Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, July 24, 2016, 18:18 (849 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Not entirely. Since adaptation often is accompanied by loss of info, it is very possible some degree of innovation may result from loss of info.
dhw: Once again: “accompanied by” does not mean “caused by”. There is no evidence and no logical reason for the argument that INNOVATION can be CAUSED (as opposed to accompanied) by loss of information.
DAVID: If adaptation is not a form of innovation, what is? Loss occurs with adaptations, a well-observed discovery. I agree that major new-species innovation should have new information as its cause, but some loss might still be occurring during the process of speciation as parts of a body plan are adapted and altered.

I keep agreeing with you that loss occurs in adaptation and is almost certain to occur in innovation. Whatever information is no longer required by the new organ will be jettisoned. That would make loss of information a result, but not the cause.

DAVID: With the evidence that adaptation can be due to loss of info, I cannot accept your dogmatic statement. I want to keep all possibilities: preplanning with some loss possible, and dabbling.
dhw: I am talking about “all the information being present at the beginning”, and loss of information being responsible for innovation (not for adaptation). .... So please say if you truly believe that the first cells contained all the information needed for every species that ever existed, and so each species had to lose the information required for every other species. Conversely, if information had to be added (God dabbling), then all the information cannot have been present at the beginning. That is not dogma, that is logic.

DAVID: You are absolutely logical, which is why I continue with my dilemma. And one has to consider that new species might come from a rearrangement of existing information. so I can still consider that all the info is present in the beginning, some is lost and some is rearranged through dabbling.

You continue to ignore the details of the logical argument. Once again: firstly, adaptation is a direct response to changes in the environment (= external information), and I think it most likely that innovation is also triggered by environmental changes. Those changes constitute new information which has to be processed, and new external information is information. How can those changes be present at the beginning? Secondly, preprogramming all species via loss of information can only mean that all the information, external and internal, was contained within the first cells, and so each species had to lose all the information that produced every other species. The arrival of the duck-billed platypus could only take place if it lost the information that would have made it an elephant or a human being. Please tell me if that is what you truly believe. Alternatively, God personally used the new external information (environmental change) to create something that had never existed before (kidney, liver, brain). If it had never existed before, logically, as you have agreed, it must have acquired new information. But yes, this may well have been ACCOMPANIED by the loss of whatever information was no longer relevant to its survival. But no, if you accept the logic of the above, all the info cannot have been present at the beginning.


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