Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, July 17, 2016, 16:00 (1072 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Scientists are no more qualified than philosophers, priests or soothsayers to say whether we are the end point or not. I do look at purpose as a driving factor, but I do not accept that the production of humans is THE purpose. I think evolution is driven by the purpose of survival and/or improvement.

Evolution has shown that it is not naturally driven by survival or improvement. Any advance beyond unicellulars was never required.

dhw: How a new structure can be created without adding new “information” is beyond my comprehension,

But that is what research has found. Accept it if you believe science can advance our knowledge.

dhw; However, if Bobby Bacterium picks up ready-made resistance genes from Billy Bacterium, although he is not adding information to the biosphere, at some stage or the other the invention of antibiotics and BILLY'S ability to resist them must have added information of some kind!

Not necessarily. Antibiotics attack either a physical part of a bacteria, how a membrane functions or a metabolic process itself. In resistance what the bacteria does is choose another way a membrane functions from its group of available functions or it changes the aspect of metabolism to another form from an arsenal of methods it has in reserve. Living biochemistry is that complex.

dhw; That is not my argument, but the whole issue is clouded by this constant reference to “information” without any clear definition of what it means. It is not the info from external stimuli that is added - that is just the trigger. It is the innovation itself that requires new info: how to create a functioning kidney/penis/eye/wing/ brain.

You stay hung up on the meaning of the word information. Does DNA supply plans to run life? Yes. That set of plans is information. What else could it be? Yes innovation seems to require now plans (information), but we don't know how speciation occurs. It is possible that all the info was there from the beginning. If added, how did that happen? That is why my God has to dabble. We have not seen an example yet of external stimuli (info) being added to internal info (DNA)except in the epigenetic sense in which methylation of existing DNA (info) modifies a response.

DAVID: So I am changing my claim about genetic information, to this: that it is either modified or destroyed with adaptation, not added. Not knowing how speciation occurs, I cannot comment on how information might be added.

dhw: This whole discussion centres on how evolution works. Adaptation is only relevant as a possible clue: in my hypothesis, the cooperative intelligences (perhaps God-given) of the cell communities are responsible for both processes; in yours, God has preprogrammed everything in the very first cells, or personally intervenes. These have always been your two comments on “how information might be added” (whatever “information” means).

An architects plans are information. What is your definition of information? I'm not a scholar of English language so I don't follow your confusion. Please expound.

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