An Alternative to Evolution: pt 2 (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, July 14, 2018, 11:43 (752 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

dhw: If only you would define "information", your argument might become clearer.

DAVID: I can only tell you that information is the instructions for life to be formed and continue.

dhw: Why can’t information also mean instructions for new organs to be invented? You even believe that your God instructed the weaverbird in the art of knot tying. [...] And a never-before-existing brain would surely require a million times more new information, or “instructions for new organs to be formed and continue”.

TONY: Because it does not fit the observed data. There is a difinitive increase in information and complexity. If the information already existed, it would be expressed in the current cell, not the subsequent generation.

We are having a tricky three-way conversation here. I am challenging David’s belief that all the information existed at the beginning (every innovation was preprogrammed) and therefore no new information is possible. You actually seem to be supporting my challenge. David’s reply is:

DAVID: New organs can be formed be rearranging DNA and deleting DNA, noting added to the information hidden there waiting to come out.

So if your God dabbles (as opposed to preprogrammes) something completely new, like the knotty nest or the first brain, he does not provide any new “information”?

dhw: Tony has not spelt out his alternative theory…

TONY: I have, in a two part set of facts and falsifiable predictions. Please stop saying that I have not laid out my hypothesis. What you seem to want is a story, but story time is not science.

Facts and predictions without a conclusion do not in my book constitute a hypothesis, which I would define as a not yet proven explanation for a group of facts. I don’t equate explanations with stories. But see below, re “design”.

dhw: Does your prediction that genetic information will be “function specific” mean you predict that innovation will prove to be impossible, and therefore only your God can produce new species?
TONY: Adaptation within limits will be possible, but not crossing species boundaries.

You predict that innovation leading to speciation will prove to be impossible by natural means. I might predict that science will discover natural means of innovation (e.g. cellular intelligence), or David might predict the discovery of a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every innovation (info present from the beginning). Why is your prediction more “falsifiable” and more scientific than these?

TONY: Because there are observations that support mine. We have never observed speciation. That is a pretty glaring defect for any form of evolution that allows for it.

It is because we have never observed speciation that we have different hypotheses. Nobody has ever observed a God designing the universe, life, and species...that is a pretty glaring defect for any hypothesis.

dhw: So your hypothesis is that there cannot be a mechanism for innovation, and therefore evolution could not have happened, and therefore….?

TONY: My hypothesis is, for the nth time, that DNA is a designed language for programming biological functionality. I make no guess as to the designer or their motives because that is NOT science.

Agreed. “Biological functionality” is so complex that I for one cannot believe in chance as its inventor. That does not provide an alternative to evolution, since many evolutionists believe that evolution is the product of design.

DHW... you are not willing to contemplate the possibility that an organism can ACQUIRE new information and then pass it on.

TONY: There are four possibilities: invention, acquisition, preprogrammimg, and dabbling(as you call it).
We have no evidence at all of invention. Saying that it happened because there is new information is not logically sound.

Something must have caused the innovations which led to new organs and organisms. If you mean there is no evidence that the cell communities did it themselves, I agree. There is no evidence for any of your four possibilities.

TONY: David has provided us with numerous cellular mechanics that should prevent genetic acquisition, which is the logical fallacy I was pointing about horizontal gene transfer.

Maybe genetic acquisition IS possible. See quotes from the article David posted.

TONY: We have no evidence for speciation, nor do we observe early life containing all the genetic information for more complex life, thus denying full pre-programmed evolution.

I don’t understand your first comment. No matter how you define “species”, the evidence for speciation is that species exist. We have no evidence for how it happened. I share your scepticism re fully preprogrammed evolution.

TONY: That leaves dabbling, which fits the evidence of the Cambrian explosion and similar events.

So is "dabbling" your alternative? Unfortunately, nobody has ever observed your hypothetical God dabbling – a “glaring defect”. David’s preprogramming hypothesis and my intelligent cell hypothesis also fit the Cambrian explosion and other events.

TONY: Could a designer have done it otherwise? Certainly. I just want to see the evidence for it laid out in a logical, falsifiable manner before I jump on board.

Welcome to the land of the agnostic, which also extends as far as to the existence of a designer.

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