Saturday, July 23, 2011

Junk DNA supports creationism better than evolutionism

There’s a proposal for a new thread at EvC mostly about junk DNA
A rising trend among creationists/intelligent design advocates is to imply, or state outright, that all DNA (i.e., junk DNA/noncoding DNA) has function. While this is already demonstrably untrue, many such folk maintain this line, including Jonathan Wells in his new book, 'The Myth of Junk DNA'. [The book is at Amazon of course, and the comments on that page are interesting -- Faith].

On a related note, it is claimed by YEC/IDC 'information' types that functional DNA possesses CSI, and further they claim that CSI is indicative of creation/design. Further, I have been told by a YEC that CSI is determined by calculating the Shannon information of the DNA sequence (which is a function of its number of base pairs) and adding its 'meaning' which is premised on its function (I've been trying to get creationist information types to tell me how to quantify 'meaning' for some time, but to no avail).

Taking the YEC/IDC position to its logical conclusion, this must mean that an organism with a genome larger than humans possess more CSI than humans do.

Thus, the marbled lungfish, with a genome of 133 billion bps, has ~44 times the CSI [something "specific information" -- Faith] that humans do (if YEC/IDCs are correct).

Which means that the Creator/Designer put more effort into creating them than us.

How can YEC/IDCs reconcile this with their beliefs that humans are 'special'?

I mean without special pleading....
I'm always surprised to find creationists arguing that junk DNA must have a function. I suppose some of it may retain some function after all, I haven't studied the science involved, but its not having a function makes it compatible with the Biblical scenarios of the Fall and the Flood, which imply so much death, and that's how I've been thinking of it for some time -- as the DNA cemetery. Death entered the world because of sin. It makes sense the DNA would die too. The creationist arguments for its functionality are probably due to the fact that evolutionists have claimed its nonfunctionality supports evolution, but really it supports Biblical creation better.

Evolutionists have claimed that junk DNA is evidence for evolution because it must reflect the many genetic trials by natural selection that didn't work out in the long history of evolution (or possibly, the record of previous adaptations that were later obsolesced?) I dunno, seems to me that given the enormously long history they postulate, 98% of the DNA is an awfully small record to show for it, it ought to be more like 99.9999999%. But the idea that 98% of human DNA is functionless or dead is perfectly compatible with the biblical history of the Fall in Eden and the Flood of Noah, as it could be regarded as a record of all the death that was the result of those events, and the time period of 4500 years since the Flood bottleneck is a more reasonable number than millions of years too of course.

[Aug 12, want to add here that at EvC someone or other is always claiming that if there had been a bottleneck 4300 or so years ago that would be apparent in the DNA. I've never caught anyone saying exactly what in the DNA would indicate such a bottleneck, so I can only just shrug off such comments until they do, and since they habitually think in terms of millions of years and can't seem to help themselves, whatever they come up with would have to be taken with a great deal of skepticism anyway. But the Junk DNA seems to me to be a fine indicator of such a bottleneck.]

As for marbled lungfish or any other creature with a genome larger than the human, that also has to be explained by the Fall and the Flood. It doesn't reflect Creation but the destruction after the Fall, and Creationists should recognize this. Some creatures were less affected by the fall of humanity and God's judgment than others, and would have retained more genetic vitality for that reason. The land creatures that were taken on the ark probably lost about the same amount of DNA for their Kind as the people on the ark did, but sea creatures either lived or died without benefit of the ark, and some no doubt survived in greater numbers than others and retained more living DNA for that reason.

Yes, this is all just speculative musing on my part and I can't very well insist on it, it just seems to fit the biblical account while the claim of functionality for the junk DNA doesn't.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anonymous Comment insists on definitional word magic

Got an Anonymous Comment on an older blog post and thought I'd bring it up front:

Anonymous Poster quotes me:

And answers me:

You can't just go around redefining the word "evolution". That normal variation is exactly what evolution is. That is ALL evolution is. There is variation, and some of the variants survive better than others, and that's natural selection. I'm sorry, but that's.. just the definition.
And I answer Anonymous there, and here with a few differences:

Dear Anonymous, thanks for your comment. I appreciate your being polite.

What you are saying illustrates another point I try to make here, which is that a great deal of the evolution side of this dispute is definitional, or to put it another way, it's "word magic" which asserts as fact something that is really contrary to reality: If you simply DEFINE evolution as normal variation then you blind yourself to what is really going on.

As I've argued over and over here, there is a NATURAL end point to normal variation that is the TRUE definition of it, beyond which no further evolution is possible. In reality. In fantasy it is assumed without warrant that the observed variations that are called "microevolution" simply continue indefinitely. They cannot. There is a natural end point which is the true boundary line that separates the Kinds, the end point brought about by the ACTUAL FACT that genetic variability must decrease as new phenotypic forms emerge.

Every time you get a new variant, it has emerged because some genetic variability has been lost in the process of bringing to phenotypic expression the particular genetic codes underlying the new variant. It can't happen any other way, as I've argued here in many posts. You have to lose competing genetic variations in order for a particular phenotypic variation to become established in a population. The more refined, or distinctive, a variant, the more specific the genetic code for it and therefore the greater the loss of genetic competitors. Eventually a point is reached where further variants are no longer possible at all, and evolution has come to an end for that line of variation. The very processes of evolution that bring about new variants naturally lead to a point beyond which evolution is impossible. That's the outer boundary of "microevolution." Microevolution is how Kinds vary within themselves. There is no macroevolution possible at all. Evolution defeats evolution, as I like to say.

There is also the ACTUAL FACT that there is no such thing as "beneficial" mutations capable of driving evolution, which is what is usually posited as the remedy for the situation I describe. If mutations did in fact occur as supposed, you could never have an identifiable variant at all, as mutations would constantly interfere with the specific coding for such a variant. The whole idea of beneficial mutations is just another huge piece of word magic, an assumption or belief for which there is no evidence, while there is very good reason to believe they can't happen, as I just said. In reality, known mutations only interfere with normal genetic processes and there is absolutely no evidence that they do anything at all beneficial. Evolutionism simply invents mutations to fuel the continuing changes required by the theory, nothing but invention, nothing but fantasy.

So, I recommend to you that you stop believing in definitional word magic and join creationists in recognizing reality.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The trashed condition of planet Earth and the Christian explanation

GDR has expressed the view that the planet appears to have been designed with us in mind, made ready for us and Dr. A is responding:
Dr A writes: Made ready in what way? The lighting is intermittent, the heating likewise, often with lethal effect, the water mostly undrinkable, the sewage system non-existent, and the whole place is crawling with vermin. This is why we've had to make the whole place over in order for it to be habitable and tolerable.

Really, if you checked into a hotel room with half these defects and the manager assured you that he had made it ready for you, would you not suppose that he had done so under the impression that you had slept with his wife and run over his dog?
GDR answers: Just the same the vast majority of us aren't wanting to check out either. Have you got a better room on offer?

At any rate, the Christian answer is that it isn't finished yet.
I agree that the planet does for the most part look like it was designed with us in mind, since although it may not provide guaranteed protection from harm or death, nor all the comforts we'd prefer, it does provide the basic necessities for sustaining life -- and human beings were designed to make good use of the materials provided as well, another clue to a planned fit.

Still, the answer that it isn't finished yet is the wrong explanation for the discomforts. The Christian answer -- or what ought to be the Christian answer because it's Biblical, although it's not the usual answer -- is that the planet was pretty much trashed by sin and God's judgments against sin, particularly by God's great judgment, the Flood. The hostile environment is all part of the judgment against sin too. And, it's never going to be "finished" or corrected. It will eventually be replaced by a new heavens and a new earth.


Continuing to read on that thread I see the creationist allowing that the Bible is "subjective" saying that the Koran is also. I have no idea what he thinks he's saying, maybe that belief in the Bible -- or Koran -- is subjective perhaps? That's also misleading. The Bible is mostly history, accounts of many events purported to have actually happened over some four thousand years. Either these accounts are true or they aren't -- there's nothing "subjective" about them. If they are true they are as objective as any statement of fact. (The Koran is not a history, by the way, it's a collection of sayings and instructions).

Then cavediver says the Bible isn't the only source of claims about God, that even his own brother claims to have met the incarnate God. Our creationist Chuck77 obviously has no idea what he's referring to but clearly he's talking about one of the Hindu "avatars," probably the demon-possessed Sai Baba who died recently. These supposed "God-men" are credited with miracles, usually pretty trivial stuff that is within the capabilities of demons (or magicians' simple tricks), manifesting baubles and trinkets out of thin air for instance. Anyone interested in Sai Baba can read a book by Tal Brooke about his own time as a follower of Sai Baba back in the late 60s, titled Avatar of Night. After a period of following this guru and beginning to recognize some very unholy activities at the ashram, Brooke eventually meets a Christian missionary couple and is saved, comes back to the US and writes his book.