Re: Anthropological items

From: bivalve (
Date: Fri Jul 12 2002 - 20:06:44 EDT

  • Next message: Shuan Rose: "RE: Challenge #2"

    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
         Old Seashells
         University of Alabama
         Biodiversity & Systematics
         Dept. Biological Sciences
         Box 870345
         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
    Droitgate Spa

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jul 13 2002 - 00:10:42 EDT