Uncommon or Common Descent?

(Ashwin S) #130

You are correct. I am oblivious to this idea. Perhaps you could elaborate… cite a few of the success stories… how a “long string” of specific mutations led to a novelty.

(Bill Cole) #131

If you look at figure 9 of Winston’s paper you will see a problem with the hypothesis of chimps and man sharing a common ancestor. You have two cases of multiple gene losses that need to be explained. First there is about 50-100 genes that rats share with chimps and not humans and there are about the same amount that humans share with monkeys and not chimps.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #132

How about this: no one in society is fighting about the common ancestry of bacteria. That is reserved for the common ancestry of man.

And we have already given the primary explanation for this: incomplete sorting.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #133

Not really. Functional information is poorly defined concept, and every definition I’ve seen can be demonstrated to form in the lab or in realistic simulation. It comes down to a misunderstanding of information theory. Remember, noise = information.

(Bill Cole) #134

So why can’t you use this to invalidate the whole paper since gene loss is his primary target?

(Guy Coe) #135

Well, there is this from Lynn Margulis, the “godmother” of endosymbiotic theory: "neo-Darwinists say that new species emerge when mutations occur and modify an organism…I believed it until I looked for evidence.” Sounds like skepticism is warranted.

(Bill Cole) #136

Are you aware of the definition generated by Szostak and Hazen in their 2003 paper? It is not noise but a sequence that performs a function. Noise is the enemy of this type of information.

(Bill Cole) #137

Here is the reason that it does not invalidate the paper and it also still remains a problem for the anomalies between chimps and man.

I apologize for not including this in my original argument :frowning:

(Eric Michael Holloway) #138

You’re confusing entropy with information. An email of random characters is low in information. An email of the same character is also low in information. What we call information is mutual information, which cannot be produced by mere randomness or regularity. Hence, why undirected evolution does not work.

(George) #139


  1. There’s the lungfish whose lung supplements oxygen exchange… and so they spend more and more time in drier environments… exploiting ne e territories… with strong and stronger fins… until the population becomes a tetrapod.

  2. There’s the lizard population that spends more and more of its time burrowing thru loose soils… with limbs becoming smaller… until they are snakes… or a wide variety of other limbless lizards.

  3. And there is any number of colony life forms that eventually differentiate regions of the colony, comprised if differentiated cell forms, to handle more challenging environments.

And we haven’t even mentioned dinos to birds, fish-eating mammals that become whales or otters, or a single population of marsupials in Australia that radiate into multiple niches and become radically different:

  1. Vegetarian moles;
  2. Omnivorous bandicoots; and
  3. Carnivorous Tasmanian devils!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #140

Yeah, that turns out not to be correct if we consider deletions. Deletions can easily delete proteins, and genomic rearrangements can do this on a massive and correlated scale. Keep in mind what he says next:

And incomplete lineage sorting can also create this pattern (dependency graph vs. tree) in the human-primate data.

(Eric Michael Holloway) #141

Can you briefly state what “incomplete lineage sorting” is?

(George) #142


This “information” fixation might get some traction against atheists.

But it makes zero sense when you are discussing information and speciation under God’s control.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #143

Mutual information can be produced by “shared noise,” which arises in undirected evolution. It is easy to demonstrate with simple programs of common descent. The shared noise in genomes that arises from shared history is among the strongest evidence of common descent.

(George) #144

@swamidass, you don’t even have to go that direction.

We dont rely on unguided directions. All our directions are guided!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #145

Sure, that applies in both cases. Mutual information can be produced by “shared noise,” which arises in BOTH directed and undirected evolution.

(Eric Michael Holloway) #146

That isn’t being ‘produced’ per se. It was already contained in the initial random noise. Laws like the data processing inequality, independence conservation, mean nothing deterministic, random, or combination thereof can produce mutual information.

(Bill Cole) #147

What would be interesting is to identify the genes and look into this deeper.

(Ashwin S) #148

String of mutations…
Not string of organisms.
You are equating all phenotypic change with point mutations. In short, you are assuming you case rather than proving it.

(George) #149


What are you saying here?

In the end, i dont suppose what you mean really matters here. It doesn’t matter whether, semantically speaking, genes do it all or not - - it doesn’t really alter the either/or scenario.

The question comes down to natural vs. Miraculous… and between Young Earth or Old Earth!