Some aspects have already been addressed; I am focusing on a few
specific points. This reply is more detailed and gives a better idea
of specific questions.
> The open systems argument does not help evolution. Raw energy
>cannot generate the specified complex information in living things.
>Undirected energy just speeds up destruction. Just standing out in
>the sun won't make you more complex - the human body lacks the
>mechanisms to harness raw solar energy. If you stood in the sun too
>long, you would get skin cancer, because the sun's undirected energy
>will cause mutations. <
But this cancer is a complication. The pun is intentional, but the
cancer is something new that the body did not have before. It is now
more complex. In this case, the additional complexity is detrimental.
>(Mutations are copying errors in the genes that nearly always lose
No, mutations always generate new information. Any sequence of DNA
conveys some sort of information. A change in the DNA sequence
produces new information. In most cases, mutations have no affect on
the organism, so the new information is not functionally different
from the old. Small positive mutations and small negative mutations
are about equally common. Large negative mutations are generally
more common than large positive mutations because organisms generally
already possess a fairly good set of genes, and the scope for large
improvements is limited. However, in experiments aimed at generating
a new function for a gene, large positive mutations are more frequent
because the room for improvement is large.
>Similarly, undirected energy flow though an alleged primordial soup
>will break down the complex molecules of life faster than they are
The effect of energy on complex biological molecules depends on the
form and amount of energy, the type of molecule, and environmental
parameters (e.g., are there substances that interact with the
molecules present?). This claim is too general to be accurate.
Dr. David Campbell
University of Alabama
Biodiversity & Systematics
Dept. Biological Sciences
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA
That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
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