Incorrect Information

Post-Script to the last post:
I was wrong in saying that they "did pretty well".  It was at the 250 word limit (so they aren't supposed to edit it), but the way they printed it, an entire sentence was removed from the words "Researchers" to the word "expect" at the end of the letter.  The last paragraph now read:
The researchers expect that if they understand life's beginnings on this planet, and know what simple life forms to look for elsewhere, they can prove we are all accidents.
Compare that to the post below.  Censorship!  Censorship!  Shame on you, Mr. Herald-Liberal . . . er . . . Leader.

Right now, something on our computer is messed up and I cannot add comments to my blog, I can only read them.  So, I decided to reply to one of the comments on my last post this way:

This comment was made by "Anonymous S".
You have to learn that repeating something again and again doesn't make it true.
That's exactly right.  Another thing that is true, however, is that if a false statement is repeated again and again, people start believing it even if it isn't true.  That's what has happened with evolution.  If someone hears "Science has disproven the Bible" enough times, people begin to believe it even though it is patently false.
I was just playing with Google and found this interesting abstract:
I won't reproduce the abstract in full because it is too long.  To view it in its entirety, point your browser to www.standonbible.blogspot.com/2005/06/letter-to-editor.html#comments.  Please read it before reading on in this post.
Sdic is a new gene that evolved recently in the lineage of Drosophila Melanogaster.
There's nothing wrong with a "new gene" as long as it doesn't mean "new information".  Evolution within as species is also viable, as long as it is the loss of information and not the gain thereof.  I read on:
It was formed from a duplication and fusion of the gene AnnX,
So there was nothing really amazing about the way it happened; a gene was accidentally copied twice and fused together, kinda like if your copier accidentally printed two copies on the same page, one forwards and one backwards, rather than just one copy on one page.  The information was already there.  Mutations like this happen all the time, but they never make the organism move up on the "evolutionary tree".
[This is a technical explanation of exactly how it happened].
I don't pretend to know what this means.  From what I see, it is just a play-by-play analysis of how the accident happened.
A novel protein is created lacking 100 residues at the amino end that contain sequence motifs essential for the function of cytoplasmic dynein intermediate chains.
It seems that through this accident, a squished-up protein is formed that doesn't have essential parts for the original function.  Again, compare to the copier analogy.  Let's see if they have a new function that not only makes the organism more likely to survive but also acts as a step up on the "process" of macroevolution.
Instead, the amino end is a hydrophobic region of 16 residues that resembles the amino end of axonemal dynein intermediate chains from other organisms.
I see.  When the gene was double-copied, it mixed the residual amino acids up so that they looked a little like a different kind of gene that already existed.  Of course, it wasn't perfectly the same, so it wouldn't have the function of the other organism.  Also, if it had the function of the other organism (a much harder thing), it would also have to have supplementary mutations all around it to allow the function to work correctly in that organism.  This looks like a handicap rather than an asset.
The downstream portion of Sdic features large deletions eliminating Cdic exons v2 and v3, as well as multiple frameshift deletions or insertions.
A "frameshift deletion or insertion" is just a shifting around and removing of pre-existing parts of the gene.  No new information.  Does it even have a new function?
The new protein becomes incorporated into the tail of the mature sperm and may function as an axonemal dynein intermediate chain.
Nope.  If we're lucky, it might be able to function as a partially handicapped version of the gene we already had.  Since this messes up the particular sperm, it would have less of a chance of surviving and passing on the defective gene.
I thought you'd like to see it since, you know, new genes are not suppose [sic] to be created.
I did like to see this fine example of a detrimental mutation.  Thanks for pointing it out!
The problem with macroevolution is this: In order for the organism to move up on the "evolutionary tree", it must have a change (like this one) in the genome.  This change, though, has to be both beneficial to the organism (so it can pass on the revised gene) AND it must help the species as a whole to move up toward a greater evolutionary goal.  Sickle-cell anemia, for instance, can be beneficial to the organism that has it, but is a loss of information that results in a 50% death rate in the society as a whole.  Since this "new gene" does neither of these things, it is no close to molecules-to-man evolution than anything else we've seen.
In Him,
David S. MacMillan III

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with a "new gene" as long as it doesn't mean "new information".  Evolution within as species is also viable, as long as it is the loss of information and not the gain thereof.

Well, if a new functional gene doesn't mean 'new information' then I don't know what it means. The layman's definition of genetic information could be defined as functional DNA that encodes usefull/benificial proteins or regulatory sequences. In the example I give we have two genes duplicated in tandem, then the intermediate sequence deleted to form a single new gene. What's also interesting is that we have a previously non-coding part of the dna sequence become a protein coding sequence. I don't have the paper in front of me but If I think the new gene serves as a male-specific regulatory function. This sure looks like a the information in the genome changing for the benefit of the species to me and thus greater information content to its genome.

On the other hand you still haven't given a scientific definition of genetic information--meaning one wherein if someone said "genetic information cannot be increased by natural selection" could be be tested. Instead you have bounced around the subject with the closest definition being your definition of speciation as the loss of genetic information. As I said, this is a bizarre non-scientific definition where you pretty much define it so that you can arrive at the conclusion that you want to reach. Your definition of speciation is like me defining myself as the canonical example of male beauty and arguing that I should be People Magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year--it sure is convenient for me but it doesn't mean more women will ask me out.

Also, your copier example isn't a very good example for what is actually going on. As I said, this paper describes two genes being duplicated and then fused via the elimination of intermediate dna. Also the copier analogy fails on another level. If a protein is beneficial for an organism and more protein has greater benefit for an organism (as sometimes the case) then a mutation which codes for more of this particular protein will provide greater benefit to the organism. This will be a again, by my definition, an increase in genetic information.

Since you didn't understand the abstract of this paper (probably not all together your fault since you probably couldn't get the paper itself to read) most of your criticisms of it are without merit. For more information on this I suggest the website where I found this abstract. It has a wealth of other interesting examples too.