Information And Entropy – Top-down Or Bottom-up Development In Living Systems? 8
No. 4 (2009)
This paper deals with the fundamental and challenging question of the ultimate origin of genetic information from a thermodynamic perspective. The theory of evolution postulates that random mutations and natural selection can increase genetic information over successive generations. It is often argued from an evolutionary perspective that this does not violate the second law of thermodynamics because it is proposed that the entropy of a non-isolated system could reduce due to energy input from an outside source, especially the sun when considering the earth as a biotic system. By this, it is proposed that a particular system can become organized at the expense of an increase in entropy elsewhere. However, whilst this argument works for structures such as snowflakes that are formed by natural forces, it does not work for genetic information because the information system is composed of machinery which requires precise and non-spontaneous raised free energy levels – and crystals like snowflakes have zero free energy as the phase transition occurs. The functional machinery of biological systems such as DNA, RNA and proteins require that precise, non-spontaneous raised free energies be formed in the molecular bonds which are maintained in a far from equilibrium state. Furthermore, biological structures contain coded instructions which, as is shown in this paper, are not defined by the matter and energy of the molecules carrying this information. Thus, the specified complexity cannot be created by natural forces even in conditions far from equilibrium. The genetic information needed to code for complex structures like proteins actually requires information which organizes the natural forces surrounding it and not the other way around – the information is crucially not defined by the material on which it sits. The information system locally requires the free energies of the molecular machinery to be raised in order for the information to be stored. Consequently, the fundamental laws of thermodynamics show that entropy reduction which can occur naturally in non-isolated systems is not a sufficient argument to explain the origin of either biological machinery or genetic information that is inextricably intertwined with it. This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
Natural Selection can only decrease information, since it causes things to die. (Which is subtraction of information.) And random mutation is noise, and noise destroys (because of information entropy). So you have two subtractions and zero additions of information with Neo-Darwinism.
Every single genetic algorithm that exists requires pre-programmed goals in order to work. None operate from pure randomness and undirected selection. They ALWAYS sneak in some form of design. Always.
Have you ever noticed that the software on your computer never gets better by itself?
Have you ever noticed that no software in history has ever gotten better by itself?
Nothing evolves before being programmed to do so.
Thus evolution itself makes the strongest case yet of a Grand Design.
George L.G. Miklos (1993)
Natural selection tells us absolutely nothing about underlying mechanisms of genomic changes, or their consequences on developmental changes which lead to evolutionary innovations. In short, it is silent about the emergence of complex forms.
Bernd-Olaf Küppers, Information and the Origin of Life (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), 170-72
The RNA world hypothesis has not solved the problem of the origin of life or the origin of biological information. The "direct templating" model of the origin of the genetic code fails to explain both the origin of the code and the origin of sequence-specific genetic information.
Paul Davies once said;
How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software … ? Nobody knows …
… there is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.
Whether you’re creating codes or adapting them to new circumstances, you must create new rules. The only thing we know of that creates or re-creates codes is volitional beings. In all man-made systems, the only thing that makes them evolve is . . . intelligence.” Codes are not mattered and they’re not energy. Codes don’t come from matter, nor do they come from energy. Codes are information, and information is in a category by itself.
"All *life forms* definitely must have an enormous amount of information to keep all their structures functioning."
1. No information can exist without a code.
2. No code can exist without a free and deliberate convention.
3. No information can exist without the five hierarchical levels:
statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics.
4. No information can exist in purely statistical processes.
5. No information can exist without a transmitter.
6. No information chain can exist without a mental origin.
7. No information can exist without an initial mental source;
that is, information is, by its nature, a mental and not a material quantity.
8. No information can exist without a will.
These theorems are similar to the laws of gravity and the laws of thermodynamics, in that no counterexample has 'ever' been found.
A typical gene contains over one thousand precisely arranged bases. For any specific arrangement of four nucleotide bases of length n, there is a corresponding number of possible arrangements of bases, 4n. For any protein, there are 20n possible arrangements of protein-forming amino acids. A gene 999 bases in length represents one of 4^999 possible nucleotide sequences; a protein of 333 amino acids is one of 20^333 possibilities. 1
Since the 1960s, some biologists have thought functional proteins to be rare among the set of possible amino acid sequences. Some have used an analogy with human language to illustrate why this should be the case. Denton (1986, 309-311), for example, has shown that meaningful words and sentences are extremely rare among the set of possible combinations of English letters, especially as sequence length grows. (The ratio of meaningful 12-letter words to 12-letter sequences is 1/10^14, the ratio of 100-letter sentences to possible 100-letter strings is 1/10^100.) Further, Denton shows that most meaningful sentences are highly isolated from one another in the space of possible combinations, so that random substitutions of letters will, after very few changes, inevitably degrade meaning. Apart from a few closely clustered sentences accessible by random substitution, the overwhelming majority of meaningful sentences lie, probabilistically speaking, beyond the reach of random search.
DNA- how did it originate?
Brian Bergeron: saying that triplet codon sequences come about by spontaneous chemical reactions is false, as they have only been shown to come about through the processes which already exists in the cell. To say that the genetic code came about because of the chemical properties of these particular molecules is also false and shows a basic lack of an understanding of chemistry. You cannot attribute the functional language of the genetic code to chemistry and more then you could attribute the properties of ink and paper to the meaningful sentences on a page or the properties of electrons and switches to the rise of function binary code. It's just plain silly to suggest otherwise. Another compelling evidence of God is the complex blueprint contained in the DNA of life as simple as a single-celled organism. Those biological instructions, blueprints for proteins and functional cell organization, cannot be attributed to random molecular collisions. DNA, the basis of all organic life, is an instruction set. It is the common denominator of all of living beings on earth. How did this enormously complex information come to be, for even the most primitive single-celled organisms?
"All living cells that we know of on this planet are DNA software-driven biological machines comprised of hundreds of thousands of protein robots, coded for by the DNA, that carry out precise functions." - Craig Ventner, PhD, University of California 2
A Response to Dr. Dawkins’ “Information Challenge”
Casey Luskin Evolution News & Views ,October 4, 2007
In September, 2007, I posted a link to a YouTube video where Richard Dawkins was asked to explain the origin of genetic information, according to Darwinism. I also posted a link to Dawkins' rebuttal to the video, where he purports to explain the origin of genetic information according to Darwinian evolution. The question posed to Dawkins was, "Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or evolutionary process that can be seen to increase the information in the genome?" Dawkins famously commented that the question was "the kind of question only a creationist would ask . . ." Dawkins writes, "In my anger I refused to discuss the question further, and told them to stop the camera." Dawkins' highly emotional response calls into question whether he is capable of addressing this issue objectively. This will be a response assessing Dawkins' answer to "The Information Challenge."
Before self-replication, natural selection by definition does not exist 3
We wish Lonsdale and his researchers luck. They will need it. There can be no natural selection without reproduction, the teams all realize. "If life started as RNA world, somewhere, somehow, the molecules making up RNA had to be reproduced." So if natural selection is out, what remains? 4
Chance and necessity do not explain the origin of life
24 June 2004
Selection pressure cannot select nucleotides at the digital programming level where primary structures form. Genomes predetermine the phenotypes which natural selection only secondarily favors. Contentions that oﬀer nothing more than long periods of time oﬀer no mechanism of explanation for the derivation of genetic programming. No new information is provided by such tautologies. The argument simply says it happened. As such, it is nothing more than blind belief. Science must provide rational theoretical mechanism, empirical support, prediction fulﬁllment, or some combination of these three. If none of these three are available, science should reconsider that molecular evolution of genetic cybernetics is a proven fact and press forward with new research approaches which are not obvious at this time. 5
The Scientific Case for Intelligent Design
The probability of useful DNA, RNA, or proteins occurring by chance is extremely small. Calculations vary somewhat but all are extremely small (highly improbable). If one is to assume a hypothetical prebiotic soup to start there are at least three combinational hurdles (requirements) to overcome. Each of these requirements decreases the chance of forming a workable protein. First, all amino acids must form a chemical bond (peptide bond) when joining with other amino acids in the protein chain. Assuming, for example a short protein molecule of 150 amino acids, the probability of building a 150 amino acids chain in which all linkages are peptide linkages would be roughly 1 chance in 10^45. The second requirement is that functioning proteins tolerate only left-handed amino acids, yet in abiotic amino acid production, the right-handed and left-handed isomers are produced in nearly the same frequency. The probability of building a 150-amino-acid chain at random in which all bonds are peptide bonds and all amino acids are L-form is roughly 1 chance in 10^90. The third requirement for functioning proteins is that the amino acids must link up like letters in a meaningful sentence, i.e. in a functionally specified sequential arrangement. The chance for this happening at random for a 150 amino acid chain is approximately 1 chance in 10^195. It would appear impossible for chance to build even one functional protein considering how small the likelihood is. By way of comparison to get a feeling of just how low this probability is considered that there are only 10^65 atoms in our galaxy.. 6
Signal to Noise: A Critical Analysis of Active Information
April 23, 2015
For, under such "infinite monkey" circumstances, searches based on random walks from arbitrary initial configurations will be maximally unlikely to find such isolated islands of function. As the crowd-sourced Wikipedia summarises (in testimony against its ideological interest compelled by the known facts): The text of Hamlet contains approximately 130,000 letters. Thus there is a probability of one in 3.4 × 10^183,946 to get the text right at the first trial. The average number of letters that needs to be typed until the text appears is also 3.4 × 10^183,946, or including punctuation, 4.4 × 10^360,783. Even if the observable universe were filled with monkeys typing from now until the heat death of the universe, their total probability to produce a single instance of Hamlet would still be less than one in 10^183,800. As Kittel and Kroemer put it, “The probability of Hamlet is therefore zero in any operational sense of an event…”, and the statement that the monkeys must eventually succeed “gives a misleading conclusion about very, very large numbers.” This is from their textbook on thermodynamics, the field whose statistical foundations motivated the first known expositions of typing monkeys. 7
good debate on DNA as information
Genetic code optimisation
Mind over matter
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