain enzyme says nothing about the origin of the information required to produce that enzyme).

                        A definition of `biological information' is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt8 and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, " … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose", and state that, "Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics" (figure 1).9

                        While perhaps not appropriate for all types of biological information, I believe Gitt's definition can be used in a discussion of the main focus of this article: potential changes in genetic information.

                        Can mutations create information?

                        Now we can address the main question, "Can mutations create new genetic information?"

                        Figure 2. Schematic view of the central role that `intelligently-designed' VIGEs may play in generating variation, adaptations and speciation events in the genomes of living things to induce DNA changes. Lower part: VIGEs may directly modulate the output of (morpho)genetic algorithms due to position effects. Upper part: VIGEs that are located on different chromosomes may be the result of speciation events, because their homologous sequences facilitate chromosomal translocations and other major karyotype rearrangements. (From Borger, ref 22.)

                        1) God was not limited to creating static genomes, in the same way that He was not limited to creating fixed species.10 In the 1800s, Darwin pushed back against the popular idea that God created all species in their present form. The Bible does not teach `fixity of species', of course; this idea came from the teachings of older scientists and philosophers, primarily rooted in the writings of Aristotle.

                        11 Today, most creationists do not have trouble with non-fixity of species. Evolutionists constantly attempt to bring up the straw man argument that we believe in species stasis, even comparing us to people who believed in a flat earth, but both of these are historical myths.12 Most people throughout history believed the earth was round, and there were creationists, like Linnaeus13 and Blyth,14 prior to Darwin who believed species could change (though not beyond a certain limit).

                        CMI, in particular, have published articles and one DVD15 on the subject of how species change over time and have an entire section on the topic on our Q&A page.16 Here is an important question: if species can change, what about their genomes?

                        Not only are species not fixed, but more than several articles have been published in this journal alone on the topic of non-static genomes, including recent articles by Alex Williams,17 Peter Borger,18 Jean Lightner,19 Evan Loo Shan,20 and others.

                        It looks like God engineered into life the ability to change DNA. This occurs through homologous crossover, jumping genes (retrotransposons,21 ALUs, etc.), and other means (including the random DNA spelling errors generally called `mutations'). Borger has coined a phrase, `variation inducing genetic elements' (VIGEs)22 to describe the intelligently-designed genetic modules God may have put into the genomes of living things to induce DNA sequence changes (figure 2).

                        2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time, but they are also stating that some of these changes are controlled by genetic algorithms built into the genomes themselves. In other words, not all changes are accidental, and a large proportion of genetic `information' is algorithmal.

                        If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? Mutation originally simply meant `change' but today it carries a lot of extra semantic baggage.

                        Can we say that a mechanism designed by God to create diversity over time within a species can be a cause of `mutation', with its connotation of unthinking randomness? In fact, there is considerable evidence that some mutations are repeatable23,24 (that is, not wholly random) (figure 3). This suggests the presence of some genomic factor designed to control mutation placement in at least some cases.

                        If that something causes an intentional change in the DNA, do we call that a `mutation' or an `intelligently engineered change in the DNA sequence'? Of course, random mutations still occur, and these are mostly due to the error rate of the DNA replication and repair machinery.

                        Figure 3. There is considerable evidence that some mutations are not random. E.g. mutations in nucleotide sequences of exon X (ten) from GULO genes and pseudogenes from a number of species.

                        In this illustration, positions with identical nucleotides in all organisms are not shown. The deletion mutation in position 97 (indicated by *) in this pseudogene is usually hailed as the ultimate evidence for the common descent shared between humans and the great apes. At first glance, this may appear to be a very strong case for common descent. However, after examining a large number of organisms, enabling the excluding non-random mutations, it becomes obvious that position 97 is in fact a hot spot for non-random mutations. (From Borger, ref. 24.)

                        3) There could be a considerable amount of information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form. When this information is decompressed, deciphered, revealed, or unscrambled (call it what you will), this cannot be used as evidence for evolution, since the information was already stored in the genome.

                        Take the information God put into Adam and Eve. An evolutionist looks at any DNA difference as a result of mutation, but God could have put a significant amount of designed variation directly into Adam and Eve. There are millions of places in the human genome that vary from person to person, the majority of this variation is shared among all populations,25 and most of these variable positions have two common versions (A or G, T or C, etc.).26 The bulk of these should be places where God used perfectly acceptable alternate readings during the creation of man. These are not mutations!

                        The in-built alternatives God put into Adam and Eve are scrambled over time, and new traits (even many good ones not previously in existence) might arise during this process. How? One way is through a process called `homologous recombination'. People have two sets of chromosomes. Let's say a certain portion of one of Adam's chromosome #1 reads `GGGGGGGGGG' and codes for a green-colored something-or-other. The other copy of chromosome 1 reads `bbbbbbbbbb' and codes for a blue something-or-other, but blue is recessive. Someone with one or two copies of the all-G chromosome will have a green something-or-other. Someone with two copies of the all-b chromosome will have a blue something-or-other. In the early population, about three quarters of the people will have the green version and about one quarter will have the blue version.

                        How, then, does this process produce new traits? Homologous chromosomes are recombined from one generation to the next through a process called `crossing over'. If a crossing over event occurred in the middle of this sequence, we might get one that reads `GGGGGbbbbb' that causes the production of a purple something-or-other. This is a brand new thing, a new trait never seen before. This is the result of a change in the DNA sequence and we will not be able to tell the difference between this crossing over event and a `mutation' until we can sequence the piece of DNA in question. Thus, new traits (sometimes incorrectly or colloquially referred to as `genes') can arise through homologous recombination.27

                        But this is not mutation. Recombination is part of the intelligently-designed genome and usually only reveals information that was previously packed into the genome by the Master Designer (it can also reveal new combinations of mutations and designed diversity). Also, recombination is not random,28,29 so there is a limit to the amount of new traits that can come about in this way.

                        Bad examples used by evolutionists

                        Adaptive immunity

                        I have a hard time calling something like adaptive immunity, which involves changes in the order of a certain set of genes to create novel antibodies, `mutation'. Adaptive immunity is often brought up by the evolutionist as an example of `new' genes (traits) being produced by mutation. Here we have an example of a mechanism that takes DNA modules and scrambles those modules in complex ways in order to generate antibodies for antigens to which the organism has never been exposed.

                        This is a quintessential example of intelligent design. The DNA changes in adaptive immunity occur only in a controlled manner among only a limited number of genes in a limited subset of cells that are only part of the immune system, and these changes are not heritable. Thus, the argument for evolution falls flat on its face.30

                        Gene duplication

                        Gene duplication is often cited as a mechanism for evolutionary progress and as a means of generating `new' information. Here, a gene is duplicated (through several possible means), turned off via mutation, mutated over time, turned on again through a different mutation, and, voilà!, a new function has arisen.

                        Invariably, the people who use this as an argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced `junk' DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. These numbers are not friendly to evolutionary theory, and mathematical studies that have attempted to study the issue have run into a wall of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes.31-33 This is akin to the mathematical difficulties Michael Behe discusses in his book, The Edge of Evolution.34

                        In fact, gene deletions35 and loss-of-function mutations for useful genes are surprisingly common.36 Why would anyone expect a deactivated gene to stick around for a million years or more while an unlikely new function develops?

                        But the situation with gene duplication is even more complicated than this. The effect of a gene often depends on gene copy number. If an organism appears with extra copies of a certain gene, it may not be able to control the expression of that gene and an imbalance will occur in its physiology, decreasing its fitness (e.g. trisomy causes abnormalities such as Down syndrome because of such gene dosage effects). Since copy number is a type of information, and since copy number variations are known to occur (even among people37), this is an example of a mutation that changes information.

                        Notice I did not say `adds' information, but `changes'. Word duplication is usually frowned upon as being unnecessary (ask any English teacher). Likewise, gene duplication is usually, though not always, bad. In the cases where it can occur without damaging the organism, one needs to ask if this is really an addition of information. Even better than that, is this the type of addition required by evolution? No, it is not.

                        Several creationists have written on this subject, including Lightner,38 Liu and Moran.39 Even if an example of a new function arising through gene duplication is discovered, the function of the new must necessarily be related to the function of the old, such as a new but similar catalysis end product of an enzyme. There is no reason to expect otherwise. New functions arising through duplication are not impossible, but they are vanishingly unlikely, and they become more unlikely with each degree of change required for the development of each new function.

                        Degraded information

                        There are abundant examples in the evolutionary literature where genetic degradation has been used in an attempt to show an increase in information over time. Examples include sickle cell anemia (which confers a resistance to the malaria parasite by producing deformed hemoglobin molecules),40 aerobic citrate digestion by bacteria (which involves the loss of control of the normal anaerobic citrate digestion),41 and nylon digestion by bacteria (which involves a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid).42 Since they all involve decay of prior information, none of these examples are satisfactory evidence for an increase in biological complexity over time.

                        Antibiotic resistance in bacteria

                        This has been dealt with so many times that I hesitate to even mention it. However, for some reason evolutionists keep bringing it up, almost ad nauseam. The interested reader can easily find many articles on the subject, with detailed creationist rebuttals.43
                        General gain-of-function mutations

                        Evolution requires gain-of-function (GOF) mutations, but evolutionists have had a difficult time coming up with good examples.44 Adaptive immunity, homologous recombination, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and sickle-cell anemia in humans have all been used as examples, but, as detailed above, each of these examples fails to meet the requirements of a true GOF. The general lack of examples, even theoretical examples, of something absolutely required by evolution is strong testimony against the validity of evolutionary theory.

                        The real issue

                        The development of new functions is the only thing important for evolution. We are not talking about small functional changes, but radical ones. Some organism had to learn how to convert sugars to energy. Another had to learn how to take sunlight and turn it into sugars. Another had to learn how to take light and turn it into an interpretable image in the brain. These are not simple things, but amazing processes that involve multiple steps, and functions that involve circular and/or ultra-complex pathways will be selected away before they have a chance to develop into a working system. For example, DNA with no function is ripe for deletion, and making proteins/enzymes that have no use until a complete pathway or nano-machine is available is a waste of precious cellular resources.

                        Chicken-and-egg problems abound. What came first, the molecular machine called ATP synthase or the protein and RNA manufacturing machines that rely on ATP to produce the ATP synthase machine? The most basic processes upon which all life depends cannot be co-opted from pre-existing systems. For evolution to work, they have to come up from scratch, they have to be carefully balanced and regulated with respect to other processes, and they have to work before they will be kept.

                        Saying a gene can be copied and then used to prototype a new function is not what evolution requires, for this cannot account for radically new functionality. Thus, gene duplication cannot answer the most fundamental questions about evolutionary history. Likewise, none of the common modes of mutation (random letter changes, inversions, deletions, etc.) have the ability to do what evolution requires.

                        Darwin pulled a bait and switch in his On the Origin of Species. He actually produced two separate theories: what I call his special and general theories of evolution, following Kerkut45. Darwin went on at length to show how species change. This was the Special Theory of Evolution and he was preceded by numerous others, including several creationists, with the same idea.

                        It took him a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,
                        " … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."46

                        The `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.
                        This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed.

                        To use a modern analogy, this would be akin to saying that small, random changes in a complex computer program can create radical new software modules, without crashing the system.47 Thus, the `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution. Yes, mutations can occur within living species (kinds), but, no, those mutations cannot be used to explain how those species (kinds) came into existence in the first place. We are talking about two completely separate processes.

                        The meta-information challenge

                        We need to get past the naïve idea that we understand the genome because we know the sequence of a linear string of DNA. In fact, all we know is the first dimension out of at least four in which the genome operates (1: the one-dimensional, linear string of letters; 2: the two-dimensional interactions of one part of the string with another, directly or through RNA and protein proxies; 3: the three-dimensional spatial structure of the DNA within the nucleus; and 4: changes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd dimensions over time).

                        There is a tremendous amount of information packed into that genome that we have not figured out, including multiple simultaneously-overlapping codes.48 When discussing whether or not mutations can create new information, evolutionists routinely bring up an overly-simplistic view of mutation and then claim to have solved the problem while waving their hand over the real issue: the antagonism between ultra-complexity and random mutation.

                        If a four-dimensional genome is hard enough to grasp, there is also a huge amount of `meta-information' in the genome. This is information about the information! This is the information that tells the cell how to maintain the information, how to fix it if it breaks, how to copy it, how to interpret what is there, how to use it, when to use it, and how to pass it on to the next generation. This is all coded in that linear string of letters and life could not exist without it. In fact, life was designed from a top-down perspective, apparently with the meta-information coming first.

                        According to a brilliant paper by Alex Williams,49 for life to exist, organisms require a hierarchy of

                        1. Perfectly pure, single-molecule-specific biochemistry,
                        2. specially structured molecules,
                        3. functionally integrated molecular machines,
                        4. comprehensively regulated, information-driven metabolic functions, and
                        5. inversely-causal meta-information.

                        None of these levels can be obtained through natural processes, none can be predicted from the level below, and each is dependent on the level above. Meta-information is the top level of biological complexity and cannot be explained by naturalistic mechanisms, yet life cannot exist without it.50 Putting all other arguments for and against the rise of biological information aside, where did the meta-information, upon which all life depends, come from?

                        Conclusions

                        Can mutation create new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `information'. Also, `new' does not necessarily imply `better' or even `good'. When evolutionists cite examples of `new' information, they are almost invariably citing evidence of new traits, but these traits are caused by the corruption of existing information.

                        Mutations can create new varieties of old genes, as can be seen in white-coated lab mice, tailless cats, and blue-eyed people. But damaging mutations cannot be used to vindicate molecules-to-people evolution. Breaking things does not lead to higher function (and presupposes a pre-existing function that can be broken).

                        Also, not all new traits are caused by mutation! Some come about by unscrambling pre-existing information, some from decompressing packed information, some from turning on and off certain genes.

                        In all the examples I have seen used to argue against creation, evolution is not helped. There are no known examples of the types of information-gaining mutations necessary for large-scale evolutionary processes. In fact, it looks like all examples of gain-of-function mutations, put in light of the long-term needs of upward evolutionary progress, are exceptions to what is needed, because every example I have seen involves something breaking.

                        We as creationists have the upper hand here. If we treat this properly, we can score a great victory in our long war for truth. The genome is not what evolution expected. The examples of mutations we have are not of the types required for evolution to advance. Evolution has to explain how the four-dimensional genome, with multiple overlapping codes and chock full of meta-information, came about. Can a mutation create new information? Perhaps, but only in the most limited sense. Can it create the kind of information needed to produce a genome? Absolutely not!

                        Acknowledgments

                        I must thank Don Batten, Jonathan Sarfati, and three anonymous reviewers for critical comments on this manuscript. This was very much a team effort as the ideas were distilled through years of interaction among my creationist colleagues, many of whose contributions were not mentioned due to lack of space, not due to lack of merit. I am afraid I did not do justice to those who have gone before me.

                        Related Articles

                        Desperate attempts to discover `the elusive process of evolution'

                        Antifreeze protein evolution: turning wrenches into hammers
                        The limits of Neo-Darwinism
                        Mutations, epigenetics and the question of information
                        Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution
                        Are `gain of function' mutations really downhill and so not supporting of evolution?
                        Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1
                        Further Reading
                        The century-and-a-half failure in the quest for the source of new genetic information
                        Mutations Questions and Answers

                        References

                        1. I am indebted to Randy Guliuzza, of the Institute for Creation Research, for first encouraging me to move from a gene-to an organism-centric viewpoint. Return to text.
                        2. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
                        3. Conrad, D.F. et al., A high-resolution survey of deletion polymorphism in the human genome, Nature Genetics 38(1):75–81, 2003; See also articles by Hinds et al. and McCarroll et al. in that same issue. Return to text.
                        4. Barash, Y. et al., Deciphering the splicing code, Nature 465:53–59, 2010. Return to text.
                        5. Carter, R.W., Splicing and dicing the human genome: Scientists begin to unravel the splicing code 2010. Return to text.
                        6. Gerstein, M.B. et al., What is a gene, post-ENCODE? History and updated definition, Genome Research 17:669–681. Return to text.
                        7. See Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, 4th ed., Creation Book Publishers, pp. 120–121, footnote #7, 2008. Return to text.
                        8. Gitt, W., Information, Science and Biology, Journal of Creation 10(2):181–187, 1996. Return to text.
                        9. Gitt, W., Implications of the scientific laws of information part 2, Journal of Creation 23(2):103–109, 2009. Return to text.
                        10. Many articles on the topic have been published in the creationist literature, including: Batten, D., Ligers and wholphins? What next? Creation 22(3):28–33. Return to text.
                        11. Trusting Aristotle was an `argument from authority', which could be construed as a classic logical fallacy. We might be tempted to say they should have known better, but ancient authority was very important to the culture back then, and science today operates on a tremendous trust system of prior authority, until proven otherwise. Return to text.
                        12. The flat earth notion was invented, apparently out of thin air, by Washington Irving in his novel about Columbus. See: Multiple authors, Who invented a flat earth? Creation 16(2):48–49, 1994 and Faulkner, D., Geocentrism and creation, Journal of Creation 15(2):110–121, 2001. Return to text.
                        13. This was not true in his early years, but by the last edition of Systema Naturae, Linnaeus had included information about change over time. Return to text.
                        14. Grigg, R., Darwin's illegitimate brainchild, Creation 26(2):39–41, 2004. Return to text.
                        15. Wieland, C, Dynamic Life: Changes in Living Things. DVD available through creation.com. Return to text.
                        16. Speciation and the Created Kinds, creation.com/speciation-questions-and-answers. Return to text.
                        17. Williams, A., Facilitated variation: a new paradigm emerges in biology, Journal of Creation 22(1):85–92, 2007; see also creation.com/alexander-williams. Return to text.
                        18. Borger, P., Evidence for the design of life: part 2 Baranomes, Journal of Creation 22(3):68–76, 2008. This is part of a series of articles available here: creation.com/peter-borger. Return to text.
                        19. Lightner, J.K., Comparative cytogenetics and chromosomal rearrangements, Journal of Creation 24(1):6–8, 2010. This is just one of several articles I could have cited by Lightner. Return to text.
                        20. Shan, E.L., Transposon amplification in rapid intrabaraminic diversification, Journal of Creation 23(2):110–117, 2009. Return to text.
                        21. Carter, R.W., The slow, painful death of junk DNA, 2010; see also Shan (2009), ref. 20. Return to text.
                        22. Borger, P., The design of life: part 3 an introduction to variation-inducing genetic elements, Journal of Creation 23(1):99–106, 2009. Return to text.
                        23. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplications and nonrandom mutations in the family Cercopithecidae: evidence for designed mechanisms driving adaptive genomic mutations, Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1): 1–5, 2009. Return to text.
                        24. Borger, P., An illusion of common descent, Journal of Creation 24(2) 122–127, 2010. Return to text.
                        25. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
                        26. I say this based on personal knowledge after many hours of study. The HapMap data is available online for anyone to check my claim: www.HapMap.org. Return to text.
                        27. Shibata, T. et al., Homologous genetic recombination as an intrinsic dynamic property of a DNA structure induced by RecAyRad51-family proteins: A possible advantage of DNA over RNA as genomic material, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 98(15):8425–8432, 2001. Return to text.
                        28. Berg. I.L., et al., PRDM9 variation strongly influences recombination hot-spot activity and meiotic instability in humans, Nature Genetics 42(10):859–864, 2010. Return to text.
                        29. Parvanov, E.D., Petkov, P.M. and Paigen, K., Prdm9 Controls Activation of Mammalian Recombination Hotspots, Science 327:835, 2010. Return to text.
                        30. Enter `adaptive immunity' in the search box on creation.com and you will find several appropriate articles discussing this issue in more depth. Return to text.
                        31. Axe, D.D., The limits of complex adaptation: an analysis based on a simple model of structured bacterial populations, BIO-Complexity 2010(4):1–10, 2010. Return to text.
                        32. Truman, R., Searching for needles in a haystack, Journal of Creation 20(2):90–99, 2006. Return to text.
                        33. Truman, R., Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1, Journal of Creation 17(1):117–127, 2003. Return to text.
                        34. Batten, D., Clarity and confusion, A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe, Journal of Creation 22(1):28–33, 2008. Return to text.
                        35. cf. ref. 3. Return to text.
                        36. The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing, Nature 467:1061–1073. Return to text.
                        37. Sudmant, P.H. et al., Diversity of human copy number variation and multicopy genes, Science 330:641–646, 2010. Return to text.
                        38. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplication, protein evolution, and the origin of shrew venom, Journal of Creation 24(2):3–5, 2010. Return to text.
                        39. Liu, Y. and Moran, D., Do functions arise by gene duplication? Journal of Creation 20(2):82–89, 2006. Return to text.
                        40. Konotey-Ahulu, F., Sickle-cell anemia does not prove evolution! Creation 16(2):40–41, 1994. Return to text.
                        41. Batten, D., Bacteria `evolving in the lab'? `A poke in the eye for antievolutionists? 2008. Return to text.
                        42. Batten, D., The adaptation of bacteria to feeding on nylon waste, Journal of Creation 17(3):30–5, 2003. Return to text.
                        43. One of many examples can be found here: Is antibiotic resistance really due to increase in information?. Return to text.
                        44. Lightner, J.K., Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution, Journal of Creation 19(3):7–8, 2005. Return to text.
                        45. Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution (Pergamon, Oxford, UK), p. 157, 1960. Return to text.
                        46. Darwin, C.R., On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st ed., John Murray, London, p. 109, 1859; darwin-online.org.uk. Return to text.
                        47. Stevens, R.W., Can evolution make new biological software? Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1):17–24, 2010. Return to text.
                        48. Itzkovitz, S., Hodis, E. and Segal, E., Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences, Genome Research 20:1582–1589, 2010. Return to text.
                        49. Williams, A., Life's irreducible structure—Part 1: Autopoiesis, Journal of Creation 21(2):109–115, 2007. Return to text.
                        50. Williams, A., Meta-information: an impossible conundrum for evolution, 2007. Return to text.
                      • palmcharlesUU
                        Will: Bjorn who is committed to Darwinian evolutionary naturalism point blank refuses to accept science facts that MATTER is a carrier of INFORMATION but is
                        Message 11 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Will: Bjorn who is committed to Darwinian evolutionary naturalism point blank refuses to accept science facts that MATTER is a carrier of INFORMATION but is not the creator of the type of Highly Complex Specified Coded INFORMATION purposefully designed to achieve specific end goals.  I find myself very much in agreement with Charles you suggests that Bjorn is in Origins for his own amusement. It could very well be the case that Bjorn’s posts in Origins are a form of mental masturbation.

                          Charles P:  It is a matter of integrity, Will.  As an American, I am proud of the fact that we were the first to put astronauts on the moon and return them safely.  But who is "we"?  The first time I encountered this dilemma was when I was speaking with one of my Mexican friends in Mexico City.  He made a similar comment about how "we" have progressed so much in science that "we"are able to send astronauts to the moon.

                          Wait a minute!!!  He is a Mexican and he is taking credit for something that "we" Americans did!  But then it dawned on me that the Mexicans are also Americans.  In fact, the Mexicans are North Americans, too.

                          Maybe Björn is under the delusion that he is NOT a Neo-Darwinist.  Maybe Björn thinks that evolution is evolution.  Maybe Björn thinks that James A. Shapiro is just laying the groundwork for scientific progress and that very soon the Neo-Darwinists can say with confidence that Charlie Darwin laid the groundwork for "biology as an information science".  Maybe Björn is thinking that someday he can say "we" evolutionists were the first to establish "biology as an information science" when "we" discovered EXAPTATION.  Maybe Björn is thinking that Intelligent Design scientists were wrong when they described TELEOLOGY in biological information.

                          Exaptation:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandrel_(biology)  The term was coined by the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould and population geneticist Richard Lewontin in their influential paper "The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme" (1979).  These byproducts of adaptations that had no real relative advantage to survival, they termed spandrels. In the biological sense, a "spandrel" or "exaptation" (as Gould and Lewontin referred to them) might result from an architectural requirement inherent in the Bauplan of an organism, or from some other constraint on adaptive evolution. Evolutionary biology uses the term spandrel for features of an organism arising as byproducts, rather than adaptations, that have no clear benefit for the organism's fitness and survival. Gould’s and Vrba’s (1982) theory of exaptation, Evolutionary biology uses the term Spandrel for features arising as byproducts, rather than adaptations, that have no clear advantage for an organism's fitness or survival. Gould and Lewontin rebuted certain counter-arguments, which stated that spandrels were just small unimportant byproducts, but stated that, "we must not recognize that small means unimportant. Spandrels can be as prominent as primary adaptions" (Gould and Lewontin). A main example used by Gould and Lewontin is the example of the human brain. It is explained that the human brain is the area in humans that is thought to have the most spandrels. So many secondary processes and actions come in addition to the human brain and its main functions. These secondary processes and thoughts are the spandrels of the human body, which eventually through thought and action can turn into an adaption or fitness advantage to humans. Just because something is a secondary trait or byproduct of an adaption does not mean it has no use because it may eventually be used as something beneficial to the animal.[1] named as "exaptations" those characteristics that enhance fitness in their present role but were not built for this role by natural selection. Exaptations may be divided into two subcategories; preadaptation and spandrels. Spandrels are characteristics that did not originate by the direct action of natural selection and that were later co-opted for a current use. Gould saw the term to be optimally suited for evolutionary biology for "the concept of a nonadaptive architectural by-product of definite and necessary form – a structure of particular size and shape that then becomes available for later and secondary utility". (Gould 1997).

                          Charles P:  It is a matter of integrity, Will.  Björn needs to identify himself.  It is a matter of Björn answering two simple questions.  It is OK to answer "yes" or "no" with a brief description of the verifiable reasons for the answer.  As we saw in the video with Marco Rubio, POLITICIANS DO NOT HAVE INTEGRITY.  Politicians will find some clever way to deceive their audience.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIZEukQH57E&feature=em-uploademail  The Vortex—Birth Control Defeat.  [Integrity versus incompleteness].


                          Charles P:  The two questions are simple.  The experts ---- not us messengers ---- have used state-of-the-art verifiable empirical observations for the best descriptions for the origin and diversity of life.

                          1  Is Björn going to acknowledge that Neo-Darwinism is NOT compatible with natural genetic engineering?

                          2  Is Björn going to acknowledge that biology as an information science is NOT compatible with Neo-Darwinism?
                        • bjorn07se
                          BL: Charles, you just go parroting away with your strange vocabulary like you have heard and learnt nothing new. Even though you have threatened to repeat
                          Message 12 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                          • 0 Attachment
                            BL: Charles, you just go parroting away with your strange vocabulary like you have heard and learnt nothing new.  Even though you have threatened to repeat your mantras ad nauseam, it won't be of any use in a sensible discussion about what we really know. 

                            I have already given you explanations and comments about what you repeat in post after post. I agree with the modern Theory of Evolution -- much of it is nothing more than common sense -- that Natural Selection IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART of what we find in biology. In fact, if some life-forms arose on another planet, these mechanisms would very likely be as important under those conditions as it is here on earth. As I have explained in previous posts, all these other cellular molecular mechanisms (NGE) and, at least to a certain degree, "important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications" are also known and valid parts of modern science. In your words, they are "contemporary molecular evidence"! I have described how "variation and novelty, [followed by non-random] selection" are key elements in what is mostly a "purifying force" under stable conditions but the source of new "information" ("creative force") under changing conditions. 

                            So I have in fact already answered and commented on most of your verbose outbursts below. Not that it's the first time we have been able to read them in your posts. You have a flare for producing a lot of rubbish and neglect any comments about said rubbish, so I don't doubt you will be repeating the same quotes and home-cooked delusions in many posts to come. But please, don't count on me giving much attention to this in the future. 


                            Björn 




                            ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <palmcharlesUU@...> wrote :

                            Björn: Note that it was Will who introduced the term "unscientific baloney" -- about "Darwinism". I'm just a messenger (of some sort?!).  I also consider Natural Selection to be a unique creative force in biology, but I can't say if it solves ALL evolutionary problems.  If you have any specific problem to discuss, we might find out if you have any more likely mechanism to offer.

                            From the experts:  http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/  Neo-Darwinism .... which is clearly naturalistic science but ignores much contemporary molecular evidence and invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation. Neo-Darwinism ignores important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications. Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.

                            Charles P:  Maybe Will used the phrase "unscientific baloney" to describe what the experts describe as:  Neo-Darwinism invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation.

                            Björn:  I also consider Natural Selection to be a unique creative force in biology.

                            Charles P:  Neo-Darwinism considers natural selection to be a creative force in biology.

                            James A. Shapiro:  Evolution in the era of genomics and epigenomics.

                            1  How does novelty arise in evolution? Innovation, not selection, is the critical issue in evolutionary change. Without variation and novelty, selection has nothing to act upon.

                            2  Darwin theorized that adaptive change resulted from natural selection applied to countless random small changes over long periods of time. In Chapter 6 of Origin of Species, he wrote: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case”.  His neo-Darwinist followers took the same kind of black-box approach in the pre-DNA era by declaring all genetic change to be accidental and random with respect to biological function or need. With the discovery of DNA as a hereditary storage medium in the 1940s and early 1950s, the accidental view of change received a molecular interpretation as arising from inevitable errors in the replication process. As many professional and popular press articles attest, the accidental, stochastic nature of mutations is still the prevailing and widely accepted wisdom on the subject.

                            3  Thinking about genomes from an informatic perspective, it is apparent that systems engineering is a better metaphor for the evolutionary process than the conventional view of evolution as a selection-biased random walk through the limitless space of possible DNA configurations.

                            4  It is important to note that selection has never led to formation of a new species, as Darwin postulated. No matter how morphologically and behaviorally different they become, all dogs remain members of the same species, are capable of interbreeding with other dogs, and will revert in a few generations to a common feral dog phenotype if allowed to go wild.

                            5  The evidence shows that interspecific hybridization and WGD [ whole genome duplication ] are key events in the formation of synthetic species, something that has not been achieved by selection.

                            6   The role of selection is to eliminate evolutionary novelties that prove to be non-functional and interfere with adaptive needs. Selection operates as a purifying but not creative force.
                             

                          • bjorn07se
                            BL: Will, you are priceless in your innocent ignorance. Perhaps I will respond to some of this on Monday when I have more time and I have recovered from my
                            Message 13 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                            • 0 Attachment
                              BL: Will, you are priceless in your innocent ignorance. Perhaps I will respond to some of this on Monday when I have more time and I have recovered from my spontaneous outbursts of laughter. 


                              Björn 




                              ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote :

                               
                              From Will Brooks Friday 14th August PM GMT
                               
                              Bjorn:  now: As I wrote yesterday, I'm a bit pressed time-wise right now, so I will comment "on a line by line point by point basis" on the article by Robert Carter later. In the meantime, just an observation: You didn't read my post very carefully, did you? Did you understand my arguments for the type of "information" stored in the DNA genomes? If you want to argue about that, then show us how "intelligence" and/or "information" could be inserted into DNA from an external source, rather than being "created" IN the DNA by natural, internal processes (random variation followed by non-random selection) which are well-known to science. 

                              Will: Bjorn who is committed to Darwinian evolutionary naturalism point blank refuses to accept science facts that MATTER is a carrier of INFORMATION but is not the creator of the type of Highly Complex Specified Coded INFORMATION purposefully designed to achieve specific end goals.
                               
                              I find myself very much in agreement with Charles you suggests that Bjorn is in Origins for his own amusement. It could very well be the case that Bjorn’s posts in Origins are a form of mental masturbation.
                               
                              Bjorn:You like very much to use fancy science-y words, Will.
                              Will: This is rich coming from a pseudo intellectual who uses scientific jargon aka doublespeak to cover up the fact that he hasn’t the earthliest as to what he is talking about.
                              Bjorn: Your theistic dogmas tell you that "INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind." I have asked you for some kind of evidence -- or even hard facts -- showing that this is any more than your personal (or AiG's) opinions, but you are evidently unable to offer any such evidence.
                               
                              Will: Bjorn’s preconceived worldview with an a priori commitment to matter which sweeps aside facts and evidence compels him to ignore the facts and evidence which reveal that “nature” is totally incapable of creating highly complex information.
                              I have challenged the would be scientist and intellectual on numerous occasions to produce FACTS and EVIDENCE to bolster his faith in Darwinian evolution and the best he can offer is nothing but more bluff and bluster!
                               
                              Bjorn: In my post I described, in VERY simple terms, how the evolutionary way of thinking may explain the origin of new information, but you are unable to understand even this simple description, since you and other IDers/creationists want a lot of "intelligence" to be "front loaded" in one large dose by some not disclosed mechanism. 

                              Will: What Bjorn fails to understand and even give consideration to is that I and IDers and Creationists are not in the least interested in just so stories in what MAY have happened. We are interested in FACTS and EVIDENCE.
                              Furthermore I had to LOL when Bjorn wrote “some not disclosed mechanism” when I have  made it clear that INFORMATION is the product of a Highly Intelligent Creative Designer Mind aka God aka the Word aka the Logos aka Jesus Christ.
                              That Bjorn made such a comment demonstrates his total unwillingness and/or inability to comprehend.

                              Bjorn: I  will comment on the "unscientific baloney" from the creo-IDers soon. 



                              Björn 


                              Will: ROFL
                              I for one am not holding my breath especially so when the very same Bjorn boasted months ago that he would rebut the argument of AE Wilder-Smith who handed Richard Dawkins his hat in a debate at the Oxford Union in 1986.
                              We are still waiting for Bjorn who is long on wind to address this specific issue.

                              Putting it more frankly and bluntly than would Charles I will have to say that Bjorn who thinks he is a great Joker is actually the very object of his own backfiring Jokes
                            • Stewart
                              In science, information is normally defined as Shannon did. A balanced article would at least have used a definition of information which pro- &
                              Message 14 of 23 , Aug 14, 2015
                              • 0 Attachment
                                In science, "information" is normally defined as Shannon did.  A balanced article would at least have used a definition of information which pro- & anti-creationists could agree on. I have no idea why information should necessarily convey expected action, much less intended purpose.  I can read lots of statistics without being moved to any action whatsoever.  What "expected action" might be conveyed by today's report of winners and losers in various sports events?  Surely the "expected action" would be quite different for the coach, the seller of sports-based gambling tickets, a die-hard fan, and a person completely indifferent to sports.  How then can one say this set of information conveys any "expected" action at all? 

                                Now I will tell you this:  if by the accusation that "mutations cannot produce new information" creations mean the Gitt definition of information, I expect you will get agreement from evolutionary biologists---because that is not what they mean when they assert that mutations can produce new information.  They mean Shannon information, not Gitt information. So if you want scientists to hear you out, you need to show that mutations do not produce new Shannon information.  But as they clearly do, you have a problem. 

                                As long as creationists insist on speaking a different language, they are not really making any point. So there is no point to be refuted.
                                 
                                 
                                I think one of the problems with this, Glaudys, is that the pious one is very much a “Gitt”. So this information as helpful as it is, is unlikely to improve either his knowledge quotient or his disposition.
                                 
                                Sent: Friday, August 14, 2015 9:54 PM
                                Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Can Mutations Create New Information?
                                 
                                 



                                ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote :

                                From Will Brooks Sunday 28th April 2.45 PM GMT

                                By removing certain images I have reduced this balanced article to only 13 pages. Dyed in the wool Neo Darwinists, atheists, and those theistic evolutionists who base their so called Christianity on the Gospel of Humpy Dumpty will not wish to read this as the very thought of going into a Box of Certainty will be too much to bear.
                                 
                                 
                                It is pretty weird to call this a "balanced" article. It is quite well constructed to support only a creationist POV. For example, in the discussion of "what is information?"  he concludes by opting for the following definition taken from Gitt: an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose”.
                                 
                                In science, "information" is normally defined as Shannon did.  A balanced article would at least have used a definition of information which pro- & anti-creationists could agree on. I have no idea why information should necessarily convey expected action, much less intended purpose.  I can read lots of statistics without being moved to any action whatsoever.  What "expected action" might be conveyed by today's report of winners and losers in various sports events?  Surely the "expected action" would be quite different for the coach, the seller of sports-based gambling tickets, a die-hard fan, and a person completely indifferent to sports.  How then can one say this set of information conveys any "expected" action at all? 

                                Now I will tell you this:  if by the accusation that "mutations cannot produce new information" creations mean the Gitt definition of information, I expect you will get agreement from evolutionary biologists---because that is not what they mean when they assert that mutations can produce new information.  They mean Shannon information, not Gitt information. So if you want scientists to hear you out, you need to show that mutations do not produce new Shannon information.  But as they clearly do, you have a problem. 

                                As long as creationists insist on speaking a different language, they are not really making any point. So there is no point to be refuted.

                                And, as the article itself shows, information is not the real issue anyway.  It is the same old issue of micro-vs. macro-evolution.

                                Here is Carter's take:

                                Darwin pulled a bait and switch in his On the Origin of Species. He actually produced two separate theories: what I call his special and general theories of evolution, following Kerkut45. Darwin went on at length to show how species change. This was the Special Theory of Evolution and he was preceded by numerous others, including several creationists, with the same idea.

                                It took him a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,

                                “ … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature’s power of selection.”46

                                The ‘can mutations create new information’ argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.

                                This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed.

                                 

                                Carter is completely wrong.  Darwin did not pull a bait and switch and he did not fail to provide a mechanism for what Carter chooses to call his General Theory of Evolution (aka macroevolution). Darwin has presented a mechanism already and then says he "can see no limit to the amount of change ... which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."  He did not fail to provide a mechanism for change; he provided the mechanism of natural selection and found no limit to its application.


                                The challenge creationists (and IDists) have never taken on is to show that Darwin was wrong---that there is a limit, and what that limit is and why some other mechanism is needed to continue evolution beyond that limit.


                                PS  ignore illustration; it came with the text copied and pasted. 

                                 

                                 

                                 


                                 


                                I should like to add that those poor self deluded souls who imagine that they will have proven their case to be true by undermining the faith of all Christians to the extent that all Christians leave the Box of Christian certainty and ascribe to the Gospel of Humpty Dumpty will have done no such thing.

                                There is only one way to get to God and that is through Jesus Christ and no-one who wilfully practices sin shall inherit the Kingdom of God.

                                So, all that those deluded souls will have succeeded in doing is to bring everyone into the Judgement of Christ. And He judges according to His standards and not by the standards of fallen Man. Every word in the true Gospels has meaning. And we Christians do well when we consider the words of our Owner: However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18 v 8b

                                Can mutations create new information?
                                by Dr Robert W. Carter

                                In the same way that species are not static, neither are genomes. They change over time; sometimes randomly, sometimes in preplanned pathways, and sometimes according to instruction from pre-existing algorithms. Irrespective of the source, we tend to call these changes `mutations'. Many evolutionists use the existence of mutation as evidence for long-term evolution, but the examples they cite fall far short of the requirements of their theory. Many creationists claim that mutations are not able to produce new information. Confusion about definitions abounds, including arguments about what constitutes a mutation and the definition of `biological information'.

                                Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch. Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. Can mutations produce new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `new' and `information'. Can they account for the evolution of all life on Earth? No!

                                Mutations are known by the harm they cause, such as the one in the `feather duster budgie' (left), which results in deformed feathers in the budgerigar. However, some genetic changes seem to be programmed to happen, creating variety and assisting in organisms adapting. Is this `new information'?

                                The phrase, "Mutations cannot create new information" is almost a mantra among some creationists, yet I do not agree. Evolutionists have a number of responses to the idea, although most of them display faulty reasoning. Most evolutionary responses display a lack of understanding of the complexity of the genome. I will explain below why I believe the genome was designed to operate in at least four dimensions and why this causes difficulty for the evolutionary belief in the rise of new information.

                                Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the `genome') is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other.

                                Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically.1 Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a `wall of incalculability'. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article.

                                A third issue involves the fact that Darwin actually wrote about two different ideas, what I like to call his special and general theories of evolution (described below). Creationist reactions against evolution in general have led to some misunderstanding of the amounts of change we might expect in living organisms over time. There are three basic ideas I would like to introduce in this discussion: 1) In the same way that God was not limited to creating static species, God was not limited to creating static genomes; 2) God may have placed intelligently designed genetic algorithms into the genomes of His created kinds that cause changes in genetic information or even create information de novo; and 3) God could have engineered information in compressed form into the genome that would be later decompressed and seen as `new' information.

                                What is a mutation?

                                A `mutation' is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm.

                                We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'.

                                I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and `designed variation'. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups.2 This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel. Most deletions (~90%), however, are not shared among the various human subpopulations.3 This indicates that a significant number of deletions have occurred in the human genome, but after Babel.

                                Deletions are apparently not designed variation and are an example of rapid genomic decay. The same can be said of DNA insertions, but they are about 1/3 as common as the same-size deletion. The ubiquity of large, unique deletions in the various human subpopulations worldwide is evidence for rapid erosion or corruption of genetic information, through mutation.

                                What is a gene?

                                Technically, a `gene' is a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, but modern genetics has revealed that different parts of different genes are used in different combinations to produce proteins,4,5 so the definition is a bit up in the air at the moment.6 Most people, including scientists, use `gene' to mean two different things: either 1) a piece of DNA that codes for a protein, or 2) a trait. This is an important distinction to keep in mind.

                                What is information?

                                This question, `What is information', is the real crux of the argument, yet the term `information' is difficult to define. When dealing with this subject, in most cases evolutionists use a statistical measure called Shannon Information. This was a concept invented by the brilliant electronic engineer C.E. Shannon in the middle of the 20th century, who was trying to answer questions about how much data one could stuff into a radio wave or push through a wire. Despite common usage, Shannon's ideas of information have little to do with biological information.

                                Case in point: A beautiful cut-glass vase can be described quite easily. All one needs is a description of the material and the location of each edge and/or vertex in 3-D space. Yet, a million-dollar vase can be smashed into a worthless pile of sand quite easily. If one wanted to recreate that pile of sand exactly, a tremendous amount of Shannon information would be required to describe the shape of each grain as well as the orientation and placement of grains within the pile. Which has more `information', the pile of sand or the original vase into which a tremendous amount of purposeful design was placed? It depends on which definition of information one uses!


                                Figure 1. A biological system is defined as containing information when all the following five hierarchical levels of information are observed: statistics (here left off for simplicity), syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics (from Gitt, ref. 9).

                                In other definitions of `information', the pile of sand could be described quite easily with just a few statistical measures (e.g. average grain size mass of sand angle of repose). In this sense, any number of independent piles of sand can be, for all practical purposes, identical. This is the essence of Zemansky's use of information,7 yet this also has little to do with biological information, for biology is not easy to summarize, and any such attempts would produce meaningless results (e.g. a statistical measure of the average rate of a chemical reaction mediated by a certain enzyme says nothing about the origin of the information required to produce that enzyme).

                                A definition of `biological information' is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt8 and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, " … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose", and state that, "Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics" (figure 1).9

                                While perhaps not appropriate for all types of biological information, I believe Gitt's definition can be used in a discussion of the main focus of this article: potential changes in genetic information.

                                Can mutations create information?

                                Now we can address the main question, "Can mutations create new genetic information?"

                                Figure 2. Schematic view of the central role that `intelligently-designed' VIGEs may play in generating variation, adaptations and speciation events in the genomes of living things to induce DNA changes. Lower part: VIGEs may directly modulate the output of (morpho)genetic algorithms due to position effects. Upper part: VIGEs that are located on different chromosomes may be the result of speciation events, because their homologous sequences facilitate chromosomal translocations and other major karyotype rearrangements. (From Borger, ref 22.)

                                1) God was not limited to creating static genomes, in the same way that He was not limited to creating fixed species.10 In the 1800s, Darwin pushed back against the popular idea that God created all species in their present form. The Bible does not teach `fixity of species', of course; this idea came from the teachings of older scientists and philosophers, primarily rooted in the writings of Aristotle.

                                11 Today, most creationists do not have trouble with non-fixity of species. Evolutionists constantly attempt to bring up the straw man argument that we believe in species stasis, even comparing us to people who believed in a flat earth, but both of these are historical myths.12 Most people throughout history believed the earth was round, and there were creationists, like Linnaeus13 and Blyth,14 prior to Darwin who believed species could change (though not beyond a certain limit).

                                CMI, in particular, have published articles and one DVD15 on the subject of how species change over time and have an entire section on the topic on our Q&A page.16 Here is an important question: if species can change, what about their genomes?

                                Not only are species not fixed, but more than several articles have been published in this journal alone on the topic of non-static genomes, including recent articles by Alex Williams,17 Peter Borger,18 Jean Lightner,19 Evan Loo Shan,20 and others.

                                It looks like God engineered into life the ability to change DNA. This occurs through homologous crossover, jumping genes (retrotransposons,21 ALUs, etc.), and other means (including the random DNA spelling errors generally called `mutations'). Borger has coined a phrase, `variation inducing genetic elements' (VIGEs)22 to describe the intelligently-designed genetic modules God may have put into the genomes of living things to induce DNA sequence changes (figure 2).

                                2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time, but they are also stating that some of these changes are controlled by genetic algorithms built into the genomes themselves. In other words, not all changes are accidental, and a large proportion of genetic `information' is algorithmal.

                                If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? Mutation originally simply meant `change' but today it carries a lot of extra semantic baggage.

                                Can we say that a mechanism designed by God to create diversity over time within a species can be a cause of `mutation', with its connotation of unthinking randomness? In fact, there is considerable evidence that some mutations are repeatable23,24 (that is, not wholly random) (figure 3). This suggests the presence of some genomic factor designed to control mutation placement in at least some cases.

                                If that something causes an intentional change in the DNA, do we call that a `mutation' or an `intelligently engineered change in the DNA sequence'? Of course, random mutations still occur, and these are mostly due to the error rate of the DNA replication and repair machinery.

                                Figure 3. There is considerable evidence that some mutations are not random. E.g. mutations in nucleotide sequences of exon X (ten) from GULO genes and pseudogenes from a number of species.

                                In this illustration, positions with identical nucleotides in all organisms are not shown. The deletion mutation in position 97 (indicated by *) in this pseudogene is usually hailed as the ultimate evidence for the common descent shared between humans and the great apes. At first glance, this may appear to be a very strong case for common descent. However, after examining a large number of organisms, enabling the excluding non-random mutations, it becomes obvious that position 97 is in fact a hot spot for non-random mutations. (From Borger, ref. 24.)

                                3) There could be a considerable amount of information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form. When this information is decompressed, deciphered, revealed, or unscrambled (call it what you will), this cannot be used as evidence for evolution, since the information was already stored in the genome.

                                Take the information God put into Adam and Eve. An evolutionist looks at any DNA difference as a result of mutation, but God could have put a significant amount of designed variation directly into Adam and Eve. There are millions of places in the human genome that vary from person to person, the majority of this variation is shared among all populations,25 and most of these variable positions have two common versions (A or G, T or C, etc.).26 The bulk of these should be places where God used perfectly acceptable alternate readings during the creation of man. These are not mutations!

                                The in-built alternatives God put into Adam and Eve are scrambled over time, and new traits (even many good ones not previously in existence) might arise during this process. How? One way is through a process called `homologous recombination'. People have two sets of chromosomes. Let's say a certain portion of one of Adam's chromosome #1 reads `GGGGGGGGGG' and codes for a green-colored something-or-other. The other copy of chromosome 1 reads `bbbbbbbbbb' and codes for a blue something-or-other, but blue is recessive. Someone with one or two copies of the all-G chromosome will have a green something-or-other. Someone with two copies of the all-b chromosome will have a blue something-or-other. In the early population, about three quarters of the people will have the green version and about one quarter will have the blue version.

                                How, then, does this process produce new traits? Homologous chromosomes are recombined from one generation to the next through a process called `crossing over'. If a crossing over event occurred in the middle of this sequence, we might get one that reads `GGGGGbbbbb' that causes the production of a purple something-or-other. This is a brand new thing, a new trait never seen before. This is the result of a change in the DNA sequence and we will not be able to tell the difference between this crossing over event and a `mutation' until we can sequence the piece of DNA in question. Thus, new traits (sometimes incorrectly or colloquially referred to as `genes') can arise through homologous recombination.27

                                But this is not mutation. Recombination is part of the intelligently-designed genome and usually only reveals information that was previously packed into the genome by the Master Designer (it can also reveal new combinations of mutations and designed diversity). Also, recombination is not random,28,29 so there is a limit to the amount of new traits that can come about in this way.

                                Bad examples used by evolutionists

                                Adaptive immunity

                                I have a hard time calling something like adaptive immunity, which involves changes in the order of a certain set of genes to create novel antibodies, `mutation'. Adaptive immunity is often brought up by the evolutionist as an example of `new' genes (traits) being produced by mutation. Here we have an example of a mechanism that takes DNA modules and scrambles those modules in complex ways in order to generate antibodies for antigens to which the organism has never been exposed.

                                This is a quintessential example of intelligent design. The DNA changes in adaptive immunity occur only in a controlled manner among only a limited number of genes in a limited subset of cells that are only part of the immune system, and these changes are not heritable. Thus, the argument for evolution falls flat on its face.30

                                Gene duplication

                                Gene duplication is often cited as a mechanism for evolutionary progress and as a means of generating `new' information. Here, a gene is duplicated (through several possible means), turned off via mutation, mutated over time, turned on again through a different mutation, and, voilà!, a new function has arisen.

                                Invariably, the people who use this as an argument never tell us the rate of duplication necessary, nor how many duplicated but silenced genes we would expect to see in a given genome, nor the needed rate of turning on and off, nor the likelihood of a new function arising in the silenced gene, nor how this new function will be integrated into the already complex genome of the organism, nor the rate at which the silenced `junk' DNA would be expected to be lost at random (genetic drift) or through natural selection. These numbers are not friendly to evolutionary theory, and mathematical studies that have attempted to study the issue have run into a wall of improbability, even when attempting to model simple changes.31-33 This is akin to the mathematical difficulties Michael Behe discusses in his book, The Edge of Evolution.34

                                In fact, gene deletions35 and loss-of-function mutations for useful genes are surprisingly common.36 Why would anyone expect a deactivated gene to stick around for a million years or more while an unlikely new function develops?

                                But the situation with gene duplication is even more complicated than this. The effect of a gene often depends on gene copy number. If an organism appears with extra copies of a certain gene, it may not be able to control the expression of that gene and an imbalance will occur in its physiology, decreasing its fitness (e.g. trisomy causes abnormalities such as Down syndrome because of such gene dosage effects). Since copy number is a type of information, and since copy number variations are known to occur (even among people37), this is an example of a mutation that changes information.

                                Notice I did not say `adds' information, but `changes'. Word duplication is usually frowned upon as being unnecessary (ask any English teacher). Likewise, gene duplication is usually, though not always, bad. In the cases where it can occur without damaging the organism, one needs to ask if this is really an addition of information. Even better than that, is this the type of addition required by evolution? No, it is not.

                                Several creationists have written on this subject, including Lightner,38 Liu and Moran.39 Even if an example of a new function arising through gene duplication is discovered, the function of the new must necessarily be related to the function of the old, such as a new but similar catalysis end product of an enzyme. There is no reason to expect otherwise. New functions arising through duplication are not impossible, but they are vanishingly unlikely, and they become more unlikely with each degree of change required for the development of each new function.

                                Degraded information

                                There are abundant examples in the evolutionary literature where genetic degradation has been used in an attempt to show an increase in information over time. Examples include sickle cell anemia (which confers a resistance to the malaria parasite by producing deformed hemoglobin molecules),40 aerobic citrate digestion by bacteria (which involves the loss of control of the normal anaerobic citrate digestion),41 and nylon digestion by bacteria (which involves a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid).42 Since they all involve decay of prior information, none of these examples are satisfactory evidence for an increase in biological complexity over time.

                                Antibiotic resistance in bacteria

                                This has been dealt with so many times that I hesitate to even mention it. However, for some reason evolutionists keep bringing it up, almost ad nauseam. The interested reader can easily find many articles on the subject, with detailed creationist rebuttals.43
                                General gain-of-function mutations

                                Evolution requires gain-of-function (GOF) mutations, but evolutionists have had a difficult time coming up with good examples.44 Adaptive immunity, homologous recombination, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and sickle-cell anemia in humans have all been used as examples, but, as detailed above, each of these examples fails to meet the requirements of a true GOF. The general lack of examples, even theoretical examples, of something absolutely required by evolution is strong testimony against the validity of evolutionary theory.

                                The real issue

                                The development of new functions is the only thing important for evolution. We are not talking about small functional changes, but radical ones. Some organism had to learn how to convert sugars to energy. Another had to learn how to take sunlight and turn it into sugars. Another had to learn how to take light and turn it into an interpretable image in the brain. These are not simple things, but amazing processes that involve multiple steps, and functions that involve circular and/or ultra-complex pathways will be selected away before they have a chance to develop into a working system. For example, DNA with no function is ripe for deletion, and making proteins/enzymes that have no use until a complete pathway or nano-machine is available is a waste of precious cellular resources.

                                Chicken-and-egg problems abound. What came first, the molecular machine called ATP synthase or the protein and RNA manufacturing machines that rely on ATP to produce the ATP synthase machine? The most basic processes upon which all life depends cannot be co-opted from pre-existing systems. For evolution to work, they have to come up from scratch, they have to be carefully balanced and regulated with respect to other processes, and they have to work before they will be kept.

                                Saying a gene can be copied and then used to prototype a new function is not what evolution requires, for this cannot account for radically new functionality. Thus, gene duplication cannot answer the most fundamental questions about evolutionary history. Likewise, none of the common modes of mutation (random letter changes, inversions, deletions, etc.) have the ability to do what evolution requires.

                                Darwin pulled a bait and switch in his On the Origin of Species. He actually produced two separate theories: what I call his special and general theories of evolution, following Kerkut45. Darwin went on at length to show how species change. This was the Special Theory of Evolution and he was preceded by numerous others, including several creationists, with the same idea.

                                It took him a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,
                                " … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."46

                                The `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.
                                This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed.

                                To use a modern analogy, this would be akin to saying that small, random changes in a complex computer program can create radical new software modules, without crashing the system.47 Thus, the `can mutations create new information' argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution. Yes, mutations can occur within living species (kinds), but, no, those mutations cannot be used to explain how those species (kinds) came into existence in the first place. We are talking about two completely separate processes.

                                The meta-information challenge

                                We need to get past the naïve idea that we understand the genome because we know the sequence of a linear string of DNA. In fact, all we know is the first dimension out of at least four in which the genome operates (1: the one-dimensional, linear string of letters; 2: the two-dimensional interactions of one part of the string with another, directly or through RNA and protein proxies; 3: the three-dimensional spatial structure of the DNA within the nucleus; and 4: changes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd dimensions over time).

                                There is a tremendous amount of information packed into that genome that we have not figured out, including multiple simultaneously-overlapping codes.48 When discussing whether or not mutations can create new information, evolutionists routinely bring up an overly-simplistic view of mutation and then claim to have solved the problem while waving their hand over the real issue: the antagonism between ultra-complexity and random mutation.

                                If a four-dimensional genome is hard enough to grasp, there is also a huge amount of `meta-information' in the genome. This is information about the information! This is the information that tells the cell how to maintain the information, how to fix it if it breaks, how to copy it, how to interpret what is there, how to use it, when to use it, and how to pass it on to the next generation. This is all coded in that linear string of letters and life could not exist without it. In fact, life was designed from a top-down perspective, apparently with the meta-information coming first.

                                According to a brilliant paper by Alex Williams,49 for life to exist, organisms require a hierarchy of

                                1. Perfectly pure, single-molecule-specific biochemistry,
                                2. specially structured molecules,
                                3. functionally integrated molecular machines,
                                4. comprehensively regulated, information-driven metabolic functions, and
                                5. inversely-causal meta-information.

                                None of these levels can be obtained through natural processes, none can be predicted from the level below, and each is dependent on the level above. Meta-information is the top level of biological complexity and cannot be explained by naturalistic mechanisms, yet life cannot exist without it.50 Putting all other arguments for and against the rise of biological information aside, where did the meta-information, upon which all life depends, come from?

                                Conclusions

                                Can mutation create new information? Yes, depending on what you mean by `information'. Also, `new' does not necessarily imply `better' or even `good'. When evolutionists cite examples of `new' information, they are almost invariably citing evidence of new traits, but these traits are caused by the corruption of existing information.

                                Mutations can create new varieties of old genes, as can be seen in white-coated lab mice, tailless cats, and blue-eyed people. But damaging mutations cannot be used to vindicate molecules-to-people evolution. Breaking things does not lead to higher function (and presupposes a pre-existing function that can be broken).

                                Also, not all new traits are caused by mutation! Some come about by unscrambling pre-existing information, some from decompressing packed information, some from turning on and off certain genes.

                                In all the examples I have seen used to argue against creation, evolution is not helped. There are no known examples of the types of information-gaining mutations necessary for large-scale evolutionary processes. In fact, it looks like all examples of gain-of-function mutations, put in light of the long-term needs of upward evolutionary progress, are exceptions to what is needed, because every example I have seen involves something breaking.

                                We as creationists have the upper hand here. If we treat this properly, we can score a great victory in our long war for truth. The genome is not what evolution expected. The examples of mutations we have are not of the types required for evolution to advance. Evolution has to explain how the four-dimensional genome, with multiple overlapping codes and chock full of meta-information, came about. Can a mutation create new information? Perhaps, but only in the most limited sense. Can it create the kind of information needed to produce a genome? Absolutely not!

                                Acknowledgments

                                I must thank Don Batten, Jonathan Sarfati, and three anonymous reviewers for critical comments on this manuscript. This was very much a team effort as the ideas were distilled through years of interaction among my creationist colleagues, many of whose contributions were not mentioned due to lack of space, not due to lack of merit. I am afraid I did not do justice to those who have gone before me.

                                Related Articles

                                Desperate attempts to discover `the elusive process of evolution'

                                Antifreeze protein evolution: turning wrenches into hammers
                                The limits of Neo-Darwinism
                                Mutations, epigenetics and the question of information
                                Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution
                                Are `gain of function' mutations really downhill and so not supporting of evolution?
                                Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1
                                Further Reading
                                The century-and-a-half failure in the quest for the source of new genetic information
                                Mutations Questions and Answers

                                References

                                1. I am indebted to Randy Guliuzza, of the Institute for Creation Research, for first encouraging me to move from a gene-to an organism-centric viewpoint. Return to text.
                                2. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
                                3. Conrad, D.F. et al., A high-resolution survey of deletion polymorphism in the human genome, Nature Genetics 38(1):75–81, 2003; See also articles by Hinds et al. and McCarroll et al. in that same issue. Return to text.
                                4. Barash, Y. et al., Deciphering the splicing code, Nature 465:53–59, 2010. Return to text.
                                5. Carter, R.W., Splicing and dicing the human genome: Scientists begin to unravel the splicing code 2010. Return to text.
                                6. Gerstein, M.B. et al., What is a gene, post-ENCODE? History and updated definition, Genome Research 17:669–681. Return to text.
                                7. See Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, 4th ed., Creation Book Publishers, pp. 120–121, footnote #7, 2008. Return to text.
                                8. Gitt, W., Information, Science and Biology, Journal of Creation 10(2):181–187, 1996. Return to text.
                                9. Gitt, W., Implications of the scientific laws of information part 2, Journal of Creation 23(2):103–109, 2009. Return to text.
                                10. Many articles on the topic have been published in the creationist literature, including: Batten, D., Ligers and wholphins? What next? Creation 22(3):28–33. Return to text.
                                11. Trusting Aristotle was an `argument from authority', which could be construed as a classic logical fallacy. We might be tempted to say they should have known better, but ancient authority was very important to the culture back then, and science today operates on a tremendous trust system of prior authority, until proven otherwise. Return to text.
                                12. The flat earth notion was invented, apparently out of thin air, by Washington Irving in his novel about Columbus. See: Multiple authors, Who invented a flat earth? Creation 16(2):48–49, 1994 and Faulkner, D., Geocentrism and creation, Journal of Creation 15(2):110–121, 2001. Return to text.
                                13. This was not true in his early years, but by the last edition of Systema Naturae, Linnaeus had included information about change over time. Return to text.
                                14. Grigg, R., Darwin's illegitimate brainchild, Creation 26(2):39–41, 2004. Return to text.
                                15. Wieland, C, Dynamic Life: Changes in Living Things. DVD available through creation.com. Return to text.
                                16. Speciation and the Created Kinds, creation.com/speciation-questions-and-answers. Return to text.
                                17. Williams, A., Facilitated variation: a new paradigm emerges in biology, Journal of Creation 22(1):85–92, 2007; see also creation.com/alexander-williams. Return to text.
                                18. Borger, P., Evidence for the design of life: part 2 Baranomes, Journal of Creation 22(3):68–76, 2008. This is part of a series of articles available here: creation.com/peter-borger. Return to text.
                                19. Lightner, J.K., Comparative cytogenetics and chromosomal rearrangements, Journal of Creation 24(1):6–8, 2010. This is just one of several articles I could have cited by Lightner. Return to text.
                                20. Shan, E.L., Transposon amplification in rapid intrabaraminic diversification, Journal of Creation 23(2):110–117, 2009. Return to text.
                                21. Carter, R.W., The slow, painful death of junk DNA, 2010; see also Shan (2009), ref. 20. Return to text.
                                22. Borger, P., The design of life: part 3 an introduction to variation-inducing genetic elements, Journal of Creation 23(1):99–106, 2009. Return to text.
                                23. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplications and nonrandom mutations in the family Cercopithecidae: evidence for designed mechanisms driving adaptive genomic mutations, Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1): 1–5, 2009. Return to text.
                                24. Borger, P., An illusion of common descent, Journal of Creation 24(2) 122–127, 2010. Return to text.
                                25. Gabriel, S.B. et al., The structure of haplotype blocks in the human genome, Science 296:2225–2229, 2002. Return to text.
                                26. I say this based on personal knowledge after many hours of study. The HapMap data is available online for anyone to check my claim: www.HapMap.org. Return to text.
                                27. Shibata, T. et al., Homologous genetic recombination as an intrinsic dynamic property of a DNA structure induced by RecAyRad51-family proteins: A possible advantage of DNA over RNA as genomic material, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 98(15):8425–8432, 2001. Return to text.
                                28. Berg. I.L., et al., PRDM9 variation strongly influences recombination hot-spot activity and meiotic instability in humans, Nature Genetics 42(10):859–864, 2010. Return to text.
                                29. Parvanov, E.D., Petkov, P.M. and Paigen, K., Prdm9 Controls Activation of Mammalian Recombination Hotspots, Science 327:835, 2010. Return to text.
                                30. Enter `adaptive immunity' in the search box on creation.com and you will find several appropriate articles discussing this issue in more depth. Return to text.
                                31. Axe, D.D., The limits of complex adaptation: an analysis based on a simple model of structured bacterial populations, BIO-Complexity 2010(4):1–10, 2010. Return to text.
                                32. Truman, R., Searching for needles in a haystack, Journal of Creation 20(2):90–99, 2006. Return to text.
                                33. Truman, R., Protein mutational context dependence: a challenge to neo-Darwinian theory: part 1, Journal of Creation 17(1):117–127, 2003. Return to text.
                                34. Batten, D., Clarity and confusion, A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe, Journal of Creation 22(1):28–33, 2008. Return to text.
                                35. cf. ref. 3. Return to text.
                                36. The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium, A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing, Nature 467:1061–1073. Return to text.
                                37. Sudmant, P.H. et al., Diversity of human copy number variation and multicopy genes, Science 330:641–646, 2010. Return to text.
                                38. Lightner, J.K., Gene duplication, protein evolution, and the origin of shrew venom, Journal of Creation 24(2):3–5, 2010. Return to text.
                                39. Liu, Y. and Moran, D., Do functions arise by gene duplication? Journal of Creation 20(2):82–89, 2006. Return to text.
                                40. Konotey-Ahulu, F., Sickle-cell anemia does not prove evolution! Creation 16(2):40–41, 1994. Return to text.
                                41. Batten, D., Bacteria `evolving in the lab'? `A poke in the eye for antievolutionists? 2008. Return to text.
                                42. Batten, D., The adaptation of bacteria to feeding on nylon waste, Journal of Creation 17(3):30–5, 2003. Return to text.
                                43. One of many examples can be found here: Is antibiotic resistance really due to increase in information?. Return to text.
                                44. Lightner, J.K., Gain-of-function mutations: at a loss to explain molecules-to-man evolution, Journal of Creation 19(3):7–8, 2005. Return to text.
                                45. Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution (Pergamon, Oxford, UK), p. 157, 1960. Return to text.
                                46. Darwin, C.R., On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st ed., John Murray, London, p. 109, 1859; darwin-online.org.uk. Return to text.
                                47. Stevens, R.W., Can evolution make new biological software? Creation Research Society Quarterly 46(1):17–24, 2010. Return to text.
                                48. Itzkovitz, S., Hodis, E. and Segal, E., Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences, Genome Research 20:1582–1589, 2010. Return to text.
                                49. Williams, A., Life's irreducible structure—Part 1: Autopoiesis, Journal of Creation 21(2):109–115, 2007. Return to text.
                                50. Williams, A., Meta-information: an impossible conundrum for evolution, 2007. Return to text.
                              • will brooks
                                From Will Brooks Sunday 16th August AM GMT   Can mutations create new information? Stewart: No. But they don’t have to. Mutationsare alterations in the
                                Message 15 of 23 , Aug 16, 2015
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  From Will Brooks Sunday 16th August AM GMT
                                   
                                  Can mutations create new information?

                                  Stewart: No. But they don’t have to. Mutations are alterations in the structure of the genes. Since the structure of genes is what determines the nature of a life form, it would seem obvious that if you change the recipe you will end up with a living thing of a different flavour. At no stage does this require new information (or any information).

                                  Will(now): Oh how I am sorely tempted to satirize the ignorance of Stewart.

                                  Give it your best shot, numpty.

                                  But, hey, given that he is doing such a great job of it himself he doesn’t need further assistance from me. Am I right? Or am I right?

                                  Well in all the time you’ve been doing this, you haven’t been yet.

                                  Will: This must be rated as one of the most ill-informed comments yet in this forum

                                  Stewart: With all the respect that you’re due (and that’s none whatsoever), this is just your idiotic opinion.

                                  Will(now): Stewart may find that his felloe Darwinist gluadys – whom Stewart so much admires- would disagree with him on the issue of information. Richard Dawkins who admits that even the so called simplest cell contains encyclopaedic volumes of information would most certainly disagree with him.

                                  Stewaert: Are you sure, numpty?

                                  Will: I do wonder if Stewart has followed through on my suggestion to contact Richard in this matter? Probably not.

                                  in that it is totally lacking in any substance, facts and evidence for an opinion that is based purely on a worldview which excludes the vital factor of INFORMATION.

                                  Stewart: There’s nothing like a comprehensively detailed and well evidenced explanation. And this is is what nothing like it looks like.

                                  Will(now): An unscrambling of Stewart’s scrambled “argument” amounts to – nothing.

                                  Stewart’s “argument” if it may be termed as such given that he offers no facts and evidence again comes down to just the “stirring of chemicals” in which he alludes to natural selection and mutations as the mechanism for the “stirring of chemicals”.

                                  Furthermore he seems to be oblivious to the fact that his analogy of “changing the recipe” implies intelligent design and purpose to achieve a specific end goal!

                                  Stewart: Does it? Maybe you should dazzle me with your questionable intellect by explaining where the implication lies.

                                  Will: Cambridge Dictionary: Recipe: a list of ingredients and DIRECTIONS for making something.

                                  Stewart: Wow! That really does put paid to everything I say (if you’re a complete moron). Look up ‘analogy’, numpty, and tell us what it says about that.

                                  Stewart will not understand the meaning of DIRECTIONS even though I capitalised the word for emphasis and so I will explain.

                                  In his Darwinian world he believes life is just a cosmic accident with no meaning no purpose and no DIRECTION.

                                  Cambridge Dictionary: Direction: management, control, guidance.

                                  Given that Stewart thinks I am a moron and yet I understand the meaning of direction surely Stewart who considers himself smarter than me will also manage to control and guide his thoughts to grasp the meaning of direction? Possibly not.

                                  Stewart: I don’t just think I’m smarter than you, I think almost everyone is. Direction – orientation, guidance, instruction, command. Defining words as only meaning what they want it to, is a favourite pass time for creationists. But ironically there is no purpose in it, and no evidence. Releasing a balloon on the wind, it will travel in a predictable direction without ever being commanded to do so by any intelligence.
                                  Show me the definition of ‘direction’ which stipulates that it must be by a conscious entity, numpty.

                                  Will: IF the unqualified Stewart had anything worthwhile to say for the purpose of causing readers to doubt the contents of the well researched article written by a highly qualified Ph.D scientist he would have tried to deconstruct the argument on a line by line, point by point basis by drilling down into the details.
                                  But as Stewart is totally ignorant of the intricate details he was restricted to making the above ill informed, putting it mildly comment.
                                  Case Proven.

                                  Stewart: What is a “putting it mildly comment” anyway?

                                  Stewart: You make your case and I’ll dismantle it. And I’ll do it with ease because as unqualified as I may be, you are a moron.

                                  Will: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I think my opening point about not needing to satirize Stewart is by now very well made to discerning readers. But not to Stewart – it goes without saying. And so I shall not say it!

                                  Stewart: Make the case, numpty. Stop sand dancing around, making excuses, avoiding the issue. Make your devastating argument and I will eviscerate it without breaking sweat. You’re all talk and no action, numpty.

                                  Will(Sunday): ROFL
                                   
                                  Oh Happy Days!
                                   
                                  I shall not bother to address Stewart’s “arguments” which amount to noting more than rants because discerning readers already know that my point about Stewart satirizing himself is spot on.
                                   
                                  A child would recognize this but evidently not so Stewart. Case Proven.
                                   
                                  However, I will say this: Oh how I do lurve the taste of Scottish Sour Grapes of Wrath and more so coming from the vineyard of a communist Glaswegian, rough, full bodied, purple faced with oodles of foam and froth. Sweeter by far to me than the sweetest of fine vintage wines!
                                   
                                  As Del Boy would say: Lovely-Jubbly!
                                • Stewart
                                  Will: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I think my opening point about not needing to satirize Stewart is by now very well made to discerning readers. But not to
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Aug 16, 2015
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Will: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I think my opening point about not needing to satirize Stewart is by now very well made to discerning readers. But not to Stewart – it goes without saying. And so I shall not say it!

                                    Stewart: Make the case, numpty. Stop sand dancing around, making excuses, avoiding the issue. Make your devastating argument and I will eviscerate it without breaking sweat. You’re all talk and no action, numpty.

                                    Will(Sunday): ROFL
                                     
                                    Oh Happy Days!
                                     
                                    I shall not bother to address Stewart’s “arguments” which amount to noting more than rants because discerning readers already know that my point about Stewart satirizing himself is spot on.
                                     
                                    A child would recognize this but evidently not so Stewart. Case Proven.
                                     
                                    However, I will say this: Oh how I do lurve the taste of Scottish Sour Grapes of Wrath and more so coming from the vineyard of a communist Glaswegian, rough, full bodied, purple faced with oodles of foam and froth. Sweeter by far to me than the sweetest of fine vintage wines!
                                     
                                    As Del Boy would say: Lovely-Jubbly!
                                     
                                    Yup, that’s about par for the course. Just as I said all talk and no trousers. You have nothing worth saying and you say it too often.
                                     
                                     
                                    Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2015 10:22 AM
                                    Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Can Mutations Create New Information?
                                     
                                     

                                    From Will Brooks Sunday 16th August AM GMT
                                    Can mutations create new information?

                                    Stewart: No. But they don’t have to. Mutations are alterations in the structure of the genes. Since the structure of genes is what determines the nature of a life form, it would seem obvious that if you change the recipe you will end up with a living thing of a different flavour. At no stage does this require new information (or any information).
                                    <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
                                    <!--[endif]-->
                                    Will(now): Oh how I am sorely tempted to satirize the ignorance of Stewart.

                                    Give it your best shot, numpty.

                                    But, hey, given that he is doing such a great job of it himself he doesn’t need further assistance from me. Am I right? Or am I right?

                                    Well in all the time you’ve been doing this, you haven’t been yet.

                                    Will: This must be rated as one of the most ill-informed comments yet in this forum

                                    Stewart: With all the respect that you’re due (and that’s none whatsoever), this is just your idiotic opinion.

                                    Will(now): Stewart may find that his felloe Darwinist gluadys – whom Stewart so much admires- would disagree with him on the issue of information. Richard Dawkins who admits that even the so called simplest cell contains encyclopaedic volumes of information would most certainly disagree with him.

                                    Stewaert: Are you sure, numpty?
                                    <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
                                    <!--[endif]-->
                                    Will: I do wonder if Stewart has followed through on my suggestion to contact Richard in this matter? Probably not.

                                    in that it is totally lacking in any substance, facts and evidence for an opinion that is based purely on a worldview which excludes the vital factor of INFORMATION.

                                    Stewart: There’s nothing like a comprehensively detailed and well evidenced explanation. And this is is what nothing like it looks like.

                                    Will(now): An unscrambling of Stewart’s scrambled “argument” amounts to – nothing.

                                    Stewart’s “argument” if it may be termed as such given that he offers no facts and evidence again comes down to just the “stirring of chemicals” in which he alludes to natural selection and mutations as the mechanism for the “stirring of chemicals”.

                                    Furthermore he seems to be oblivious to the fact that his analogy of “changing the recipe” implies intelligent design and purpose to achieve a specific end goal!

                                    Stewart: Does it? Maybe you should dazzle me with your questionable intellect by explaining where the implication lies.

                                    Will: Cambridge Dictionary: Recipe: a list of ingredients and DIRECTIONS for making something.

                                    Stewart: Wow! That really does put paid to everything I say (if you’re a complete moron). Look up ‘analogy’, numpty, and tell us what it says about that.

                                    Stewart will not understand the meaning of DIRECTIONS even though I capitalised the word for emphasis and so I will explain.

                                    In his Darwinian world he believes life is just a cosmic accident with no meaning no purpose and no DIRECTION.

                                    Cambridge Dictionary: Direction: management, control, guidance.

                                    Given that Stewart thinks I am a moron and yet I understand the meaning of direction surely Stewart who considers himself smarter than me will also manage to control and guide his thoughts to grasp the meaning of direction? Possibly not.

                                    Stewart: I don’t just think I’m smarter than you, I think almost everyone is. Direction – orientation, guidance, instruction, command. Defining words as only meaning what they want it to, is a favourite pass time for creationists. But ironically there is no purpose in it, and no evidence. Releasing a balloon on the wind, it will travel in a predictable direction without ever being commanded to do so by any intelligence.
                                    Show me the definition of ‘direction’ which stipulates that it must be by a conscious entity, numpty.

                                    Will: IF the unqualified Stewart had anything worthwhile to say for the purpose of causing readers to doubt the contents of the well researched article written by a highly qualified Ph.D scientist he would have tried to deconstruct the argument on a line by line, point by point basis by drilling down into the details.
                                    But as Stewart is totally ignorant of the intricate details he was restricted to making the above ill informed, putting it mildly comment.
                                    Case Proven.

                                    Stewart: What is a “putting it mildly comment” anyway?

                                    Stewart: You make your case and I’ll dismantle it. And I’ll do it with ease because as unqualified as I may be, you are a moron.

                                    Will: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I think my opening point about not needing to satirize Stewart is by now very well made to discerning readers. But not to Stewart – it goes without saying. And so I shall not say it!

                                    Stewart: Make the case, numpty. Stop sand dancing around, making excuses, avoiding the issue. Make your devastating argument and I will eviscerate it without breaking sweat. You’re all talk and no action, numpty.

                                    Will(Sunday): ROFL
                                     
                                    Oh Happy Days!
                                     
                                    I shall not bother to address Stewart’s “arguments” which amount to noting more than rants because discerning readers already know that my point about Stewart satirizing himself is spot on.
                                     
                                    A child would recognize this but evidently not so Stewart. Case Proven.
                                     
                                    However, I will say this: Oh how I do lurve the taste of Scottish Sour Grapes of Wrath and more so coming from the vineyard of a communist Glaswegian, rough, full bodied, purple faced with oodles of foam and froth. Sweeter by far to me than the sweetest of fine vintage wines!
                                     
                                    As Del Boy would say: Lovely-Jubbly!
                                  • bjorn07se
                                    ... From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT BL: I will be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief. The base sequence in a genome (as DNA
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Aug 18, 2015
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote :

                                      From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT
                                      BL: I will be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief. 

                                      The base sequence in a genome (as DNA within a cell) is able to produce a multitude of proteins by cooperation between the protein-coding genes and regulating sites outside the coding areas. In this way, the genome can be seen as the information-bearing unit (=pure matter!). In a previous post I have asked if someone believes any additional "input" of intelligence or information is needed for the DNA to fulfill its function, but as far as I know, no one has been able (or willing) to specify such a necessary external intelligence or information or give any mechanism for it. Thus we see that DNA in the cell produces a "result" that may be called information. 


                                      When mutations occur spontaneously in the gametes at meiosis, a new base sequence in the offspring, slightly different from those of the parent generation will be the result. If the new sequences do NOT confer any better qualities ("information") to the offspring, then these mutations will probably be weeded out from the population, so stasis remains. If on the other hand a mutation occurs that will confer an advantage to the new offspring (individual) under the actual circumstances, then it's likely that the new improvement (mutation) will stay in the population and increase in frequency. This is called EVOLUTION! 


                                      Note that, even though this new good mutation occurs, there are probably also some not so good or even bad mutations in the same generation (i.e. what has occurred is random variation!), but when the not-so-good variants have been weeded out (by NON-random selection!), the genetic pool has experienced an INCREASE in information. (This increase in information could be almost anything, such as the ability to metabolize a new chemical compound or run a little faster to escape a predator.) 


                                      Lastly, note especially that this gain/increase in information has arisen WITHIN the system, through a slight change in the genome. No EXTERNAL "information" or "intelligence" has been instilled from outside. The genome is both the source and the propagator of the "information". The medium and the message are close together. 


                                      The essay at 
                                      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/

                                         

                                      mentioned by Jim (below) is interesting, not least because they seem at a first glance to have a much more sensible view of "biology as a computer science" than most IDers of the Dembski or the Perry Marshall type. 


                                      Björn 


                                      Will: As predicted Bjorn was unable to deal with Dr Robert Carter’s well researched lengthy scholarly article based on facts and evidence on a line by line point by point basis by drilling down into the details.
                                       
                                      Instead he simply ignores those stubborn pesky little things called facts and offers his own unscientific opinion which basically is “just the stirring of chemicals.”
                                       
                                      . . . 

                                      INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind. There is no known example in "nature" of mindless undirected unguided random purposeless chance creating INFORMATION of this type which is "far, far more complex than any software programme ever written" (Bill Gates).

                                      . . . 
                                       
                                      Interested persons may want to re-visit Dr. Carter’s article for confirmation of the facts and I would wholeheartedly recommend the DVD “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” in which 15 Ph.D scientists highly qualified experts in their respective fields, including Dr Carter, thoroughly strip bare and expose Darwinism for what it is – unscientific baloney.
                                       
                                       

                                      BL now: The article by Carter is found at 
                                      Mutations new information - creation.com

                                       

                                      Carter: Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch. Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. 

                                      Carter: Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the ‘genome’) is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other. Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. 


                                      BL now: Our Will writes that  
                                      INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind. There is no known example in "nature" of mindless undirected unguided random purposeless chance creating INFORMATION of this type which is "far, far more complex than any software programme ever written" (Bill Gates).


                                      And Carter wants us to believe that the FIRST "created" cells contained a lot of non-coded but nevertheless crucial, "front-loaded" INFORMATION. Of course he (and Will) won't tell us what? how? or why? this "information" gets into the cells to get substantiated (sic!) into matter or what ever. 



                                      Carter: Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically. Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a ‘wall of incalculability’. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article. 


                                      BL now: Since Carter can't present any mechanism for this intervention by pixies or other divine creatures, he drops his case completely. 



                                      Carter: A ‘mutation’ is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm.


                                      BL now: Now he is talking about most of the evolutionary arsenal, not just single base pair mutations but the whole set of genomic transformations which indeed form an important part of "Natural Genetic Engineering". Don't spoil the show now, please! 



                                      Carter: I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and ‘designed variation’. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups. This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel. 


                                      BL now: Darned, he did it! Just when it looked so good, he started to evoke Genesis!! "We have to make a distinction between mutation and ‘designed variation’." What kind of creation science is that?? 



                                      Carter: This question, ‘What is information’, is the real crux of the argument, yet the term ‘information’ is difficult to define. When dealing with this subject, in most cases evolutionists use a statistical measure called Shannon Information. This was a concept invented by the brilliant electronic engineer C.E. Shannon in the middle of the 20th century, who was trying to answer questions about how much data one could stuff into a radio wave or push through a wire. Despite common usage, Shannon’s ideas of information have little to do with biological information. [BL now: Interesting notion! I agree emphatically!]  

                                      Case in point: A beautiful cut-glass vase can be described quite easily. All one needs is a description of the material and the location of each edge and/or vertex in 3-D space. Yet, a million-dollar vase can be smashed into a worthless pile of sand quite easily. If one wanted to recreate that pile of sand exactly, a tremendous amount of Shannon information would be required to describe the shape of each grain as well as the orientation and placement of grains within the pile. Which has more ‘information’, the pile of sand or the original vase into which a tremendous amount of purposeful design was placed? It depends on which definition of information one uses! 


                                      Carter: A definition of ‘biological information’ is not easy to come by, and this complicates the discussion of the power of mutation to create information. However, pioneers in this field, including Gitt and others, have discussed this issue at great length so it is not necessary to reproduce all the arguments here. I will follow Gitt and define information as, “ … an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose”, and state that, “Information is always present when all the following five hierarchical levels are observed in a system: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics” (figure 1). While perhaps not appropriate for all types of biological information, I believe Gitt’s definition can be used in a discussion of the main focus of this article: potential changes in genetic information. 


                                      BL now: Gluadys writes (post #57881): 

                                      It is pretty weird to call this a "balanced" article. It is quite well constructed to support only a creationist POV. For example, in the discussion of "what is information?" he concludes by opting for the following definition taken from Gitt: an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose”.

                                      In science, "information" is normally defined as Shannon did.  A balanced article would at least have used a definition of information which pro- & anti-creationists could agree on. 

                                      . . . Now I will tell you this:  if by the accusation that "mutations cannot produce new information" creations mean the Gitt definition of information, I expect you will get agreement from evolutionary biologists---because that is not what they mean when they assert that mutations can produce new information.  They mean Shannon information, not Gitt information. So if you want scientists to hear you out, you need to show that mutations do not produce new Shannon information.  But as they clearly do, you have a problem.  

                                      As long as creationists insist on speaking a different language, they are not really making any point. So there is no point to be refuted. 

                                      And, as the article itself shows, information is not the real issue anyway.  It is the same old issue of micro-vs. macro-evolution.
                                       

                                      We read at 

                                      Gitt describes his principles as "empirical", yet the data is not provided to back this up. Similarly, he proposes fourteen "theorems", yet fails to demonstrate them. Shannon, in contrast, offers the math to back up his theorems. It is difficult to see how Gitt's "empirical principles" and "theorems" are anything but arbitrary assertions.

                                      Neither do we see a working measure for meaning (a yet-unsolved problem Shannon wisely avoided). Since Gitt can't define what meaning is sufficiently to measure it, his ideas don't amount to much more than arm-waving.

                                      By asserting that data must have an intelligent source to be considered information, and by assuming genomic sequences are information fitting that definition, Gitt defines into existence an intelligent source for the genome without going to the trouble of checking whether one was actually there. This is circular reasoning. [BL: My emphasis.]  

                                      If we use a semantic definition for information, we cannot assume that data found in nature is information. We cannot know a priori that it had an intelligent source. We cannot make the data have semantic meaning or intelligent purpose by simply defining it so. 




                                      Carter: 1) God was not limited to creating static genomes, in the same way that He was not limited to creating fixed species. 
                                      . . . Not only are species not fixed, but more than several articles have been published in this journal alone on the topic of non-static genomes, including recent articles by Alex Williams, Terborg, Jean Lightner, Evan Loo Shan, and others. It looks like God engineered into life the ability to change DNA. This occurs through homologous crossover, jumping genes (retrotransposons, ALUs, etc.), and other means (including the random DNA spelling errors generally called ‘mutations’). Terborg has coined a phrase, 'variation inducing genetic elements' (VIGEs) to describe the intelligently-designed genetic modules God may have put into the genomes of living things to induce DNA sequence changes (figure 2). 


                                      BL now: Once more the author lists a few cellular mechanisms a.k.a. "Natural Genetic Engineering" and calls it "intelligently-designed" (= in plain words GOD-designed!!) "non-static" genomes. So they can mutate but it's not random mutations but "designed" mutations. Can anyone explain what he means? Does he say that "random" doesn't exist if or when his god steps in? 



                                      Carter: 2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time . . . 
                                      If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? 
                                    • bjorn07se
                                      ... From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT BL now: Continued post . . . Carter: 2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Aug 18, 2015
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        ---In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, <wilson_brooks2003@...> wrote :

                                        From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT

                                        BL now: Continued post . . . 


                                        Carter: 2) Creationists are making a strong case that genomes are not static and that the DNA sequence can change over time . . . 
                                        If a change occurs in DNA through an intelligently-designed algorithm, even an algorithm designed to make random, but limited, changes, what do we call it? 


                                        BL now: Indeed, what do we call it? ID delusions? Humbug? Non-science? 



                                        Carter: 3) There could be a considerable amount of information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form. When this information is decompressed, deciphered, revealed, or unscrambled (call it what you will), this cannot be used as evidence for evolution, since the information was already stored in the genome. 
                                        . . . The in-built alternatives God put into Adam and Eve are scrambled over time, and new traits (even many good ones not previously in existence) might arise during this process. 
                                        . . . How, then, does this process produce new traits? Homologous chromosomes are recombined from one generation to the next through a process called ‘crossing over’.  


                                        BL now: So there is (was) "information stored in the genome in compressed, hidden form." How was that NOT expressed in the genome sequence? We are never told, presumably because the author doesn't know. NO ONE is ever able to explain it. 



                                        Carter: Gene duplication is often cited as a mechanism for evolutionary progress and as a means of generating ‘new’ information. Here, a gene is duplicated (through several possible means), turned off via mutation, mutated over time, turned on again through a different mutation, and, voilà!, a new function has arisen. 
                                        . . . Even if an example of a new function arising through gene duplication is discovered, the function of the new must necessarily be related to the function of the old, such as a new but similar catalysis end product of an enzyme. There is no reason to expect otherwise. New functions arising through duplication are not impossible, but they are vanishingly unlikely, and they become more unlikely with each degree of change required for the development of each new function. 


                                        BL now: This is a plain lie. Gene duplications are VERY COMMON. The new extra gene(s) may then evolve fast to "specialize" on (a) new substrate(s). There are whole families of genes, obviously arisen through gene duplications and specialization. E.g. see olfactory (smell) receptors at 
                                        Olfactory receptor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                                         



                                        Carter: There are abundant examples in the evolutionary literature where genetic degradation has been used in an attempt to show an increase in information over time. Examples include sickle cell anemia (which confers a resistance to the malaria parasite by producing deformed hemoglobin molecules), aerobic citrate digestion by bacteria (which involves the loss of control of the normal anaerobic citrate digestion), and nylon digestion by bacteria (which involves a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid). Since they all involve decay of prior information, none of these examples are satisfactory evidence for an increase in biological complexity over time. 


                                        BL now: Nothing stops evolution from increasing enzymatic diversity by some loss of substrate specificity. See also gene duplication (above). 



                                        Carter: It took him [Darwin] a long time to get to the point, but he finally said,
                                        “ … I can see no limit to the amount of change … which may be effected in the long course of time by nature’s power of selection.”

                                        The ‘can mutations create new information’ argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution.

                                        This was his General Theory of Evolution, and this is where he failed, for he provided no real mechanism for the changes and was ignorant of the underlying mechanisms that would later be revealed. To use a modern analogy, this would be akin to saying that small, random changes in a complex computer program can create radical new software modules, without crashing the system. Thus, the ‘can mutations create new information’ argument is really about the bridge between the special and general modes of evolution. Yes, mutations can occur within living species (kinds), but, no, those mutations cannot be used to explain how those species (kinds) came into existence in the first place. We are talking about two completely separate processes.


                                        BL now: Gluadys wrote: 

                                        Carter is completely wrong.  Darwin did not pull a bait and switch and he did not fail to provide a mechanism for what Carter chooses to call his General Theory of Evolution (aka macroevolution). Darwin has presented a mechanism already and then says he "can see no limit to the amount of change ... which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection."  He did not fail to provide a mechanism for change; he provided the mechanism of natural selection and found no limit to its application.

                                        The challenge creationists (and IDists) have never taken on is to show that Darwin was wrong---that there is a limit, and what that limit is and why some other mechanism is needed to continue evolution beyond that limit. 



                                        Björn 

                                      • will brooks
                                        From WillBrooks Friday 14th August AM GMT  BL: Iwill be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief.  The base sequence in a genome (as DNA
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Aug 19, 2015
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          From Will Brooks Friday 14th August AM GMT 

                                          BL: I will be gone or occupied most of the weekend, so this will be brief. 

                                          The base sequence in a genome (as DNA within a cell) is able to produce a multitude of proteins by cooperation between the protein-coding genes and regulating sites outside the coding areas. In this way, the genome can be seen as the information-bearing unit (=pure matter!).
                                          Will: You recognize the bases are in “sequence” and you recognize the genome can be seen as information –bearing BUT you still think this “pure matter.”
                                          The arrangement of the sequences in the genome of an organism is INSTRUCTIONAL INFORMATION  for producing body parts/traits.
                                          The onus is on you to provide verifiable facts and evidence for how “nature” which is unguided, undirected, meaningless and purposeless and is merely blind chance randomly shuffling genes can produce INSTRUCTIONAL INFORMATION.
                                          Bjorn: In a previous post I have asked if someone believes any additional "input" of intelligence or information is needed for the DNA to fulfill its function, but as far as I know, no one has been able (or willing) to specify such a necessary external intelligence or information or give any mechanism for it. Thus we see that DNA in the cell produces a "result" that may be called information. 

                                          Will: No this will simply not do. You are stuck with the problem of explaining with verifiable facts and evidence how nature can produce instructional information.

                                          Bjorn: When mutations occur spontaneously in the gametes at meiosis, a new base sequence in the offspring, slightly different from those of the parent generation will be the result. If the new sequences do NOT confer any better qualities ("information") to the offspring, then these mutations will probably be weeded out from the population, so stasis remains. If on the other hand a mutation occurs that will confer an advantage to the new offspring (individual) under the actual circumstances, then it's likely that the new improvement (mutation) will stay in the population and increase in frequency. This is called EVOLUTION! 

                                          Will: This is called evolution on the micro level because there is only change within kinds. No new kinds of creature are produced.

                                          Bjorn: Note that, even though this new good mutation occurs, there are probably also some not so good or even bad mutations in the same generation (i.e. what has occurred is random variation!), but when the not-so-good variants have been weeded out (by NON-random selection!), the genetic pool has experienced an INCREASE in information. (This increase in information could be almost anything, such as the ability to metabolize a new chemical compound or run a little faster to escape a predator.) 

                                          Will: This is simply Darwinian sophistry at it worst. You have not produced one single fact of one shred of evidence fpr your worldview and evidently you have paid little if any attention to the details in Dr Carter’s article.
                                          Discerning readers will understand that Carter’s argument is that INSTRUCTIONAL INFORMATION  is front loaded into the genome of a creature and that the information contained in the DNA permits for change/mutation within the gene pool of each specific kind.
                                          But the instructional information in the DNA is limited and proscribes for change from one kind of creature into another kind.
                                          Your problem is to show how such a thing is possible in Darwinism.

                                          Bjorn: Lastly, note especially that this gain/increase in information has arisen WITHIN the system, through a slight change in the genome. No EXTERNAL "information" or "intelligence" has been instilled from outside. The genome is both the source and the propagator of the "information". The medium and the message are close together. 

                                          Will: More generalisations and no drilling down into the details.
                                          Using a specific example shows what happens in reality. Within, say, the canine kind the instructional information contained in the DNA of the creature permits for change/mutation to create different species of dogs: Great Danes to poodles. But the dogs remain dogs.
                                          You have to identify (in the Darwinian model) the first so called simple cell and demonstrate with verifiable facts and evidence how that cell acquired instructional information and how it acquired additional/gains new instructional information to produced a different kind of organism.
                                          IF Darwinism is true there will be a trail of instructional information leading from the first microbe all the way up to a microbiologist.
                                          Produce the trail of instructional information and how the sequenced coded highly complex information was produced by nature and you will have proven your case.
                                          So far you have only talked but without producing one fact or one single shred of evidence.

                                          The essay at 
                                          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/information-biological/ 
                                          mentioned by Jim (below) is interesting, not least because they seem at a first glance to have a much more sensible view of "biology as a computer science" than most IDers of the Dembski or the Perry Marshall type. 


                                          Björn 



                                          Will: As predicted Bjorn was unable to deal with Dr Robert Carter’s well researched lengthy scholarly article based on facts and evidence on a line by line point by point basis by drilling down into the details. 

                                          Instead he simply ignores those stubborn pesky little things called facts and offers his own unscientific opinion which basically is “just the stirring of chemicals.” 

                                          . . . 


                                          INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind. There is no known example in "nature" of mindless undirected unguided random purposeless chance creating INFORMATION of this type which is "far, far more complex than any software programme ever written" (Bill Gates). 

                                          Interested persons may want to re-visit Dr. Carter’s article for confirmation of the facts and I would wholeheartedly recommend the DVD “Evolution’s Achilles Heels” in which 15 Ph.D scientists highly qualified experts in their respective fields, including Dr Carter, thoroughly strip bare and expose Darwinism for what it is – unscientific baloney. 


                                          BL now: The article by Carter is found at 

                                          Mutations new information - creation.com http://creation.com/mutations-new-information 

                                          http://creation.com/mutations-new-information 

                                          Mutations new information - creation.com http://creation.com/mutations-new-information Mutations can produce new information, depending on the meaning of new and information, but they cannot account for the evolution of all life on Earth. 



                                          View on creation.com http://creation.com/mutations-new-information 
                                          Preview by Yahoo 

                                          Carter: Evolution requires the existence of a process for the invention of new information from scratch. Yet, in a genome operating in at least four dimensions and packed with meta-information, potential changes are strongly proscribed. 

                                          Carter: Another issue, especially displayed among evolutionists (but creationists, including myself, are not immune), is a lack of understanding of the location of biological information. Most people tend to think DNA (the ‘genome’) is the storage place of information. While it is certainly the location of a tremendous amount of it, this gene-centered view ignores the information originally engineered into the first created organisms. The architecture of the cell, including the cell wall, nucleus, sub-cellular compartments and a myriad of molecular machines, did not originate from DNA, but was created separately and alongside DNA. Neither can exist without the other. Thus, a large, yet immeasurable, part of biological information resides in living organisms outside DNA. 


                                          BL now: Our Will writes that 
                                          INFORMATION of this type which was created to achieve specific purposes cannot be created other than by a Highly Intelligent Designer Mind. There is no known example in "nature" of mindless undirected unguided random purposeless chance creating INFORMATION of this type which is "far, far more complex than any software programme ever written" (Bill Gates). 




                                          And Carter wants us to believe that the FIRST "created" cells contained a lot of non-coded but nevertheless crucial, "front-loaded" INFORMATION. Of course he (and Will) won't tell us what? how? or why? this "information" gets into the cells to get substantiated (sic!) into matter or what ever. 


                                          Will: Bjorn has not been successful in rebutting any of Carter’s points and tries to obfuscate.
                                          Nonetheless I will state categorically that God created different kinds of creatures fully formed as described in Genesis front-loaded with instructional information which is passed onto offspring during reproduction.
                                          This explains how the cell of a creature contains pre-existing nanotech biosystems machines needed to decode the instructional information contained in DNA for producing body parts/traits.


                                          Carter: Taking an organism-centric view changes the debate dramatically. Yet, because the organism-centric view ultimately involves the creative genius of God, which we cannot begin to fathom, we immediately run into a ‘wall of incalculability’. For this reason, I will focus on one subset of biological information, genetic information, for the remainder of this article. 


                                          BL now: Since Carter can't present any mechanism for this intervention by pixies or other divine creatures, he drops his case completely. 

                                          Will: So blind is Bjorn by his commitment to materialism he cannot see what is staring him in the face. Instructional Information requires a Highly Intelligent Creative Designer Mind aka God.



                                          Carter: A ‘mutation’ is a change in the sequence of DNA. Mutations can be bad or (theoretically) good, but they all involve some change in the sequence of letters (base pairs) in the genome. A single mutation can be as simple as a single letter swap (e.g. C changed to T) or the insertion or deletion of a few letters. These simple mutations are in the majority. Mutations can also be complex, like the deletion or duplication of an entire gene, or even a massive inversion of a millions-of-base-pairs section of a chromosome arm. 





                                          BL now: Now he is talking about most of the evolutionary arsenal, not just single base pair mutations but the whole set of genomic transformations which indeed form an important part of "Natural Genetic Engineering". Don't spoil the show now, please! 


                                          Will: Carter is talking about how the creative process permits for change/mutation within the DNA which had been front-loaded into the genome of the creature – even though Bjorn is unable to see it as such.



                                          Carter: I do not believe all current human genetic differences are due to mutation. We have to make a distinction between mutation and ‘designed variation’. There are a huge number of single letter differences between people, and these are mostly shared among all people groups. This indicates that much of the diversity found among people was designed: Adam and Eve carried a significant amount of diversity; this diversity was well-represented on the Ark and in the Babel population immediately after the Flood, and the post-Babel people groups were large enough to carry away most of the variation present at Babel . 


                                          BL now: Darned, he did it! Just when it looked so good, he started to evoke Genesis!! "We have to make a distinction between mutation and ‘designed variation’." What kind of creation science is that?? 


                                          Will: I challenged Bjorn to address the various points in Carter’s article and to produce facts and evidence showing where Carter was wrong. But Bjorn fails to do any such thing and resorts to his standard mockery to cover up his deficiency.
                                          I will not bother to waste my time and I very strongly suspect that readers will have grown very weary even by this stage. I will say that I’ve read the rest of Bjorn’s responses which amount to noting more than his usual mocking.
                                          He was asked to overturn Dr Carter’s lengthy scholarly article which contained some 5o supporting references.
                                          He has not produced one fact nor one single shred of evidence which rebuts Carter and therefore his argument such as it may be termed – fails.
                                          Bjorn has been presented with some very important questions which he needs to answer or he is faced with admitting, if not to others, to himself that his belief in Darwinism is not based on science but is purely a faith position.
                                          He has promised on several occasions to rebut the argument of A E Wilder-Smith who handed Richard Dawkins his hat in a debate at the Oxford Union in 1986.
                                          He has not done so and given the lack of real content in his attempted rebuttal of DR Carter’s article he is incapable of rebutting Wilder-Smith

                                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.