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Information in the genome? A silly argument?

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Information in the genome? A silly argument?

Postby DeanLeysen » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:03 am

Hey everyone! First post here!

I'm an interested amateur when it comes to biology, reading up on it daily, and I had a thought that I haven't been able to confirm or challenge with mere Googling so far, so I hope someone here can help me out!

My knowledge is extremely incomplete when it comes to DNA, but I often read the question (posed by history-deniers, creationists and such usually) of how "information" increased in the genome to facilitate the evolution from simple lifeforms to complex lifeforms; and the question always sounded absurd to me.

Isn't the question essentially as silly as saying "You can't form new words, you only have the 26 letters of the alphabet!"?

As far as I understand (which isn't very far, admittedly) we're all made up of the same particles, the same basic stuff, and DNA is the same for all living creatures - simply reconfigured (am I wrong about this?)

So if creationists accept the fact that mutations occur, and they accept the fact the basic alphabet of DNA doesn't change throughout the tree of life; then haven't they already contradicted themselves by saying "These letters of the alphabet that put together the worm can't possibly be reconfigured to put together a man or a giraffe," while that is already precisely what we see.

Again my knowledge is incomplete, and I apologize for my ignorance, but it frustrates me that this is such an often used argument "against evolution" if as far as I understand we're made up of the same basic genetic coding material; and the reconfiguration of that material (through many slow mutations) is what separates us from other life forms; and then somebody pulls the argument out of thin air that there has to be an increase of "information"in the genome?

Isn't this basically like saying you can't form longer words with our alphabet? What do they mean? Am I missing something?


Thanks! :)
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Postby JackBean » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:45 pm

I think that their point is, that you can have mutations, which do not change you into new species, so why is that, that there is new species at once?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby Darby » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:47 pm

I'm not sure it's a matter of being reconfigured so much as being added to and incrementally altered along different family branches.
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Re: Information in the genome? A silly argument?

Postby Crucible » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:29 pm

an interesting side discussion is what do they mean by "information" and "coding" and "encoding"...these metaphorical allusions are slippery things, yet metaphor is language.

I just did it. "metaphor is language". How to not slide into beliefs that are a "house of cards" ?
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Postby merv » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:14 am

A lot of the problems as I see it relate to humankinds obsession with its own abilities - like Narcissus, it has fallen in love with its own beauty, intellectually speaking. In doing so, it has lost touch with alternative viewpoints, no more evident than in religious dogma; ironically, only in its counter-pose of scientific endeavour can it be expected to realise the flaws in the original runs, yet the original methods refuse to accept defeat and rebirth, preferring to steal candy from the babies they try to protect.
Pure Genetics.
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Re:

Postby Crucible » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:02 pm

merv wrote:A lot of the problems as I see it relate to humankinds obsession with its own abilities - like Narcissus, it has fallen in love with its own beauty, intellectually speaking. In doing so, it has lost touch with alternative viewpoints, no more evident than in religious dogma; ironically, only in its counter-pose of scientific endeavour can it be expected to realise the flaws in the original runs, yet the original methods refuse to accept defeat and rebirth, preferring to steal candy from the babies they try to protect.
Pure Genetics.
It seems you are depositing nothing but rambling nonsense, "merv".
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