January 2009 Weakness of Evolution - Origin of Information




In This Issue

Science - Can Random Forces Produce Meaningful Information?

Citizen Involvement - How YOU can help!

"A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question..." - Charles Darwin in Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

With this newsletter we are starting a series on well-known scientific weaknesses of neo-Darwinian evolution.  There are numerous items to choose from.  This issue will focus on the issue of whether complex useful information can arise from random processes.

Separately, our petition to the SBOE for the retention of time-tested "strengths and weaknesses" language in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) is off to a good start.  For you or a friend or family member to sign up, please visit:
http://www.strengthsandweaknesses.org/teachbothsides.htm .  It is easy and we don't ask a bunch of personal questions.  Please help us help conservatives on the State Board of Education!

Happy New Year!



SCIENCE:  Can Random Forces Produce Meaningful Information?

Can Random Mutations REALLY Create Complex Information Packed Into DNA Molecules? -- Guest Editorial by Laszlo Bencze

It is clear that living things are filled with information. Multicellular organisms develop through embryonic stages following complex and intricate patterns. They grow and reproduce following other patterns which are instinctual and coded into their genetic structure. Even single celled organisms consist of intricate sub-cellular machines which are all coded in their DNA.

The claim of evolution is that all the intricate, complex, and voluminous information contained in life originated and spread through random accidents (mutation) preserved by natural selection.
Here are the essentials: 
1. Evolution is unguided. No gods or angels help it along. No "life force" is built into nature. There is no ultimate goal towards which all life flows.
2. Random changes occur in the DNA of living things. 
3. These random genetic changes sometimes cause meaningful changes in the living things in which they are found.
4. If the changes reduce reproductive success they tend to disappear.
5. If the changes increase reproductive success they are preserved and disseminated throughout the population.
6. Such cycles of random change followed by natural selection repeated innumerable times have been responsible for the appearance of all components of life, cellular and otherwise, and for the profusion and diversity of species.
Evolutionists make much of the fact that natural selection makes the process not entirely random. Natural selection introduces feedback and purpose into the process they say. However, each step of random mutation/natural selection is independent and unrelated to the next step. Thus, taken as a whole, the many steps of any evolutionary process truly are random. Yet, under the normal circumstances of our lives, we never see randomness ever producing any sort of information. It is therefore quite reasonable to be suspicious of the claim that a random process is responsible for the information of life.
 If you were walking along the beach one morning and happened to see some seaweed arranged into the form of a ragged letter "A", I doubt you would pause very long to contemplate the wonder of it. After all, it is conceivable that long strands of seaweed might have been strewn into this pattern through perfectly natural forces of wave action. 
But if you saw seaweed arranged into the sentence "I AM," I'm sure you would pause a moment to wonder who had bothered to arise so early to arrange the seaweed into that meaningful but seemingly incomplete form. You might surmise that some eccentric had decided to write a message in seaweed but finding the task too troublesome, gave up before finishing. Or you might assume that the eccentric did in fact compose a longer message which had been partially erased by waves. Not for a moment would you imagine that natural, random forces had created even such a simple message but you would easily accept that they had destroyed part of it.
DNA is many orders of magnitude richer in information than the example above. Yet evolution proposes that chance can produce such an astonishingly information-rich coding system.
So evolution boils down to a problem in information theory. How can random effects increase the information of a system? In normal systems, randomness causes only loss of information usually evidenced as loss of function.  If the random mutation/natural selection paradigm were such a powerful generator of functionality, why wouldn't software engineers use it when writing computer code?
Evolutionary literature often parades forth the example of a string of random letters being transformed into a quote from Shakespeare through only a few random substitutions of letters. Unfortunately, this example is based on the use of an algorithm which matches a partial string to a goal string and preserves any change towards that goal. But in evolution both goals and algorithms created by intelligent agents are prohibited.

Interestingly, the micro-evolution of bacteria in developing antibiotic resistance always involves a loss of information. As Dr. Lee Spetner explains, "A mutation in bacteria that makes it resistant to streptomycin reduces the specificity of a protein in the ribosome. When the ribosome becomes less specific, its performance is degraded...The mutation makes the ribosome slower than normal in translating some of the RNA codons into protein."(1)  When the bacterial environment returns to its normal state with no antibiotic present, the antibiotic-resistant strain is out-competed by the normal strain and disappears. Thus antibiotic resistance is not a step towards a new species of bacteria. The situation is very much as if a normal gasoline car engine were made resistant to gasoline shortages by being able to also burn diesel, kerosene, or cooking oil as fuel.  But regardless of what fuel it burned, including gasoline, it had a top speed of 20 mph, ran very rough, and emitted billowing clouds of noxious smoke. Obviously such an engine could not be considered an advance over a standard engine.  There would be no market for it if gasoline were readily available and it would disappear from use.

Random events most assuredly can create noise. In fact they can create nothing else. But random events never create meaning. 
It is evolution's failure to satisfy our rightful skepticism about whether randomness can create information which ought, more than anything else, arouse our suspicions about its ability to be the force that caused all life on earth.
Laszlo Bencze

(1)  Spetner, Dr. Lee, Not by Chance, Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution, The Judaica Press, Brooklyn, New York, 1998 p. 131, 141, 144

[NB:  You may direct comments to:  newsletterfeedback2009@strengthsandweaknesses.org]



Your Assistance Needed on Three Fronts! - We have an urgent need for assistance in three areas. 

First, please take a minute and sign our "Teach Both Strengths AND WEAKNESSES of Evolution Petition
" here.  It will only take 30 seconds and will help counter the Darwinist dogma that, "No one questions evolution."

, please take a few minutes now to write a politely worded letter of support to the State Board of Education encouraging them to keep or even strengthen the "scientific strengths and weaknesses" language that has served Texas well for TWENTY YEARS without a single legal challenge.  You might also point out one or two of your favorite weaknesses of evolution theories--there are so many to choose from!  Email the Board at sboesupport@tea.state.tx.us. Other contact information is located here.

Third, mark January 21, 2009 on your calendar.  This is the day public testimony will be taken before the full State Board of Education in Austin.  It is especially important that you consider testifying if you are a teacher or have Ph.D. credentials.  For more information, see:

Thank You!




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